All About Three Card Poker with Michael “Wizard of Odds” Shackleford

All About Three Card Poker with Michael “Wizard of Odds” Shackleford

hi and welcome to our instructional
that is designed to make you smarter
gambler my name is Steve Bourie
on the author of the American casino
guide which is the number one
bestselling book in the US
on the subject of casino gambling and
travel and the
only book that comes with more than one
thousand dollars in casino coupons
if you want to know more about the book
be sure to visit our website at and if you
have an iPhone or iPad
be sure to download our free app just go
to the app store and search for
American casino guide in this video
Michael Shackleford who is also known as
The Wizard of odds
and the author of gambling 102 explains
all about three card poker
He tells you how to play, what that you
can make and the best strategy for
now here’s michael Shackleford. We’re
gonna talk today
about three card poker. Three card poker
is without a doubt one of the most
successful new
table games in recent years
the thrust three card poker is
it’s a three card poker game the player
against the dealer to higher card wins
the way it begins is the player makes an
ante wager
and and an optional pair plus wager . I’ll talk about the ante wager first
after the player makes his ante wager, the
dealer will give the player three cards
and himself three cards face down the
player may look at his own three cards
and then he must make a decision he
either has to raise his bet
or fold. If the player chooses to raise
the raise bet must be equal to the ante
after the decision has been made the
dealer will turn over his cards
The dealer needs a queen high
or better to open, otherwise it will be
as if
the dealer folded and the player will win
the ante wager only
If the dealer does open then
it will be a showdown, player’s hand
against the dealer’s hand
the higher hand wins. If the player has
the higher hand
then both the ante and the raise will
even money if the dealer has the higher
hand they both lose
and in the unlikely event that they’re both
exactly the same
it will be a push. Next let’s talk about
the pair plus wager
this as a side bet that pays based only
on the poker value
of the player’s hand, it doesn’t make any
difference what the dealer has.
The pair plus, that pays anywhere from
even money for a pair up to 40-1
for a straight flush. The common pay table
for the pair plus goes 1, 3, 6,
30, 40. Some casinos have a more liberal
pay table that goes 1,
4, 6, 30,40 but unfortunately you don’t see
very often anymore. Next let’s talk about
the house advantage on three-card poker
The house advantage on the ante bet is
3.37 percent
that means that for every dollar the
player bets
on the ante he can expect to lose 3.37
The house advantage on the pair plus bet
assuming the usual 1, 3, 6, 30, 40 pay table
is 7.28%. If you’re fortunate
enough to be in a casino that has the
liberal 1, 4, 6, 30, 40 pay table
that lowers the house advantage on the
pair plus to 2.32 percent
Finally there’s something called the
ante bonus
the ante bonus pays if the player has at
least a straight
and he doesn’t need to beat the dealer
to get paid for this
it pays anywhere from an equal amount to
the ante wager
up to five times the ante wager depending
upon the player’s hand.
Next let’s talk about strategy. The
strategy for three card poker
is to raise with a queen, 6,
4 or better it’s that simple
if the player has a king high or better
he always raises, a jack high or less
the player should fold but with exactly
a queen high
then you look at the second card if
it’s a 7 or higher
the player should raise, five for lower
fold and if it’s exactly a six then you
need to look at the third card
then if that’s a five or higher raise,
three or less fold and if it’s exactly a
you should also raise. So Queen, 6, 4 is the worst
hand that the player should raise on.
Finally a word of advice
dealers on all of the
shall we say carnival games or new
poker based games
often don’t understand the rules
correctly or make careless
errors in scoring the hands. A very frequent
error made
is the dealer not paying the ante bonus
if the player loses. It’s absolutely
a rule in the game that the ante bonus
pays no matter what the dealer has
so if you get a straight and the dealer
has a higher straight and doesn’t pay
that ante bonus
stop the game before the dealer takes
the cards away
and demand to be paid. I’ve seen that
mistake so many times
so with any new poker based game
know the rules of the game cold before
you sit down at it, because I see
dealer errors all the time and they
usually go in the dealers favor
so don’t be afraid to speak up
if you think than error has worked
against you.
If you want to know more about me or
hundreds of different casino games
it’s all on my website and my book Gambling 102
has strategies for the most popular
casino games.
Don’t forget that you can see more of
our educational gaming videos on our
YouTube channel
just go to

