3 Card Poker Table Top
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36 to 44 inches Poker Tablecloth - Perfect Green Game Table Cover Round Felt for Card Games, Poker, Texas Hold'em 4.3 out of 5 stars 58 Yuanhe 108X60Inch Section of Two-Tone Suited Poker Table. There are three betting circles in front of each seat. The top betting circle is labeled Pair.

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Of all the casino table games based on poker hand rankings, 3 Card Poker is the most popular. This game combines simple strategy with a shot at some big pay outs for the best poker hands.

If you live in a state with regulated online casinos, you’ll be able to play Three Card Poker via desktops and mobile casino apps. Live dealer online casinos let you play a dealt game online. Software-based games are also available where you can play 3 Card Poker for free or with real money.

The key to the popularity of 3 Card Poker is the ‘Pair Plus’ side bet. Most players bet on the main hand (a requirement) and one or more optional side bets. In live casinos, you might find a side bet includes a big progressive jackpot for players lucky enough to hit a 6 card ‘Super’ Royal Flush.

This page gives you all you need to get started with 3 Card Poker whether you play online or in a brick and mortar casino. The rules and order of events in a hand of the game are covered directly below. After this, you’ll find detailed information on the side bets, house edge, strategy and the options for online play.

How to play 3 Card Poker

Each hand starts with the players placing bets. The only mandatory bet is the Ante. The minimum and maximum bet will vary. Online this can be as little as 50c, in live casinos a $5 minimum is more common. Players often combine their ante bet with one or more side-bets – these are covered in the section below.

After all the players have bet, each player and the dealer are dealt 3 cards face down.

Players examine their cards individually (without sharing what they have with the other players). You then decide whether to fold, which forfeits the ante bet, or raise. To continue with the hand (raise), you place an additional bet equal to the ante on the table in the square marked ‘Play’. Strategy for which option to choose is covered below.

After all the players have either folded or raised, the dealer will reveal his/her cards.

This game includes a dealer qualification rule. If the dealer does not have at least Queen high, his/her has not qualified. When this happens, the ante is paid at 1-to-1 and the Play bet is a push (the stake is returned).

If the dealer has a qualifying hand, then the value of that hand is compared to the value of the players hand to determine the winner. Standard poker hand rankings are used, with bonus payouts paid for a straight or better. Note that with 3 cards, a flush is easier to get than a straight, and so considered below this in the poker rankings. In the rare event of a tie, both the Ante and Play bets are returned.

Payout on Ante Bets

Here are the additional Ante bet pay outs:

  • Straight: 1-to-1
  • 3 of a Kind: 5-to-1
  • Straight Flush: 5-to-1

Simple 3 Card Poker strategy and casino house edge

The math shows that the optimal strategy in 3-Card Poker is to play when you have Queen/6/4 or better, and to fold anything below this. You might notice that this strategy is very close to the dealer’s play – qualifying with Queen high. Some players choose to further simplify their strategy by mimicking the dealer and raising with any Queen regardless of the side cards.

While close, this does give the house a slightly bigger advantage in the long run.

  • House Edge for Q/6/4: 3.24%
  • House Edge for any Queen: 3.37%

As the side bets are completely independent from the main game, the pay tables for these bets will never influence your strategy.

Popular side bets in Three Card Poker games

For many players, a hand of Three Card Poker would not be complete without a bet on the ‘Pair Plus’ side bet. This bet is optional. It is also independent of the main game.

Pair Plus works by looking at your own three cards. If you have less than 1 pair, the bet is lost.

Pairs Plus Payouts

With hands of 1 pair or better, you’ll be paid according to the table below:

  • Mini Royal (Ace / King / Queen of the same suit): 80-to-1
  • Straight Flush: 40-to-1
  • 3 of a Kind: 25-to-1
  • Straight: 6-to-1
  • Flush: 3-to-1
  • Pair: 1-to-1

Note that you can find casinos with minor variations of this pay table. Some casinos do not offer a boosted prize for a mini-royal, instead increasing the prize for the flush.

The other popular side bet involves all 6 cards in your hand and the dealer’s hand. The best possible 5-card poker hand using a combination of these cards will qualify for the bonus. There are several variations under the generic title of 6-card bonus.

Some of these may include progressive jackpots. For example, Caesars Entertainment casinos have a linked progressive which pays on a 6-card ‘Super Royal’ in diamonds only.

