Tri Card Poker Introduction

Tri Card Poker is a fun casino game that actually consists of two games in one: the Ante Wager and the Pair Plus bet. In the Ante wager, the player competes against the dealer to get the best three card poker hand. In the Pair Plus wager, the player is simply betting on whether or not he will end up with a pair or better.

The game is played with a standard 52 card deck and it can be found in the table games section of just about any casino. With the right strategy (discussed below), the house edge can be reduced to just 2.02%, making this one of the best games in the casino.

The Ante Wager

This is the game in which the player competes against the dealer. Each hand begins with the player placing an ante, which is just a bet on the outcome of the hand. The player is then dealt three cards face up and the dealer is dealt three cards face down.

After looking at his cards, the player then gets to decide if he wants to continue on with the hand or fold. If the player folds, the hand is ended and the Ante and Pair Plus bets are both forfeited.

If the player wants to continue on with the hand, the player must place a raise bet equal to the amount of the ante. The dealer will then reveal his cards and check to see if his hand qualifies. For the dealer’s hand to qualify, it has to contain at least a high card queen or better. If the dealer’s hand does not qualify, the player receives an even money payout on his first wager but the raise bet is considered a push (the bet is simply returned to the player).

Every other time, the dealer’s hand will qualify and the dealer compares hands with the player. If the player has a better hand than the dealer, the player wins even money on both of his bets. If the dealer has a better hand, the dealer wins the player’s bet.

Because each hand only contains three cards, the odds are a little different in Tri Card Poker. The hand rankings are a little different than what they are in traditional poker. The hand rankings for Tri Card Poker are listed here beginning with the weakest hand on top:

Tri Card Poker Hand Rankings

If a player wins with a straight or better, the player will also win a bonus payout according to the following chart:

Bonus Payout Chart

The Pair Plus Wager

The Pair Plus wager is an optional bet that you can make at the beginning of the hand. If you end up with a pair or better, you’ll be paid a special bonus. You don’t have to beat the dealer to receive a payout but you will lose your bet if you fold.

The payouts for the Pair Plus wager are as follows:

Pair Plus Payout Chart

Basic Tri Card Poker Strategy

If you want to get the most bang for your buck, the following strategy can be used to reduce the house edge to just 2.02%. The best part of all is that this strategy is incredible simple.

Always raise with Q-6-4 or higher and fold everything else. That’s all there is to it! You can tell if hands are higher or lower than Q-6-4 by starting with the highest card and working down. So if you have a hand like Q-8-2, it’s worth playing.