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Perfect Three Card Poker Strategy in Three Easy Lessons

By: Mark Freedman, Sunday June 29th 2014
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Three Card Poker is one of those casino games that players seem to come back to time after time, and even though the gameplay itself is fairly simple, there's still a degree of luck and skill involved that makes it a really fun game to play. We have three lessons that will have you playing perfect Three Card Poker, and all you have to do is follow these lessons in order to learn how to play this well. Your only decision in this game is when to raise and when to fold, and if you do that right and always avoid the side bets, then you'll be in good shape.

The first lesson is that the poker rankings for three card hands are a bit different than what you're probably used to. A pair is better than a high card hand, but a straight is better than a flush. After a high card hand, pairs, flushes, and straights, in order, next comes three of a kind and a straight flush. Knowing these rankings is fairly important, and they can help you to adjust if you run into atypical rules in certain games.

The second lesson is how to play perfectly in most games. You'll always raise if you have a pair or better. If you have a high card hand, you'll raise with Q64 or better, and you'll fold with Q63 or worse. This is a very strict guideline, and there's only one exception to it which is covered below. If you can remember the cutoff hand Q64, then you will have in your hand the key to playing perfect Three Card Poker on every single hand every single time as long as you never take any of the side bets.

Finally we have the third lesson. In some games, the player wins if the dealer ties. This will lower the house advantage to 3.24 percent (down from 3.37 percent) in most games. With this rule in place, you should also raise with Q63-high as long as all three cards are of different suits. If any two of them are of the same suit, then you should still fold. This happens because of the way the suit combinations impact the chances of the dealer being dealt a flush or straight flush. This is the only exception to the Q64 rule, and it only applies when the player wins on ties.

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