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!