3 Card Poker is one of the most popular casino table games that uses poker hand rankings. Compared to games like Ultimate Texas Hold’em and Let It Ride, the strategy for 3-Card Poker is simple. This makes it accessible to new players – as well as entertaining for experienced table game fans.
As the name suggests, this game starts with 3 cards dealt to each player and the dealer. You then make a simple choice, play or fold, based on the strength of your hand. There are two different side bets to enjoy with the potential for big money payouts. Fans of this game consider the ‘Pairs+’ side bet to be an essential part of the game.
There are three ways to enjoy 3 Card Poker in Michigan. You can play at live casinos in Detroit, such as Greektown and MGM Grand. You can play on Michigan casino apps against the software, or you can play at live dealer Michigan casinos – where the hands are streamed from a studio in real time.
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Rules: How Does Three Card Poker Work?
Before a hand is dealt, players each post a bet known as the ante. Live casinos have table minimums of around $5, you can bet less online.
Players and the dealer will now be dealt three cards each. Your cards will be face up, while the dealer’s cards are face down. Having seen your hand, you must decide whether to ‘play’ or not. If you do, another bet equal to the size of the ante must be placed. If you fold, your ante bet is removed.
If you do ‘play’, then the dealer’s hand will be revealed and compared to yours. If the dealer’s hand is better (using standard poker hand ranks), you lose both the ante and the play part of your bet. If your hand is the better of the two, you immediately win your ante bet.
For winning hands there is a dealer qualification rule. If the dealer qualifies with Queen high or better, you get paid on your ‘play’ bet. If the dealer did not qualify, then that bet is a push – the stake is simply returned.
Three Card Poker Example Hand
You bet $5 as the ante, and you reveal a pair of Aces in your hand. You ‘play’ and bet another $5. If the dealer has a qualified hand worse than a pair of aces – for example Ace-King-Nine, you will win both bets and have a total return of $20 (a profit of $10). If the dealer’s hand does not qualify (for example 7-4-2 of different suits), you win the ante and push with the play bet, for a total return of $15 ($5 profit).
3 Card Poker Strategy
The strategy for three card poker is easy. Any time you have at least a Queen high, with at least a seven alongside it, you should bet. You can also bet if you hold Q-6-5 or Q-6-4. Any hands lower than that you should simply discard. Any pairs or higher should be played.
Side Bets in 3 Card Poker
In addition to the main action, there are two side bets you can place for added action:
Pair+: This side bet is based on the strength of your own 3 cards. You are be paid at the following odds if you land any of these hands:
- Pair 1:1
- Flush 3:1
- Straight 6:1
- Three of a Kind 30:1
- Straight Flush 40:1
- Mini Royal Flush (AKQ suited) 200:1
6 Card Bonus: This second side bet is based on the best combined 5 card hand you can make from both your 3 cards and the dealer’s 3 cards. Some casinos have progressive jackpots, with the biggest prize for a Royal Flush in diamonds or 6-card Royal. Here are the pay outs:
- Three of a Kind 5:1
- Straight 10:1
- Flush 20:1
- Full House 25:1
- Four of a Kind 50:1
- Straight Flush 200:1
- Royal Flush 1000:1 (or Progressive)
Where Can You Play 3 Card Poker in Michigan?
3 Card Poker is a popular game across Michigan and can be enjoyed at a large number of live casinos around the state. This game is also popular online, with a range of different casino sites featuring the game. One popular version is ‘Three Card Poker’ from SG Digital.
You can also enjoy Three Card Poker at live dealer online casinos. Real games are streamed from studios, allowing you to bet remotely. Live Dealer Three Card Poker is played one-to-many – with everyone betting on the same hand. This format is social, with options to (text) chat with the dealer and other players while you gamble.
Wrapping Up: Three Card Poker in Michigan
Three Card Poker is one of the most popular table games which is loosely based on poker hands. The appeal comes from the right balance of simple strategy and big-win potential. Many players bet the main hand and Pair+ side bet, seeing them both as essential parts of the game. The 6-card bonus has a progressive jackpot at the bigger live casinos in Michigan.
There are two ways to enjoy this game at real money online casinos. You can play against the software – or join a live game via your desktop or mobile device.