Online Three Card Poker Guide

Three Card Poker

Whether you play live in the United Kingdom or at casinos online, three card poker brings you all the action of traditional poker with a twist: lightning fast games with a competitive house advantage. Being a faster and less elaborate game means that the game is always easy to get a handle on and can be picked up quickly.

Here at, we've done the hard work of finding the best three card poker sites for our UK audience. Our handpicked list of recommended sites is topped by Betway Casino, which offers the cream of the crop when it comes to three card poker but, what does this mean for you, the player? Our carefully vetted sites are guaranteed to offer:

  • Fast-paced game for players in a hurry
  • Wide mobile compatibility allowing you to play from anywhere
  • High welcome bonuses and great payouts

Terms and conditions apply to all bonuses. 18+ only. Gamble Responsibly.

Online Casino Three Card Poker Primer

Three Card Poker

While community poker games provide unrivalled intensity and the potential for huge profits, not everyone has the patience for the pace. Taking your seat at a Hold'em or stud poker table in the UK can often end up being a huge time commitment. Fortunately, an avid poker fan felt your pain two decades ago and created a fast-paced poker table game with massive payouts. Even before the rise of online casinos, three card poker made its Vegas debut.

When you visit casinos online, three card poker is rather unique as far as table games go. The game actually consists of two separate real money games: ante-and-play and pairplus. While at some online casinos, three card poker players must make an ante-and-play bet when placing a pairplus bet. We recommend sticking to global or UK casinos that let you bet on whichever part of the game suits you.

British players enjoy online casino three card poker because it's fast-paced and you never know what kind of odds you could be paid out at. The initial real cash bet is always just an entry into play, and bonus payouts are made on the best hands. Whether playing ante-and-play with pairplus or just one of the games, the deal portion of three card poker is incredibly exciting, as UK players may have already won before playing their hand against the dealer. If any of this sounds confusing, read on as we run through the rules. Although we've already discussed real cash wagers, it's entirely possible to play strictly for fun in the United Kingdom.

How To Play Three Card Poker

When visiting a casino online, three card poker players will need to decide whether to place real money bets on both ante-and-play and pairplus or on just one of the games. You can make the decision on a hand by hand basis, although as mentioned some inferior sites do force your hand with mandatory bets.  Read the rules before playing and opt for a United Kingdom online casino that gives you the most choice.

After placing your bets, all players are dealt three cards, as is the dealer.  Whether playing live or online, you'll be competing against the dealer. When playing at an internet casino, you generally won't see any other players at your table.

Online casino three card poker players who made a bet on pairplus will win if they have drawn a hand with a pair or better. The possible hands in order of weakest to best are high card, pair, flush, straight, three of a kind, and straight flush. Pairplus bets are paid out once the ante-and-play round has been resolved.

At casinos online, three card poker ante-and-play players have a choice after the deal: play or fold. If the player chooses to fold, they forfeit their ante-and-play bet. If they choose to play, a further bet equal to the original ante must be placed as well. The player's hand is now compared against that of the dealer.

How To Win Three Card Poker

When player hands are compared against the dealer hand, the dealer hand must first qualify. This means it must have a queen high or better. At casinos online, three card poker hands that do not qualify will be paid even money on the ante bet, but the play bet is pushed. Any ante bonus owed is also paid. If the dealer hand does qualify, then it is compared to the hands of continuing players.

Whether you play live in the United Kingdom or at casinos online, Three Card Poker brings you lightning fast action with a competitive house advantage.
  • If the player's hand is better than that of the dealer, the player wins even money on both ante and play bets, as well as any additional ante bonus.
  • If the player's hand is worse than that of the dealer, the player loses both bets.
  • If the hands are the same value, then the ante and play bets are usually pushed.

Regardless of whether the player beats the dealer, an ante bonus is paid out on the best hands if a player chooses to play rather than fold. These bonuses are paid out on the ante bet only, but some web casinos offer as much as a 5 to 1 ante bonus on a straight flush hand. The most common bonus to be paid is a straight, however, which should pay even money as the ante bonus wherever casino online three card poker is played.

