3 Card Poker

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Three Card Poker is an exciting alternative to the regular poker game but requires far less strategy. As a result, it is a good game for beginners and seasoned gamblers alike. The game is played with a standard deck of 52 cards and players aim to beat the dealer, not each other. 

In India, Teen Patti is a variation of Three Card Poker that many punters enjoy playing. Like poker, it also has simple rules that you can learn in no time. 

If you’re looking for where to learn how to play poker, you’re in the right place. This guide covers all you should know about the game, including how to play its popular Indian variation, Teen Patti. 

What is 3 Card Poker?

Three-card poker is a house-banked stud game where each player and the dealer are each given three face-down cards. Each player starts by placing two bets, one on the center circle and one on the ante square. 

The player can win the center circle bet if his or her three cards have certain values. For example, if the player has a pair or a three-card straight, the player wins 2 to 1 on the bet. The player’s hand goes up against the dealer’s hand in the ante bet. After cards are dealt, a player can leave by giving up the ante or stay by raising. 

If the dealer doesn’t have an opening hand (queen high or better), the dealer pays the player 2 to 1 on the ante bet. Then, the dealer cancels the raise. If the dealer can open, both hands are compared. The player wins if they have the better hand.

How to Play?

In traditional brick-and-mortar establishments, a 52-card deck and chips are used to play. Usually, there’s an automatic shuffling machine to make the work of the dealer easier. 

Online, there are two versions of the game that can be played. You can play the RNG-based variant, where a computer deals the cards and a random number generator creates outcomes. There’s also the live dealer variant, where you play against a real dealer, but the activities are streamed live. 

The RNG variants of the game usually have free versions that you can play for fun. These games are exciting, but they lack the social element of the live dealer version. Whichever you choose to play, the game rules are the same, except there are additional features from software providers. 

The Objective of the Game

The goal of the game is to beat the dealer. Doing this is simple: have the best three-hand poker possible. It’s not like Blackjack, where “hits” allow you to switch cards or draw more. Everything depends on the hand you’re given.

That makes it a variation of poker known as “stud,” as opposed to “draw.” Depending on how you choose to bet, you’ll either want to make a pair or better or have a better hand than the dealer.

Three Card Poker hand rankings are simple and differ significantly from regular poker. For instance, in Three Card Poker, straights are better than flushes. In five-card variants, the reverse is the case, meaning that a flush is a better hand than a straight. 

Card Ranking in Three card Poker

Below is the ranking of cards in Three Card Poker, beginning from the best to the worst. 

  • Straight Flush: These are three consecutive cards that are in the same suit. A good example is Kc, Qc, and Jc. It is the best hand you can have. 
  • Three of a Kind: This hand consists of three cards with equal value, for instance, 8, 8, and 8. 
  • Straight: These are three consecutive cards. A good example is having 6, 7, and 8. 
  • Flush: These are three cards in the same suit; they don’t have to be consecutive. For example, Ad, 8d, and 3d.
  • Pair: A hand that consists of two cards that are of the same value. The last card could be anything. For instance, A, A, and 3. 
  • High Card: This is the worst hand you can make in poker. They are not in consecutive order, and there’s nothing that makes the card match.

Keep in mind that any A-X-X hand will beat any K-X-X hand. That is, if you have A-3-4, you will still beat a hand of K-Q-9. Also, keep in mind that in a high card hand, the winner is determined by the second highest card if the first one is a tie.

It’s important to note that if two players have the same poker hand ranking, the player with the higher value hand within that rank wins. For instance, A-A-2 is better than 2-2-A. This is because one hand has a pair of Aces, and the other hand only has a pair of 2s.


In Three Card Poker, there are two ways to bet. The first is the Ante-Play. This is when you play your hand against the dealers and try to make the best poker hand possible.

There’s also Pair Plus. This is a game in which you try to get a pair or better with your cards. It doesn’t matter what the dealer’s hand is for this bet.

Different casinos have different rules about how much you can bet. Some games require you to put up an ante if you want to play a hand. However, you don’t have to make a Pair Plus bet. On some gambling sites, you can choose between the Ante and the Pair Plus.


The player and the dealer are then given three face-down cards. When you use the “ante-play” betting option, you try to beat the dealer, just like when you play blackjack. The cards that the other players have nothing to do with whether you win or lose.

After everyone has received their cards, the action of the game will begin. Punters can either “play” the hand they have or discard it. If the player throws away their hand, the dealer gets the initial bet that the player made.