25 thoughts on “All About Three Card Poker with Michael “Wizard of Odds” Shackleford”

  1. @americancasinouide I noticed the 6 card bonus button on the table but there was no explanation about what it is (I do know but many wont) and what the odds are on making the bet. While I understand this is not an option in all 3 card games it is an option in all Harrah's casinos on the strip.

  2. Michael's answer to your question is – "The answer is on my web site. It depends on the exact pay table. Only the Caesars casinos have that side bet, so I didn’t mention it in the video."

  3. Sorry Caesars casinos, keep forgetting they re-branded (d'oh). Thanks much for the info, I will check it out there. Love the videos, need to come more often than once a month.

  4. Man! Such a high house advantage. How can this game attracts the good card players? I'm sticking to craps & bj.

  5. 4 card poker, you get dealt 5 cards, dealer gets dealt 6, best poker hand out of 4 cards only. Dealer ALWAYS qualifies. 4 of a kind is the biggest payout. there's also a bet called "Aces up" which is similar to "pairs plus". need 2 aces or higher to get paid on it. be awesome if ACG could upload a tutorial of 4 card! love that game.

  6. This may not be a great strategy, but if I'm at a full table and I see just about everyone "play" and I have a junk hand (not Q64 or above), I tend to think the high cards may be out and the dealer (hopefully) has a non-qualifying hand.

  7. My question from Michael is that does he recommend to make the pair plus bet at all. If so, how often should we make that bet. To me the pair plus bet is a sucker bet.

  8. Michael says – Ante & Play has the lower element of risk and is thus the better bet. You can read more on his web site at – wizardofodds(dot)com/ask-the-wizard/three-card-poker/

  9. Wow, been playing this game for awhile and never knew about the Ante Bonus rule!! Of course the player usually wins with a straight or higher…. but not always!

  10. Trick is to always play every single hand no matter what. Even if it is a 6 high. In order for dealer to qualify it must be a Q or higher. Even if dealer has a J high, it is a push against a 6 high. Unless of course if dealer has a flush or straight with that high card. I have done this for a few years now and very rarely lose from playing every hand. I don't even look at my cards and just automatically bet.

  11. I am a dealer and that was a very good assumption of the game. With 1 exception. If you play every hand. "Every Hand". Your odds are 60 – 40 in the players favor. It's hard to do .. but try it. Because the dealer must have a Q or better. I get my tables to play blind  " Don't look at your cards " lol .. and it's a better winning strategy than looking and folding. This is what the casino is counting on . But play to have fun is the real name of any casino game. To have fun .. Good luck all.

  12. I went to 60,000,000,000 coins on a Casino War game (made by Empire Casino, it's googla-ble), and later the app makers apparantly assumed I am fraud, added a tweak to their software, I instantly lost it all in 1 day, rofl,  many times cards like me 2, and dealer 3, or me 3 and dealer 4 show up

  13. I am curious im a pit boss at a casino that has a 1 4 6 25 40 paytable wonder how that changes the house advantage

  14. I know a lot of these comments are old but if you are still watching this video, whatever you do, DO NOT play every hand.

    That will more then double the house edge to 7.65%.

    If I have a high card of 10, why would I play a hand that has 0% chance of winning. Think about it.

  15. Do you have to beat the dealer to win your pair plus?

    If not, then if you fold do you still get it?

  16. Does the number of players have an effect on the players advantage/disadvantage because of the number of cards being dealt? Is it better to play one-on-one or with multiple players? Thanks, and really enjoy watching your easy-to-understand videos.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *