Three Card Poker
Have you ever
wondered how to play Three Card Poker (sometimes called Tri-Card
Poker) or which Three Card Poker strategy works the best?
You see this popular table game in just about every casino these
days and for good reason. It is a fun, fast game with good odds
and a relatively low house advantage. Couple that with the fact
that the Three Card Poker rules are easy to learn and you can
easily see why it has become one of the most successful table
games in recent years. So successful in fact that there is now a
Three Card Poker Tournament played every year with a grand prize
There are a few
variants to the game like Casino Brag (Sometimes called Brit
Brag) and Three Card Brag. Casino Brag is commonly seen in
European markets and differs from Three Card Poker in that the
dealer needs an ace-queen to qualify. Three-Card Brag is a
British card game and has very little in common with the Las
Vegas or Atlantic City Three Card Poker played in the U.S.
(although it is also sometimes referred to as Three Card Poker).
Why Everyone Loves
Three Card Poker
Here are a few
reasons why this table game is growing so quickly in popularity:
fast pace is fun but you must be cautious, this can also cause
you to lose your bankroll fast.
Strategy is Easy to Learn.
Pair Plus actually requires NO strategy, and Ante/Play
requires a fairly simple strategy. However, a player's
decisions still have a big impact on how much he or she will
win or lose in the long run.
you make the Ante and Play wager you can still win the bonus
payout even if the dealer does not qualify and even if your
hand loses to the dealer.
Card Poker Odds. The house advantage on Pair Plus
is 2.32% and if played properly, the house advantage on the
Ante/Play game can be as low as 2.02%.
A player plays
(calls or raises) 67% of the time. If you follow our strategy to
minimize the house edge, you will still be in the action more
than 2/3 of the time.
Three card poker
is based on traditional poker. Most people have played poker at
some point in their lives and are already familiar with the
rankings of various hands. This makes it easier for people to
learn the game quickly and start enjoying some level of success.
About Three Card Poker
Card Poker (or tri-card poker as itís 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 Three Card Poker.
Three Card Poker is very similar to the Indian game Teen Patti with some
minor differences. The differences are that the ranking of a straight
flush and three of a kind are interchanged, and in
teen patti, high card and none are merged
The current version of Three Card Poker was invented by poker player Derek
Webb in the 1990s.
Three Card Poker
is also called Tri-Card Poker as well as Tri Poker.
Why all the different names?
Well, it all
started out as a name protected casino table game called Three
Card Poker that became very popular. Then it seems that others
wanted to offer the game without paying the royalties due so
they just renamed it. . So whether it's called Three Card, Tri
Card or just plain Tri Poker, the poker rules are the same, the
optimal playing strategy for how to play is the same and a lot
of players love it. You can play free Three Card Poker online
for fun and real money games both online and in regular casinos
Card Poker is Two Games in One
seat at the Three Card Poker table offers two separate games to
play. You are usually allowed to play either one or
both games at the same time, but some casinos will require you
to play both while others will make only one optionable. The two games are "Three Card Ante/Play", where you
compete against the dealer, and "Pair Plus" that has
different bonus payouts for 3 card poker hands of one pair or
better. When both games are played at the same time, players may
wager different amounts on each game.
The games are played with a standard 52-card deck. The cards are
distributed to the dealer in groups of three by an automatic
shuffling machine. The player's table layout is shown below.
rules and payouts are printed on the table at each player spot,
as shown below: (Note:) These are FULL PAYOUTS. Always look
3 Card Hand Values
The first thing you will probably notice from the hand rankings
list above is that a straight has a higher ranking than a flush.
That's simply because there are fewer ways to make a 3 card
straight than a 3 card flush. As in most poker games, aces play
both high and low to a straight. An ace high straight flush is
the highest hand you can get but unfortunately, this is just the
highest straight flush and not recognized as a mini-royal flush
with extra bonus considerations or anything of that sort.
The Pair Plus
"Non-Strategy" and Unequal Bets Play
Since the only
decision the player has to make in Pair Plus is how much to bet.
There is no optimal playing strategy involved.
However, at full payout the low house advantage of less
than 3 1/2% makes it about as attractive as any table poker game
you can find. You can't bet five dollars and win a house here,
but the payouts are very generous and you should get a pay hand
of some sort about 25% of the time.
This is a good game but you want to remember that the
win/loss swings are much more volatile in Pair Plus than in
Ante/Play. Most places allow you to make unequal bets on the two
games. A conservative bet would be two units on Ante/Play and
one unit on Pair Plus, or equal bets. A more aggressive approach
is to place more on Pair Plus than on Ante/Play. Many good
players prefer to keep their Pair Plus to Ante/Play ratio on the
conservative side and try to get a little ahead before they get
aggressive and load up on the Pair Plus.
With the Power
Poker Strategy we will use specific strategies for determining
the size of each bet. See
the appropriate chapters for details.
Card Poker, Tri Card Poker - Ante/Play Strategy
This game starts with the players placing bets in the
"Ante" spots in the table layouts. The ante can be any
amount within the posted table limits. The players and the
dealer all get three cards, face down. The players all look at
their hands and either fold by giving their cards back and
losing their ante bet, or play by placing a bet equal to the
ante, in the "play" spot in the layout. The dealer
then turns over his cards. If he does not have Queen High or
better, he doesn't "qualify" to play and pays the
active players even money on their ante bets and those with a
straight or better are paid the additional ante bonus shown
above. These players get a "push" on their play bets.
If he does have a qualifying hand, those who cannot beat
it lose their antes and their play bets, but can still win the
ante bonus with a straight or higher. Those who can beat the
dealer win even money on both their ante and play bets plus the
ante bonus, if any.
In Three Card, Tri
Card Poker Ante/Play, the only thing the expert player needs to
know is how high his or her hand should be to produce the best
possible long-term results, if played. The answer to that
question is Q-6-4 or higher.
High card only
hands between Q64 through KQ10 are loss limit plays. These are
hands with negative expectations. They will lose less if played
than they will in ante forfeiture losses if they are not played.
Ace high hands and better have positive expectations.
The house advantage for Ante/Play, against the optimal
strategy shown below is a comfortable 3.4%.
Not too bad for the player.
However, if you play the game like most players will, you will
eventually be ground down by the house edge. We are not going to do that!
As you will see, using the Power Poker Strategy will give
us a significant edge over the game!
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