The punter must put up a “Play” bet if they want to keep playing. Note that the amount of the play bet must be the same as the amount of the ante. 

In real casinos, the player first arranges his cards in order, then puts them face down in the spot labeled “play.” To place a Play bet in an online casino, you touch or click on an icon. Credits are then taken from your balance.

Winning and Payouts

The next move is for the dealer to disclose both their own card and the player’s card. This is handled automatically once all decisions to play, or fold has been made in an online game. After that, the hands are compared and the player and the dealer are paid accordingly. 

Here’s how this works:

  • A dealer’s hand is not considered “played” if he or she possesses a High Card hand worth no more than a Jack. The “play” bets of the remaining players will push, but they will each win back their “ante” wagers. So, they get their chip(s) back, but they don’t get anything more for making this bet.
  • Even if the dealer has a better hand than the player, if the dealer doesn’t qualify, the player wins the ante. To qualify, the dealer needs a Queen-high card or better. If the dealer’s hand doesn’t qualify, it’ll result in a push. This means that players will earn their money back after the hand regardless of the outcome. This player will also receive an amount equal to their ante, in addition to their original wager. 
  • However, if the dealer has at least a Queen-high High Card hand, their hand “plays.” Then, it is compared to the player’s. A player wins if they have a better hand than the dealer. They then receive a payout equal to their ante plus their play wager. On the other hand, if the dealer has a better hand, the player loses.

Most casinos will also pay out an Ante Bonus if you have one of the best hands. These payouts for straights or better are included in the ante-play part of the game and don’t require any extra bets.

Payouts for the Ante Bonus might look like this, but they can be different depending on the game variant. 

Straight: 1 to 1.
This means that for every INR50 that you bet and win, you receive an equal INR50

Three of a kind: 4 to 1 (or 2 to 1 or 3 to 1)
This means that for every INR50 that you bet and win, you receive an additional INR200 when the payout is 4 to 1. 

Straight: 5 to 1 (or 3 to 1 or 4 to 1)
This means that for every INR50 you bet and win, you get an additional INR250 when the payout is INR250. 

Pair Plus Payout

This wager is placed alongside the ante and is based on the player’s three-card poker hand. Even if the player folds their hand before the play bet is placed, they still win the payout. However, the player must have a pair or better based on the poker hand ranking. Betting odds are listed here and may vary depending on the establishment you choose to play at.

Straight Flush: 40 to 1
So, for every INR100 you bet and win, you get an additional INR4,000. 

Three-of-a-Kind: 30 to 1 (or 25 to 1)
If the payout is 30 to 1, you get an additional INR3,000 if you bet INR100 and win. On the other hand, if the payout is 25 to 1, you get INR2,500 if you bet INR100 and win. 

Straight: 6 to 1 (or 5 to 1)
This hand pays INR600 in addition to your original stake if your bet amount is INR100. For 5 to 1, you get INR500 in addition to your original wager, 

Flush: 3 to 1 (or 4 to 1)
With this hand, you get an additional INR300 if you bet INR100 and win. With 4 to 1, your payout is INR400 in addition to your INR100 stake. 

Pair: 1 to 1
This is also known as even money payout. With this, you get INR100 if you bet INR100 and win. 

3-card poker side bets: the 6-card bonus side bet

The 6-card bonus side bet is optional and is put at the same time as the ante. It is tied to the greatest possible five-card poker hand formed by combining the player’s hand with the dealer’s hand. Again, the play bet will be paid out even if the player folds before the play is completed. 

Below is a list of hands that will receive a predetermined payout if they are formed with the initial cards dealt.

Royal flush: 1000 to 1
With this hand, you get INR100,000 if you bet INR100 and win.

Straight flush: 200 to 1
Here, you get INR20,000 if you place INR100 and win. 

Four of a kind: 50 to 1
If you form four of a kind, you get INR5,000 in addition to your original stake if your initial bet was INR100.

Full house: 25 to 1
With this hand, you get an additional payout of INR2,500 if you bet INR100 and win. 

Flush: 20 to 1
This hand pays INR2,000 if you place a wager of INR100 and win the bet. 

Straight: 10 to 1
This hand pays INR1,000 if you bet INR100 and win. 

Three of a kind: 5 to 1
If you form three of a kind, you get an additional INR500 for an INR100 bet. 

Betting Limits

Three Card Poker tables in online casinos have minimum and maximum limits. There are different limits available, so you find one that suits your bankroll. 

