Three Card Poker Hand Rankings: Know Your Winning Hands

Grasp the essentials of Three Card Poker Hand Rankings

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Key Takeaways

  • Understanding Three Card Poker hand rankings is essential to success in the game.
  • Strategies range from basic to advanced, including understanding house edge, managing bankrolls, and exploiting bonus payouts.
  • Variations of Three Card Poker include Progressive, Six Card Bonus, and Prime variants, with additional side bets or wagers providing extra layers of strategy and potential winnings.

Understanding Three Card Poker Hand Rankings

Grasping the hand rankings, which vary slightly from traditional poker, is a stepping stone to becoming a skilled Three Card Poker player. In Three Card Poker, there are six hand rankings:

  1. Straight Flush
  2. Three of a Kind
  3. Straight
  4. Flush
  5. Pair
  6. High Card

A thorough understanding of these rankings is key to playing the game effectively and increasing your winning prospects.

Let’s examine each hand ranking in detail, including the dealer’s hand, and its role within Three Card Poker.

Straight Flush

A Straight Flush is the pinnacle of hand rankings in Three Card Poker, consisting of three consecutive cards all the same suit. This suit consecutive ranking, for example, a 7-8-9 of hearts, would be a Straight Flush.

This powerful hand reigns supreme, and achieving it is no small feat. With the highest Straight Flush being A-K-Q of the same suit, capturing this elusive hand will undoubtedly make you the envy of the table.

Three of a Kind

Following closely behind the Straight Flush is the Three of a Kind, the second-highest ranking hand in Three Card Poker. The three cards in this hand are all the same rank. They have different suits though. For instance, holding a 5 of hearts, 5 of clubs, and 5 of spades would be a Three of a Kind.

Securing a Three of a Kind, although slightly less powerful than a Straight Flush, is a notable achievement with the potential for substantial winnings.


The third-ranking hand in Three Card Poker is the Straight, which consists of three consecutive cards of different suits. For example, a 3 of hearts, 4 of clubs, and 5 of diamonds make up a Straight. A Straight, while not as powerful as a Straight Flush or Three of a Kind, remains a strong hand capable of steering you towards victory in the dynamic environment of Three Card Poker.


Next in line is the Flush, the fourth-ranking hand in Three Card Poker. A Flush is comprised of three cards of the same suit but not in sequence, such as a 6 of spades, 9 of spades, and K of spades.

While not as powerful as the previously mentioned hands, a Flush still holds significant value in this exciting game and can lead to a triumphant win, just a step below the unbeatable royal flush.


The fifth-ranking hand in Three Card Poker is the Pair, featuring two cards of the same rank and one of a different rank. For example, a hand containing a 7 of hearts, 7 of clubs, and 10 of diamonds would be a Pair.

Though not as strong as higher-ranking hands, a Pair can still be advantageous in certain situations and help secure a win over less fortunate opponents.

High Card

Finally, we arrive at the lowest-ranking hand in Three Card Poker: the High Card. This hand has no specific pattern or combination, simply consisting of three cards with the highest card determining the hand’s value. For instance, an A of hearts, 8 of clubs, and 4 of spades would be a High Card hand with an Ace as the highest card.

Despite its lack of power, understanding the High Card ranking is a fundamental aspect of Three Card Poker.

How to Play Three Card Poker

Having acquainted yourself with hand rankings, let’s move on to understanding the basics of playing Three Card Poker. The game begins with three initial wagers: Ante, Play, and Pair Plus. Each player at the table, including the dealer, is dealt three cards face down. The player must then decide whether to fold or continue playing based on their hand.

We’ll delve into each of these wagers, providing detailed insights to enhance your understanding of their role within the game.

Ante Bet

The Ante Bet is the initial bet placed before receiving cards, required to participate in the game. This wager is placed against the dealer’s hand, and once the player views their cards, they must determine whether their hand can beat the dealer’s.

If the player believes their hand is strong enough, they must make the Ante Bet. The Ante Bet underpins the game and a clear understanding of it is central to mastering Three Card Poker.

Play Wager

Following the Ante Bet is the Play Wager, an additional bet placed after evaluating the hand. The Play Wager must be equal to the Ante Bet and is placed once the player decides to continue playing with their current hand.

If the player’s hand is strong enough to beat the dealer’s, they will win both the Ante and Play Wagers. However, if the dealer’s hand beats the player’s, the player will lose both wagers. By introducing an additional strategic component and excitement, the Play Wager becomes an important aspect to comprehend and integrate into your gameplay.

Pair Plus

The Pair Plus is an optional side bet in Three Card Poker, wagering on the likelihood of receiving a pair or better in your hand. This bet is independent of the dealer’s hand, meaning you can still win the Pair Plus wager even if your hand loses to the dealer.

Pair Plus introduces an extra dimension of intrigue to the game, with a strong hand providing opportunities for substantial wins. As an optional wager, Pair Plus can enhance the excitement of Three Card Poker and provide an extra opportunity for winnings.

Ante Bonus and Other Payouts

In addition to the wagers mentioned above, Three Card Poker casino sites also feature Ante Bonus payouts and other bonus payouts for specific high-ranking hands. These bonus payouts can significantly increase your winnings and make the game even more exciting.

We’ll next examine the specifics of Ante Bonus payouts and Pair Plus bonus payouts, providing a more comprehensive understanding of possible Three Card Poker rewards.

Ante Bonus Payouts

Leading US gambling sites award Ante Bonus Payouts for specific high-ranking hands, regardless of the dealer’s hand. Typically, these payouts are 5:1 for a Straight Flush, 4:1 for Three of a Kind, and 1:1 for a Straight. By achieving one of these powerful hands, you can significantly boost your winnings and enhance your overall Three Card Poker experience.

A deep understanding of Ante Bonus payouts is key to optimizing your potential rewards and fully leveraging the game’s unique aspects.

Pair Plus Bonus Payouts

Pair Plus Bonus Payouts are determined by the paytable and depend on the strength of the player’s hand. These payouts can vary across the different real money gambling sites but generally include:

  • 40:1 for a Straight Flush
  • 30:1 for Three of a Kind
  • 6:1 for a Straight
  • 4:1 for a Flush

Pair Plus Bonus Payouts provide an additional opportunity to win big, rewarding players for strong hands even if they don’t beat the dealer. A clear understanding of Pair Plus Bonus Payouts is fundamental for optimizing your earnings and thoroughly enjoying the thrill of Three Card Poker.

Strategies for Winning at Three Card Poker

Now that you have a solid understanding of Three Card Poker rules and payouts, it’s time to explore strategies for winning at the game. From basic strategy to advanced techniques, mastering the art of Three Card Poker requires patience, practice, and a keen understanding of the game’s mechanics.

We’ll next discuss a range of strategies, from basic to advanced, to help enhance your gameplay and boost your winning odds.

Basic Strategy

The Basic Strategy for Three Card Poker involves playing with a high hand and folding with a low hand. If your hand is better than Queen, Six, and Four, you should play; if it’s worse, you should fold. This simple strategy helps minimize losses and increases your chances of winning by ensuring that you only play when your hand is strong enough to beat the dealer.

Honing your Basic Strategy is the initial step towards proficiency in Three Card Poker and optimizing your profits.

Advanced Techniques

Advanced Techniques for winning at Three Card Poker include understanding the house edge, managing your bankroll, and exploiting bonus payouts. The house edge in Three Card Poker is 3.37%, and using the perfect strategy can help reduce this edge and increase your chances of winning.

Bankroll management is crucial for long-term success, ensuring that you stay within your limits and take breaks when necessary. Finally, taking advantage of bonus payouts like Ante Bonus and Pair Plus can significantly increase your winnings.

Mastering these advanced techniques sets you on the path to becoming a Three Card Poker connoisseur.

Three Card Poker Variations

Some of the Three Card Poker variations include Progressive Three Card Poker, Six Card Bonus, and Prime Three Card Poker. Each variation offers a slightly different gameplay experience, catering to a wide range of player preferences and skill levels. In addition to these variations, players can also explore other table games to diversify their gaming experience.

Next, we’ll delve into these popular Three Card Poker variations, providing a more detailed overview.

Progressive Three Card Poker

Progressive Three Card Poker features a jackpot that increases over time. Both the player and the dealer compete for the highest hand, with the winner taking home the progressive jackpot. While this game is thrilling, fans of Texas Hold’em will also find it an interesting alternative to their favorite card poker game.

The game also includes the Pair Plus wager, providing even more opportunities for big wins. If you’re looking for a thrilling new way to enjoy Three Card Poker, Progressive Three Card Poker is a must-try.

Six Card Bonus

Six Card Bonus is another popular variation of Three Card Poker that allows players to use both their and the dealer’s cards to create the best five-card hand. This variation introduces different hand combination rankings, adding an extra layer of strategy to the game.

With the added challenge of forming winning hands from both player and dealer cards, Six Card Bonus offers a fresh twist on traditional Three Card Poker gameplay.

Prime Three Card Poker

Prime Three Card Poker is a variation that involves an additional wager on having three cards of the same color. Similar to the Pair Plus wager, this side bet adds another dimension of excitement to the game, as players can potentially win big if they’re dealt three cards of the same color.

Pair Plus rules are also applicable in Prime Three Card Poker, providing even more opportunities for players to win big in this fascinating variation.


In conclusion, Three Card Poker is an incredibly engaging and fast-paced casino game that offers endless excitement and opportunities for big wins. By mastering hand rankings, understanding the different wagers, and learning strategies for success, you can become a skilled Three Card Poker player in no time. With popular variations like Progressive Three Card Poker, Six Card Bonus, and Prime Three Card Poker, there’s always something new to discover and enjoy in this thrilling game.

So, what are you waiting for? It’s time to hit the tables and test your skills at Three Card Poker. Join the safest online casinos after reading the editorial online casino reviews that our experts have prepared following rigorous research.

Frequently Asked Questions

What hands do you play in 3-card poker?

When playing 3-card poker, you should strive to achieve the highest ranking hands starting from the Mini Royal Flush and ending with a High Card. The hand rankings are in order: Mini Royal Flush, Straight Flush, Three of a Kind, Straight, Flush, Pair, and High Card.

What are the odds of winning in 3-card poker?

The odds of winning 3-card poker are slightly in favor of the house, with a house edge of 3.37% and a player win rate of 44.91%. However, a basic strategy can lower the house edge to just over 2%.

What does a royal flush pay in 3-card poker?

A royal flush in 3-card poker pays out at 4 to 1, offering a nice reward for hitting the highest-ranking hand.

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