The Rules of Three Card Poker

Three Card Poker consists of two separate games and we take a look at the rules pertaining to each game, the poker rankings and the payouts.

General Rules

All cards are drawn from a standard 52-card deck, rankings are listed from highest to lowest, and when a hand qualifies for two ranks, the highest is used. Suits are not utilised to break ties.


Pairplus is one of the most simple casino card games currently available to punters both online and at land-based gaming rooms. The player starts by placing his ante and he is then dealt three cards. Should he have a pair or more in hand he wins according to the payout table below.

  • Straight flush – 40-1
  • Three of a kind – 30-1
  • Straight – 6-1
  • Flush – 4-1
  • Pair – 1-1

Ante & Play

Play begins with the initial wager or ante, and the dealer then deals three cards to the player and three cards to himself. After viewing the cards the player may opt either to raise, by putting an equal bet on play, or to fold, thereby losing the ante bet. Should the player fold then the Pairplus bet is also lost if one has been made. This should not entail any sacrifice on the part of the player as is the Pairplus bet was to be paid out, the player would not chose to fold in the Ante & Play version of the game. Should the player opt to raise, he or she will be challenging the dealer’s hand. The dealer needs the minimum of a Queen high to qualify. Below are the possible outcomes and their payoffs:

  • The Dealer does not qualify – the ante wins 1-1 and the play bet is returned to the player
  • The Dealer qualifies, but the player beats the dealer – both the play bet and the ante win 1-1
  • The Dealer qualifies and the beats the player – both the play bet and the ante are lost
  • The Dealer qualifies and the dealer and player tie – both the play bet and ant push.
  • In addition the ante bet has an extra bonus that is not dependent on the dealer’s hand, and this bonus pays out as follows on the ante bet:
  • Straight Flush – 5-1
  • Three of a kind – 4-1
  • Straight – 1-1

Hand Rankings

  1. Straight Flush – three cards in sequence of the same suit
  2. Three of a Kind – three cards of the same rank
  3. Straight – three cards in sequence
  4. Flush – three cards of the same suit, but not in sequence
  5. Pair – two cards of the same rank