3 Card Poker - Strategies

Pair Plus Strategy

Since the only decision the player has to make in this game is how much to bet, there is no strategy involved. However, at full payout the low house advantage makes it about as attractive as any other table poker game.

This is a good game, but you might want to remember that the win/loss swings are more insecure than in Ante/Play. Many good players prefer to gradually increase conservative bets when they are running good, to get ahead before they get aggressive and load up on the Pair Plus side. Ante/Play Strategy

This game starts with the players placing bets in the Ante sport in the table layouts. The Ante can be any amount within the posted table limits. The players and the dealer all get 3 cards, face down. The players all look at their hands and either fold by giving their cards back and losing their Ante bet, or play by placing a bet, equal to the Ante, in the Play spot in the layout. The dealer then turns over his cards. If he does not have a Queen or better, he doesn't qualify to play and pays the active players even money on their Ante bets and those with a straight or better are paid the additional Ante bonus. If he does have a qualifying hand, those who cannot beat it lose their Antes and their play bets, but can still win the Ante bonus with a straight or higher. Those who can beat the dealer win even money on Ante and play bets plus the Ante bonus.

The only thing the player needs to know is how high his hand should be to produce the best possible long term results, if played. The answer to that question is Q-6-4 or higher.

High card only hands between Q-6-4 through K-Q-10 are loss limit plays. These are hands with negative expectations. They will lose less if played than they will in Ante forfeiture losses if they are not played. Ace high hands and better have positive expectations. The house advantage for Ante/Play, against the optimal strategy shown below is a comfortable 3.4%.

The Optimal 3-Card Poker strategy is to always play Q-6-4 or higher and never play anything lower.

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