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Three and Four Card Poker

General Rules of 3 Card Poker

general-rules-of-3-card-poker

 

Derek Webb is considered the author of this type of poker. The simplicity of the rules and the fascination with the process are the main reasons for its growing popularity.

The game is played with an ordinary deck of fifty-two cards without jokers on a table with special markings.

It has three betting fields.

  1. the top field is called Pair Plus,
  2. the next one is called Ante,
  3. the next one is Play.

Many casinos use Caribbean Stud or Poker Oasis tables for this game.

The opponent of the player is the casino represented by the croupier, the neighbours on the table are not the opponents

Combinations in 3 Card Poker

Considering that players only receive three cards, the ranking of hands in this form of poker somewhat differs from the standard principles. The combinations are listed below in descending order of their seniority.

Straight Flush: three cards of the same suit in order.
Three of a Kind: three cards of the same value.
Straight: three cards of different suits in order.
Flush: three cards of the same suit.
Pair: two cards of the same value.
High Card: the highest card in hand.

As you can see, Three of a Kind is the second-best hand and Straight is better than Flush.

Types of bets in Three Card Poker

In three-card poker, there are two types of bets that are independent of each other.

Ante/Play – these are the main bets. Here, the player hopes to get a combination higher than that of the dealer. Ante is the initial bet, and Play is placed if the player decides to continue the game and compare his cards with the dealer’s cards. Their size is the same. If you win, these bets are paid 1:1

Pair Plus is an additional optional bet that pans out if the player gets a Pair or higher from the deal. It isn’t allowed to place this bet without an Ante, and it usually can’t exceed Ante. It’s paid out regardless of the outcome of the main game or the presence of any combination in the dealer’s cards. The Pair Plus bet is not paid out only if the player refuses to continue the game (doesn’t bet Play).

Payouts on a Pair Plus bet can vary quite a lot, so the table below shows the odds:

Straight Flush – 40:1.
Three of a Kind – 20-30: 1.
Straight – 5-6: 1.
Flush – 4-3: 1.
Pair – 1: 1.

Course of a Three Card Poker game

course-of-a-three-card-poker-game

 

The process is divided into the following steps.

  1. Players make bets, and then they receive three cards.
  2. Having assessed their strength, players decide whether to continue the game by making a Play bet of the same size as the Ante or to give up, having lost the Ante bet.
  3. After all players have made a decision, the croupier reveals his cards.

The minimum game for the dealer is a queen card or higher or one of the combinations from a pair or higher. In this case, the croupier compares their cards with the player’s cards and pays out Ante and Play bets or collects losing bets. If the dealer and the player have equal combinations, the player is usually declared the winner.

If there’s a pair or higher in the dealer’s hand, they also pay out Pair Plus bets, if any.

If the dealer’s cards don’t have a combination and all cards are lower than the Queen, they pay out Ante bets in the amount of 1:1. The Play bet is not paid.

Usually, there is no maximum pay-out on three-card poker tables.

General Rules of 4 Card Poker

The inventor of this game is called Roger Snow from the Shuffle Master company.

It’s similar to three-card poker, with a number of significant differences.

The game uses a standard deck of fifty-two cards and a table with special markings.

Card combinations in Four Card Poker

Since the players use only four cards in this type of poker, the seniority of the combinations differs from the standard positions used in the five-card varieties of the game.

The combinations are listed below in descending order of their seniority.

Four of a Kind: four cards of the same value.
Straight Flush: four cards of the same suit in order.
Three of a Kind: three cards of the same value.
Flush: four cards of the same suit.
Straight: four cards of different suits in order.
Two Pairs: two cards of one value and two cards of another value.
Pair: two cards of the same value.
High Card: the highest card in the hands of the player or the dealer.

The main differences from the usual ranking of combinations are that four of a kind is older than a straight flush, while tris is older than a flush and a straight. The reason for it is the frequency of these combinations on four cards.

Bets in Four Card Poker

In Four Card Poker, there are two types of bets that can be played independently of each other.

Ante / Play. These are the main bets of the player, where you win or lose after comparing your cards with the dealer’s cards. Ante is the initial bet, and Play is used if the player continues the game. The size of the Play bet is chosen by the player within the range from one to three Ante. If you win, both bets are paid at a ratio of 1:1.
Aces Up. This is an additional optional bet that pans out if the player gets a pair of aces or a higher combination. It can be placed without an Ante, and if both bets are made, its size must be equal to the size of the Ante. In this case, the payment is made even if the player’s main bet was lost.

Pay-outs on the Aces Up bet can vary quite significantly (at the same time, the pay-out ratios for combinations are not proportional in all casinos), so the range of possible odds is given below:

Four of a Kind – 50:1
Straight Flush – 30-40:1
Three of a Kind – 7-9:1
Flush – 6:1
Straight – 4-5:1
Pair of Aces – 1:1

Check the pay-out ratio directly with the casino you play at.

Course of a 4 Card Poker game

The game starts with the players making independent bets on Ante, Aces Up or both fields at once (in this case, the bets must be the same size). The croupier mixes the cards thoroughly and deals out five cards to the players (even though it’s called Four Card Poker) and six cards to themself, putting one of them face down.

Players and the dealer create combinations but can only use four of their cards.

One of the main features of this type of poker is the dealer’s lack of concept of the game.
This means that the comparison between their cards and the cards of the players will be made anyways unless all players discard them.

Players evaluate the strength of their cards, consider the value of the dealer’s open card, and decide to:

1. refuse to play, lose all your bets, including Aces Up;
2. stay in the game by placing an additional bet Play.

After these steps, players have made a decision, and the dealer opens their cards. If the Aces Up bet pans out, it’s paid out immediately.

The dealer then compares their cards with the player’s cards. If the player wins, Ante and Play bets are paid 1:1. In case of a loss, the money goes to the casino bank. If the card strength is equal, the player is usually declared the winner. In this case, only four high cards are considered, and the strength of the remaining cards is not taken into account.

Gemma Heathcote
Gemma Heathcote.

Gemma Heathcote – Editor @ Superlenny

Gemma is the Editor of SuperLenny.com, where her main responsibility outside of editing and writing content is overseeing everything published online. She’s also ensures the day to day operations of SuperLenny are kept running smoothly, including keeping Josh and Matt in check!