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3 Card Poker

3 Card Poker - Pairs Plus
by Jerald of

3 Card Poker is a casino table card game where each player receives 3 cards, it is actually 2 games in one. The first part of the game is called Pairs Plus and it is simply based on what the players 3 cards are with the player winning if they receive a pair or better on the 3 cards. Payouts vary depending on where you are playing but typically the payouts are close to this:

Straight Flush – 40:1
3 of a Kind – 30:1
Straight – 6:1
Flush – 3:1
Pair – 1:1

Note – With 3 cards it is easier to get a straight than it is a flush.

After the losing bets are collected and winners are paid off then the 3 card poker game commences. The player initially places a bet in the ante before receiving their cards. After the player looks at his cards he can choose to play or fold, if he folds he loses the ante bet. If the player decides to play, he must make an additional bet equal to the ante bet. The dealer then reveals their cards and they must have at least a Queen high or better in order for the game to continue. If they do not have a Queen high or better they fold and pay all ante bets to those who have not folded. The additional bets are returned to the player.


If the dealer does qualify then they compare hands with the player and the if the dealer’s hand is better than they collect the ante and the additional bet. If the player has the better hand they pay the player 1:1 on the ante bet and the 1:1 on the additional bet.

There is also a bonus paid to the player for special hands on the ante regardless of what the dealer hand is. Here are those special payouts:

Straight Flush – 5:1
3 of Kind – 4:1
Straight – 1:1

The house edge for the Pairs Plus game is dependent on the payout structure but can range from 2.32% (with the payouts listed above) to over 5% at casinos with a poor payout table. The house edge for the 3 card poker portion of the game is 3.37%.

This game is also known as Tri Card Poker.


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