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How to Play 3 Card Poker Online, Step-by-Step Guide



How To Play 3 Card Poker Online

3-card poker is similar to regular poker in the hand-ranking system. However, with 3 cards, poker players play against the house or the dealer. The players may sit at the same table and play simultaneously, just like with other poker games. It has become a popular 3 cards game in a casino, especially with its presence online.

You can easily earn real money playing 3 card poker online free. The game is simple to learn and requires only a few strategies to win. You need to make the best poker hand using 3 cards only. Due to the game  availability online, you can play from the comfort of your home. If you haven’t played 3 card poker before, here’s how to play.

Let’s dive right in!

The Basics

Whether you play 3 card poker free online or in a land casino, the rules and requirements are the same. The game requires a 52-card deck and betting chips. The machine shuffles the cards to enhance speed.

The objective in a three card poker online game is to make the best poker hand using three cards. Unlike other casino card games, you don’t get extra cards. Instead, you only use the cards you get in the first instance. Then, depending on your preference, you make a pair or/and a higher ranking card than the dealer.

Rules of 3 card poker

Card Rankings

Winning in this game depends on the quality of the 3 card poker hand you make. Understanding the rankings is important to ensure you can make the best hand possible. Here is the list of the hands from the highest to the lowest.

Straight flush includes 3 cards of consecutive value and the same suit, e.g., Kc-Qc-Jc.

3 of a kind is a set of three cards with the same value, e.g., 8-8-8

Straight is a set of 3 cards with consecutive values, e.g., 6-7-8

Flush includes three cards of the same suit, e.g., Ad-9d-3d

Pair involves two cards of the same value and one other.

A high card is a set of three cards from different ranks and suits, e.g., Qc-6s-4d, and the highest value card is the hand’s value.

You should understand that a high card (A-X-X) will beat a K-X-X, although the value of the K-X-X is higher. Additionally, if two players have hands of the same ranking (a pair), the hand of the higher value wins. For instance, A-A-2 beats 2-2-A.

How to play 3 card poker?

3 card poker online has two betting options.

Ante – You make this bet when playing against the dealer by making the best poker hand.

Pair plus– This bet aims at making a hand of a pair or better. The dealer’s hand doesn’t determine this bet.


You must place the ante bet in some casinos, while the pair plus is optional. In others, you can place either the ante or pair plus bet.

After you place your bet, the dealer deals the cards face down to all the players and himself. Sometimes you might be the only player, especially when playing online.

When you get the cards, you can decide to play your hand or discard (fold) it.

If you discard the hand, the dealer takes your ante and pair plus bets. If you decide to keep playing, you must forward a play bet that equals the amount of the ante bet. Finally, you place the poker hand face down on a place marked play to indicate that you want to play.

After, you must reveal your poker hand to determine whether it’s better than the dealer’s hand.

Possible outcomes in online 3 card poker

You get back the play bet if the dealer’s hand is J high or worse.

If the dealer’s hand is Q high or better, you get back the play and ante bets at 1 to 1 if your hand is better than the dealer’s.

However, if the dealer’s hand is better than yours, you lose both bets. The pair plus bet isn’t dependent on the dealer’s hand. If you don’t make a pair or better, you lose the pair plus bet, but you are paid on corresponding payouts if you make a pair or better.

High Hand Payouts in 3 card poker

The payouts n pair plus bets differ from one casino to another. Here’s a general representation.

Pair: 1 to 1

Flush: 3 to 1 (or 4 to 1)

Straight: 6 to 1 (or 5 to 1)

3-of-a-Kind: 30 to 1 (or 25 to 1)

Straight Flush: 40 to 1

Casinos such as PlaySQR offer ante bet bonus for players with the strongest hand. The best part is you don’t have to make another bet, such as the pair plus bet.


Payouts for the ante bets are also dependent on different betting sites but are usually as follows:

Straight: 1 to 1

3-of-a-Kind: 4 to 1 (or 2 to 1 or 3 to 1)

Straight Flush: 5 to 1 (or 3 to 1 or 4 to 1)

3-Card Poker Rules

Unlike other casino games 3 card poker has only a few rules, including

There are maximum and minimum bet values. E.g., if the minimum is $10, you must deposit $20, $10 for the ante bet, and $10 for the play bet.

Players must use the same chips’ value for the ante and play wagers.

Pair plus bet must be within maximum and minimum table values.

How to win?

One working method for three card poker online is to play hands greater than Q-6-4 or better and discard all the others.

Look out for jackpots on your online betting site, especially when you get rare card combinations.

Also, many casinos have bonuses for certain hands. Be sure to identify as you play.

Winning tips and strategies

While winning in casino games is never guaranteed, here are some tips to help improve your chances of success when playing Three card poker online.

1.Learn the rules

Know the rules and hand rankings in three card poker. Understanding the game’s basics is crucial for making informed decisions.

2.Practice for free


Many online casinos offer free play or demo versions of this 3 card game. Exploit these opportunities to practice and get comfortable with the game before risking real money.

3.Know the Ante bonus pay table

Pay close attention to the paytable for the Ante bonus. This is where you can potentially earn significant payouts for certain hands, even if you lose to the dealer.

4.Play the Ante-play strategy

In the Ante-Play portion of the game, it’s generally a good strategy to play when you have Queen-6-4 or better. This means you should fold if your hand is weaker than Queen-6-4.

5.Manage your money

Set a budget for your three card poker sessions. Don’t chase losses or increase your bets when on a losing streak.

6.Understand pairs plus

The pairs plus side bet can offer additional payouts for specific hand combinations. While it’s riskier, it can be exciting if you’re feeling lucky, but don’t rely on it as your primary strategy.

7.Better to be relaxed

Keep your emotions in check. Don’t let excitement or frustration dictate your betting decisions.

8.Use basic poker strategy

If you have some poker experience, basic poker strategies, such as hand reading and understanding odds, can still apply when playing 3 card poker.

9.Know when to exit

In the Ante-play portion, if your hand is weaker than Queen-6-4, it’s generally best to fold and forfeit your Ante bet.

10.Avoid excessive side betting


While side bets like pairs plus can be enticing, they often have a higher house edge. Consider them as occasional fun bets, not primary strategies.

11.Read the casino’s rules thoroughly

Pay attention to the specific rules and payouts offered by the online casino where you’re playing. There can be slight variations from one casino to another.

12.Money management

Bet no more than can afford to lose. Stick to a consistent betting strategy and avoid going all-in on a single hand.

Remember that 3 card poker, like all casino games, is primarily based on luck, so there is no 100% winning strategy. The above tips can help make more practical decisions and enjoy your gaming experience, but winning is never assured. So, it is advisable to always gamble responsibly and within your means.


Playing three card poker is easy and fun. You can play it online and earn real money. The game’s objective is to make the best hand against the dealer. Therefore, ensure you understand the card combinations and rankings to determine when to fold or play. If you’re a beginner, you can start by playing with family and friends until you understand how the 3 card poker game works. Although the rules and payouts are generally the same, check with your online casino for variations to avoid confusion.