If, for instance, the minimum bet is INR50, “playing” a hand of ante-play will cost you INR100 if you make the play bet. This is gotten from INR50 for the ante bet and INR5 for the play bet if you decide to keep your hand and play it against the dealer. 

Also, if you also put INR50 on Pair Plus, you are risking a total of INR150. When the game is being played, the ante chip and the play chip must always have the same value. 

However, they don’t have to be the same as the amount used for the Pair Plus bet. Still, keep in mind that the Pair Plus bet must still be between the table’s minimum and maximum stakes.

Odds of Winning

Like most poker games played in casinos, 3 Card Poker gives the house a high edge over the player. On Ante and Play bets, the casino has a 3.37% edge, which is a lot more than a game like blackjack. The house edge on the Pair Plus bet is 2.32%, which is less than the house edge on the basic bets. This makes the Pair Plus bet an interesting option for anyone playing this game. 

True, the dealer and the player have the same chance of making a winning hand. However, the casino still has the advantage because your Play bet is not paid out unless the dealer has at least a Queen high. Here are some useful odds for making certain big hands in 3 Card Poker. These are especially useful if you like to play the Pair Plus bet:

  • The odds to make an Ace high or a worse hand: 76.38%
  • The odds to create a pair: 16.94%
  • The odds of making a flush: 4.95%
  • The odds of making a straight: 3.257%
  • The odds of making a three of a kind: 0.235%
  • The odds of making a straight flush: 0.217%

3 Card Poker Strategy

Since there isn’t much room for strategy in a game as straightforward as 3 Card Poker, skillful play isn’t as important. The only decisions you need to make are which cards to keep and which to discard. 

Traditionally, the best way to play the game is to keep any hand with at least a Q, 6, and 4. Then, discard any other cards that aren’t as good. This might not seem like much of a plan, but it will give you the best results in the game.

It’s also important to note that you must always manage your bankroll when playing poker or any other game. Effective bankroll management tells you at what point in the game you should leave. This is knowing when to quit playing and walking away to avoid more losses. 

Some online gambling establishments have resources that let you limit how much you can deposit on their platform. They also let you set a loss limit, meaning that you stop playing when you’ve lost up to a certain amount. However, you should also set your budget to avoid hefty losses. 

History of Three Card Poker

Some believe the Italian game Primero or the Spanish game Primera, both of which use three cards, were the inspiration for Three Card Poker. It was a hit all over mainland Europe before making its way to the UK. Here, it was rebranded as Bragg (or Brag, as it was later known). 

The game eventually evolved into Three Card Poker, which is now offered at casinos all around the world. Here is a simple breakdown of how the game evolved into the famous Three Card Poker we know.


Primero means “first” in English. There is no doubt that this Italian card game is the first of its kind to be mentioned in written history. Some people say that the game started in Spain, where it was known as Primera. In fact, the word “primero” comes from the Spanish language. 

Regardless, the game swiftly gained popularity across Europe, earning the names “Prime” in France and “Primero” in the UK. It is now widely recognized as the ancestor of all poker variants played today.

The elements of chance and bluff that are so typical of poker were first seen in the card game primero. Played with a deck of 40 cards instead of the modern standard of 52 cards, the hand rankings were also different. A flush and four-of-a-kind are still in play, but partial flushes were not part of the game. Pairs and straights had no place in the old game either. 


Bragg is the British version of Primero, and it is a lot more like how poker is played today all over the world. The same 52-card deck is used, and so are the same hand rankings. In Bragg, the best hand you can have is three of a kind, but in poker, the best hand is a straight flush. Later, when the five-card version of the same game came out, these rankings changed.

Casino Brag/ Three Card Poker

In 1994, an Englishman named Derek Webb saw a gap in the gambling market. Then, he began to modify Bragg so that it could be suited for casino tables. To do this, he had to take out things like bluffing, checking, and the double bet. 

In their place, the ante bonus and pair plus were made available. With these changes, the game was a mix of the original and something that would work better in a casino.

Webb couldn’t launch the game in the UK because of laws about gambling; instead, he launched it in the US. The word “Brag” is more of a European word, so the name “Casino Brag” didn’t work for the American market. The name of the game was changed to “Three Card Poker” to make it more popular.

Today, it has grown to be quite popular in several parts of the world. You won’t only find it in land-based gambling sites, but also online casinos. 

Teen Patti Three Card Poker

Teen Patti is a simple card game that is based on the same rules as poker. Quite popular in India, the game is widely enjoyed by many people at festivals and other social events because it has a deep connection to their culture.

