Three Card Poker Strategy
This section covers strategies that you can use when playing three card poker to maximize your chances of winning. As with all casino games three card poker has a natural house edge which means that the casino will always make money from the game in the long term.
It is worth noting how poker hands are compared and ranked. In the even that neither the player or the dealer has a pair or better then the high card rule is used. When the first or second cards are equal you move to the third card. This means that for example A, 7, 4 will beat A, 7, 3.
Ante / Play Optimal Strategy
The best strategy for the Ante and Play bet is to always play if you have Q, 6, 4 or higher. Many players like to play if they have queen high or better which is what the dealer need to qualify. By taking into account the expected value of playing we find that Q, 6, 4 is the first hand where the expected loss is less than the 1 unit loss for folding.
The EV for Q, 6, 4 is 0.993378 while the EV for Q, 6, 3 is 1.002551. This means that you can expect to lose 1.002551 if you play Q, 6, 3 and you can expect to lose 0.993378 if you play Q, 6, 4 which is less than the amount you lose if you fold the hand.
Pair Plus Strategy
There is no strategy that can be used for the Pair Plus bet as you do not have any input as to the three cards you are dealt.
Money Management for Three Card Poker
One of the most important strategies that you will learn after learning the correct playing strategy is money management. Before you even make a bet you should decide what units you will bet in. This should be relative to your bankroll so if for example you are playing win a $100 bankroll you should probably only make bets of $5 per hand.
The second thing that you should do before playing is set win and loss limits. These amounts will vary from player to player but by setting limits you ensure that if you get lucky you walk away with your winnings and if you lose you do not lose more than you can afford.