Live Dealer 3 Card Poker

Live Dealer 3 Card PokerNew casino games come and new casino games go in the search for the perfect combination that will resonate with casino players and ultimately keep them coming back for more. Luckily, one that has kept players entertained and coming back repeatedly, is 3 Card Poker, also known as Three Card Poker.

This card game was invented in 1994 by Derek Webb in the United Kingdom. In live casinos, 3 Card Poker is the third most-played card/table game, only trailing behind craps and blackjack. There is more money played on baccarat because it’s so popular among high rollers. However, there are more Americans that enjoy 3 Card Poker than either roulette or baccarat.

3 Card Poker has been enjoying an increase in popularity in both online casinos and live casinos across the globe since its inception.

Top 3 Card Poker Live Casinos

Rank Online Casino Bonus Devices Rating Review Play
888casino Live

$888Welcome Bonus

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Bet365 Live Casino

£100Welcome Bonus

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BetOnline Live Casino

$1000Welcome Bonus

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4th Live Casino

$2500Welcome Bonus

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William Hill Live Casino

£300Welcome Bonus

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How to Play Live 3 Card Poker

3 Card PokerThe main objective of 3 Card Poker is for your 3 cards to beat the dealers 3 cards. In a game of 3 Card Poker, only one deck of 52 playing cards are used and in Live 3 Card Poker a brand-new deck is used after every single hand. The playing cards are ranked in descending order with the Ace being both low or high. The hand values are as follows:

  • High Card: Ace
  • Pair: Two cards of the same value, for instance 8-8
  • Three of a Kind: Three cards of the same value, for instance 9-9-9
  • Straight: Three cards in numerical order, for instance 4-5-6
  • Flush: Three cards all containing identical suits, for instance 6-2-J of spades
  • Straight Flush: Three cards in numerical order and in identical suits, for instance 7-8-9 of diamonds
  • Royal Flush: Three cards in identical suits and in numerical order ranking from Ace through to Queen, for instance A-K-Q of hearts

Prior to three cards being dealt to both you and the dealer, you will need to place a wager on the PLAY position that is usually displayed in a square on the table. You can also make an optional side bet, known as a Pairs Plus bet, during this time but I will explain this type of bet in more detail in a minute.


Once your bet has been made, three cards will be dealt to you face up and another three cards to the dealer, face down. You can then look at your cards and decide whether you want to fold your hand or continue playing. If you decide you want to continue playing, you will need to place an Ante bet that is equal to your PLAY bet on the table. The dealer will then reveal their cards and compare them to yours to reveal a winner. The dealer hand will need to contain a Queen or higher to be able to play. Should the dealer hand not contain a Queen or higher, then the PLAY bet will be returned to you and the Ante bet will pay 1 to 1.

Should the dealer hand qualify and the player hand is better, both Play and Ante bets will be paid out 1 to 1. Should the dealer hand be better, the player will lose both bets. Should the dealer hand and the player hand be the same, it will result in a push and both bets will be returned to the player.

Ante Bonus

Should the player be dealt a straight, three of a kind, or a straight flush, the Ante bonus is paid even if the dealer wins the round. A Straight Flush pays 5 to 1, a Three of a Kind pays 4 to 1, and a Straight will pay 1 to 1.

Pairs Plus Bet

This is a side bet that can be wagered when you place your Play bet. You will win the Pairs Plus bet if you have a pair of better, and will payout even if you decide to fold your hand. A Royal Flush will pay out 100 to 1, a Straight Flush will pay out 40 to 1, a Three of a Kind will pay out 30 to 1, a Straight will pay out 5 to 1, a Flush will pay out 4 to 1, and a Pair will pay out 1 to 1.

