The most commonly found online poker game is currently Texas Hold’em. This hasn’t always been the case as it used to be Five Card Stud. But, like all things in life, the game of poker is constantly evolving new formats being developed all the times. If you aspire to be a great poker player then you need to learn the basics of all versions to truly compete.

One such example of these variations is Three Card Poker. Before we get into the specifics of the game, the story behind its creation is actually very interesting.

The History

Three Card Poker has only been around since the 1990s. It was created by Derek Webb in 1994 and his idea was to produce a poker game that could be played at the same speed as other casino table games.

After some trials and tweaks, it was finally picked ready to be played. Webb created a company called Prime Table Games to market the game. It was eventually picked up by a casino in Mississippi. Webb continued to market the game until 1999 and then Shuffle Master acquired the rights to the game.

Around the same time, Progressive Gaming International Corporation (PGIC) brought a lawsuit claiming the game was too similar to Caribbean stud poker. They alleged patent infringement. Shuffle Master agreed to defend the lawsuit as part of the purchase of the Three Card Poker gaming rights.

But Derek Webb is no fool. By 2007 his company, Prime Table Games, countersued the PGIC litigation on the basis of invalid patent claims. PGIC settled for $20 million. And Webb didn’t stop there. His company also filed suit against Shuffle Master in 2008 alleging that Shuffle Master had undisclosed knowledge that the PGIC claims were invalid prior to the 1999 purchase. That case was settled for over $2 million.

So the ultimate winner was Derek Webb. But is his baby, Three Card Poker any good?

How To Play Three Card Poker

Think of Blackjack and how you as a player, play against the dealer. No matter who is at the table, your only opposition is that dealer. Three Card Poker is very similar.

Before the cards are dealt, the player must decide which mode he will be playing for the round. The first of these modes is called the Ante and Play. This is the mode that pits the player’s hand against the hand of the dealer. The second mode is the Pair Plus. It is essentially a wager that pays out on a scale on the condition that the player’s hand is a pair or better.

Since there are fewer cards in the hand, there are fewer hand variations (22,100 to be precise). In ascending order of value, these are: High Card, Pair, Flush, Straight, Three of a Kind and Straight Flush.

In Ante and Play, you have the option of placing an ante before the cards are dealt. Three cards are then dealt to the player and the dealer. If the player has placed an ante wager, they have the option to fold at this point or continue with a play wager.

That must be equal or higher than the ante. The cards are then revealed and bets settled. For the dealer to play, they must have a Queen high or better. If the player wins, the ante and the play are paid 1:1.

Basically, you must get a better hand than the dealer from your three cards. If you do you win. If you don’t you lose.



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