Top Tips to Win Big in 3-Card Poker

3-Card Poker is a simple and easy to master version that many Filipinos gamblers love. Learn how to play and win in this full guide.

Because it’s an easy and straightforward game, 3-card Poker has become quite popular among Filipino players. It’s so popular that players can expect to find the game at just about any online casino. However, it requires a little knowledge, skill, and strategy to improve the chances of winning. So in this guide, we’ll walk you through all there is to know about 3-Card Poker. You’ll learn how to play, the game’s history, and our top tips to win big.

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What is 3-Card Poker?

Of course, poker is an exciting, fun, and thrilling casino game to play. However, some players find the occasional slow pace during gameplay not so attractive. Because many fancied a simpler version of poker, three Card Poker came to be. This version allows players to challenge the house instead of other players, making the game less complicated and faster. 

One player, Derek Webb, took it upon himself to change this. In 1997, he invented a 3-Card Poker. He also founded Prime Table Games, a company he hoped would help him market the game. Unfortunately, due to the UK’s strict gambling policies, he could not achieve what he set out to do. 

Eventually, Webb went to the United States where he got the Grand Casino Gulfport to incorporate his game. Three Card Poker was an instant hit and caught the attention of Bally Technologies. So the company acquired exclusive rights to market the game in America. Today, 3-Card Poker is a favorite among players even in the Philippines. 

The game’s quickfire action and high payouts make it quite popular among both newbies and seasoned poker players. Of course, the game has a digital version since so many players love it. Online 3-Card Poker adheres to the same rules as the original, except it’s much more convenient.

3-card poker

How to Play 3-Card Poker

In Three Card Poker, players challenge the dealer rather than other players at the table. The game starts after players place a Pair Plus or Ante wager or both. Basically, when you place a Pair Plus bet, you are simply betting you’ll be dealt a pair or better. On the other hand, an Ante wager means you are predicting your hand will be better than the dealer’s. 

After the initial bet, three cards are dealt to both the dealer and the player. So from here, players decide to play or fold. If you choose to fold, you forfeit your Ante bet. But if you continue playing, you must place a bet that is the same as the Ante bet. Just like in any other poker game, this decision to fold or raise depends on the strength of your hand. Here are the hand ranks in 3-Card Poker: 

High Card – three random cards that don’t form another combination;

Pair – a hand with two cards of the same rank; 

Flush – a hand with three cards of the same suit; 

Straight – a hand that has three cards in a sequence;

Three of a Kind – a hand with three cards of the same rank; 

Straight Flush – a hand that has three cards with the same suit in sequential order.

This hierarchy should inform your decision and if you continue to play, the cards are flipped. This determines if you have a stronger hand than the dealer’s and therefore who’s the winner. If the dealer’s hand is superior to yours, you lose both the play and Ante bets. Otherwise, you’ll receive payouts based on your hand.

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Game Payouts

There are two types of payouts when playing 3-Card Poker in top online casinos – Ante and Pair Plus payouts. Here is how the payouts work:

Ante Plus Payouts

  • Straight – 1:1 payout 
  • Three of a Kind – 4:1 payout 
  • Straight Slush – 5:1 payout

Pair Plus Payouts

  • Straight Flush – 50:1 payout 
  • Three of a Kind – 30:1 payout 
  • Straight – 5:1 payout 
  • Flush – 4:1 payout 
  • Pair – 1:1 payout

The Pair Plus bet pays out regardless of whether your hand is stronger than the dealer’s or not.

Top Tips and Strategies for Three-Card Poker

To increase their winning chances, Three Card Poker players should not rely just on luck. Since like most types of poker games, this is a skill-based game, sticking to at least a basic strategy can make a difference. Here are some tips to help you make the most out of your experience:

  • Make sure you know the rules and hand hierarchy;
  • Fold unless you have a hand with a Queen, 6, 4, or better;
  • Avoid side bets;
  • Take advantage of casino bonuses and promotions;
  • Have a bankroll management strategy.


3-Card Poker is based on the classic poker game but it’s much simpler, easier, and faster to play. Moreover, you play against the dealer as opposed to other players for lucrative payouts. In addition, the ranking of the hands is also different from conventional games since players only get three cards. Because it’s so easy to master, many players in the Philippines love this poker version. But to start playing, it’s very important to find a reputable casino – our casino reviews can help you make this call.


Yes, most casinos offer 3-Card Poker for free, as long as you are playing the RNG-version of the game. The live dealer versions require you to wager real money, although the bet limits are quite friendly.

You can try Three Deuces Wild, Bonus Poker Deluxe, Tri Card Poker, Pair Plus, Prime Side Bet, or Six Card Bonus. Also, progressive 3-Card Poker games are very popular.

In addition to the Ante and Pair Plus bets, you can place side bets such as the Play, Quad, Super Six, Progressive, and Blind bets.

Unless you are playing in a live casino, it is impossible to count cards in 3-Card Poker. This is because the cards are shuffled by Random Number Generator (RNG) software.

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