3-Card Poker is Fast and Fun
There are hundreds of variations of the classic card game poker played in casinos around the world, and the proliferation of online and mobile casinos means that all these versions are now available to casino-games enthusiasts everywhere, as long as they have an Internet connection! 3-card poker is perhaps one of the fastest moving, and as a result it is becoming popular with more and more gamblers who live for the thrill of each new hand.
As the name suggests, it is played with just three cards in each hand, with the player in a straight contest against the dealer to see who has the better poker hand. There are no draws, no bluffing and no other players to consider. What makes the game so fast is that the player is only faced with one decision after betting the ante and being dealt three cards: do they play, by doubling the bet, or fold, and so only the ante if the dealer has the stronger hand? Of course, the dealer’s cards remain face-down, so the player has to evaluate the strength of their own hand blind.
Dealer Must Qualify to Play
As in many variations of poker, the 3-card poker dealer has to qualify before the house will play. A dealer’s hand must be Queen-high at least to qualify; if not, the player wins even money on the ante, and the play bet is pushed. So a player who folds and then sees the dealer not qualify loses their ante. If the dealer does qualify and beat the player’s hand, the player loses both bets. Conversely, if the dealer doesn’t qualify and the player has placed a second bet, the player gets double their ante back while the play bet pushes, and if the dealer qualifies and loses, players win even money on both ante and play bets. Hands are ranked according to standard winning poker combinations of pairs, triples, straights and flushes. So the secret to winning consistently at 3-card poker, as with many other forms of the game, is literally knowing when to hold ’em, and knowing when to fold ’em.
Real Wins Come from Bonus Bets
There are a number of different side bets offered by different casinos on 3-card poker. All will offer a “pluspair” bet or equivalent, for the same stake as the ante. If the player hand doesn’t qualify or loses to the dealer, this bet is forfeit. These bets pay out multiples of the stake when the player wins, depending on the poker combination in their hand.
The multiples of the stake paid out depend on the strength of the winning combo, and these multiples will be specified on the payout table. Apart from the standard “pluspair”, many casinos offer a range of side-bets, which experienced players will use to maximise the winnings they make off their best hands. Whether you choose to play only for credits at a free casino, or you want to wager actual stakes at a real-money casino (which will also deliver a certain number of free bets through regular bonuses), if you have any interest in 3-card poker you can experience it anywhere, anytime you like.
A quick online search is all you need to get you started.