Three Card Poker, or Tri Card Poker, is a table game that consists of two games in one. At the beginning of each hand, the player may choose to either wager on the Pair Plus bet, the Ante-and-Play bet or both.
Ante-And-Play - This is considered the main game in Three Card Poker. In this game, the player competes against the dealer for the best hand. At the beginning of the hand, the player pays an ante and then the player and dealer are each dealt three cards.
After the player looks at his cards, he may choose to fold and surrender his ante or continue to play by placing another bet equal in size to the ante. If the player chooses to play on, the dealer will then reveal his cards.
Before anything else happens, the dealer must check to see if his hand “qualifies” by containing a Queen high or better. If the dealer does not qualify, the player is paid 1 to 1 on the ante and the second bet is returned without any winnings.
When the dealer does qualify, his hand is compared to the player’s hand. If the player’s hand is higher, the player is paid even money on both bets. If the dealer’s hand is higher, the player loses both bets. In addition to that, there are special payouts for the following hands:
Straight Flush 5 to 1
Three of a Kind 4 to 1
Straight 1 to 1
In the end, there are three possible outcomes for each hand in which the player does not fold:
The dealer does not qualify. The player wins even money on the ante bet and the second bet is considered a push.
The dealer qualifies and beats the player. The player loses both bets.
The dealer qualifies and loses to the player. The player wins even money on both bets.
Three Card Poker Hand Rankings
Hands are ranked a little differently in Three Card Poker because the odds of getting certain hands are different than in normal five card poker. The hands in Three Card Poker are ranked below with the best hands on top.
Three of a Kind
Pair Plus Bet
The Pair Plus is a sort of side bet in which the player is paid bonuses for achieving hands of one pair or better. The player does not have to beat the dealer to win money in the Pair Plus bet. The bet only requires the player to make it through the hand without folding.
The payout table can vary from one casino to the next but a common one looks like this:
Straight Flush 40 to 1
Three of a Kind 30 to 1
Straight 6 to 1
Flush 4 to 1
Pair 1 to 1