In the article earlier this week, How To Play Three Card Poker, we took a look at how to play a complete hand of Three Card Poker.  Now that you know how a complete hand works, let’s take a look at what what the rules of Three Card Poker are, and how you can win.

Three Card Poker Rules

Just like every other poker game on the planet, winning hands are decided by the standard poker hand rankings (click on the link for a full explanation of poker hand rankings).

However, the poker hand rankings in Three Card Poker are a little different than the standard rules you may be used to in other poker based games.  In normal poker games, the ranking of hands are decided by 5 cards.  Since there are only 3 cards in Three Card Poker, all of the hand rankings have to be decided by 3 cards alone.

Three Card Poker Hand Rankings

Following are the hand rankings in 3 Card Poker from highest hand to lowest hand:

  1. Straight flush
  2. 3 of a kind
  3. Straight
  4. Flush
  5. Pair
  6. High Card

If you’ve ever played poker before, the hands above should sound familiar.  There are a few small differences like a straight is higher than a flush, and a 3 of a kind is higher than both a straight AND a flush.

Also, since you’re only playing with 3 cards, straights, flushes, and straight flushes are obviously only made with 3 cards.

Three Card Poker Dealer Rule

Three Card Poker has one little twist that you need to be aware of.  For the Dealer to “qualify” for the hand, he has to have at least a Queen high. Allow me to explain.

Remember that in Three Card Poker, you start by making a bet, then you receive your cards, and then you decide if you wish to fold (quit) or raise (double your bet).

If you decide to raise and stay in the hand, the Dealer needs to have at least a Queen high to continue with the hand.

If the Dealer DOES have at least a Queen, you will compare your hand against the dealer, and whoever has the higher hand wins both the Ante AND the Bet.

If the Delaer DOES NOT have at least a Queen high, he does not qualify.  In this case, you will win on your original bet, but your raise will not count.

For example, lets say  you make a bet of $5.  You receive your cards and like them, so you decide to raise (add another $5 bet).

Now you have two $5 bets on the table, your Ante, and your Raise.  If the Dealer does not qualify, then you will win $5 on your Ante, but will not win any money on your Raise (you will just get your money back).

Three Card Poker Final Thoughts

Now that you’ve seen how to play Three Card Poker and now know all of the Three Card Poker Rules, you’re ready to play!  Just click on the Play Now button below to download a free Three Card Poker game from Silver Oak Casino!

Play Now

If you like Three Card Poker now, just wait until the next article where I will teach you perfect Three Card Poker strategy!

Jeff White

Jeff has been an active gambler from the age of 18 when he won a small local poker tournament in San Jose, CA. He moved on to playing other casino games shortly thereafter, with a great interest in the statistics and mathematics involved. He has studied the historical gambling systems of nearly every popular casino game played today, and has written strategy books for several of them including blackjack, slot machines, craps, and roulette. Jeff has been a daily contributor to the Silver Oak Casino blog since the beginning of 2009.