3 Card Poker is a simple game to learn, as the only objective is to have the highest 3-card hand compared to the dealer. After you’re dealt your hand all you need to do is decide whether or not you think you could have the best hand, and then choose whether to fold or make a bet. That’s it.
The game is just as fun to play as it is simple. It’s got an “ok” house edge of 3%, and when you combine that with the fact that you can make good poker hands (more) often, it’s a game that can entertain you for hours.
Betting on Three Card Poker for Real Money Online
If you have ever bet on three card poker in a live casino, the transition to playing online should be pretty smooth. There will be a few subtle differences to be prepared for, though.
The first is the name. It’s possible that you’ve already seen this in your casino, but if not, know that it’s possible that three card poker might not be the name of the game at your online casino. It might be called tri card poker instead. This is due to copyright issues where casinos with tri card poker don’t have permission to spread the game “three (3) card poker”. Instead of getting permission, or not offering the game altogether, it’s dealt under a different name.
The second are the betting amounts. Shy of a lucky find, you’ll never find a brick and mortar casino offering $1 per hand table games. In my experience they’re always $5, with the occasional $3 game mixed in depending on the casino or promotion. Online, however, you can play most table games, including three card poker, for as little as $1 per hand. The max is $500 per hand, although the max can be lifted in special situations. You just need to contact support.
The third difference, and the least subtle of the 3, is the banking. Assuming you’re allowed to play at the casino, and they accept a banking method that you use, you’re deposit should be straight-forward (and fast). Withdrawals, on the other hand, aren’t (always) immediately put into your bank account. A lot of times you have to ask for a check which can take a couple weeks to receive. A bank wire might be another option for you, but that can still take a couple days, too. This is a pretty big difference from a live casino where you can cash out and have money in hand.
Three Card Poker Signup Incentives and Bonuses
All online casinos offer a bonus when you sign up and deposit for the first time. These are called “match bonuses,” which is a 10 to 200 percent match on your deposit from the casino. So if you deposit $50 with a 100% match, you’ll be given $50 free. The bonus money is only for betting. You can only keep the money you win with the bonus money.
Also, before you can withdraw any money you’ll need to fulfill the bonus requirements set by the casino. This is called a play through, and usually means that you need to wager a multiplier of your deposit plus bonus. The multiplier can vary, ranging from 10x to 50x. For example, if you deposited $50 and received $50 for a total of $100, and had a 50x (deposit plus bonus) play through, you’d have to wager $5,000 before you can make a withdrawal.
The upside to this (if you can call it that) is that three card poker is one of the few table games that online casinos allow the wagers made to count 100% towards the completion of your bonus. Other table games like blackjack, pai gow poker and craps don’t.
Three Card Poker Variations
There aren’t many variations of three card poker, and even fewer available online.
The only online variation I’m aware of is multi-hand 3 card poker (I have only read about it). It sounds like it’s similar to multi-hand blackjack or video poker where you control multiple hands at one time. This is definitely an expensive variation of the game, as you’ll place wagers on each hand you choose to play.
There are a couple other variations that you might run across, but it’ll more than likely be in a brick and mortar casino. One variation is called prime three card poker. In this game a wager can be made on the likelihood that all your cards will be dealt in one color. It pays 3 to 1, and if the dealer has the same color too then you’re paid 4 to 1.
The other variation is six card bonus, which is (was) offered in Vegas. Payouts are made based on the best 5-card hand made out of the 6 dealer and player cards.
Three Card Poker Software Providers
There isn’t anything particular or fancy about three card poker software. There are only a handful of companies that provide software to online casinos, so the games will look similar across most casinos that you play at. The software looks like you’re playing a video game.
One neat aspect of playing online is that most casinos allow you to play for free. Brick and mortar casinos can’t do this obviously, just because you are taking up space that a paying customer could occupy. But not online. The only space you’re taking up is your own. This is great if you’re unsure about playing online, or just want to learn the rules of a game before playing for real money.
One thing you ought to be aware of though is that not every casino online has software that is compatible with Mac computers. So if you have a Mac you might need to find a casino that does have compatible software, or that offers a flash/browser version of it. Even if you have a Mac (or Windows), you might want to check if they have a flash version anyway, just because most software downloads contain lots of files, many of which might be unnecessary for you if you don’t intend on playing every game in the casino.