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3 Card Poker Online - Rules, odds, and winning strategies

3 card poker is one of several classic games any player can play in an online casino. Three cards is a simple, fast-paced poker variant that's one of the card-based table games players in casinos turn to regularly, and equally, it's a favorite with many poker players looking for fun on the side while waiting for a tournament to start or for opponents to take their seats at cash tables.

Given its position as one of the most accessible real money casino games to win a cash prize, it's no surprise that there are many places to play 3 card poker online. Many top-rated online casinos will have a version of the game in their game libraries.

On this page, we'll explore all of the aspects of the game that make it a firm favorite with casino players, including some of its most important history, how to play, where to play, and, most importantly, the strategies you can use to get the most enhanced chances of winning.

Three Card Poker casino table game

One thing is for sure: You will need to know where to play to try out your 3 card poker strategies, so we'll kick off this deep investigation of the game with a list of the best places to play. These online casinos offer 3 card games and deliver safe and secure gaming environments where you can play without fear.

5 of the Best Online Casinos for 3 Card Poker Games

These casinos all offer high-quality games and are highly regarded by players. You'll find some detail on each one below, but they're covered in more depth on the ProfessionalRakeback page dedicated to the best online casinos for US players.



300% up to $3,000
4.7 / 5



Wild Casino is an excellent option for 3 card poker fans. Wild Casino is a sister and partner to SB Casino and BetOnline, so many of the games are the same across those three casinos.

Crypto depositors can get a bonus worth 300% on their first deposit up to $3,000 and 150% up to $1,500 on their subsequent four deposits. Other benefits at Wild include weekly reload bonuses, a 10% casino rebate, and free daily tournaments.



125% up to $1,250 X 3
4.6 / 5



Bovada is a partner of CafeCasino,, and Ignition, so the casino gaming here is identical to those sites, and the 3 card poker tables will be the same across all of them. Where Bovada shines is by offering a full-featured racebook and sportsbook, two things that are absent at all of the other options. First-time crypto depositors can receive $3,750 in casino bonuses ($3,000 if using old-school deposit methods),

Although the casino bonuses are slightly smaller here than at Cafe or, Bovada is definitely a great choice if you want to try betting on sports or horses in addition to playing 3 card poker or other casino games.



300% up to $1,500
4.5 / 5


READ REVIEW truly stands out by offering solid deposit bonuses on your first nine deposits. You read that correctly, you can get a 300% first deposit bonus of up to $1,500 as well as another eight 150% bonuses of up to $750, as long as you use crypto to deposit. is nearly identical in design to CafeCasino, so the same 3-card game is on offer here.

If you'd rather utilize a more traditional deposit method like a debit card, then you will only receive a 200% initial deposit bonus up to $1,000 and another eight 100% deposit match bonuses worth $500 each.



150% up to $1,500
4.2 / 5



Ignition Casino features a poker room unlike many of the other sites on our list, and it might be the best site for poker players especially if you have any interest in playing 3-card as well. Ignition offers a 150% up to $1,500 bonus if you deposit using cryptocurrency, making it one of the leading operators that'll enable you to play online poker with bitcoin deposits.

Ignition is a sister site to and the CafeCasino platforms. Across all of them, you'll find hundreds of other casino games like slots, table games, and more.



350% up to $5,000
4.1 / 5



CafeCasino is a casino-only sister site to Bovada. CafeCasino doesn't offer any sportsbook or poker room, so it may not be ideal for three card poker players who also enjoy playing poker at the tables or bettors who like betting on sports. Bovada offers all of the same games as well as a full sportsbook and poker room.

Because CafeCasino can focus exclusively on casino gaming, it can offer larger and more generous casino bonuses. We explain these in depth on the page dedicated to Cafe Casino bonus codes. There are various bonuses, and you may be interested in Cafe's 350% crypto deposit bonus of up to $5,000 on your first deposit. Be sure to use code CCBTCVIP to get started today.


Why do we rate these casinos as high-value sites for 3 card poker players?

