Three Card Poker: More Playing Options But Beware of the House Edge

If you play Three Card Poker, there are a number of variants to the base game that are available is some casinos. Be aware that some carry a Huge House Edge. The edge for the basic game is about 3% for the ante and play wagers and jumps to about 7% if the Pair Plus option is wagered. Your chances of being dealt a pair is about one in four. Here are the variants:

Face Up Ultimate Three Card Poker

Players must also make a blind wager in addition to the ante. The dealer will then turn one card face up. If you decide to fold, your ante and blind bets lose. If you decide to stay in the hand and make a play bet, you have the option to raise the blind up to 3X your ante provided you have a pair or better. If you have less than a pair your play bet can only equal your ante wager.

The dealer will then reveal the other two cards. If the dealer’s hand beats yours, the play, ante, and blind bets lose. If the dealer has less than a Queen high, the ante bet pushes. If the hand ties those bets push. If your hand beats the dealer’s, the play and ante bets win even money. The blind bet pays if your winning hand is at least a flush. Otherwise it pushes. Here is the winning blind pay table:

Pair or less – Push

Flush – 1 to 1

Straight – 2 to 1

Three of a Kind – 10 to 1

Straight Flush – 20 to 1

Mini-Royal – 100 to 1 (suited K, Q, A)

You will undoubtedly need are larger bankroll for this version due to the additional blind wager and the option to raise it up to 3X. The following strategy is recommended when playing:

Fold with any hand less than J, 7, 4

Raise 3X with any pair or better

The House Edge is about 4.3%.

Three Card Poker Progressive

This an easy Three card Poker side bet that pays a huge jackpot if you have a Mini-Royal Q, K, A of Spades. You can place a wager up to the size of your ante in the progressive betting position when placing your ante bet. The average jackpot payout is around $4,000 for a $1 bet. Pay tables vary between jurisdictions. The pay tables are X for one, not X to one. This means that the house takes the original bet. Here is a common table:

Progressive Pay Table

Straight – 6 for 1

Three of a Kind – 60 for 1

Straight Flush – 70 for 1

Mini-Royal – 500 for 1(Hearts/Diamonds/Clubs)

Mini-Royal (Spades) – Jackpot

This looks very tempting but the House Edge is about 22.3%

6 Card Bonus

This is another optional side bet where a player’s 3 card hand is combined with the dealer’s 3 card hand to make the best poker hand. A winning hand is paid according to the following pay table regardless of the outcome of the ante and play bets. Pay tables may vary between jurisdictions:

Three of a Kind – 7 to 1

Straight – 10 to 1

Flush – 15 to 1

Full House – 20 to 1

Four of a Kind – 100 to 1

Straight Flush – 200 to 1

Royal Flush – 1,000 to 1 (9 through A)

The House Edge for this pay table is about 8.6%.

The $ Million Option

There is also another 6-card bonus option that gives a player a shot at a One Million Dollar payout! This option is exclusive to Caesars Entertainment properties in Las Vegas and Atlantic City. Players must also bet the ante, play, and pair plus positions when making this bet to win the following payouts:

6 Card Super Royal – (Diamonds) – $1,000,000

Six card super Royal – (Hearts, Clubs, Spades) $100,000

5 Card Royal Flush 1000 to 1

5 Card Straight Flush 200 to 1

Four of a Kind. 50 to 1

Full House. 20 to 1

5 Card Flush. 15 to 1

5 Card Straight. 10 to 1

Three of a Kind. 5 to 1

In case you’re wondering the House Edge is 18% and the probability of hitting a Diamond Royal is 1 in over 20 million!

Good Luck!

When Can Betting Wrong Be the Right Choice? Only in the Casino Game of Craps

Craps strategy for the Wrong Bettor could be the right choice since your chance of winning the roll increases when the shooter sevens out. (Loses the roll). A wrong bettor is usually in the minority and not very welcome at the table. Only about 2% of bettors bet against the shooter.

Wrong Bettor Strategy

Start by selecting a lower minimum table, such as a $5.00 one, and buy in for $120 which will give you a reasonable play session. Ask the dealer for 20 five-dollar chips and 20 one-dollar chips. When the dealer announces the new game by shouting “comin’ out”, place the five-dollar chip on the Don’t Pass Line. Then place three one-dollar chips on the table, directing the dealer to put two-dollars on any seven (payout is 4 to 1), and one-dollar on the eleven, also called the yo’ (payout is 15 to 1). These two plays will keep you in the game on the Come Out roll with the following possibilities:

If the Shooter Rolls:

7 – you win 8, lose 6

2 or 3 – you win 5, lose 3

11 – you win 15, lose 7

12 – you lose 3, the $5 bet pushes

4,5,6, or 8,9,10 – lose 3

The five dollars remains on the Don’t Pass Bar. For example, if a 4 is rolled, your five-dollars is still active. The 4 becomes the point number. As a wrong bettor, you want the 7 to be rolled before the 4, in order to collect your wager.

The Odds Bet

When you place an odds bet as a wrong bettor you’re laying odds instead of taking odds because your chances of winning are now greater than losing. However, it will cost you more to lay the odds.

For example, there are 6 ways to win with a 7: 4,3; 5,2: 6,1: or 3,4: 2,5; 1,6. The three ways to lose with a 4 are 3, 1; 1, 3; or 2, 2. In other words there is a 1 to 2 payoff. You will have to lay $10 odds to collect $5 true odds. The total line bet is $15 ($5 on Don’t Pass; $10 on odds) total win is $10. ($5 for the Don’t Pass, $5 for the odds.)

When you lay your odds bet, place it off center atop your Don’t Pass wager chips. This tells the dealer that you are laying single odds against the point number 4.

Some casinos only offer single odds to wrong bettors. If you are interested in playing double odds, check with the dealer first. It’s advisable to remember that laying double odds as a wrong bettor can become quite expensive, depleting your buy in quickly.

True odds against other point numbers are:

Point Numbers True Odds

4 and 10 – 1 to 2

5 and 9 – 2 to 3

6 and 8 – 5 to 6

While a wrong bettor puts up more to win less, the risk to benefit advantage is that you can win more often.

Odds Strategy

Lay odds bets against the point numbers 4, 5, 9, or 10 only. The 6, 8-point strategy is played differently.

Place Betting
After you lay your odds bet, put $12.00 on the table and tell the dealer to place the 6 and 8.Each time a 6 or 8 is rolled before a 7 you’ll be paid seven-dollars. Press up one time so that you have $12.00 on each number. These numbers are as important to you as a wrong bettor as they are to the right bettor. You want Lady Luck to drop her 6’s and 8’s before your seven is made or the point number is rolled.

If the shooter sevens out, you’ll collect your Don’t Pass wager, but will lose the 6, 8 place bets. If the shooter makes the point, you’ll lose the Don’t Pass wager. The place bets remain on the felt and are still active.

6 and 8 Point Strategy

If the 6 or 8 becomes the point on the come out, use a different strategy. For example, if the 6 is the point, make a $6.00 place bet on the 8. This time do not lay odds. Hedge the point by asking the dealer to make a Hard Way bet on the 6. The hard way is one way only, in this instance a 3 and 3. The hard ways are proposition bets that I don’t normally recommend but in this case, it could be a good hedge.

This bet pays 9 to 1 and the payout is $45 if the shooter makes the point the hard way. Your Don’t Pass wager will lose.

Keep in mind that craps is still a game of pure chance and is best viewed as simply a form of entertainment. When the dice do not confirm your hunches, leave them to play another day.