Payouts for 6-card bonus

Typical payouts for 6-card bonuses are as follows:

  • Royal Flush: 1000-to-1
  • Straight Flush: 200-to-1
  • 4 of a Kind: 5-to-1
  • Full House: 25-to-1
  • Flush: 15-to-1
  • Straight: 10-to-1
  • 3 of a Kind: 5-to-1

Any hand below 3 of a kind results in a loss. There are many side-bet variations. Some casinos add a (smaller) progressive element to the 3 card hands of individual players. Note that the side bets have a much bigger house edge than the main game. This can be as high as 15.28% in some 6-card bonus variations.

How to Play 3 Card Poker online

Regulation for online casinos is happening at the state level. The online casinos in New Jersey, Pennsylvania, Michigan and West Virginia will only work within state lines in each instance.

Big casino brands have partnered with local brick and mortar venues to create mobile apps as well as desktop casinos. Brands include 888 Casino, Golden Nugget and Sugarhouse.

You’ll be able to enjoy slots, video poker and table games via these casino apps. This includes 3-Card Poker, alongside blackjack, roulette, Ultimate Texas Hold’em and more.

There are two ways to enjoy 3 Card Poker online. First, you can play against casinos on software-based games. These are fast, include side-bets and can be enjoyed for micro-stakes starting at around 50c per hand.

You can also bet on the result of games streamed from a casino. Live dealer 3-Card Poker uses an overlay to bet, with a real dealer handling the cards in real time. Everyone bets on the same hand, with the hand being continued to its conclusion each time (for those people who did not fold).

This way of enjoying 3-Card Poker has social element. You can chat with the dealer and share messages with other players. Stakes are higher compared to the software-based games. You’ll have to stay focused on the game. If you time out (or disconnect) before making your decision, then your hand will be folded.

How to clear your bonus using 3 Card Poker

Most mobile casinos in the regulated states offer new players generous bonuses to sign up. These include no-deposit (free play) style bonuses, matched welcome bonus offers based on your first deposit – and many other promotions.

Keep in mind that you’ll need to play through your bonus a set number of times before any winnings can be withdrawn.

If you are playing slot machines, then all of your play counts towards ‘clearing’ your bonus. With table games including 3-Card Poker, the contribution towards bonus clearing is weighted. Some casinos will allow for 25% of your play to count, while others will offer 10% or under. Before you choose a casino bonus, checking the terms of each bonus for excluded games and weightings is always a sound strategy.

With free-play casino bonuses, you might find that only slots are permitted.

Other casino table games

Ultimate Texas Hold'em3 Card PokerLet It Ride
BaccaratBlackjack

Pros and cons: Live vs Online 3-Card Texas Hold’em

While both online and live casino table games have their place, there are distinct advantages to each. If you are lucky enough to live in a state with legal online casinos, the pros and cons are outlined below:

The pros and cons of playing 3-Card Poker online are as follows:

Pros

  • No need to travel to a casino to enjoy the game
  • Stakes are lower
  • Live dealer games include a social element

Cons

  • Only available in a handful of regulated states
  • Disconnections or time outs (live dealer) mean your hand will be folded
  • Game is not fully weighted for clearing casino bonuses

Live 3-Card Poker Casinos

The pros and cons of playing Live 3-Card Poker online are as follows:

Pros

  • Enjoyable social settings
  • Casinos often have progressive jackpot side bets
  • Loyalty schemes with free-play/resort benefits

Cons

  • Stakes are generally higher than online ($5 minimum is typical)
  • You’ll need to travel to a casino
  • Naturally slower pace of play

FAQ

Can you cheat at Three Card Poker?

While some forms of collusion are possible, these would be fraudulent and require marked cards or a casino dealer getting involved. Collusion among players would not result in a positive expectation for the game. If players developed a system to share their hands, several cards could be accounted for. This would increase or decrease the chances of the dealer having a good hand slightly – although not enough to win any money over time.

Marked cards or fraudulent collusion would be picked up by casino security as soon as losses from the table were significant. With the base strategy very simple, diversions from this would be very easy to spot.

How big a bankroll do I need for 3-Card Poker?

Compared to many casino table games (UTH, Mississippi Stud and Casino Hold’em for example) the natural variance of 3-Card poker is low. On most hands, you’ll be winning or losing single bets. There is also a low house edge, at least in the main game, of 3.27%.

