How do you explain Three Card Poker Rules on the go?

Three Card Poker is basically two different games in one

A few days ago, I came home from a casino in a cab. It was very late at night and the taxi driver was a cheerful fellow that wanted to start a conversation with me. I guess my face gave him a sign that if he tried hard enough, I would give in into chatting the ride away.

Fast enough, we hit the subject of my job a writer for a casino. He then became very interested in finding out more. You see, when you live in Vegas, not matter how much you prevent it, everyone has at least some interest in the game.


He started asking me about my favorite game, my favorite casino in Vegas, in America, in the world: ending up in his favorite game, poker. His inquiries then moved along the lines of the different poker games there are. Asking about their rules and telling me which ones he thought were the most fun. The conversation really got passionate when he told me he had a bit of a challenge with Three Card Poker. He kept asking and I was gladly answering. In the middle of the conversation with this man at 3am, he made me realize that those essential rules of this type of poker are not that well known to some people. And that can’t be possible! For the love of the game, it can’t! So let’s roll our sleeves and get working!

Three Card Poker is basically two different games in one: Pair Plus” and “Ante & Play,” where the players can bet on one or both and may vary the wager apart from each other. If you’re enjoying this game or you’re starting to play it, make sure you keep these payout and bonus rules in mind. Since they vary according to the hands that you play, I think these are the most valuable guidelines to remember.

Bonus on Ante

  • Players that qualify for the Ante Bonus don’t have to keep playing as they normally would before seeing the dealer’s cards.
  • There are card combinations that reward Ante players, regardless of how the game concludes.
  • If your hand contains a straight (normal or flush) or three cards of the same value, you will be paid the Ante bonus.
  • A straight (normal) qualifies for more money of a 1:1 payout.

    A straight (flush) qualifies for a 5:1 (sometimes 4:1) payout bonus.

    Three cards of the same face value will qualify for a 3:1 payout bonus.

  • The payout bonus influences the calculation of the house edge with the Ante/Play. For example, if the bonus payouts are listed as 5:4:1, the house edge is calculated as 3.4%. If the bonus payouts are listed as 4:3:1, the house edge is calculated as 6.8%.

Pair Plus Payouts

This hand is played in a separate game against the dealer and the payouts are calculated based on the cards dealt in your hand and are as follow:

  • Two cards of the same face value 1:1
  • Three cards of the same suit: 4:1
  • Three cards in sequential order without matching suit: 6:1
  • Three cards of the same face value: 30:1
  • Three cards of the same suit and in sequential order: 40:1
  • So this is how I personally explain 3 Card Poker rules on the go. What do you think?


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