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Feb

24

2017

Mini Royal Payoffs in Three Card 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.

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