20 times your ante bet is a common starting point for this game. This is enough to enjoy a session, with the possibility of upping your bets if you go on a hot streak.

Your total bankroll depends on how much you can afford to lose and how easily your gambling money can be topped up.

How does the house edge of 3 Card Poker compare?

Compared to other casino table games based on poker hand rankings, 3 Card Poker has a slightly higher house edge. This game has an easy strategy, which means new players can quickly realize the house edge. Compare this with blackjack, where small mistakes made by newer players can have large effect on the casino’s edge.

You should keep in mind that 3-Card Poker side bets have a big edge in favor of the house compared to the main game.

Three Card Poker House Edge vs. Other Table Games

Here is how 3-Card Poker’s house edge compares:

  • 3 Card Poker: 3.27%
  • Blackjack: 0.5% to 3% (depends on the rules)
  • Baccarat: 1.06% (if you play the ‘Player’ bet)
  • Ultimate Texas Hold’em: 2.2% + 0.5% of any play bets
  • Roulette: 2.7% / 5.26% (European / US wheel)
  • Casino Hold’em: 2.16%

Is it legal to play 3-Card Poker online?

States determine their own laws for online casinos. In each state where these are legal, the casinos will only work within their borders. So far, PA, NJ, MI and WV have legal online casinos. There are many more states in various stages of introducing gambling online.

Outside of these states, you can enjoy limited casino table games and slots at ‘Sweepstakes Casinos’. 3-Card poker has not yet made it to any of these brands.

Final thoughts on 3 Card poker

Of all the casino games based on poker hand ranks, 3-Card Poker is the most popular. This game combines a straightforward strategy (play Q-6-4+/fold otherwise), with the chance of boosted payouts for big poker hands. The house edge, at just 3.27%, is reasonably low. It is harder to make mistakes in this game which could boost this edge in favor of the casino. Optional side bets are available, many of them with big progressive jackpots.

If you live in one of the regulated states, you can now enjoy free and real money 3 Card online. This can be played against software, or at live dealer online casinos – where you’ll bet on a dealt game streamed from a studio.

Submitted by Jason Horton on Friday, June 15, 2018.

As I write this, WSOP 2018 is in full swing, so I thought this would be a good time to update my recommendations on folding poker table tops for home games.

These new recommendations aren't based simply on my personal opinion, instead they're based on analysis of more than 1,300 opinions from people who have bought or used them - you can read more about that in the Methodology section at the end of this guide.

As an experienced casino and live tournament player myself, I've also provided some advice for those of you who don't have much experience with poker tables. Lucky charms casino games.

Contents

  • The Best Folding Poker Table Tops

Poker Table Top Buying Advice

Having a proper felt table is much better than playing your home games on a regular kitchen table top. Not only do they add a touch of class to the game but cards also slide more predictably across the surface resulting in fewer misdeals.

  • Size: For octagonal tops the main consideration is how much space it takes up when bagged and stored. Many people use their poker tops on tables which are larger with many people using 48' tops on 60' (5 feet) round tables. They can also be used on square tables. I personally prefer a top that's slightly larger than the table it's sitting on, however you have to be careful not to knock the top and topple everyone's chips when sitting down. Octagonal tops are usually measured from point to point, not side to side. For oval tables the main consideration, other than folded size, is that length is similar to the table it's going on so people at the ends don't have to reach too far, but it doesn't have to be an exact fit.

  • Playing Surface: All the tops recommended below have a felt playing surface, however some of them are decorated and some aren't. One issue that often arises with cheaper tops that are decorated is that the markings are printed on with inks or dyes that are sometimes sticky. This isn't always an issue for home players, but anyone experienced at dealing on a professional table will get frustrated with the way cards can stick to the paint when sliding across the surface.

  • Portability: Although most folding tops come with carry bags, the quality of the bags tends to vary a lot. If you're planning on carrying the top around with you, pay special attention to the review analyses below.

  • Folds: The more folds a top has, the smaller it generally is when stowed away, however the folds can crease over time leading to cards getting caught sometimes leading to misdeals. To minimize the risk of this happening, get one with the least number of folds for its type if folded size isn't a concern for you.

