Three-card Poker builds on the foundation set by the original game while offering a simplified version. Learning how the game worked could take a while. You have to remember the strength of each hand, determine your odds of winning and figure out if someone is bluffing. All of those skills create a very steep learning curve.
In contrast, Evolution Gaming’s poker variant is played against the dealer, and only with three cards. With fewer cards, figuring out the strength of each hand is a lot easier. Furthermore, since you play Three Card Poker against the dealer, there is no need to bluff! It makes the game quite straightforward.
Not as Simple as it Seems
That does not mean you can just jump into the game without a plan. If you plan on playing this poker variant, you still need to understand how it works. Fortunately, that will not take long if you have ever played Texas Hold’em Poker.
You start the round by placing your bets on the Ante and the two available side bets. The size of the wager depends on the limits of the table you are playing at. After the timer ends, the dealer draws three cards for the player, and three for themselves.
A brief check is carried out to determine whether the dealer qualified to continue the round. To do so, the dealer has to have drawn a queen high or better. If the dealer does not qualify, you receive the play bet back, and earn even money on the Ante bet.
If the dealer qualifies, then the stronger hand wins. In case of a player win, both the play and ante bets pay even money. Meanwhile, a stronger dealer hand means you lose both bets. In the rare case of a tie, both of your bets are returned to you.
Side Bets &Payouts
As we already mentioned, all wins earn you a 1:1 even-money payout. If you want to win more, you can make use of the Ante bonus. It does not require any extra bet; instead, it just boosts your payout in case of specific payouts. Straight, 3 of a kind and straight flush bets earn you 1:1, 4:1 and 5:1, respectively.
One of the two optional side bets is called Pairs Plus. To win this side bet, you have to have a pair or better in your hand. The stronger your hand, the better your payout!
- Pair – 1:1
- Flush – 4:1
- Straight – 5:1
- 3 of a kind – 30:1
- Straight Flush – 40:1
- Royal Flush – 100:1
Last but not least is the six-card bonus. With this side bet, your three cards and the dealer’s three cards are combined to create a five-card poker hand. This is a very risky side bet, but it can pay fantastically if you get lucky!
- 3 of a kind – 7:1
- Straight – 10:1
- Flush – 15:1
- Full House – 20:1
- 4 of a kind – 100:1
- Straight Flush – 200:1
- Royal Flush – 1000:1
Three Card Poker Strategy
We enjoy the side bets. They give us an extra goal to chase after, which adds to the excitement. That said, if you plan on playing optimally, you cannot play either of them. Pairs Plus is okay, but we would still advise against it. The six-card bonus is one you want to skip. Yes, you can win 1000:1 if you get super lucky. However, that promotion only has an RTP of 91.44% compared to the standard 96.63% of the base game offers. Thankfully, the strategy for playing this quintessential live dealer title is super simple. It is not much you can do to affect what happens with only three cards to play. As such, the strategy for Three Card Poker boils down to when you should play your hand. If your hand is made up of a Queen, a six and a four or better, then you should go forward. Otherwise, you should fold and wait for a better hand.