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General Description

Derek Webb is considered to be the author of this poker game. Its growing popularity is explained by the simple rules and exciting gameplay. A standard 52-card deck without jokers and a table with a special layout are used in this game. It has three sectors for bets. The upper sector is called Pair Plus. The next ones are Ante and Play. The table with the layout for Caribbean Stud Poker or Oasis Poker is used at many casinos.

The casino represented by the dealer serves as an opponent of the player. The neighbors at the table don't serve as the opponents.

Aim of the Game

The aim of the game is to beat the dealer by collecting a higher-ranking hand or choosing the right time to make a Pair Plus bet.


Taking into account that players receive only three cards, the ranks of hands slightly differ compared with the standard ones. The valid hands in descending order are enumerated below.

  • Straight flush is a hand consisting of three cards of one suit in sequence.
  • Three of a kind is a hand that contains three cards of one rank.
  • Straight is a hand that contains three cards of different ranks in sequence.
  • Flush is a hand consisting of three cards of one suit.
  • Pair is a hand that consists of two cards of the same rank.
  • High card is a hand that contains the highest-ranking card.

As you can see, a three of a kind is the second highest-ranking hand, and a straight beats a flush.

Types of Bets

Three Card Poker has two kinds of bets that are independent of each other.

  • Ante/Play are basic bets. When the player makes them, he or she hopes to get a hand whose rank is higher than the dealer's hand. The ante is the initial bet. The Play bet is made when the player decides to continue the game and compare his cards with the dealer's cards. Their sizes are equal. If you win, these bets are paid 1:1.
  • Pair Plus is an optional bet that wins if the player receives a pair or higher directly after the deal. It is not allowed to make it without the ante. Its size usually can not exceed the ante. It is paid regardless of the outcome of the main game and the presence of any poker hand in the dealer's card. The Pair Plus bet is not paid only if the player folds (if he or she does not make a Play bet.)

Payouts for the Pair Plus bet can vary significantly, so you can find a range of multipliers below:

  • Straight flush - 40:1.
  • Three of a kind - 20-30:1.
  • Straight - 5-6:1.
  • Flush - 4-3:1.
  • Pair - 1:1.


Players make their bets and receive three cards. Having evaluated their ranks, they decide whether to make a Play bet of the same size as the ante or to fold, losing the ante. As soon as all players have made their decisions, the dealer reveals his cards.

The lowest-ranking dealer's hand is a queen or better, or a pair and better. In this case, the dealer compares his cards with the player's cards and makes payouts for the ante and the Play bet, or collects losing bets. If the ranks of hands are equal, the player usually wins.

In the presence of a pair, the dealer also pays for a Pair Plus bet, if it has been made.

If the dealer does not have at least the lowest-ranking hand or a queen, the ante is paid 1:1. The Play bet is not paid.

The maximum payout limit at the Three Card Poker tables is usually not provided.


Three Card Poker provides players with the opportunity to receive a bonus payout. To do this, it is not necessary to make a side bet. Users just need to show the dealer one of the bonus hands, including straight, straight flush, and three of a kind. The bonus is paid without taking into account the fact whether the dealer has a hand (and its rank) or not.

Bonus payouts may differ. Users can find a table with the range of multipliers below.

  • Straight flush - 5-4:1.
  • Three of a kind - 4-3:1.
  • Straight - 1:1.

Basic Strategy

The strategy for all basic bets in Three Card Poker is not very complicated. Make a Play bet if you have at least a queen, and the second highest-ranking card is at least six. Keep in mind that a pair is dealt in 25% of cases.

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