  • Extras: Some tops come with extras such as cards and chips. Generally these tend to be lower quality cards than I prefer - see my card recommendation below for a better option. Also bundled chips tend to be lower quality plastic ones that are okay for some, but not for players used to the weight and feel of standard clay based chips, after all a good set of chips can cost more than many table tops.

The Best Folding Poker Table Tops

I've organized this table to show the highest rated small, medium, and large size poker table tops in each of the two categories - click on model names for detailed meta reviews further down the page.
ModelSizePolyRated*SourcesMedian Price

Octagon Poker Table Tops

MD Sports ARC046_027MSmall: 46' x 46'83215+$51
HomCom B8-0001Medium: 48' x 48'880125+$55
Trademark Poker 10-11652Large: 51' x 51'842150+$95

Oval Poker Table Tops

IDS Home 4-Fold 63'Small: 63' x 35'92010+$53
Gaintex TY557993Medium: 71' x 35'90030+$48
JP Commerce TX3Large: 82' x 40'82615+$120

Octagon Poker Table Top Meta Reviews

MD Sports ARC046_027M

PolyRated / Sources: 832 / 15+
Median Price / Sources: $51 / 3
Brand: MD Sports

Folded Size: 23.325' W x 23.325' L x 2.5' H
Included Extras: Cards & Chips
Total Weight: 23.1 lb

At only 46' across, this is one of the smallest options currently available. It folds 2 ways making it much smaller than most other options when folded.

It comes with a carry bag and a basic deck of cards. It only includes a 100 piece chip set which is not really enough for 8 players, so if you don't have chips already you'll need to buy some more.

It's made from particle board (MDF) with plastic cup and chip holders.

Review Analysis

Positive

There were approximately 3 times more positive reviews than negative ones. The most common themes were that people liked the carry bag, the table's portability, and its value for money.

Negative

A few customers reported issues with the felt not being properly glued down - one cautioned that you should be careful when first taking it out and unfolding it. By having an additional fold, there is an extra crease across the table which means you have to be more careful when dealing to ensure cards don't get caught and flipped. It's worth noting that some of the people who complained about the bag gave the table top itself high marks.

HomCom B8-0001

PolyRated / Sources: 880 / 125+
Median Price / Sources: $55 / 4
Brand: HomCom

Folded Size: 23.75' W x 47.25' L x 1.25' H
Included Extras: None
Total Weight: 22 lb

The HomCom B8-0001 has the highest ratings out of all the octagonal table tops on the market which seems to be due to its value for money in the 48' segment.

It has the most common size for an octagonal poker table top at 48' across. As you can see from the picture on the right, it uses a single fold - this does make it larger when folded than some options, but it also means there is one less join leading to fewer issues over time as it's packed away and taken out time and again for use.

The manufacturer says it's made from solid wood, however 1 reviewer said it's more likely plywood. In addition to the green felt on top, the back is covered with black felt so there's no risk of it scratching your table. The removable chip/cup holders are molded plastic. The carry bag is made from nylon.

Review Analysis

Positive

The ratio of positive to negative reviews was 15 to 1. Many people said it looks good while others commended the construction quality of the table top (but not the carry bag - see below). Most agreed that it is pretty good quality for the price.

Negative

There were many complaints about the quality of the nylon carry bag with several saying it got torn or was already ripped when it arrived, so be very careful taking it out or putting it back in the bag. A few people also reported that the plastic cup holders started to come out after a while.

Trademark Poker 10-11652

PolyRated / Sources: 842 / 150+
Median Price / Sources: $95 / 7
Brand: Trademark Poker

Folded Size: 52' W x 26' L x 3.5' H
Included Extras: None
Total Weight: 30 lb

I mainly play on oval tables, however if I needed to get an octagonal table then after examining so many reviews, this is the one I would get.

The raised padding around the edge means you don't have to worry about cards or chips falling off the edge when sliding across the table, and from personal experience they're much more comfortable when resting your arms on them.

At the time of publication, I'm still waiting on Trademark Poker to confirm what type of wood it's made from, but I can tell you that the padded sides and the bottom surface are made from vinyl. The carry bag is made from nylon.

Review Analysis

Poker

Positive

Many people commended the build quality in their customer reviews. The padded sides also garnered many positive comments even from players with a lot of casino and live tournament playing experience. Several people said that the cards slide across the table nicely - it doesn't have the 'sticky paint' issue that some of the cheaper decorated tops have.

