Cards and ChipsThree Card Poker is a very common online casino game – you may know it as “Three Card Brag” or “Casino Brag” – and is played “live” frequently in casinos in the States. It can be one of the most lucrative games for casinos, depending on the payout table used, but also offers the possibility for system players to make a profit once you are aware of the odds of winning.

Often the rules of Three Card Poker can vary between online and live versions of the game, so it is important to know what the ground-rules are before you start. The basis of the game is to acquire a better hand than the dealer with the three cards you are dealt. There are no changes and no wild cards allowed, so it is a straight comparison between the two hands. A straight flush is the highest hand you can have, followed by three of a kind, a straight, a flush and then a pair – with aces high and no differential between the suits.

The regular game follows the procedure whereby a player first lays an ante to be dealt three cards, and then decides whether to raise or fold. If the player chooses to raise, an equal amount to the ante has to be paid. Should the players´ hand beat the dealer, the player is paid even money on the ante, and the amount of the raise is returned. There are bonus payments of up to 40/1 payable on the ante depending on the value of your hand and the payout table used. If the dealer wins, the ante and raise amount are lost. In live play, the dealer must have at least Queen high to play, although there appears to be no minimum hand qualification at some online casinos.

The best way to play Three Card Poker is by using the “Pair Plus” facility. This is a side bet, allowing you to bet on whether your hand will contain a pair or better. You do not have to place an ante to see your cards, and as such are not betting against the dealer – just your hand. Although there is no guarantee that a pair will come up at any time, the probability of seeing a winning hand is 25.61% (or about 3/1) and therefore systems such as Fibonacci or Martingale are frequently profitable – particularly when you are dealt a top hand and get a higher than evens return. You may want to try this out or develop your own system with play chips before investing any cash, but just remember to know what payout table you are using and keep your starting stakes to a minimum.