Updated Updated: 2024

Online 3-Card Hold’em Poker

3-Card Hold’em Poker banner

You can play online 3-Card Poker from The UK at:

3-Card Hold'em

The 3-Card Hold’em is a modern adaptation of a well-known classic game. One might say that it resembles a casino game more than it resembles a classic poker game. It gives space to alter bets to produce attractive winnings especially those gained via bonus hands.

However, there is no exact strategy as this game does not involve betting against other players. It is simply a game between the dealer and the player, making it exceptionally easier than other variations of poker.


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Three-card hold’em poker is believed to have been invented in 1994 by Derek Webb. It is also believed that it has some characteristics from the British card game known as Brag. Mr Webb invented this variation because he found the traditional poker casino games boring and wanted something new.

Nowadays, it is being enjoyed by so many people that it managed to integrate into online casinos. This modern online variation is actually a hybrid of two other games namely; the Ante and Play game, and the Pair Plus game. Major characteristics found in both of these games are still prominent in their hybrid version with the addition of being more poker-based.

Currently, players can easily find an online 3-card poker site on major online casinos. From an old casual British game to a modern and popular variation, 3-card hold’em poker has come a long way filled with a rich and exciting history.

How to Play 3-Card Hold’em Poker Online

As soon as the player accesses the game, they can notice that there are 3 types of bets which are drawn on the table. The first being the ‘PairPlus’ bet, followed by the ‘Ante’ bet and the ‘Play’ bet. The first thing the player needs to do is to decide whether they are going to bet on the Ante or the PairPlus or both.

  • The Ante is a type of forced bet which allows the player to stay in the game and receive any winnings.
  • The PairPlus is optional as it depends on the hand you receive, whether you have a pair in hand, a flush, a straight, a three of a kind or a straight flush. Therefore, if the player decides to only bet on the PairPlus, they will not receive any winnings if they win against the dealer but they will be able to receive winnings if they satisfy the Pair Plus pay table.
 3-Card Hold'em Poker Online

Moreover, after deciding on the amount which they are going to bet with, the player can place their bets by clicking on the Ante or the PairPlus position or both. If the player wishes to increase the amount of money they are betting, they can click on the positioned chip. Just in case the player makes a mistake or simply changes their mind on their recent move, on online 3-card hold’em poker, they can simply click on the ‘undo’ button and if they wish, they can clear all their bets as well.

After placing the initial bet, once ready, the player can click ‘deal’ to receive their cards, starting the hand. Once the player receives their cards, they can either bet again if they believe they have a winning hand or fold their cards and lose their Play bet.

In cases where the player actually continues on with the current hand, they must go against the dealer and hope they have better cards. For the dealer to be able to play, he must qualify, that is, amongst his hand he must have a queen-high or better. If the dealer does not qualify, the player does not win, nor do they lose.

However, as a form of compensation the player immediately receives even money on their Ante bet and their Play bet (which equals the Ante bet) is returned. On the other hand, if the dealer does qualify and the player wins, they will receive even money on both the Ante and their Play bet respectively and in cases, where the player loses, they will obviously lose both bets. Lastly, if the dealer qualifies and both him and the player tie, the latter pushes, resulting in both bets placed being returned. This is how the player can win the Ante.

PairPlus is by far the easiest bet a player can place as it does not require any decision making and any winnings derived from it are immediately given to the player as soon as they are given their hand. The player must first make a PairPlus bet before starting the hand. The lowest form a player can win this bet is by having one pair in his hand.

So, if they only have a high card hence, they will not have a pair at hand, the player immediately loses their PairPlus bet, although they are still able to win with their Ante. On the other hand, if their cards show that they have a pair or better before betting against the dealer, the PairPlus payout will be immediately given according to the pay table, even if the dealer wins.

Pay Tables

In addition to those common cases where the dealer must pay even money to the player, there are certain Ante, Play and PairPlus bonuses, regardless of the dealer’s hand.
The Ante bonus pay table is as follows:

Ante bonus pay tabl
  • Straight Flush – pays 5:1
  • Three of a Kind – pays 4:1
  • Straight – pays 1:1

The PairPlus bonus pay table is as follows:

  • Straight Flush – 40:1
  • Three of a Kind – 30:1
  • Straight – 6:1
  • Flush – 4:1
  • One Pair – 1:1

Note: In 3-card hold’em, flushes are considered of a lesser ranking than straight which isn’t the case in classic poker. This is because in this modern variation of poker, it is harder to get a straight than to get a flush.

Rules for Playing 3-Card Hold’em Poker Online

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  1. All initial bets must be placed before the cards are dealt.
  2. The player receives 3 cards facing up.
  3. The dealer receives 3 cards facing down.
  4. After starting the deal, the player can place their bet by clicking on the ‘bet’ button.
  5. In case the player does not wish to play with his current hand, they may choose to fold by clicking on the ‘fold’ button. By folding, the player knows that they will lose their Ante bet and the game comes to an end.
  6. After dealing, the player may decide to go on with the game and bet. Once they click on the ‘bet’ button, a wager, which is equal to their Ante bet, is placed.
  7. After the bet, the dealer reveals his cards, flipping them to face upwards.
  8. For the dealer to be able to participate and play the game, he must qualify. The dealer can qualify if he is in possession of a Queen or a better card.
  9. If the player has a Straight or higher in their hand, they must be paid according to the Ante bonus pay table, regardless of whether the dealer qualifies or not.
  10. The PairPlus bet payout is resolved before the player makes a decision whether to fold or bet.
  11. Minimum and Maximum limits apply only to the initial bets placed before any cards are dealt.

Tips & Tricks

strategy 3 card hold'em
  • The Strategy: When playing 3-card hold’em, a lot of players tend to play almost every hand since it has a high RTP. However, this increases the house edge by 7%. Therefore, more experienced players opt for the ‘Q64’ strategy where they only play hands which have a Queen, a 6 and a 4 or higher to keep the house edge as low as possible.
  • The 6-Card Bonus: The player should try and steer away from this Bonus bet. Even though the payout looks attractive enough, the odds are hugely not in the player’s favour.
  • The Ante and PairPlus Duo: Some players might advice others to stay away from playing both on the same deal. However, the majority usually place their bets on the both of them to have a chance of winning at least one bet even while losing the other one.
  • Keep It Slow: While playing the 3-card hold’em online it is easy to get carried away especially if players are used to the fast-paced version found at a live table. The fact that it is available online, allows the player to slow down to their own pace rather than keeping up with the other players.

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