Strategy for Live Dealer 3-Card Poker

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How to Play 3 Card Poker (Tri-Card Poker) Online with Live Dealers

Three Card Poker has quickly become one of the most popular casino games. While this game was only invented in the 1990s, its simplicity, combined with the rise in poker's popularity, means you can find it spread in many casinos throughout the world. Often also referred to as Tri-Card Poker or 3-Card Poker, the game can be discovered in many online casinos too, in both animated RNG formats and on live dealer tables.

This article explains how to play Three Card Poker on the live dealer tables provided by Evolution Gaming, found at the 888 Live Casino. These games are ran by professional and friendly dealers in Latvia and Malta, and are transmitted directly to you, via HD quality live streams. Here you can find out the best way to play Three Card Poker, in order to give yourself a chance of winning.

3 Card Poker is available in the live dealer casinos run by Evolution Gaming, these are the go-to studios for many of the leading PlayTech brands – check out the casino below which is licensed for your location:

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Live Dealer 3-Card Poker - The Basics

Like all good casino games, the basics of Three Card Poker can be quickly picked up.

Before the cards are dealt, you have to place an ante. The ante size can be anything within the table limits. Your three cards are then dealt, along with the dealers hand which remain face down. The aim is simply to win by having a stronger hand.

If you wish to play your hand, an equal bet to your ante is placed in the 'Play' box on the table. The dealer then reveals their hand. This needs to have a ranking of Q high or above, otherwise you will automatically win the ante bet, and have the play bet pushed back to you. If win when the dealers hand is Q high or greater, you will be paid on both the ante and play bets.

You can also get a bonus ante payout for strong holdings, as listed below. Note that as the basic Three Card Poker game uses three cards rather than five, hand rankings are different with Three of a Kind being much rarer than a Straight, which is stronger than a Flush. Ante Bonus Payouts are as follows:

  • Straight Flush - 5/1
  • Three of a Kind - 4/1
  • Straight - 1/1

Live Dealer 3-Card Poker - Getting Started on 888

When playing Three Card Poker, you are competing directly against the house - other players hands do not matter. When you go 888's Live Dealer lobby you will often see only one or two Three Card Poker tables with limits between $1 and $10,000.

Don't worry about playing with only a small number of players, who bankrolls may be vastly different from your own. The Live Dealer 3-Card Poker games group players together, so each round the dealer only deals a single hand for all players to bet on, and one hand for the house.

Players are given a time-limit to place their ante and side-bets, and after the hands are dealt another time limit is provided in which they can bet or fold. All bets are kept secret from everyone else, and the clock ensures the game flows at a good pace.

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Live Dealer 3-Card Poker - Optimal Strategy

Three Card Poker comes down to making one decision, is your hand strong enough to play or not. Based on this you should play any hand which is stronger than an average holding and fold anything which is not. Therefore you should:

  • Play Q 6 4 or higher
  • Fold everything else

By sticking to this minimum hand value, and not playing any side bets, you can reduce the house edge in this game to 3.37%.

Live Dealer 3-Card Poker - Side Bets

While side bets can add exciting big wins to your session, it is worth remembering they are usually sucker bets and should be avoided. As long as you are aware of this, there is nothing wrong with having fun and mixing a few in, for example when you are running hot, or just to spice the game up a bit.

Pairs Plus - This bet is placed before the deal and pays out if you are dealt a pair of 2s or greater. The Pairs Plus bet is separate from your main ante and play bet, so even if you lose these you can still qualify to win the side bet. On 888 Live Dealer Casino, the Pairs Plus pays out are:

  • Mini Royal (AKQ suited) - 100/1
  • Straight Flush - 40/1
  • Three of a Kind - 30/1
  • Straight - 5/1
  • Flush - 4/1
  • Pair - 1/1

With these payouts, the Pairs Plus side bet gives the house an advantage of 5.6%.

Strategy for live dealer 3 card poker online

6 Card Bonus - The 6 Card Bonus is another optional side wager which pays out separately to your main Ante and Play bets. Again this needs to be placed before the deal. The bet is paid out when the all six cards in play, can make a five card poker hand of Three of a Kind or greater. The pay-outs for the 6 Card Bonus bet are as follows:

  • Royal Flush - 1,000/1
  • Straight Flush - 200/1
  • Four of a Kind - 100/1
  • Full House - 20/1
  • Flush - 15/1
  • Straight - 10/1
  • Three of a Kind - 7/1

With these payouts you are giving away an edge of 8.56% by taking the 6 Card Bonus.

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