Ante-bet Strategy in Three-card Poker

 Ante-bet Strategy in Three-card Poker

I remember when Three Card Poker was a new game in the 1990s, struggling to carve out a niche. It had failed to make enough money to satisfy the house in a trial at the Stardust in Las Vegas, but it was a hit in Mississippi. The success of the game in Tunica was enough to convince operators in other states that maybe the Stardust experience was an anomaly.
We’ve seen what happened. 

Three Card Poker has become one of the most widespread of newer table games, a casino standard in every gaming state. It also has one of the easiest strategies to learn in play against the dealer. You ante, then look at your cards. You can either fold, and lose the ante, or make a bet equal to your ante. You win if your hand beats the dealer.
Bet any time you have a pair, flush, straight, three of a kind or straight flush, or if your three cards are Queen-6-4 or better. Anything less, fold. It’s cheaper to lose the ante than to trust luck with bad cards.

Players sometimes ask just what constitutes Queen-6-4 or better. Is Queen-7-3 better? Is King-4-2? Is Jack-10-8? The answers are yes, yes and no. The hand is defined by the high card first. If the high card is King or Ace, it’s higher than a Queen-high hand, regardless of the other two cards. If the high card is a Jack or lower, it’s a lower hand.
The next step is the second card. Queen-7-3 is higher than Queen-6-4, because the 7 beats the 6. The third card comes into play only if the first two cards are equal. Queen-6-5 beats Queen-6-4, but Queen-6-3 is a folding hand.

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