Different casino sites will appeal to different players for varying reasons, but a handful of those reasons will always be important. They're the key elements you'll need to consider when playing any game in online casinos. We're confident our chosen operators all perform well in these aspects:

  • Bonuses & promotions - The casino should offer good value bonuses to get any player additional betting funds without any onerous wagering requirements. Other promotions, such as giveaways, contests, and competitions, are often a sweetener on top of regular bonuses.
  • Safety & security - You'll want to be confident your money and your personal details are safe and secure.
  • Variety of casino games - Aside from three-card poker, any casino should offer a variety of games that include all the classics.
  • Device optimization - Whichever device you're using, it should be easy to sign into an account, navigate to whichever game you want, and actually play.
  • Banking Options and payout speeds - All of our selected casinos offer a range of banking methods and at least one way of getting reasonably fast payouts.
  • Good quality Customer Support - There will always be occasions where a player will need some form of assistance, so help needs to be obtainable quickly and efficiently.

In a comparison exercise, which casino sites receive the highest ratings from our players?

If we had to rate any single casino as the best for 3 card poker, it would be Wild Casino, and this online casino gets our 5-star rating for playing three-card games. But the reality is the sites we've listed are suitable for different reasons, and some may be better for different types of players:

  1. Wild Casino — Best Three Card Poker site overall.
  2. Bovada — Best Three Card Poker site for progressive jackpots.
  3. — Best Three Card Poker casino for free play.
  4. Ignition — Best 3 Card Poker site for real money poker games.
  5. CafeCasino — Best bonuses for playing 3-card games.

How to sign up at any of the top-rated 3-card poker sites

The best way to get a handle on registration processes is to visit any of our review pages. You can access all of these via the links higher up. Registration of a new account usually is straightforward, and all of our sites will make it as easy as possible to navigate the sign-up processes.

Table Of Contents

What is 3 Card poker?

3 Card Poker is a popular casino card game played one-on-one against the dealer. The player and the dealer receive three cards, and the player makes a bet without seeing their cards. This game offers two betting options: the “ante bet” and the “pair plus bet.”

The ante bet allows players to wager against the dealer while the pair plus bet allows players to bet on getting a pair or better regardless of the dealer's hand. Players can also choose to play both bets on the same hand. Many people appreciate the simplicity of 3 Card Poker and often refer to it simply as “3 card.”

Why is the game sometimes known as 3 card brag or tri card poker?

The “3 Card Poker” name has a patent. You will see many versions that might be for single players or multiple players in online casinos, sometimes labelled as “tri card poker” or even “trey card poker.” They're just different names for the same game. You'll see it referred to as Teen Patti or Flash in other global regions, such as Asia. The 3 Card Brag name was the title that was first given back in the mid-1990s.

How do you play 3 card poker?

Let's see the mechanics of the game and how to play the hands:

Basic bets

A player can make one or two bets before any cards are dealt, these are known as the “ante” and “pair plus” bets. The ante bet is a necessary main bet to participate in the hand whereas Pair Plus is an optional wager.

You'll play the ante bet against the dealer and the dealer's hand while the “pair plus” bet is a wager on your own hand exclusively and pays out for poker hands of 1 pair or higher.

The 3 Card Poker Ante

After bets are placed, you and the dealer are dealt 3 cards, and - based on the cards you've been dealt - you must decide whether to play on or fold. The dealer's hand is dealt face down, so neither you nor the dealer sees it, and you make your decision based solely on the cards you can see in your own hand.

If you opt to play your hand you must place another raise bet equal to the value of your original ante bet. Once that bet is wagered, the dealer reveals their hand and the two hands are compared.

If you fold, you lose and all the money bet goes to the house. Then you either win only one bet and push the other if the dealer fails to qualify, or if the dealer qualifies, you win both bets if your hand is better, lose both if it's worse, or push if they are equal.

Playing Pair Plus

In Pair Plus, you're not being pitched against the strength of the dealer's hand, and whether you win is determined entirely by the cards you have. If you have a pair or more such as three of a kind, a flush, or a straight, you win on that portion of the bet.

Remember that if you're playing both bets and fold, you'll also lose the pair plus portion of the bet. That would be an unlikely scenario since most players would not fold a hand with a pair or better already showing.

Hand Rankings, Winning Hands & Easy Ways to Remember 3 Card Odds and Payouts

1-to-1 is paid on both the ante and raise bets if you beat the dealer and the dealer's hand “qualifies.” That is, you double your money on both bets. To qualify, the dealer must hold a queen-high or better. If the dealer qualifies but your hand is worse than his, then you lose both bets. In the rare instance that you both hold hands of equal rank, then if the dealer qualifies, you push both bets.

A non-qualifying dealer's hand (lower than a queen high) pays you 1-to-1 on the ante bet only (the “raise” bet is a push and is returned back to you) regardless of who holds the best hand.

In addition, an “ante bonus” is paid for straights (1-to-1), 3 of-a-kind (4-to-1) and straight flushes (5-to-1). These bonuses get paid even if you lose to a dealer's qualifying hand.

At most casinos that we recommend, Pair Plus bets pay 1-to-1 for a pair, 4-to-1 for a flush, 6-to-1 for a straight, 30-to-1 for 3 of a kind and 40-to-1 for a straight flush. Beware, though, because other, more unfavorable pay tables exist for the Pair Plus.

Practice & Free Games

The majority of online casinos provide variations of three-card poker, and some will even let you play for free. Any free games will be easy to play, and they provide an enjoyable way of honing skills with zero-risk practice and without putting any real money at hazard.

If you play free at these casinos, you can take advantage of their welcome bonuses when you're ready to play for real money. However, it's wise to be cautious when playing any practice games in poker as your success in a simulated game does not guarantee success when the stakes are in real cash.

Any player looking to learn the ropes in a risk-free game will find several apps and websites where you can play for free. We'd recommend starting off with the free 3 card poker games on offer at Bovada and its sister sites. The best collection of free games outside of an online casino that we found is in AOL's specialized games collection, and there's a free version at TableGamesOnline.

Effective Three Card Poker Strategies – Winning Tips

We've seen that 3 card poker is simple to play and fast-paced, and profits or losses can swing either way rapidly. Indeed, it's a typical game you'll find in a casino that's more designed for enjoyment rather than as a potential way to grow a big bankroll. Whether you win is highly dependent on luck, and there's little skill involved besides sensible betting and using optimal strategies when you decide whether to fold or bet and play.

Knowing the right strategies should, at a minimum, keep you seeing wins of small amounts and ensure you can play long enough to increase the odds of ultimately hitting one of the more valuable winning hands.

The strategies you need to know are pretty straightforward, so let's consider what you can do to increase your winning chances.

Strategies for the main game – Playing against the dealer

The optimal player strategy against the dealer is to make the bet or raise wager with cards Queen-6-4 or better and fold with lower-value cards. A simpler strategy of playing queens or higher will give broadly similar results over a small series of hands.

The dealer himself plays with the second of those two strategies. This has been proven by a computer program which analyzed all potential combinations of a player's hand (22,100) against all combinations of the dealer's cards (18,424).

Looking at all high-carded hands, this gives the following plays:

  • Any pair or higher
  • King or Ace high
  • Queen high, with the second-highest card a 7 or more
  • Queen high, with the second card a 6 and the third card  a 4 or higher

Patience is needed. Clearly, taking that strategic approach means you'll be folding plenty of hands. But if you don't take this approach and instead play every hand, the casino gets an improved house edge of around 7.65% compared with about 3.37 % with the optimal bet or fold strategy.

It won't have escaped your notice here that whatever you do, there is an overall negative expectation of winning, just as there is in all gambling games. It's very difficult, unless luck is heavily on your side, to end up ahead over a long playing session. That's precisely why many players treat a 3 card poker game as a form of entertainment rather than a way to make extra cash.

Pair Plus strategy

If you're seeking a chance to win big at Three Card Poker, incorporating the Pair Plus bet into your regular gameplay is a must. 

While the ante bonus in regular play also offers the opportunity for decent wins, it's important to note that the house advantage of 2.32% when playing Pair Plus makes it one of the most valuable casino card games in terms of return on investment. However, it's worth noting that Pair Plus can be more volatile in terms of wins and losses compared to ante play, making it a riskier option with the possibility of heavy losses over time.

Regarding the strategy for Pair Plus, there isn't much to consider beyond luck. Your chances of getting a winning hand are low, so the primary strategy should revolve around managing your bets and stakes.

Basic betting strategy

One of the most popular wagering strategies in 3 card poker is to evenly distribute your bet between the Ante and Pair Plus options or to place a double bet on one of the Ante and Pair Plus options. 

However, for the highest chances of success and the lowest house edge, you can place 100% of your total bet on the Ante and wager the table minimum. Remember that the Pair Plus option offers higher odds, and in rare cases where you have a three of a kind hand, you may regret not placing a bet on Pair Plus.

Ultimately, the key to success in 3 card poker is to resist the temptation to place too many bets on the Pair Plus option and instead focus on the Ante for long-term profitability.

Bankroll Strategy – Protecting your bankroll in 3 Card Poker games

When playing the Pair Plus option in 3-card poker, the primary decision to make is determining the amount to bet. To optimize your chances of success, it is essential to employ effective money and bankroll management strategies. The goal is to preserve your betting bank for as long as possible as having more money available allows for more games and opportunities to hit a big win with a favorable hand of three cards.

One strategy to maintain your bankroll is to consistently track and monitor your winnings and losses during each sitting. It is also wise to set aside a portion of your winnings if you are on a winning streak.

In addition to managing your bankroll, it is beneficial to seek out valuable betting bonuses by shopping around different casinos and online platforms. This can provide an opportunity to increase your betting bank and therefore increase your chances of winning.

What else can help?

If you could find a game where the dealer shows one of his cards, you'd be gaining a 3.5% advantage. Of course, you'll need to be able to work out the best way of using that information, and variants like this are not something seen in most online casinos offering three card games. Instead, this kind of edge is found most often due to dealer mistakes in a live casino.

Calculating Probabilities

Here we'll explore the subject of probabilities in 3 Card Poker based on gameplay using a single deck of cards. This means the likelihood of you receiving any particular winning or losing hand in a deal.

There are 22100 ways to draw 3 cards out of a 52 card pack, so to find out the mathematical probability of getting any hand you can just divide any of the numbers denoting how many ways to get dealt that hand (below) by 22100.

Straight Flush

With 4 possible suits for a straight flush, you can get any combination from A23 to QKA, or 12 different straight flush hands. So the total number of straight flushes is 4*12=48.

Three Of A Kind

There are 13 options for getting a three-of-a-kind hand. There are 4 ways to get 3 suits out of 4. So there are 52 potential three of a kinds.


There are 12 possible hands for a straight flush, but a straight in 3 card poker can be a hand with any suit. A straight has 3 cards, each may be one of any of the four suits. However, if all three cards are of the same suit then you'll have a straight flush. 720 possible straights.


There are 4 possible suits for a flush hand. For each of the suits, there are 286 ways to get 3 out of 13. But we know from the straight flush section above that there are 12 combinations which give us three connected cards, giving you a straight flush. So the hand combinations that land you a straight, which isn't a straight flush, is 274. So the number of flush combinations is 4 x 274, or 1096.


There are 13 possible pairs, which gives you 156 ways to land one in three cards. Within the pair, there are 6 ways to get 2 suits out of the possible 4. So the total number of different pair combinations is 3744.

Nothing in 3 Card Poker hands

The number of ways to get a nothing hand (ie less than a pair) is 16440.

Progressive Jackpots

Progressive jackpots are often seen in video slots games, but occasionally you'll see an operator offering progressives in 3 card poker.

Some casinos will offer bonuses on the Pair Plus bet with payouts that can be as high as 50-1 on a QKA suited. Others make good use of a progressive jackpot. This progressive tends to be seen in the form of a $1 optional extra bet that's made before the dealer deals each hand.

If you've opted to place that additional bet, you'll have the chance to win a progressive bonus if your hand shows 3 of a kind or a straight flush. You'll win the full progressive jackpot if your hand is a mini royal flush in spades.

Progressive bet payouts

  • Royal Flush in spades – Gets the progressive jackpot
  • Royal Flush in hearts, diamonds, or clubs – normally $500
  • Straight Flush – normally $100
  • 3 of a Kind – normally $50

Referring back to our section on probabilities, you can see that with 22,100 different hands possible on any deal, only 100 of these would result in a hand with the potential to win the progressive payout. So, it's not a bet to play regularly, but might be fun to place on occasion if you're feeling extra lucky.

One great thing about progressives is that many operators will give a smallish share of a jackpot a player has won to all other players at the table, called an “envy” bonus. This is similar to the bad beat jackpots you'll see at many poker rooms in Holdem and other competitive poker variants.

Live Dealer 3 Card Poker games

After a long history where online casinos delivered their games in the standard format, the casino gambling industry needed to present more innovative ways of meeting players' needs. One way they've achieved this is to develop live dealer solutions where you still play online but against a real human dealer in games streamed from a studio.

Live dealer casinos offering 3 card poker live are not commonplace, but there are a few. Those we know of include William Hill, Unibet, Betvictor, and Mr. Green.

Strategy for live games

You won't see many articles on the techniques used to gain an advantage in live games, so here we'll try to fill the gap.

As you'd expect, it's not easy and is limited to either gaining knowledge of what other cards are in play or using promotions to increase benefits and/or playing time.

Knowing what's in play

Clearly, if you have knowledge of one or more cards being held in the dealer's hand, you are better placed to make a decision on how to play your own. It will be extremely rare to ever be in this position legally though there are remote chances of using your eagle eyes to watch as an inexperienced dealer deals out the cards.

Using Promotions

Promotions for casino gaming are widely used in live casinos. They'll come in the form of VIP or comp points or bonuses, which can normally be used in exchange for goods, services, or occasionally rebates on losses.

None of these, of course, give any added info about the hands, and the reality is that the strategies for live 3 card are really limited to those you'd use for other online games.

Mobile Apps

Playing games using an app is a perfect way to enjoy gaming on the move – anywhere or anytime. Apps of all kinds are hugely popular, so it's be no surprise to learn that there are apps for playing 3 card poker too. Using one to learn and practice is a great way to use up a spare few minutes while on the move.

Some that are worth looking at include Ace 3-Card Poker – for Android and found at the Google store. For a whole bunch of different variants, the App list at Softonic is a great resource, and you'll find apps designed for Android or iOS devices.

Of course, you can play on mobile phones at all of the recommended U.S. casinos we list on ProfessionalRakeback. All sites offer fully responsive gaming where the software automatically sees you're using a mobile device and displays the interfaces appropriately.

Screenshot of the mobile app view of a three card poker gameThree Card Poker Game on a Mobile Device

3 Card Poker variants

Here we'll look at a few variants, starting with Teen Pati.

Teen Patti

An interesting variation to be aware of is the Indian version of 3 card known as Teen Patti (also known as Teen Pathi or Flash). The main difference between this version and casino 3 card poker is that Teen Patti is played against other players rather than a dealer. It's been a highly popular form of the game in India for many years.

This variant works best (for gambling purposes) when played with between four and seven players, with an objective of either betting in a way that makes your opponents fold (i.e., bluffing), or betting because you have a great winning hand.

Hand rankings and the betting process are explained on the Wikipedia Teen Patti page, while the strategies and winning techniques of Flash are similar to those shown above in the best playing strategies section.

Online Teen Patti

Teen Patti has been played for hundreds of years on the streets of India, so it won't be a surprise to know that online versions are available. They're becoming highly popular with Indian and other Asian region families, who are increasingly being drawn to the ease of playing online games.

For Indian players who want to play online, one of the best options will be the fast-growing Junglee TeenPatti, however, there are plenty of 3 card poker casinos that cater more for western players but also accept Indian registrations.

Mini Flush

Also popular across the Indian subcontinent is another version of 3 Card Poker known as Mini Flush. They're essentially highly similar, and the main difference between Mini Flush and its better-known counterpart is in the betting.

Ultimate Three Card Poker

This is a version of 3 card which you may also see named as Face Up. The key aspect of Ultimate/Face Up is that the dealer only reveals one card in each head-to-head game rather than all three. Standard rules generally apply, but the big difference is in the betting process.

Three Card slots

We found this slots version of 3 card at the William Hill online casino. It's a unique slots game based firmly on the card game version we know and love. William Hill offers the option of either playing it for cash or for free.


To improve your chances of winning at 3 card poker when you're playing the game online, it's important to understand the basic strategies and rules. While the gameplay may be simple, it remains a favorite among frequent casino players. To ensure a safe and enjoyable gaming experience, it's crucial to only play at reputable and trustworthy casinos. Additionally, it's wise to research the payout percentages offered by different casinos as they can vary.

