Unlike with other forms of poker, there is relatively little written about strategy for Three Card Poker, so let’s try and rectify that here with a few tips to keep in mind when playing the game. In both ante and play modes, the most effective strategy in Three Card Poker is to always raise if you have a queen, six and four, or greater, in the same hand. This is the case no matter what the situation is with the bonus pay table. In this scenario you stand to lose 8.66% of the ante but compensate this by winning 5.29% on the Raise.
You may well ask what exactly is meant by having a queen, six, four and if, for example, queen, seven, three would count as a higher hand. So let’s look at that in a little more detail. Keep in mind that hands are scored by first looking at the highest card then the second and then the third in all poker-based games. So queen, seven, three is a stronger hand than queen, six, four as the queens cancel each other out, and the seven beats the six, resolving the hand at the second card and rendering the fact that the four beats the three irrelevant.
But why is queen, six, four the precise cut-off point when it comes to a logical decision on whether or not you should raise? This is the hand that swings the odds in your favour. With a queen, six, three for example, you will lose marginally hands than you will win, statistically. With a queen, six, four however, you will on average win marginally more hands than you will lose.
Many players wonder if mimicking the dealer by raising on any queen or higher is the best raising strategy. Although there are far worse strategies the odds here are still poorer than in the case of the optimal strategy already outlined. If you adopt a strategy of replicating the raising pattern of the dealer, the house has a 3.45% advantage over you. If you raise blind on every hand this advantage increases to 7.65% in favour of the house.
Another important thing to factor into your play when deciding with what cards to raise is whether the casino, online or offline, you are playing in gives ties in favour of the player. Some casinos play this rule while others simply return the stake in the case of a tied hand.