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How to Play Three Card Poker in Las Vegas

Learn to play Poker in Las Vegas

Three Card Poker is a variation of Poker game played with a standard 52-card deck. Three Card Poker offers three exciting ways to play and four different ways to win. Three Card Poker lets players bet against the dealer, bet on the value of their own three-card hand, or bet on both. You only need three consecutive cards to make a straight and three of a suit to make a flush – and a straight is higher than a flush. You can also receive bonus payouts for certain wagers against the dealer.

Three Card Poker is actually two games in one which comprises the Three Card Ante/Play and Pair Plus. You can play either one or both games at the same time.

Object of Three Card Poker

The object of Three Card Poker is to get a Three Card Poker hand with a value higher than the Dealer.

Three Card Poker Ranking of Hands (Highest to Lowest)

Note: Three Card Poker hand rankings are slightly different than traditional poker rankings because the hands are comprised of three cards instead of five. Cards are ranked from highest to lowest. For example, a Straight beats a Flush.

Mini Royal Flush
A hand that consists of an ace, king, and queen of the same suit.
Straight Flush
3 cards of the same suit in consecutive rank. Example: 10C, 9C, 8C.
Ace, king, and queen are the highest ranked straight flush and 4, 3 and 2 is the lowest ranked straight flush.
Three of a kind
3 cards in the same rank, regardless of suit. Example: 5D, 5H, 5S.
Three aces is the highest ranked three of a kind and three 2’s is the lowest ranked three of a kind.
Straight
3 cards of consecutive rank, regardless of suit. Example: JS, 10H, 9C.
Ace, king, and queen are the highest ranked straight and ace, 2, 3 is the lowest ranked straight.
Flush
3 cards of same suit, regardless of rank. Example: QH, 9H, 4H.
An ace, king, and jack is the highest ranked flush and a 5, 3, and 2 is the lowest ranked flush.
One Pair
2 cards of same rank, regardless of suit. Example: 9S, 9D, 2C.
Two aces is the highest ranked pair and two 2’s is the lowest ranked pair.
High Card
A hand that consists of three cards that do not make any of the hands listed above. Example: KC, 8H, 4D.
An ace, king, and 9 is the highest ranked high card hand and 5, 3, and 2 is the lowest ranked high card hand

Note: When comparing two hands that are of identical poker hand rank, the hand that contains the highest ranking card will be considered the highest ranking hand. (If hands are identical after this application, the hand will be considered a draw.)

How to Play 3 Card Poker

1 Before the cards are dealt, each Player places an ANTE wager and/or a PAIR PLUS wager, betting that they will have a hand of at least a pair or better. (See the types Three Card Poker Wagers below.)

2 Each player and the dealer receive three cards which are dealt face down. Players are only playing the dealer and not other players at the table.

3 After viewing their three cards, they have the option to either:
Fold If you fold, the hand is over and the dealer will collect your Ante wager and the Pair Plus wager, if applicable.
Play In order to "Play", the player must place a PLAY Wager (equal to the ANTE Wager) to stay in the game.
Best strategy calls for the player to "play" all hands greater than Queen, Six and Four and fold all hands worse.

Note: If a player has placed a Pair Plus wager, but does not make a Play wager, the player shall forfeit the wager, as well as, the Ante wager.

4 After all players have taken action on their hands, the house dealer will then collect all forfeited wagers and associated cards, and place them in the discard rack. The house dealer then reveals their three cards and compares it to each player hand with the higher hand winning. The dealer must have Queen High or Better to qualify.

If the dealer's hand does NOT qualify, i.e. does not contain a Queen High or Better, the Player’s Ante Wager wins 1 to 1 and their PLAY Wager is returned. i.e. is a push. (YOU WIN BOTH wagers)
If the dealer's hand qualifes, i.e. contains a Queen High or Better and the Player's hand beats the dealer's hand, the PLAY Wager is paid 1 to 1 and the ANTE wager is paid 1 to 1.
If the player and dealer TIE, where the dealer qualifies and the player ties the dealer, the Ante and Play wagers are a PUSH and the wagers are returned.
If the dealer qualifies and beats the player, both the Ante and Play Wagers lose.

Three Card Poker Wagers

1 Ante Wager - Bet Against The Dealer's Hand
A Player may compete solely against the Dealer by placing an ANTE Wager in an amount within the minimum and maximum wagers posted at the table. After looking at their three cards, they have two options. They can fold, or if they think their hand is high enough to beat the dealer, then they must place an equal wager on the PLAY spot. It’s their three card poker hand against the dealer’s three card poker hand and the best hand wins!

2 Pair Plus Wager - Bet On Your Own Hand
PAIR PLUS lets the player bet against their own hand only and not against the dealer's hand. If their hand contains a pair or better, they win. Pair Plus Wager may be in any amount within the minimum and maximum wagers posted at the table.