Keep in mind that, as with any casino game, winning at 3 card poker is not guaranteed. It takes intensive practice and the use of effective strategies to increase your chances of success. However, by doing so, you'll be able to prolong your playing time and potentially increase your overall profits.

Another advantage of 3 card poker is that it doesn't require a lot of time to think and strategize. There is no need to worry about table etiquette, and if you choose to play online, the electronic software that drives casino games makes it easy to play.


Here we'll cover a fair number of the high-level most frequently asked questions about the game. Many of them will be answered in other sections on the page, but this will be a collection of FAQs that will most likely cover anything you want to know.

3 card poker is a popular casino game that offers players the chance to win big with a strong hand. The game consists of two betting options: the ante bet and the pair plus bet. To win the ante bet, the player's three cards must be stronger than the dealers. To win the pair plus bet, the player must have at least a pair in their three cards. The odds of winning in 3 card poker vary and can be explained in more detail in the probability section of this page.

Folding in 3 card poker refers to the decision to surrender a hand without making an additional bet if the odds are in favor of the dealer.

Queen high in 3 card poker refers to a hand where both the player and dealer have a highest card of a queen but no pair.

The best hand in 3 card poker is a straight flush, which is three cards in sequence with the same suit. Three cards of the same suit, but not in sequence, is called a flush.

Three cards of the same suit but not in running sequence is called a flush.

The best online casino for Three Card poker may vary depending on factors such as the casino's fairness, licensing, and pay-tables. See our recommended casinos for the best places to play.

The house edge in Three Card poker is obtained by the casino by forcing the player to make the first play. This means that if the player folds, the casino wins both the original ante stake and their share of fully completed hands. The house edge percentages may vary depending on the casino.

At our recommended casinos for 3 Card Poker, the house edge on the ante bet is 3.37%. On the Pair Plus, it is 2.32%.

There are strategies that can be used to improve the chances of winning in Three Card poker. Basic strategy for playing the ante game is to bet if your cards show Queen-6-4 or better, and to fold if your hand is not at least that good. Additionally, it is recommended to play any hand where your highest card is an Ace or a King even if you don't have a pair. For more information on strategy, consult the strategy and how to win section.

3 card poker progressive refers to progressive jackpots that can be won by playing an extra bet on the standard game.

A 3 card poker royal flush is a hand consisting of Q, K, and Ace of the same suit.

You should fold in 3 card poker if your hand is lower than Q-6-4.

Virtually all online casinos will have a version available to play. See the list of 3 card poker casinos on this page for a few places to play.

The game is normally played with one 52 card deck.

There are 22,100 combinations of potential hands that you could receive as a player.

The dealer will qualify in 69.59% of hands.

Yes, a player employing good strategic play can reduce the house edge and improve their chances of winning. Feel free to review the strategy section for in depth information on how to play.

You may be lucky and have a winning streak or land a series of good hands in a session and come out ahead; however, the house edge inherent in all casino games means that over time, the casino always wins. That said, and compared to other casino games, 3 card is among those that offer the best chances to players of winning.

The house edge when only playing pair plus at one of the online casinos highlighted above is around 2.32%, making 3 card one of the better games to play in the casino. Note that over time though the odds are still against you, and there are other casinos where the odds are worse.

From a house edge perspective the blackjack edge of around 0.5% is much more in favor of the player. From an entertainment perspective you'd have to say that both games are equally enjoyable.

No casino games are beatable in the long run. 3 card poker is no different. There is an inherent house edge that means the casino always wins in the long term although you may get lucky in a game session and overcome the odds against you. There are no known ways to beat that house edge other than using optimal strategy to lower it.

For all the reasons we've seen in FAQs, yes, it is one of the better casino games.

Only in that the house edge is always naturally in favor of the house. In general, it's extremely rare to find any occurrences of casinos deliberately manipulating dealt hands. They don't need to – because they win regularly anyway – and to do so risks getting labelled as a cheating casino and going out of business.

Sure you can make money playing three card...but only if you're very lucky or can walk away after winning hands early in a session. Over time, the house edge will ensure the casino keeps more of your money than you started with. You cannot beat the house edge; you can only try to reduce it as far as possible with optimal play.

Compared to other casino card games, three card does offer reasonable odds of getting winning hands. You very likely won't win in the long run, but along the way you can expect to get plenty of winning hands.