All about Three Card Poker

Three Card Poker Odds

The calculation of odds in three card poker is fairly easy as there are only three cards involved in creating the poker hand and no additional cards are drawn. Nevertheless, the process is slightly complicated owing to the different payout structures of different casinos for the pair plus and ante & play wins.
The average house edge three card poker bets comes to around 3.37% for ante as well as play bets. However, in pair plus bets, the house advantage can vary anywhere from 2.32% to 7.8%, depending on the exact payout schedule offered by the online/off-line casino. As in case of majority of table games, keeping higher payouts for the side bets always leads to better house margins on the whole.
Looking at the bigger picture, a total of 22,100 distinct hand combinations can be made using a regular 52 card deck, if you deal three cards each on a random basis. Out of these possibilities, it is only 48 combinations that can get you the highest possible combination in three card poker - that is a straight flush. Moreover, there are only 52 ways in which you can get three of a kind, hence odds of getting the top two ranking hands are merely 0.22% and 0.24% respectively in this game. There’s just one other hand that qualifies for ante bonus, which is a straight. There are only 720 ways out of 22,100 in which you can form a straight hand in three card poker, giving it a 3.36% probability.
Now, looking at the two extra hands eligible for pair plus payouts, you can get a flush in no more than 1,096 ways, giving it an occurrence possibility of 4.96% out of all possible deals. Getting dealt a pair has a probability of 16.94%, as you can get such a hand in 3,744 ways out of 22,100.
As is obvious, it’s the high cards that predominate three card poker. Players can expect to get an ace high hand or a lower 74.39% times out of all the deals.
One more way of looking at these odds is that you may be dealt potential losers more than half the time, and get rescued only if the dealer fails to qualify. In that scenario, you’ll only be returned your ante bet on even money basis and the play bet would get pushed.
Since pair plus bets pay only even money (their odds being far from the actual odds of around 6 to 1), payouts in case of other premium hands are kept pretty large. A pair plus in case of a flush normally pays out 4 to 1, 6 to 1 in case of a straight, 3 to 1 in case of three of a kind and 4 to 1 in case of a straight flush. Those type of rates reduce the house edge considerably to around 2.32%, bringing it to the same level as other popular casino games like blackjack and roulette.
When the players are allowed to place both pair plus and ante & play bets collectively, the house edge increases. The chances of player winning becomes 32.06%, with an expected push percentage of 13.23%. Hence, the house is expected to win 54.71% of the times.
Players must look for a payout schedule that’s most beneficial for them, but they should be aware of any modifications a casino may have made to the game. For instance, some casinos provide mini royal bets that are paid out at 50 to 1 on pair plus bets, whenever you get a suited Q K A. In this scenario, although the house edge may drop to 2.12%, there is a simultaneous decrease in the flush payout to 3 to 1, thus lifting the house margin to 7.1%, significantly reducing the players’ odds of scoring a win.
Although ante bonus is beneficial for the players, it is only in cases where the payout rates are good enough. The ideal figures you should seek out are 1 to 1 for straights, 4 to 1 for three of a kinds and 5 to 1 for straight flushes. These rates establish the house edge at 3.37% for the ante and play bets. Reducing the payouts even slightly, for instance 1 to 1, 2 to 1 and 3 to 1 respectively, may increase the house edge significantly, taking it up to 4.28%.
Please note, the payouts applicable to other premium hands may get affected whenever mini royal bets are present in the ante bonus schedule. Any casino that offers 50 to 1 payout for a mini royal of spades and 10 to 1 for a normal mini royal, may offset such payouts by getting rid of the payout for straights. Furthermore, the payout for three of a kind may be dropped to 3 to 1 and for straight flushes to 4 to 1. Resultantly, the overall house advantage can rise up to 6.79%. Hence, always be cautious about any changes made to the basic three card poker game, as in most cases they’re done to increase the house edge.