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How to Play 3 Card Poker
If you’re familiar with how to play standard poker, then you won’t have any problem picking up this game. It operates on the same concept as poker, but with just three cards, and you’re playing against the dealer rather than other opponents. The object is to make a better 3 card poker hand than the dealer.
Since you are only playing with three cards, hand rankings are a bit different. For example, you cannot make two pair or a full house. Here’s a quick rundown of hand rankings in this game:
- High Card – Three uncoordinated cards, such as ace-high
- Pair – Two cards with the same rank, such as two eights.
- Flush – Three cards with the same symbol or suit, such as three spades.
- Straight – Three cards in numerical sequence, such as 7-8-9 or Q-K-A.
- Three of a Kind – All cards of the same rank, such as three queens.
- Straight Flush – Three cards of the same suit and in sequence, such as 5-6-7 of hearts.
- Mini Royal Flush – The Ace, King, and Queen of the same suit. Such as A-K-Q of diamonds.
You’ll notice that a flush is lower than a straight, and both are lower than three of a kind. In some cases, a game may still have a straight higher than a flush. Also, some games do not offer a Mini Royal Flush as a possible hand. Make sure to check the payout table of your game to verify which hands pay.
Now that you know hand rankings, it’s time to learn how to play the game. Before you get cards, you must place an Ante bet. This will allow you to get three cards face up. You’ll then decide whether to play the hand or to fold. If you fold, the hand is over, and the dealer automatically wins. You only lose the ante wager.
If you choose to play, you must make a Play bet. This is equal to your Ante bet. After this bet is made, the dealer’s cards will be revealed. To win the Ante bet, all you have to do is beat the dealer’s hand. Ante bets pay 1 to 1. If your hand is a straight or better, you will qualify for the Ante bonus.
Here’s how the Ante bonus pays out:
- Straight – 1 to 1
- Three of a Kind – 4 to 1
- Straight Flush – 5 to 1
To win the Play bet, the dealer’s hand must qualify. Dealers must qualify with queen-high or better. If a dealer qualifies and you beat the dealer, you will win 1 to 1 on your money. Should the dealer not qualify, the Play bet pushes.
Remember, the dealer must qualify before you can win bot the Ante and Play wagers.
Pair Plus Side Bet
Before receiving cards, you can make make a Pair Plus side bet. You’re betting on the outcome of your hand. If it is a pair or better, you win the bet. Here’s a rundown of the payouts you can receive from the Pair Plus side bet:
- Pair – 1 to 1
- Flush – 4 to 1
- Straight – 6 to 1
- Three of a Kind – 30 to 1
- Straight Flush – 40 to 1
Note that this bet pays out regardless of the outcome on the Ante and Play bets. This bet may seem like easy money, but the reality is that you will only hit this bet about 25% on average. Most of the time, it will only be a pair. It is a bet most gamblers should avoid unless they don’t mind variance.
Strategy for 3 Card Poker
Unlike standard Bitcoin poker, the strategy for 3 card poker is quite simple. Whenever you are holding Q-6-4 or higher, you will make the Play bet. All other times, you will want to fold.
Some players may be tempted to play hands such as ten-high or jack-high, thinking that they will win if the dealer doesn’t qualify. Hand rankings are still compared. If you play ten-high and the dealer receives jack-high, you will lose both bets despite the dealer not qualifying. As such, stick with only playing guaranteed ante winners for the times where the dealer fails to qualify.
Also, you will want to avoid playing the Pair Plus bet. This is nothing but a drain on your bankroll. Looking at the house edge on this game, the base game has a house edge of just 3.37%. That jumps to 7.28% for the Pair Plus bet. Unless you like doubling the house edge, you will avoid this sucker bet.
Playing 3 Card Poker With Bitcoin
Now that you know how to play 3 Card Poker let’s talk about playing the game with Bitcoin. Many online casinos now accept Bitcoin for deposits. Two types of online casinos accept Bitcoin. The first is fiat casinos that process Bitcoin payments.
These casinos will allow you to deposit using Bitcoin, but they will then exchange you Bitcoin for the website’s currency. Generally, this is USD or Euro. You’ll then use the fiat currency for bets.
Then there are authentic Bitcoin casinos that allow you to pay and play using Bitcoin. Just deposit your BTC on the website and then use it for all gambling. Bets will be in satoshis or mBTC. Choose the amount you wish to wager and play the game like normal.
When it is time to cash out, head to the cashier, and request your money. For fiat casinos, your funds will be reconverted into Bitcoin for transmission. Otherwise, enter your Bitcoin wallet address and the amount you wish to receive. You’ll have your money within minutes.