While, without argument, slot machines are casino’s money-generating monsters, when the topic of games of chance comes up, most people think of individuals with a stack of chips in front of them at a green cloth table. Blackjack, baccarat, and roulette are the golden trifecta of gaming table action, boasting a social aspect that electronic devices cannot offer.
However, while the three listed games dominate casino floors, in the late-1990s, a new contender emerged, 3 Card Poker. It attempted to challenge these stalwarts and assert its place as a popular table choice. For those not familiar with it, 3 Card Poker is a casino poker variant, a gaming card genre that rose to prominence thanks to the invention of Caribbean Stud.
These are player versus dealer games whose action transpires at a similar speed to that of blackjack, but they utilize poker’s tried-and-tested hand ranking system to determine a hand’s winner. While Caribbean Stud did bring this group of products to the forefront of the gaming industry, nowadays, 3 Card Poker is the casino poker king. The game whose license Shuffle Master holds is available at hundreds of land-based venues throughout the US and at pretty much every interactive gaming hub.
Players that have never encountered 3 Card Poker can refer to OnlineUnitedStatesCasinos.com. It provides a handy guide on playing this game and where to play it. Gamblers somewhat knowledgeable about it can freely dive deep into the subheadings that follow and discover the best way to approach this casino poker variant. In other words, learn about a few secrets regarding maximizing profits when at 3 Card Poker tables.
3 Card Poker Strategy
Sadly, there is no strategy chart for 3 Card Poker, the likes available for blackjack, or video poker games based on five-card draw poker. Still, that does not mean that there is no viable advice players can get to better their odds when enjoying this gaming pick, which has more than two thousand table installations worldwide.
Without argument, the consensus in gambling circles is that when it comes to 3 Card Poker, only one strategy works, the queen-six-four one. It is a system that is super easy to remember and implement. It demands that gamblers raise/play when they receive three cards whose values are above a queen, six, and four. In such scenarios, their win probability increases to above 51%, which means they have the upper hand on their dealer.
Naturally, since 3 Card Poker is a casino game, it features a built-in advantage, a house edge of around 2.2%. Though, this percentage may vary depending on the variation offered. Yet, when a player gets a card combo that features values above those in the sequence mentioned above, they gain the advantage in the eventual face-off against their dealer if they choose to raise or make the play bet as they say.
Some gamblers also believe that it is advantageous to raise/play, even if they have a queen and a seven. That is regardless of the value of their third card. Hence, know that this is also a way to go.
Can You Cheat at 3 Card Poker?
Essentially, no. 3 Card Poker is not twenty-one, so you cannot count cards. The game gets played using a 52-card deck with the jokers removed. Two decks get used, with the dealer alternating them between hands. While one gets played, the other gets shuffled by a mechanical device. So, it is impossible to keep track of how the cards are moving about.
Furthermore, the game mechanics are such that it is pretty much unfeasible to gain any advantage play whatsoever. Thus, while you cannot cheat at 3 Card Poker, online or offline, you can find variants of this product that provide better odds than the standard house edge of 2.2% via some unique side-bet option, but that likelihood of locating such games is slim.
One possibility is to try edge sorting, a technique utilized by famous poker player Phil Ivey and Chinese-born gambler Kelly Sun at baccarat. The latter was the one that figured out how to exploit subtle unintentional differences on the backs of cards to figure out their value when looking at them face-down. Most card pack producers make decks with almost indistinguishable edge irregularities, but typically the two long edges of a card can be distinguishable when rotated one hundred and eighty degrees. Therefore, this is a tactic worth exploring at a land-based casino if one has the patience to study card edge irregularities in-depth.
Avoid These Mistakes
One of the chief allures of 3 Card Poker is that it can offer multiple side-bet options. The game’s standard side-wager is the pair plus one, where gamblers bet on if they will get a hand consisting of a pair or better. Note that this is an independent wager everywhere, except in Florida, where laws mandate that a player must beat the dealer before he can claim any side-bet prize. While many gamblers experienced with blackjack think that, the same as with twenty-one variants, it is best to avoid side-bets, applying that logic to 3 Card Poker’s pair plus wager is a mistake, as it has a house edge that is slightly lower than the ante one.
Nevertheless, aside from making this side-bet, all others should get neglected, as they feature dramatically steeper winning probabilities. Progressive betting options promise life-altering rewards, but they also feature some astronomical odds akin to those in lotto games. An example of this is the Millionaire-Maker wager, which requires a six-card hand consisting of a super royal of diamonds for its main prize of a cool million dollars. Yet, the odds of attaining this win are 200,000 to one.
Also, it is a wise idea to stay clear of progressive betting systems. These can lead players into a financial rut that may be inescapable. One general rule of thumb that should get followed is to avoid playing multiple hands under the guise that would lead to more profits.