Three-Card Poker

Overview

Three-card poker is played among 10 players. One of the players is designated as the player-dealer (indicated by a dealer button). Each player receives three cards face down.

The player-dealer receives three cards, two face down and one face up.

Each player makes an ante bet and, optionally, a bonus bet.

Each player examines his hand and either decides to continue, by placing a play bet equal in size to the ante bet, or not continue, by placing a surrender button atop the ante bet and forfeiting the ante bet.

Each active hand then competes against the player-dealer hand. The player-dealer hand must qualify to play with a minimum queen high.

If the player-dealer hand does not quality:

If the player-dealer hand does qualify:

Bonus bets are settled according to the following schedule:


Hand Payoff
royal flush 200:1
straight flush 40:1
three of a kind 30:1
straight 6:1
flush 3:1
one pair 1:1

Winning bonus bets are paid regardless of whether the player-dealer hand qualifies.

Bay 101 provides house dealers for all games but does not participate in the actual play of the game and has no interest in the outcome of play. No player ever plays against or makes a wager against Bay 101.

Three Card Poker in Detail

Three-card poker is played with one deck of 52 standard playing cards, consisting of four suits, spades, hearts, diamonds, and clubs. Unlike bridge and other games, no suit is “worth” more than any other. Each suit consists of 13 cards, ranked, from highest to lowest: ace, king, queen, jack, 10, 9, 8, 7, 6, 5, 4, 3, 2.

An ace can also rank as the lowest card, but only in a 3-high straight. That is, A-K-Q is the highest straight, while in this hand, the straight 3-2-A, the ace is the lowest card.

Hand Rankings

From highest to lowest, with examples:

royal flush A♥ K♥ Q♥
straight flush J♠ 10♠ 9♠
three of a kind 7♠ 7♦ 7♣
straight 10♠ 9♦ 8♦
flush Q♠ 10♠ 7♠
one pair 2♠ 2♦ J♥
No Pair K♥ J♦ 8♠

Play

The player-dealer puts up a bank against which the remaining players make wagers.

Three-card poker is played among 10 players. One of the players is designated as the player-dealer (indicated by a dealer button).

Each player makes an ante bet and, optionally, a bonus bet.

The house dealer delivers one hand to each seated player, clockwise starting with the position to the left of the player-dealer. Each player receives three cards face down. The player-dealer receives three cards, two face down and one face up. The upcard, which is the second card dealt to the player-dealer, determines the location of the action button, which the house dealer places appropriately, as explained under “Making Payoffs.”

Each player examines his hand and either decides to continue, by placing a play bet equal in size to the ante bet, or placing a SURRENDER button on top of the bet and forfeiting the ante bet.

After each player has made a decision, the house dealer turns over the player-dealer’s downcards.

Each active hand then competes against the player-dealer hand. The player-dealer hand must qualify to play. To qualify, the hand must be at least queen high.

The following player-dealer hands all qualify:8♦ 8♠ 8♥ ; 7♥ 4♥ 2♥ ; 3♠ 2♦ A♦ ; 2♦ 2♣ A♠ ; A♣ 9♥ 4♣; Q♠ 7♦ 3♣.


If the player-dealer hand does not quality:


Bonus Bets

Bonus bets are settled according to the following schedule:

Hand Payoff
royal flush 200:1
straight flush 40:1
three of a kind 30:1
straight 6:1
flush 3:1
one pair 1:1

Making Payoffs

The player-dealer pays or collects from player hands clockwise beginning with the hand in an order determined by the player-dealer upcard, which is the second card dealt to the player-dealer. The house dealer places an action button in front of the hand determined in the following way. An ace as the player-dealer upcard starts payoff with the first player to the left of the player-dealer; a deuce as the player-dealer upcard starts payoff with the second player to the left of the player-dealer; and so on.

The order in which payoffs are made is important, because if the player-dealer loses his stake, not all player hands may get action. (The commonly used term for this is the bank does not cover.) Also, a hand may not get complete action. Here is an example: The player-dealer puts up a bank of $200. The action button and the next five players have wagered $50 each. The player-dealer loses the first four hands, paying the first four wagers of $50 each. The bank is now empty, and the remaining two players get no action on their $50 wagers. It doesn’t matter whether their hands would win or lose against the player-dealer. A player may never win or lose more than the total of the wager.

Another example of the bank not covering would be if two players have royal flushes and have made large enough bets for the payoffs to exhaust the bank.

Each player can take the bank twice, then the button rotates clockwise. A player, in turn, can decline or accept the player-dealer position.

The house dealer controls the shuffling and dealing of the cards, orderliness of the game, and the house collections for each hand.

Multiple players can wager at the same position. When a player places wagers and is not seated at the location at the table associated with those wagers it is called backline betting. Backline bettors usually stand behind the seated player on whose hand they’re betting but they can also be seated at another seat location.


House Rules