3 Card Poker (or tri-card poker as itÃ¢â‚¬â„¢s also called) is an American version of a British game called Brag. This game originated over three hundred years ago as a game known as Primero, a fast-moving betting game using only three cards. As the game evolved, it became known as Post-and-Pair and then again as Brag. This game made it to the States as Casino Brag and Brit-Brag, but eventually evolved again into the game we now know as 3 Card Poker.
The game is comprised of two different components and here is how they are played…
Ante and Play
For ante-and-play, the player places an ante bet before receiving cards. The player is then dealt cards and after seeing them, can choose to fold the cards and lose the ante, or continue playing and raise by placing a bet equal to the ante bet.
When continuing to play, there are three possible outcomes:
- The dealer does not ‘qualify’. To qualify, the dealer must have a hand of a queen high or better. If the dealer does not qualify, the ante bet is paid out even money, but the play bet is simply returned.
- If the dealer does qualify, the player wins if his hand is of higher value than the dealer’s, and gets paid out even money on both his ante and play bets.
- If the dealer’s hand is of higher value, the dealer takes the Ante and Play bets.
In real casinos rules vary on what happens when the hands are of exactly equal value: some give the player their money back, others pay even money on the bet. So seek out the tables with the most favorable rules.
In our game below keep in mind that if you choose to continue your bet is automatically doubled. So if you have a crappy hand make sure and fold to avoid the larger wager.
Pair plus is a simple bet on the cards with a payout for all hands of a pair or better. Below are the probabilities associated with various combinations of cards:
|Probabilities – Three Card Poker|
|Ways to draw 3 cards out of 52 = 22100|
|Three of a kind||52||0.24%|
The payouts associated with the various winning combinations also vary among casinos, so again its imperative to seek out the ones where you have the greatest likelihood of winning. In the game we have below, it offers the most favorable odds (payout table 1), but if you were to play at a table with any of the lesser payouts you’d quickly learn that the difference is enormous.
Even a 2.3% advantage to the house is huge, so the Pairs Plus bet is not a very good one. In fact, 3 card poker is not a very good casino game at all as far as odds are concerned.
Payoff Tables for Pairplus
|Hand||Payout #1||Payout #2||Payout #3||Payout #4||Payout #5||Payout #6|
|Straight flush||40 to 1||40 to 1||35 to 1||50 to 1||40 to 1||40 to 1|
|Three of a kind||30 to 1||25 to 1||25 to 1||30 to 1||30 to 1||30 to 1|
|Straight||6 to 1||6 to 1||6 to 1||6 to 1||5 to 1||6 to 1|
|Flush||4 to 1||4 to 1||4 to 1||3 to 1||4 to 1||3 to 1|
|Pair||1 to 1||1 to 1||1 to 1||1 to 1||1 to 1||1 to 1|