6 Card Bonus

This is an additional side bet that you can wager on. You will use your 3 cards and the dealers 3 cards and place them together to see if you can make a five-card poker hand. The lowest hand needs to be a Three of a Kind to win and the theoretical return on this bet is 91.44%. A Royal Flush will pay out 1,000 to 1, a Straight Flush will pay out 200 to 1, a Four of a Kind will pay out 100 to 1, a Full House will pay out 20 to 1, a Flush will pay out 15 to 1, a Straight will pay out 10 to 1, and a Three of a Kind will pay out 7 to 1.

That is basically it. I realised that the odds for Three Card Poker are not as good as Live Blackjack. You can expect a 95.51% theoretical return for the Pair Plus bet and a 96.63% return on the Ante bet.

Live 3 Card Poker Strategies

I love playing Live 3 Card Poker and the most basic strategy I used in the main game is to play or raise my bet whenever I have a Queen, Six, and a Four (Q-6-4) or better, and basically fold when I have anything lower. I usually play with a pair or higher, an Ace or King high, a Queen high when my second highest card is a 7 or higher, and a Queen high when my second card is a 6 and my third card is a 4 or higher.

You will need to understand that playing the above-mentioned hands will mean all other hands need to be folded, and therefore you will need to practice a lot of patience and let several hands pass without playing them. If you choose not to do this, the house edge for the casino will increase to around 7.65% from the 3.37% when using the optimal strategy.

Pair Plus Strategy

If you like me and wish to get the occasional big win while playing Live 3 Card Poker, you will need to make regular wagers on the Pairs Plus side bet. The Ante Bonus bet will also provide reasonable wins when you play it regularly, but don’t expect to walk away a millionaire by the end of the day. It’s also worth mentioning that the house edge on the Pairs Plus side bet is around 2.32%, and this means you will struggle to locate another live dealer card game providing the same value for money.

One factor to keep in mind when playing the Pairs Plus side bet is that your losses and wins will become more volatile as oppose to the Ante bet. This makes things slightly riskier as your expected losses over time will be far greater than those in Ante play. As far as strategy goes for Pairs Plus bet, there isn’t a great deal to think about. The odds are obviously against you, but you are chasing bigger wins. It’s going to boil down to pure luck on the cards you will be dealt.

Best Live 3 Card Poker Casinos

Live 3 Card Poker is a relatively new type of card game that has been introduced to the Live Casino section, and Evolution Gaming is currently the only software provider offering this game as an option. I’ve reviewed four live casinos so far, and all of them offer 3 Card Poker. I must admit that I was quite delighted with Evolution Gaming having introduced the game through their software platform. In my opinion, Evolution Gaming offers the best live casino experience, and if you don’t believe me, have a look at the following Live Casinos offering Live 3 Card Poker:

Unibet Casino

Unibet CasinoUnibet Casino offers Single Player 3 Card Poker with stakes on Ante ranging from $1 up to $5,000, while stakes on Pairs Plus range from $1 up to a maximum of $1,000. The side bets include 6 Card Bonus and Pairs Plus and you will be treated to a classy and simplistic interface.


BetVictor CasinoBetVictor offers Single Player 3 Card Poker, and as with Unibet Casino, the stakes on Ante start at $1 and peak at $5,000 while the stakes on Pairs Plus start at $1 and goes up to a maximum of $1,000. The side bets include Pairs Plus and 6 Card Bonus, basically making it a coin toss between Unibet and BetVictor. However, if you interested in playing other Live Casino games, BetVictor should be your first choice.

William Hill Live Casino

William Hill CasinoSingle Player 3 Card Poker is offered at William Hill and the stakes for Pairs Plus range from $1 up to $1,000 and for Ante is ranges from $1 up to $5,000. The side bets include 6 Card Bonus and Pairs Plus, and with their own dedicated table along with a generic table, you will get the best dealers.

Grosvenor Casinos

Grosvenor CasinoGrosvenor also offers Single Play Three Card Poker that is powered by Evolution Gaming with table limits ranging from $1 to $2,500, Pairs Plus from $1 up to $500, and on 6 Card Bonus from $1 up to $50.