Overview of Three Card Rummy

Three Card Rummy is a casino card game in which the object of the game is to end up with fewer points than the dealer. It’s played with a standard deck of 52 cards and each card is worth a certain number of points. In addition to that, certain combinations of cards are also worth certain numbers of points. It might sound confusing but it’s actually pretty simple once you play a couple hands.

How to Play 3 Card Rummy

Each hand begins with the player placing an Ante wager. Once the ante wager has been paid, the player is dealt 3 cards face up and the dealer receives 3 cards face down. The player can then look at his cards and decide if he wants to stay in or forfeit.

If the player wishes to forfeit, he simply folds his hand and loses the ante bet. If the player wishes to stay in, the player must raise by placing a raise bet equal to two times the size of the ante.

After the player raises, the dealer’s hand is revealed. It must contain 20 points or fewer to qualify. If it doesn’t qualify, the player is paid even money on his ante bet and the raise bet is returned without any winnings.

The rest of the time, the dealer’s hand is compared to the player’s hand. The hand with the fewest points wins. If the dealer has the lowest points total, the player loses both of his best. If the player has the best hand, even money is paid on the ante and the raise bet is paid according to the following table:

3 Card Rummy Payouts

3 Card Rummy Card Values

  • Aces are worth 1 point
  • The cards 2-10 are worth face value
  • Jacks, Queens and Kings are worth 10 points
  • Any pair is worth 0 points
  • Any triple is worth 0 points
  • Any two consecutive suited cards is worth 0 points
  • Any three consecutive suited cards is worth 0 points

Example: You have the hand Jh-Qh-6s

The Jh-Qh would be worth 0 points, and the remaining card would be worth 6 points, giving your hand a total of 6 points.

Example: You have the hand Jh Js Jd

Your hand would be worth 0 points because it contains a triple.

Bonus Bet

The bonus bet is an optional side bet that pays out if the player ends up with a points total of 12 or less. This bet is independent of how the player performs against the dealer so the player can still win the bonus bet even if he loses against the dealer. The only time the bonus bet is affected is if the player folds. In that case, the bonus bet is also forfeited.

At the end of the hand, the player is then paid according to the following table:

Bonus Bet Payouts

Three Card Rummy Strategy

The strategy for 3 Card Rummy is incredibly simple:

  • Raise if you have 20 points or fewer.
  • Fold if you have 21 points or more.

The bonus bet should be avoided because it has a slightly higher house edge. If you’re intent on playing the bonus bet, however, it’s not going to kill you. The house edge on the bonus bet is just 3.5%.