Atlantic City Sports Betting and Casino Games The Basics of Three Card Poker for Beginning Players

The Basics of Three Card Poker for Beginning Players

Three card poker is a fun casino game where a player is really playing two games at once. Many gamblers see it as better than Caribbean Stud because this game pays on strong hands even if the dealer doesn't qualify.

The Basics:
This game is played with a standard 52 card deck. There are three ways to bet. The player can bet against the dealer (the anti-wager), only on the value of his own hand (the pair plus), or both. The player must decide what to wager before the cards are dealt, and most gamblers bet both ways.

How to play:
There are three betting circles on the table in front of each player. The one closest to the player in the anti against the dealer, the second circle is the play against the dealer, and the third circle is the pair plus bet where the player is betting on the value of his own hand.

In order to play against the dealer, the player must bet the anti. Once the player sees his cards, he may decide to bet the play and play his cards against the dealer's. If the player doesn't play, he loses his anti no matter what the dealer has. If the player plays and beats the dealer, he is paid on both of the anti and play bets.

The dealer must "qualify" for the player to beat him. A dealer qualifies with any hand that is better than a single jack. So the dealer would qualify with a single queen, a pair, or anything higher. If the dealer doesn't qualify, the player is paid even odds on both bets.

The pair plus bet is made at the beginning of the hand, and pays solely on the strength of the player's hand whether he beats the dealer or not.

Playing against the dealer (the anti-wager):
The hand ranks in three card poker are different then in regular poker. In three card, a straight beats a flush (and it's bonus it pays better). When playing against the dealer, the player's cards must be higher than the dealers to win. Three card poker hands rank in the following order:

Straight Flush
Three of a Kind

If a hand doesn't have a pair, the hand with the highest card(s) wins. Aces are high except when used in a 3-2-A straight.

In Atlantic City, the three card player is paid a bonus when he beats the dealer with certain hands. The bonus at Trump Plaza is:

Straight: 1-1
Three of a Kind: 4-1
Straight Flush: 5-1

Playing the strength of the hand (the pair plus):
The pair plus payout depends on player's three card hand. The gambler is paid on any pair of better. Different casinos have different payouts. Atlantic City casinos use the standard payouts below.

Three Card Poker - Pair Plus Payouts

Poker Hand

Payout Odds


1 to 1


4 to 1


6 to 1

Three of a Kind

30 to 1

Straight Flush

40 to1

To read more about Three Card Poker, check out:
Three Card Poker - Wikipedia - The Free Encyclopedia
How to Play Three Card Poker - Casino Gambling

If you would like to play Three Card online for fun or money, you can find it at