3 card poker strategyWhile there is no full proof system for winning at any casino game, if you follow some basic strategies you will get more enjoyment out of the game and you might even come out ahead. For the statistically minded of us out there 3 Card Poker has a house edge, which is calculated by playing hundreds of thousands of hands and recording the outcome.

  • The house edge for the Ante Bet is 3.37% otherwise known as a 96.63% return to player.
  • The house edge for the Pairs Plus Bet is 4.49% otherwise known as 95.51% return to player.
  • The house edge for the 6 Card Bonus is 8.56% otherwise known as 91.44% return to player.

You need to be mindful that these %’ages are calculated using the results of thousands of hands. So if you have 100 units your playing with you can’t expect to lose 3.37% of your stake in a set period. You may win and end up in profit or you may lose and bust out. It all depends on the run of the cards you are facing.

Important note about probabilities

Probably more relevant is the probability of hitting a hand.  What you can observe below is that most hands dealt will just be a high card.

For the Ante Bet

Mini Royal Flush – 0.02%
Straight Flush – 0.21%
Three of a Kind – 0.23%
Straight – 03.25%
Flush – 04.95%
Pair – 16.94%
High Card – 74.38%

What 3 Card Poker strategy should you use?

Conventional wisdom and widely reported across the Internet and Wikipedia is that you should only play hands that are Queen / Six / Four or higher in value. You should fold hands lower than this. While there is no guaranteed strategy to beat the house, you will make short terms gains or losses. Using the above strategy will persevere your bankroll for longer and if you hit a lucky streak give you an opportunity to walk away with a profit.

What about 3 card poker side bets?

I’ve provided more detail on my 3 card poker side bets page.  I like to consider these fun bets and whilst the experts out there will tell you to steer clear of them they do add an additional edge and fun mode to the game.  I’ve actually seen in a land based casino players make a lot of money playing these bets, BUT, they start with a large bankroll and they had luck on their side.  For me, I like to wager a small amount and am content if I hit a few winners. If my bankroll is low I don’t play them.