Three Card Poker is the most popular proprietary table game in the world. Invented by game inventor Derek Webb in 1989, it's also the most profitable table game ever. It is estimated that there are close to 2,000 installations worldwide and that doesn't even include all the copycat versions put out by other companies. Three Card Poker is now owned and distributed in the United States by Shuffle Master, a subsidiary of Scientific Games, Inc.
Three Card Poker is played against the dealer. It was made to be a simple, yet fun, version of poker, using only 3 cards to make a hand instead of the normal 5 or 7 in most poker games. The only action is against the dealer. Players do not compete against each other at the table. Also, the play of one person at the table has no affect on other players at the table.
|Poker Hand||Pay Table 1||Pay Table 2||Pay Table 3||Pay Table 4|
|Royal Flush||1,000 to 1||1,000 to 1||1,000 to 1||1,000 to 1|
|Straight Flush||200 to 1||200 to 1||200 to 1||200 to 1|
|Four of a Kind||100 to 1||100 to 1||50 to 1||50 to 1|
|Full House||20 to 1||20 to 1||25 to 1||25 to 1|
|Flush||15 to 1||15 to 1||20 to 1||15 to 1|
|Straight||9 to 1||10 to 1||10 to 1||10 to 1|
|Three of a Kind||8 to 1||7 to 1||5 to 1||5 to 1|
With a house edge on the Ante bet of only 2.01% the base game of Three Card Poker is very fair to the player. The Pair Plus bet has a house advantage of 7.28% at most casinos, which is middle of the road for side bets.
There is no chart or intricate strategy needed for optimal play in Three Card Poker. Perfect Strategy has the player play their hand if they have a Queen/Six/Four or better and fold if not. If you have a King high or higher there is no need to look at the other cards. If you have a Queen high, then compare your second highest card to the optimal six for the second card. If it's a higher than a 6, play. If it's exactly a six, compare the third card.
Not much is lost in the way of house edge if you just play any Queen high or better. There is a huge loss and huge risk in playing any hand against the dealer. The house edge on the Ante bet increases to 7.65%. It is never recommended to play Three Card Poker blind, or playing the play bet regardless of the strength of your hand.