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By John Grochowski on Friday February 24, 2017
3-card, gaming-strategy, gaming-tips, payoff, poker
Three Card Poker was designed with straight flushes as the highest paying hands.
In the extraordinarily rare situation of you and the dealer both having a straight flush, the ante-play bet would be decided by the higher-ranking cards. But usually, Pair Plus and ante bonus payoffs are the same regardless of whether your straight flush is Ace-King-Queen or 2-3-4.
The exceptions are at casinos that offer a bigger payoff on mini-royals – Ace, King, Queen of the same suit. A reader emailed me to say he’d seen a table where the Pair Plus bet paid 50-1 on a mini-royal as well as the common 40-1 on other straight flushes, 30-1 on three of a kind, 6-1 on straights, 3-1 on flushes and even money on pairs.
“How much does the mini-royal bring down the house edge?” he asked. “Also, how often do you get a mini-royal?”
With no mini-royal and Ace-King-Queen paid 4-1 just like any other straight flush, the house edge on Pair Plus is 7.28 percent.
With the 50-1 mini-royal payoff added, the house edge is reduced to 7.10 percent. So layering the mini-royal payoff onto the common pay table reduces the house edge by 0.18 percent.
As for the frequency of mini-royals, there are 22,100 possible three-card hands in which card order doesn’t matter. Of those, four are mini-royals – one in each suit. So your chances of being dealt a mini-royal are 1 in 5,525. That makes it a fairly rare hand, but an attainable one. Those who play a lot of Three Card Poker will see one from time to time.
Royals in five-card stud games are much rarer events. In five-card games, there are 2,598,960 possible hands in which card order doesn’t matter. Four of those are royals, so you chances of being dealt a royal are 1 in 649,740. Many who play five-card stud games will go a lifetime without ever seeing one.