Stephen McDouglas
Stephen McDouglas
Last Update:
June 4, 2021
This author was thoroughly tested and approved by the experts at before joining the editorial board to ensure a high content quality.
Author Bio:
Our Associate Stephen is a former poker player from Las Vegas, Nevada, and online media editor. His in-depth view of the US online poker industry and his skills in playing the game are allowing him to write high-class and well-researched articles about regulation, legalization and poker events. He has an M.B.A in math and worked for several Universities.
Our Associate Stephen is a former poker player from Las Vegas, Nevada, and online media editor. His in-depth view of the US online poker industry and his skills in playing the game are allowing him to write high-class and well-researched articles about regulation, legalization and poker events. He has an M.B.A in math and worked for several Universities.

Live 3 Card Poker 2021: Rules, Strategy & Bonus

Live 3 Card Poker is one of the most popular live dealer poker games that is played by thousands on the internet. It should not be confused or seen as the same as live casino holdem.  A major difference is in live 3 card poker, players are dealt 3 cards as opposed to 5–cards dealing for live casino holdem. 3-card poker was invented by a British named Derek Webb, when he came to Las Vegas and he found out that dealing 5-cards hand was boring. Derek evolved the game to 3-card poker where only 3 cards were dealt to the players and dealers as well.

Important Highlights of Online 3 card poker
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  • It’s a game that’s exemplifies of poker

  • The game has interesting variations

  • It’s legal for American players

  • It’s not complex

  • It’s a fun way to make money

Live Variations of the Live 3 Card Poker

Some of the major points of live 3 card poker includes:

Three Card Poker Prime

Sometimes it’s not just about the numbers; color could play a major role in your payout as well. The three-card poker Prime side bet gives players the chance to wager on the dealt card colors. This gives a payout if the dealt cards for the player are the same colors that could be all red or all red.  Remember, the suits are not important in this, only the colors. You could have a mixture of hearts and spades or diamond and clubs. When all 3 of the player’s dealt cards are same in color, payout is 3 to 1. Also, when all six cards match in color, the payout is 4 to 1. This makes the house edge to be around 3.6% for this optional side bet.

6 Card Bonuses

The 6-card bonus is another online variation of live 3 card poker. Players’ wins are determined by how best they come up with a five-card poker hand through combination of dealt cards to players’ three cards and also the dealer's three cards. Payout can be huge when you have a royal flush which can be 1000 to 1 at times.

Difference between Online Live 3 Card Poker and Land Based 3 Card Poker

The differences between online live 3 card poker and land-based card 3 poker includes:

Number of Hands Dealt

In a land based 3 card poker game, number of players per table is quite limited and the numbers of hands to be dealt can be up to seven, meanwhile in online 3 card poker, only one hand can be dealt to and also affords hundreds to play at the same time.

Side Bets

You get the opportunity of a 3-card poker prime (same color of cards gets you an extra payout), Progressive jackpots, Pairs and 6 card bonuses while online live 3 card poker only gets you a 6-card bonus as side bet.

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Requirements to Play Live 3 card Poker at an online casino

Getting started with the game of live three card poker comes down to several essentials you need and these also apply when you want to play other online or live dealer casino games. First of all, you need a stable Internet connection and you need a mobile device, laptop or PC that is connected to the Internet. Your Internet connection should be stable so that your overall gaming experience is as smooth as possible. You also have to register at an online casino and you have to fund your account. This is not surprising as you cannot play any game without being registered and without having some funds. Lastly, you need to have some knowledge of the game you want to play if you want to profit.

Advantages of Playing Live 3 Card Poker at an Online Casino

  • Gamble live with real dealers
  • Play from home with maximum comfort
  • Enjoy the game regardless of your budget
  • Many gameplay options
  • Always safe and secure to play

Disadvantages of Playing Live 3 Card Poker at an Online Casino

  • Slow Speed
  • No personal contact
  • Payout Times
  • Regulatory and Legal Issues

Live 3 Card Poker Online Game Rules and Process

At the start of the game, the player plays his ante or play wagers. Both the player and the dealer receive three cards. You have the option as a player to raise or fold your cards. A fold implies that you have surrendered or forfeited your ante wager. A raise means that you want to make another bet equal to the ante wager. After making your move to either fold or raise, for the dealer to qualify, he needs to have a queen or higher. The player’s and dealers' hand are compared, and the maximum in value or higher hand wins. If player and the dealer both arrive at a tie, the ante and play wagers push.

3 Card Poker Payout Table

Below are the payouts for the 3 card poker and its variants;

Ante Bonus Payouts:

HandTable 1Table 2Table 3Table 4
Straight Flush3:14:15:15:1

Payouts For PairPlus:

HandTable 1Table 2Table 3Table 4
Straight Flush40:140:140:140:1

3 Card Poker Online Playing Strategy and Tricks

Ante-Play Strategy

In the Ante-Play game, once your cards have been dealt, there is a basic strategy that should always be followed when deciding whether to play or fold. This is to bet when your hand contains queen-6-4 or better. If your hand ranks lower than this, you should fold.

Pair Plus Strategy

When it comes to Pair Plus play, there is no specific strategy to improve your winning chances. This is because you do not have to beat the dealer’s hand, so winning simply comes down to luck. The best tip is to compare pay tables and opt for a variant which has the highest payouts for the more frequent hands

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Tip to Win Big in Online Live 3 Card Poker

Play for Free first - Before you play with real money. The best casino sites provide a demo version of Three Card Poker which you can play just for fun. In this way, you can practice playing the game and get to grips with the rules, gameplay and payouts with no risk involved.

Are Online Casinos Legal in the USA?

When it comes to the legality of online gaming facilities in the USA, it has been a burning topic for many years. The laws on this topic have changed quite a bit over time, and in essence today there is legal online gambling in some parts of America. However, those states in which online gambling is legal only allow it at sites which are licensed by exclusive state regulators. On the other hand, playing casino games at any international or offshore casinos is considered unsafe but not quite illegal. Nevertheless, these casinos' operation itself would be illegal were they situated within America.

The one thing that is illegal in the USA is processing of online gambling payments for unlicensed websites. Banks that process such payments can be charged under the Wire Act which is the one law that is often cited as prohibiting online gambling in the country. The truth is that this law only concerns payments and is not directly aimed against the players. In short, regardless of the Wire Act, players have never been charged for playing at online casinos no matter which site is in question.

All that said, there are still some dangers related to playing with casinos that are not legalized in America. For starters, players expose themselves to loss of funds as well as making themselves susceptible to fraud. The information a player provides such an operator does not have to be held private. Finally, a player may be charged if he does not pay taxes on winnings in offshore casinos, which some people may be inclined to not do as they fear that the act of playing itself was illegal.

Online Casinos with 3 Card Poker: Play Now!

If you're looking to play some 3-card poker online, virtually every virtual casino has it in their offerings as it's a customer favorite. However, be sure you make an informed choice in order to ensure safety of your private data and have a great experience according to your personal needs and preferences.  3 Card Poker can now be played even on mobile devices which means you can play just about anywhere, just visit our online casino comparison page to check out a list of our recommended online casinos that offer numerous variations of this game, including the option to play 3 Card Poker with real dealers.

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Your Royal Flush Awaits You
Of the many poker variants that you can play at an online casino, 3 Card Poker is one of the most popular. The rules are easy to learn and there are simple strategies that you can use to optimize your chances of winning. It offers fast-paced, exciting gameplay with the potential for big payouts. Join in on the fun and Start playing Live 3 Card Poker at an online casino of your choice. You are however advised to gamble responsibly. Good luck with your live game adventures!
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