3 Ante and Pair Plus Wager - Bet Both
A Player may place a Ante and Pair Plus Wager to play BOTH against the posted payout table and against the dealer. If a player has placed an ANTE wager and a PAIR PLUS wager but does not make a PLAY wager, the player forfeits the ANTE and the PAIR PLUS wagers. (Note: In order to make a Pair Plus wager, a player must have an Ante wager.)

4 Bet the Play Wager
Place a Play Wager if after reviewing the 3 card hand, the player wants to continue in the game.

3 Card Poker Payouts

The payout for ANTE BONUS

If you place an ANTE Wager and a PLAY Wager you will be paid an ANTE BONUS if the player's hand consists of the following hands (listed below), even if the dealer doesn’t qualify, and even if the dealer’s hand beats your hand.

Straight Flush
5 to 1
Three-of-a-kind
4 to 1
Straight
1 to 1

Important things worth mentioning:

*If a Player makes a ANTE Wager and a PAIR PLUS Wager, but fails to make a PLAY Wager, the Player will forfeit both the ANTE Wager and the PAIR PLUS Wager.

PAIR PLUS Wager

Pair Plus is an optional bonus side bet that allows Players to bet on the value of the hands they are dealt. If their hand contains a pair better, they win!. A PAIR PLUS wager does not play against the Dealer’s cards.

The following rules apply to PAIR PLUS wagers:

A player can only place a Pair Plus wager if he/she has also placed an Ante wager prior to the initial deal.
The Pair Plus only considers the three cards each player receives.
If the player’s hand qualifies for payouts, the player is paid according to the posted pay below by the player-dealer.
If the player’s hand does not qualify for payouts, the player-dealer collects the Pair Plus wager.
The player-dealer will pay all winning Pair Plus wagers and will collect all losing Pair Plus wagers.
The Pair Plus wager may win or lose regardless of the outcome of the base game wager. However, the Pair Plus wager shall be forfeited if the player folds their hand and does not place a Play wager.

Payouts for PAIR PLUS Wager (from highest to lowest)

Winning Pair Plus wagers pay as follows:

Mini Royal(Ace, King, Queen)
50 to 1
Straight Flush
40 to 1
Three-of-a-kind
30 to 1
Straight
6 to 1
Flush
3 to 1
Pair
1 to 1
Generally, the payoffs are determined by the pay schedule printed on the table layout

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Basic Rules of Three-Card Poker

Each player must make an "Ante" wager in order to play. Optional bets such as "Pairs Plus" and a Progressive Jackpot bet may be made.
Each player and the dealer are dealt three cards face down.
The player will review their hand and must decide whether to fold or "Play".
In order to "Play", the player must place a bet of equal value to the "Ante".
After all players have folded or continued to play their hand, the dealer reveals their hand comparing it to each player hand with the higher hand winning.
If the dealer has a higher value hand, both the "Ante" and Play bet lose. If the player and dealer tie, the "Ante" and Play bets will push.
If the player has the higher value hand, the "Play" will be paid even money and the "Ante" will be paid at even money or at odds depending on the strength of the hand.

Six Card Bonus Wager

In Three-Card Poker, players have the option to make a Six Card Bonus wager prior to any cards being dealt. To place a Six Card Bonus wager, the player must also have made ANTE and PAIR PLUS Wager.

The Six Card Bonus side bet is based on the best five-card poker hand that can be made from the three-cards dealt to the player’s hand and the three-cards dealt to the dealer’s hand. Each Player then uses any of those six cards, regardless of the number of cards used from their hand or the dealer’s hand, to make the best possible five card poker hand. The six card bonus wins if the player’s 3 cards combined with the dealer’s 3 cards contains a three-of-a-kind or better.

The rules of a 6 Card Bonus wager are as follows:

A player can only place a 6 Card Bonus wager if he/she has also placed an Ante wager prior to the initial deal.
The 6 Card Bonus wagers must be placed before the initial deal.
If the player’s hand qualifies for bonus payouts, the player is paid according to the posted paytable.
If the player’s hand does not qualify for bonus payouts, the dealer collects the 6 Card Bonus wager.
The 6 Card Bonus wager may win or lose regardless of the outcome of the Ante wager. The 6 Card Bonus wager will not be forfeited if the player folds their hand and does not place a Play wager. If a player wagers the 6 Card Bonus side bet and folds his hand, the dealer will remove the original Three Card Poker wager and place the player’s cards under the 6 Card Bonus wager.

6 Card Bonus Payouts

Winning 6 Card Bonus wagers pay as follows:

Royal Flush
1,000 to 1
Straight Flush
200 to 1
Four-of-a-kind
50 to 1
Full House
25 to 1
Flush
15 to 1
Straight
10 to 1
Three-of-a-kind
5 to 1
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Disclaimer
VegasHowTo.com encourages you to play responsibly by betting within your limits. Know when to stop before you start®. Gambling problems? Call 1-800-522-4700 in NV or 1-800-GAMBLER in NJ.

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