Casino Online Three Card Poker Strategy

First up, the only strategy for playing pairplus is to find the top pay tables online in the United Kingdom. Nothing more can be done to improve the odds of winning, as the only choice to be made is whether to bet or not. With that said, all that remains is strategy for the ante-and-play portion of Three Card Poker. There are two schools of thought on strategy for online casino three card poker:

  1. Mimic the dealer qualifying strategy, folding on anything lower than Queen high. This is easy to remember and is reasonably close to optimal.
  2. Fold on anything lower than Queen/6/4. This strategy results in a lower expected loss over time than for the Queen high strategy. It's one of the easiest optimal strategies to remember in any web casino table game, so try to stick to it and only fall back on the Queen high strategy if you have a sudden lapse of memory.

Did You Know?

Following your gut rather than playing optimal strategy will pay off at times. But, statistically speaking, it is almost certain to lose you more real money in the long run.  When visiting casinos online, three card poker players should always follow a strategy guide to make the right move in every situation.  Although the house always has a statistical edge, the goal is to put yourself in the best mathematical position to win over time.  The best part is you can easily refer to strategy tables and this guide as you play online in the UK.  Don't be surprised when you know all the right moves by hear after only a few short sessions.

Offline Vs Online Casinos: Three Card Poker Perspective

Although three card poker is gaining popularity at live casinos in the United Kingdom, you'll usually only find it at larger live casinos.  Even so, the number of tables will usually be limited and you won't have the diversity of stakes that you'll find at casinos online. Three card poker is widely available on the internet and it's easy to find tables for every budget.  As we've mentioned, you'll also find free games.  Why not master or at least get a feel for the game before risking your precious quid.  Besides who needs the pressure of a hostile live casino environment?  Play whenever and wherever you want in the UK without even changing out of your pajamas. We think most British players will be ok with that.

Play Now In The United Kingdom

It doesn't take long to master three card poker.  While the rules might look confusing to new players. Once you play a few hands, you'll feel like a natural.  In fact, the hardest part of three card poker is finding a place to play.  That too is rather easy since we've already done all the legwork and found the best online casinos. Three card poker games are waiting for you right in the UK.  Don't forget to claim your bonus to start playing for free.

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Frequently Asked Questions
What is Three Card Poker?

It is a popular variation of poker, where you are dealt three cards by the dealer, there are two types of bets you can make before the cards are dealt, and you have to beat the dealer in order to win.

What are the rules?

In brief, you have to make a bet, then you are dealt three cards. Depending on the type of your bet, you might win (or lose) at this stage, or you might have to bet again and then compare your cards to the dealer.

How is it different from other poker variations?

Three Card Poker is much more fast-paced than other poker variations. Players are dealt three cards instead of the usual two, and they play against the dealer, instead of against other players.

What are the odds like?

The odds are unexpected - you cannot really calculate anything before the actual cards have been dealt.

How much can I win?

The odds in Three Card Poker are unpredictable but you can take home a handsome payout if you learn the rules well and practise a lot.

What strategies can I use?

There are several strategies that can be used in Three Card Poker. The easiest one to remember is: follow the dealer's lead and fold on anything that is lower than a Queen high. Also, keep track of your bankroll and bet less to last longer.

Is it worth playing it?

Yes it is. Three Card Poker is a quick and enjoyable way to play poker and collect some cash.

In which online casinos can I play it?

Many online casinos offer it nowadays. For a list, check out our recommendations where we have evaluated and rated the best online poker rooms that UK players can take part in.

Is there a mobile version?

Yes, most large poker rooms offer their games in mobile form. To make sure that your favourite casino does so, check out our online poker room recommendations page.

Is it safe to play Three Card Poker online?

Yes. The security and fairness of online gaming is controlled by independent auditors that test and ensure the safety of personal information, the security of your money, and the fairness of the gaming software.

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