3 Card Poker has only been around since the mid-90s, when a card enthusiast called Derek Webb first created and patented the game, which he intended to sell to Casinos on both sides of the Atlantic.

There was lawsuits, involving the likes of PGIC who owned the somewhat similar Caribbean Stud Poker and argued that Three-Card Poker had ripped off their game. But the game was rapidly becoming a staple of land-based Casinos, who liked the quick turnover of games, played at roughly the same pace as the likes of Blackjack. Card players liked it, too. The rules are simple, the strategy side of things never gets too complex, and the possibility of a big payout, thanks to a strong hand is always there.

It was therefore somewhat inevitable that online casinos started adopting it, as well. Fans of table games and those who enjoy playing other forms of Poker should take a shine to it, too.

Australians sitting and playing 3 card poker

How to Play 3 Card Poker Online


At the start of each hand, the player will have to place a bet called the Ante or wager, which is obligatory. You won’t receive any cards at all until you’ve paid it, with the minimum and maximum ante and play bets varying massively from one 3 card poker casino to another.

Paying the Ante gives you the right to receive your three cards, and to then decide what you want to do with them, as we’ll see in a minute.

6-Card Bonus

If you want to have yet another side bet going, you can put some money on the 6-Card Bonus as well. As the name suggests, you’re betting on getting a strong hand based on the combination of your three cards and the Dealer’s three cards. The minimum you’ll need using the six cards to get a payout is Three of a Kind which pays 5/1. The other hands and the odds at which they’re paid out are as follows:

Straight (10/1)
Flush (20/1)
Full House (25/1)
Four of a Kind (50/1)
Straight Flush (200/1)
Royal Flush (1000/1)

In this case, the Dealer’s hand is extremely important in that it makes up half of the 6 cards but again, you’re not trying to beat the Dealer with this side bet.

Paying out on other bets

Once the Player v Dealer bets have been settled one way or another, it’s time to look at the other bets, if you decided to place some side ones.

So, the Casino will pay out on any winners on the Pair Plus and 6-Card Bonus side bets if you placed them and they turned out to be winners.

The Casino will automatically use the paytable, and then just multiply the value of your stake by the odds at which your hand is paid out at, both on the Pair Plus and the 6-Card Bonus. Winnings are paid in a matter of seconds, so you bank them super quickly and move on.

Pair Plus

If you have a good vibe about your next hand and think it’s a going to be a good one, you might want to pay to have the ‘Pair Plus’ going for you.

Essentially, you’re betting that with your three cards, you’ll have at least a pair. If you do, you get paid out 1/1 or even money, if you prefer. A Flush pays 4/1, a Straight 5/1, Three of a Kind 30/1 and a Straight Flush 40/1. The Pair Plus pays out irrespective of what the Dealer has, so in that sense it’s a bet that applies purely to your hand, not the Dealers. The stake to play Pair Plus can be pretty much whatever you want, within the House limits, of course.

The Dealer’s Hand

The Dealer is dealt three cards. The key element here is whether the Dealer has at least a Queen.

If they do, then they have what’s called a Qualifying Hand and you go to battle against the Dealer.

If you have a King and they have Queen, you win. And if you have a straight and the Dealer has a Flush, then the Dealer wins.

If the Dealer does have a Qualifying hand and you beat them, you get paid out at even money on both the Ante bet and the Play bet.

If you decide to Play, but the Dealer doesn’t have at least a Queen High, then you’d beat them. However, you don’t get paid out on the Play bet.

If you have the exact hand as the Dealer, then the hand is a push.

The Deal

3 Card Poker uses a regular deck of 52 cards without any Jokers or other Wild Cards. The hierarchy of the hands is pretty much the same as in any other type of Poker.

Once you’ve received your hand, it’s time to decide whether you’re going to Play or Fold. Folding sees you lose your Ante bet.

If you decide to Play, it will cost you the same as the value of your Ante bet, so if the Ante was 15 Dollars, you’d have to pay another 15 Dollars just to see what the dealer is holding.

3 Card Poker Hand Ranking

Rank Description Probability
Straight Flush Three suited cards in sequence 0.22%
Three of a Kind Three cards of same rank 0.24%
Straight Three cards in sequence 3.26%
Flush Three suited cards 4.96%
Pair Two cards of same rank 16.94%
High Card None of the above 74.39%

What Are the Advantages of Online 3 Card Poker?

There will always be those who would rather make their way to a land Casino and enjoy all the things associated with being there rather than playing virtually.

But playing online 3 Card Poker has its advantages, such as:

  • Real money online casinos extend bonuses, land Casinos don’t.
  • Players can play at a much faster pace than in a real Casino.
  • You have access to numerous deposit and withdrawal methods.
  • You can play 24/7 without worrying about what time Casinos close.
  • Users don’t have to be at home to play; you can play anywhere from your mobile.


3 Card Poker Bonuses

It’s highly unlikely that when signing up to a Casino, they’ll specifically give a three card poker bonus.

But just about every online casino in the world will offer you a Casino general welcome bonus which you’re usually able to use on 3 Card Poker, just like you would on pokies, roulette, blackjack or any other casino game.

Wagering Requirements

As ever, read the terms and conditions regarding use of casino bonuses so you understand how you can use and just as importantly, how much playing Three Card Poker contributes to wagering requirements.

Remember that you won’t be able to cash out bonuses or winnings from bonuses until you have cleared the relevant wagering requirements.

Which Variations of 3 Card Poker are Available at Online Poker Rooms?

Just about every online poker room and online poker app will extend Three Card Poker game exactly as we’ve described above. There is, however, some exceptions.


Admittedly more readily available in UK-facing online Casinos than those in Australia, another type is Prime Three Card Poker.

Everything else works the same as the regular kind except that you can place an additional bet called a Prime Bet. If all your three cards are of the same colour you get paid out at 3/1 and if the Dealer’s are the same colour as well, you get paid out at 6/1, instead.


This British card game goes back at least 300 years in terms of when it was first played, and the first set of rules were known as ‘The Ingenious and Pleasant Game of Bragg’.

The similarities lie in the fact that it’s also a three-card game and that the hands follow a similar hierarchy, but the rules of how you win are somewhat different. Only recently has it started to become available at real money casino sites.

Three Card Poker FAQs

Back to top