Teen Patti is usually played by three to six people with a 52-card deck that does not include jokers. Teen Patti is like poker and rummy in that you start by placing a bet. Before the cards are dealt, there is usually a set amount that each player is willing to bet. 

After a player has placed a bet and the boot amount has been collected from everyone, each player is given three face-down cards. The boot amount is the least amount of money that is put into the pot.

Teen Patti Rules

Teen Patti is a game whose rules are very easy to understand. Like three-card poker, your three cards and the dealer’s three cards are the only cards used in each round. For the dealer to qualify, one of the three cards dealt must be a Queen or higher.

To join the game, you’ll need to make your first bet (called an “ante”). After the betting time is over, you’ll get three cards, but you won’t be able to see the dealer’s cards. Depending on the cards you have, you can decide if you want to “play.” 

If you play, you place another bet that is equal to the ante. The dealer’s cards will then be turned over, and the person with the best hand will win.

Teen Patti Card Ranking

The card ranking in Teen Patti is similar to what you have in poker. 

Straight flush 

A straight flush is when you get three cards in a row that are all the same suit. The best straight flush is A-2-3, and the worst one is 4-3-2.

Three of a Kind

It’s also known as a trio. This hand is made up of three cards with the same rank but different suits. Three As is the best hand, and three 2s is the worst.


It is three cards of different suits in a row, which is also called a “normal run.” Like in a straight flush, the best hands are As, and the 2s are the weakest hands. 


This hand is also called color. It consists of three consecutive cards that are in the same suit. 


A pair is made up of two cards of the same value, and an additional card. The pair doesn’t have to be in the same suit.

High Card

Like poker, this is the worst hand that you can have. When comparing two hands that are high cards, the highest-ranking card is used to know which hand wins.

Online Teen Patti Compared to Land-Based Teen Patti

Most of the time, the rules of the game online and in land-based locations are the same. When playing for real money online, there are many advantages, including less pressure to spend a lot of money. 

You can choose from tables with small bets to those with high stakes, and you can play from the comfort of your own home. Some online casinos have free versions you can play without risking cash. These games allow you to practice how to play Teen Patti.

Strategies in Teen Patti

Here are some tips to keep in mind when playing Teen Patti three poker card game:

  • Start with small bets: Unless you’re a high roller with no fear of losing, start playing small. This lets you play a lot of hands in one session, which gives you a lot of chances to win.
  • Don’t be afraid of losses: In a game of poker, you can’t win every hand. So, the best thing to do is hope you get more wins. Even if you lose, set your bet and try again. However, pay attention to your bankroll and avoid spending more than you planned. 
  • Know everything there is to know about the game before playing for money: Before putting all their money on the line and losing it all, players should make sure they fully understand the game. Aside from reading about it, you should also try a few free games to fully understand the hands and how to win. 
  • Setting limits: When you play Teen Patti or other gambling games, you should keep your budget in mind. Money that was borrowed or saved to pay bills should not be used for gambling.


Three Card Poker should be one of your top choices if you’re looking for a game that’s not as complicated as poker. It is popular in online casinos in India, so finding a site that offers the game is not difficult. All you have to do is visit the lobby and search the game library to see if Three Card Poker is available. 

Another exciting variation of poker that you can try is Teen Patti. The game has similar gameplay to Three Card Poker, so you’ll have no problem learning to play. Like Three Card Poker rules, you simply need to have a better hand than the dealer to win. 


Is online 3 card poker legal in India?

Playing 3 card poker is legal in some parts of India. Since the gambling restrictions vary from state to state, you have to check to see if playing the game is legal in your jurisdiction. Aside from this, you must be certain that the online casino you register on is safe for Indian players. 

How to play 3 card poker online with money?

Playing Three Card Poker is easy. Start by visiting the online casino you registered on and launching the game. Afterward, place an ante bet and watch as the cards are dealt. Choose to fold or play; if you play, you place another bet. You win if your hand is better than the dealer’s.

Which is the best 3 card poker Casino?

The best Three Card Poker casino is one that is licensed, safe, and offers a good gambling experience. You can find these sites by reading reviews. 

About Author

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    I was born in Imphal, India. While pursuing a bachelor's degree in economics at the university, I accidentally became interested in casinos and sports betting, which led me to where I am now. I consider it my mission to tell people about Indian online casinos without embellishment, with all their pluses and minuses. I hope my work will help you immerse yourself in this amazing world of cards, chips and luck 🙂

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