Three Card Blackjack, a Casino Table Game Where Players and Dealers Never Bust

The blackjack rules for the casino table game of Thee Card Blackjack vary in that the player is dealt three cards instead of two.

How Three Card Blackjack is Played

Three Card Blackjack is played with a standard 52-card deck. The objective of the game is for players to make the best blackjack hand to beat the dealer using two or three of their cards. Players or dealers cannot bust. Standing, Hitting, doubling, and pair splitting are not permitted, and a player blackjack always beats a dealer blackjack, however a blackjack pays even money instead of the traditional 3/2.

There are three betting positions, Ante, Ace Plus (optional side bet), and the Play Bet. Players must first make an ante wager. Also, the ace plus option if he or she chooses. The dealer pitches three cards face down to each player and three cards to his or herself. The two dealer cards are face down; one is face up.

Based on the value of the dealer’s up card, players must make one of two decisions after looking at their cards:

Fold – the ante wager is forfeited, but the ace plus wager if made will remain.

Raise – the player makes a play wager equal to the ante.

Here are some hand examples:

Player #1 – Has an A, 5, 4.

Player #2 – Has a 6, 7, and 9 (player cannot bust, so the 6 is not counted)

Player #3 – Has an A, 3, A

Dealer – Shows an 8-up card and a 10, 6, are face down.

Note that player #1 has a total of 20 (11 for the Ace, + 5 + 4 = 20) this player chooses to raise against the dealer 8. Player #2 has a total of 16 (9 + 7, = 16. The player chooses to fold. Player #3 has a total of 15 (11 + 1 for the two aces, plus 3 = 15.) He or she also folds, but the ace plus bet remains.

The dealer has a total of 18, so player #1 wins even money for the ante, raise, and ace plus bet. Player #2 loses the ante wager and ace plus bet if made, because no ace was dealt in that hand. Player #3 loses the ante wager but is paid 10/1 for two aces.

The dealer must have at least a 17 to open. If the dealer cannot open, the ante and raise bets will push, unless a player has a blackjack, for which even money will be paid. If the dealer can open, the higher hand wins.

Optional Ace Plus Wager

Here is the pay table for the optional ace plus wager, which pays even if the player loses the hand. Pay tables may vary between jurisdictions:

Ace, any, any – 1 to 1

Ace, ten, any – 3 to 1

Ace, ten, ten – 6 to 1

Ace, ace, any – 15 to 1

Ace, ace, ten – 25 – 1

Ace, ace, ace – 100 – 1

Strategy and House Edge

The strategy for a player’s total to raise against the dealer’s up card is as follows:

16 or less – Never raise

17 – Dealer 2

18 – Dealer 2 – 8

19 – Dealer 2 – 9

20, 21,- Always raise

The house edge for Three Card Blackjack is about 2% for the ante and play bets but increases to between 2.5 & 7% for the ace plus bet depending on the jurisdictions’ pay table.

Craps Proposition Bets: Here Are Eight Wagers to Avoid When Playing This Table Game

Look at any craps table and you’ll see numerous wagers where some appear to have hefty payouts. These are One Roll wagers. None of them pay off in true odds. These bets should be avoided because they can deplete your bankroll very quickly.

Seasoned players know there are thirty-six possible combinations that can be made with a pair of dice, each with numbers one through six. For example, the number 7 can be rolled six ways, such as: 6 and 1; 1 and 6; 5 and 2; 2 and 5; 4 and 3; 3 and 4. The numbers 6 and 8, five ways; numbers 5 and 9, four ways; numbers 4 and 10, three ways; 3 and 11, two ways; and the 2 and 12, one way.

With the aforementioned in mind, here are the bets that you should avoid and why, when playing:

The Field

This is a one roll wager where the player wins if a 2, 3, 4, 9, 10, 11 or 12 appear and loses if a 5, 6, 7 or 8 appear. Payouts are even money except for the 2 or 12 which pay 2/1. A novice player would look at the field and think, “There are seven numbers to win with and only four to lose.” However, if you combine all the ways the winning numbers can be rolled they will total 16. The losing numbers combinations total 20. Thus, winning numbers can appear 45% of the time but the losers come forth at 55%. The house edge is about 6%.

Any Craps

Another one roll wager that pays 7/1 if a two, three, or twelve is rolled. Add them all up and the true odds are 9/1 against. The house edge is about 11%.

Any Seven

The worst one roll wager for the player. The odds are 6/1 against and the payout is only 4/1. If you really want to make this bet, my advice to you is, don’t. The house edge is about 17%.

Hardway Bets

These are the even number totals of 4, 6, 8, and 10. In our Monopoly days we knew them as doubles. Two 2’s = 4, etc. In the world of craps these are known as Hardways. When a player elects to make a Hardway wager he or she is betting that particular number will only appear as an even number total, for example, a hard eight as 4 and 4. All of the other four combinations that make up the eight now become losers. The Hardway bettors now lose when a seven or any eight other than the 4 and 4 appear. The odds are 10/1 against but the payout is only 9/1. The house edge for a hard 4 or 10 is about 11%, and hard 6 or 8, about 9%.

Horn Bet

A one roll wager betting that a 2, 3, 11, or 12 will emerge. The bet must be made in multiples of four units. You will be paid 30/1 for the 2 or 12, or 15/1 for the 3 or 11, minus your three losing wagers. These numbers only have a 1/6 chance of showing up. You can also bet these numbers individually. Your best bet is no bet. The house edge is about 12.5%.

C & E (Craps and Eleven)

The C&E bet is actually a combination of the any craps (2,3,12) bet, or the 11 (AKA Yo) bet. Basically, when you bet on C and E, you are wagering that the shooter will roll any craps numbers (2, 3, or 12) or 11. If you hit any one of these numbers, you win the bet.

There’s a 1 in 6 chance that the C and E bet will hit. The payouts are different for each part of the bet. If the crap numbers come up it pays 3/1. If an 11 is rolled, 7/1. the total overall house edge is 11%.

Fire Bet

Not all casinos offer this wager. The bettor(s) win if the shooter makes at least four different point numbers before a seven out is rolled. Only different point numbers count. The pay tables range from a 10/1 payout for one point made four times up to 2000/1 If all six point numbers are made four times each before a seven out. In this unlikely event the house edge is a whopping 25%!

Hop Bet

This is a one roll verbal bet that is rarely played because most bettors are unaware of it. A player may wager that the dice will hop to a certain combination on the next roll. For example: if you have a hunch that an 8 will be rolled as a 6 and 2, simply shout to the dealer, “Five dollars on hop eight as six and two”. If it happens you will be paid 15/1. You may also call out a Hardway, “Hop eight at four and four”. If you’re lucky, you win 30/1. Any callout is permitted. All payouts are the same. This is a typical sucker bet. Depending on the hop combo called out, the house edge can range from about 5% to 12%.