JeffBet by Matthew Gover |
Date of Publishing: 8 November 2022

5/5 - (6 votes)

How to Play Three Card Poker


There are several reasons why players love to play Three Card Poker. The game is fun, easy to learn, and the desire to beat the dealer is what makes Three Card Poker so intriguing. The game’s main objective is to end up with the best possible poker hand with only three cards.

The poker Three card rules mean that the game requires less strategy when compared to traditional poker. We at Jeffbet love this game and are aware of its popularity. Therefore, you can find this game in our rich game portfolio.

In this article, we will break down the game as well as provide some essential tips and tricks to help you be as good at Three Card Poker as you can be.

Three Card Poker Rules

Once you load the game, you will be asked to place an ante wager and/or a pair plus wager. With this, you will be betting on having a hand of at least a pair or better.

Once that is done, you and the dealer will receive three face-down cards. The most basic among the Three Card Poker rules is that you play against a dealer, not against other punters at the table. This makes the game easier to follow as you only need to focus on beating the dealer.

You then need to look at your hand and see whether you want to place a play wager, which is the same amount as the ante one. This is when you decide whether you want to put your hand against the dealer’s one or not. Certain strategies indicate that you should play all hands bigger than Queen, Six, and Four, and fold everything else. We will cover these strategies later.

If you decide to fold, the hand will be over and the dealer will be the one to collect your ante and pair plus wager, (depending on if you have placed a play wager). Then the cards will be turned over to see whether you have a better hand than the dealer. 

Let’s say that the dealer has a hand of jack-high or worse. In this scenario, you will get the play wager back, but if the dealer has a Queen-high or better, the play and the ante wager will be paid out at 1 to 1 if you have a better hand.

Finally, if the dealer has a better hand, they will collect the ante and the play bet, with the pair plus bet being decided independently of what the dealer has.

Three Card Poker Bets

As you can see above, there are different types of bets you need to know when learning how to play Three Card Poker, and below we have broken them down for you to understand much better.

Ante Wager

With this wager, you are betting against the dealer’s hand. This bet aims to get a hand that has a better value than the dealer’s qualifying hand of a Queen or better. After you take a look at your poker hand, you will have two options:

  • Fold
  • Place a bet equal to the ante bet

Pair Plus Wager

The second bet type is the pair plus wager, where you will bet on your hand. As the name suggests, you will need a pair or better. If your hand contains such a combination, you win the pair plus wager. 

Pair Plus and Ante Wager

Lastly, the three cards game allows you to place a pair plus and an ante wager. Here, you will be playing against two separate paytables with different criteria for payouts. There are a few things you need to know when placing this type of bet:

  • Both bets don’t need to be the same 
  • You will receive pair plus payouts no matter the dealer’s hand
  • The play wager needs to be equal to the ante wager

Payouts in Three Card Poker


It is important that you know your three Card Poker odds when playing the game here at 

The most basic payouts in Three card stud poker come from beating the dealer’s hand, which is possible if you have a better hand than them at showdown. In this scenario, you will always win a 1:1 payout with the ante bet.

The play bet only appears if the dealer has a Queen high card in their hand, or better. If you also have a winning hand in this scenario, you will get a 1:1 payout on the play bet as well.

In addition, the ante card bonus will get you an additional payout if you get three of a kind in your winning combination. The Three Card Poker odds for the ante bonus are as follows:

  • Straight – 1:1
  • Three of a kind – 4:1
  • Straight Flush – 5:1

Interestingly, card rankings in Three cards poker are different to other types of poker, as getting three of the same suit or Three consecutive cards (Mini Royal) is easier than Three of a kind. That is why there is no payout for a flush with the ante bonus, with the straight payout being lower than the Three-of-a-kind one.

When learning how to play Three Card Poker, you also need to keep an eye on the pair plus bet. It is an optional bet you can make with every hand, and it is made at the same time with the ante bet, so you can choose any amount here. If you trigger the pair plus bet, you will get the following casino Three Card Poker payouts, if you get one pair or better:

  • One Pair – 1:1
  • Flush – 4:1
  • Straight – 6:1
  • Three of a kind – Three0:1
  • Straight Flush – 40:1

When you wager a pair plus bet you will lose if you don’t have at least one pair. Even if you win against the dealer with the highest card your bet will still not be successful.

Finally, you can compete against the payout table if you decide to place an optional bonus wager. With this wager, you will need to create the best poker hand with your cards and the dealer’s cards. With this bet, the payouts are as follows:

  • Royal Flush – 1,000:1
  • Straight Flush – 200:1
  • 4 of a kind – 50:1
  • Full House – 25:1
  • Flush – 15:1
  • Straight – 10:1
  • Three of a kind – 5:1

Three Card Poker Tips and Strategies

Here at Jeffbet, we are committed to providing the best possible gaming experience for any player, regardless of the game they choose to play. For that reason, we can provide you with some useful Three Card Poker strategy tips. 

Keep in mind that there is no winning formula that will uncover all three Card Poker secrets and will guarantee that you win a game of Three Card Poker. However, that doesn’t mean that you cannot shift the odds a bit in your favour by applying the tips below:

  • Bet whenever you have a Queen-6-4 or better – this is the first three Card Poker strategy. When making the play wager, make sure to bet whenever you have the above-mentioned combination, including any time you have an Ace or a King as your high card, no matter your other cards. Moreover, you can proceed with this strategy anytime your hand is Q-7 or better, regardless of the third card. 
  • Fold if you have a Jack or lower as your high card – no matter what your other two cards are, you should always fold when you have a Jack or lower as your high card.

Furthermore, there are different tips on how to win Three Card Poker if you know one of the dealer’s cards. This is when you can change your basic strategy, depending on the card the dealer has:

  • Jack or Lower – in this scenario, you should always place a play bet. The odds here that the dealer’s hand won’t qualify are much bigger
  • Queen – play if you have Q, 9, 2 or better. If the dealer has a Queen, then your second card needs to be better
  • King – play if you have K, 9, 2 or better, with the logic being the same as the previous tip
  • Ace – play if you have an A, 9, or 2.

Finally, when playing Three Card Poker, the most important thing to do is to bet according to your budget. Here at Jeffbet, we have a separate section for gambling addiction, but for you to prevent such problems, you are always best advised to set a betting limit and stick to it.

Final Thoughts

As you can see, learning Three Card Poker how to play is a very straightforward process, so you are guaranteed the ultimate gaming experience here at Jeffbet. Take a quick look at our Three cards game rules above, along with the tips and tricks on increasing your odds of winning, and you are good to go – Three Card Poker is waiting for you!


The dealer must hold a hand ranking at least as high as a queen to proceed. All ante bets are returned to the players at odds of 1 to 1 if the dealer doesn't qualify. Bets made during play are given back to the players. The ante and play bets are lost if the dealer qualifies and has a higher-ranking poker hand than the player.
The ante bet is distinct from the pair plus bet. The pair plus wager is placed before the cards are dealt.
This is a side bet on whether or not the player, using the dealer's and their own three cards, can make the best possible five-Card Poker hand.
Both the "Ante" bet and the "Play" bet are lost if the dealer holds a stronger hand.
Each hand in Three Card Poker consists of three cards rather than five.

About the Author

Author: Matthew Gover.

After graduating, Matthew began working as an English teacher abroad, initially in Spain and then Vietnam before finally coming back to the UK to settle. Matthew has always had a love for writing and an even bigger love for the igaming industry... Read More

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