Negative

Some people weren't happy that this table doesn't have chip holders, but I've never found this to be an issue as my friends and I prefer to organize our chips in 20 chip stacks on the table as we do at casinos. There were also some who were unhappy that the 51' measurement was from point to point rather than from side to side meaning that the top was smaller than they expected, but many of those still gave it the thumbs up overall.

Oval Poker Table Top Meta Reviews

Poker

IDS Home 4-Fold 63'

PolyRated / Sources: 920 / 10+
Median Price / Sources: $53 / 3
Brand: IDS Home

Open Size: 63' L x 35' W
Folded Size: 32.3' L x 16.5' W x 3.2' H
Included Extras: None
Total Weight: 21 lb

This top has good ratings but it's usually only bought by people with a small table to put it on - most people opt for one of the larger sizes below.

The manufacture hasn't yet provided me with detailed specifications, but based on user reports it's made with solid feeling wood.

It also comes with a carry bag as you see in the picture.

Review Analysis

Positive

The most common theme is customer reviews is that this top is solid and well made.

Negative

There were no consistently reported negatives in customer reviews.

Giantex TY557993

PolyRated / Sources: 900 / 30+
Median Price / Sources: $48 / 3
Brand: Giantex

Open Size: 71' L x 35' W
Folded Size: 18' L x 36' W x 1' H
Included Extras: None
Total Weight: 29 lb although some owners report that it's actually a few pounds heavier than that.

3 Card Poker Table Felt

This top is made from MDF wood with a felt top and PVC carry bag using its 4 segmented folding design.

Review Analysis

Positive

The positive reviews outnumber negative reviews by more than 15 to 1. Several people report that it's solidly built - some even found it to be heavier than they expected which is good because it tends to stay i place without moving around on your table. 'Great value for the money' or words to that effect were present in many reviews - some even said it was better than they expected given the low price.

Negative

The printed markings on the surface are a little sticky and sometimes catch cards as they're being dealt. Other than that the only other consistently reported negative was from a few people who said the felt creased or the joints came loose after repeated use.

JP Commerce TX3

PolyRated / Sources: 826 / 15+
Median Price / Sources: $120 / 5
Brand: JP Commerce

Open Size: 82' L x 40' W
Folded Size: 40' L x 37' W
Included Extras: None
Total Weight: 51 lb

NB: This top does not come with a carry bag.

Despite this top having lower ratings than the 2 smaller options above (possibly due to its higher price tag), this is the option I would choose for myself after having personally read all the reviews for all the options recommended in this guide.

It's built from solid wood and is nice and heavy (51 lb) to ensure it sits firmly on your table. I personally prefer a more weighty table for this reason, after all you spend more time playing on it than you do carrying it around. It also has padded sides which is a big plus for me.

Due to its 3-fold design, it takes up more space when folded than other options, however this also leads to a smoother playing surface with fewer creases.

Review Analysis

Positive

The build quality and the playing surface were praised by many. Positive reviews outnumbered negative ones by 8 to 1. With no printing on the surface it doesn't have problems with cards sticking as they slide across. One reviewer said they had owned it for over 3 years without any issues arising.

Negative

3 Card Poker Felt Top

There were no consistently reported negatives other than a couple of people who said they received damaged or low quality ones, and a couple of people who lamented the lack of a carry bag - one owner suggested saving the box it comes in for storage.

Card Recommendation

If you're still using basic playing cards then you should get a set of Copag cards. These are the only ones I ever recommend - in my opinion they are superior to all other sets of cards because they don't easily mark or get creased. Not only do they last for years, it's very difficult for a cheat to bend or crease the corners to mark them during play. The first set I bought lasted for over 10 years!

Folding Poker Table Top Selection Methodology

*All of the products recommended above were selected based on their PolyRated scores out of 1000.

3 Card Poker Table Top

These scores were calculated by analyzing reports and reviews by owners and users, assigning a score to each source and then processing those scores algorithmically to produce an overall score that reflects market sentiment about the product.

3 Card Poker Pay Table

The analysis included over 1,300 review sources of 18 models from 9 brands: Brybelly, Da Vinci, Giantex, GLD Products, HomCom, IDS Home, JP Commerce, MD Sports and Trademark Poker.

3 Card Poker Table Top Felt Layout 2017

The models with the highest rating in each category for each of the 3 sizes were then selected to be recommended above.