Play Three Card Poker Online 2024

3 card poker combines luck and skill in a fun-filled variation of the classic game.  Many beginners enjoy 3 card’s simplicity when compared to the likes of Hold’em or Omaha, while seasoned players enjoy the fast-paced tempo of each round.

In our expert guide to 3 card poker, you’ll learn how to play, find the top Aussie poker rooms, pick up expert strategy & more!

Best 3 Card Online Poker Casinos

Discover the top-ranking online poker sites where you can play 3 card poker for real money:

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What is 3 Card Poker?

The aim in 3 card poker at a real money casino in Australia is to have a better hand (consisting of 3 cards) than your opponent, the dealer. Here is a round of 3 card, step-by-step:

  • The player will make an initial wager, known as the ante.
  • Both the dealer and the player will be dealt three cards. The player can see their cards, but not the dealer’s.
  • The player can then choose to play or fold depending on their hand. More on this later.
  • If the player chooses to play and the dealer has a Queen-high or above, each will reveal their hands and the winner will take the pot and a payout in line with the game’s paytable. If the dealer does not have a Queen-high hand, the player will be paid out the ante at a 1:1 rate.

How to Play 3 Card Poker Online

Like most poker games, 3 card can seem intimidating if you’ve never played before. Fear not: 3 card is actually one of the most simple poker variations out there. In just a few hands, you’ll understand exactly how the game works:

The Ante and Deal

The initial bet which players must make at the start of the game is known as the ante. At Australian poker rooms, this bet is often a minimum of $1. The minimum wager may be more for live dealer games, so be sure to choose a table which aligns with the size of your bankroll.

Once the ante bet has been placed, the dealer will deal three cards each. The player will be able to see their own cards, but the dealer’s will be face down.

Fold or Play

Once they’ve seen their cards, the player will choose whether to play or fold.  If the player chooses to play, they’ll then have to stake a play bet. This is usually equal to the initial ante bet. If they choose to fold, the hand is over. Remember, folding is not the same as losing. Folding is simply shutting down the round if you think you’re beat and is a good way to protect your bankroll.

Basic 3 card poker strategy suggests that players fold on any hand lower than Queen, 6, 4.

The Showdown

Assuming the player has chosen to play their hand, the game will then move to a showdown. In order for the dealer to play, their hand must have a Queen-high or better. The probability of the dealer having a Queen or better is around 70%, so expect them to play more often than not.

If the dealer has a hand lower than a Queen-high, the player will receive the original ante payout at 1:1. Their play bet will also be returned, as the game is said to be a tie.

If the dealer has a Queen-high or better, their hand will be compared to the player’s. Whoever has the higher poker hand will win.  If the player wins, both the ante and play bets are paid out at a rate in line with the game’s paytable.

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3 Card Hand Rankings

Most 3 card games are played on a standard 52 card deck. The hand rankings are similar to those used in other poker variations like Texas Hold’em and Omaha:

Name Description Probability
Straight Flush Three sequential cards of the same suit 0.22%
Three of a Kind Three cards of the same value 0.24%
Straight Three sequential value cards 3.26%
Flush Three cards of the same suit 4.96%
Pair Two cards of the same value 16.94%
High card None of the above; defer to the highest-value card in your hand, eg. King-high 74.39%

3 Card Poker Strategy

Avoid Side Bets

Some 3 card poker games allow side bets like Pairs Plus. These side bets have high payouts, but that’s because they are unlikely to payoff. The house edge for the side bets is high, so it’s usually best to avoid them.

Manage Your Bankroll

All successful gamblers know how to manage their bankroll. Make small bets in line with the size of your budget and avoid playing with tilt. Once your bankroll is done for the day, stop playing.

Know When to Fold

As we’ve already established, folding is not the same as losing. Even the pros fold sometimes! If you’ve been dealt a weak hand, live to fight another day by folding and cutting your losses.

How to Choose a 3 Card Casino

When choosing a 3 card site, you should take into account all of the following:

  • Smooth Software
  • Suitable Stake Size
  • Fast Payouts
  • Mobile Compatibility
  • Good Reputation
  • Game Variety

To make things easy for you, our expert team have ranked and reviewed the top Australian poker sites where you can play 3 card. In our online casino reviews, you’ll find full analysis of each site’s online casino games, safety, deposit options, mobile casino experience, customer support & more.

3 Card Poker FAQs

Can I play 3 card poker online for free?

Many Aussie poker rooms allow players to play for free in demo/practice mode, but you won’t be able to win real money that way. There is also a plethora of online 3 card games which require no download and no registration.

Some sites also offer freeroll tournaments which give players the chance to win some of the prize pot without risking any of their own cash. That said, these tournaments are incredibly competitive and it is rare to find 3 card versions. Freeroll Hold’em tournaments are more common.

Is it legal to play 3 card poker for real money in Australia?

It is legal in Australia to play 3 card at offshore poker sites like the ones we recommend at Gamble Online Australia.

What is the best hand in 3 card poker?

A mini-royal flush (Ace, King & Queen, all of the same suit) is the optimal hand in 3 card poker. It is exceptionally rare. The next best hand is a straight flush.

What’s the best strategy for 3 card poker?

The most popular 3 card poker strategy is also one of the most simple. If you hold at least a Queen, a 6 and a 4, raise. If you have anything above this combination, you’ll call. If you have anything lower, you’ll fold. It’s not the most advanced strategy but it is a good starting point for most players.

Other Online Poker Guides

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Find everything you need to know about playing poker online!

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Matthew Vanzetti

Pokie Professor & Casino Expert

Matthew Vanzetti is the go-to expert on pokies at Gamble Online Australia, bringing years of firsthand experience from Melbourne’s casino floors to his engaging articles. His expertise covers everything from traditional slot machines to modern jackpots, providing readers with practical insights and tips to enhance their gaming experience.

Matthew’s passion and detailed knowledge make his writings essential for anyone interested in the thrilling world of pokies.

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