Tri Card Poker

Learning the Basics of Tri Card Poker

While many beginners and first-time casino players tend to dread Tri Card Poker because of its seemingly complicated connotation, it is actually the easiest game to follow and win once understood and grasped completely. Throughout the years, Tri Card Poker has won the patronage of many and was even recognized as the most sought after game. What makes the game worth a try is its fun, exciting, and gripping gameplay, let alone the big jackpots and prizes the game has to offer. It is not uncommon that once a beginner has started playing the game, he is bound to get hooked and addicted to it. If you are planning to learn the rudiments of this game, then it is best to start now to enjoy a long week of Tri Card Poker madness.

The Story Behind the Game

What we today call as Tri Card Poker has actually sprung from a long line of derivatives from the once famous British gambling game “brag.” The earlier version of brag was called “primero.” It is a very fast card game, hence, the name. The game developed more rules and was then renamed as “Post-and-Pair.” However, since the name seemed to be a bit long, players just simply referred to it as “brag.” When the game was released in other countries, most of them referred to the game as Brit-Brag in honor of the country from where it came from. Nonetheless, some were a bit intimidated by the term and coined an even simpler term for it, which was the German term for brag: “pochen.” Soon enough, the game became famous in America. The game was from then on called Tri Card Poker.

The Setting of the Game

Tri Card Poker consists of two games played in one sitting with the use of a singled deck of 52 cards. The first game is called the Play/Ante game. This is the part where the player is betting against the dealer to find out who among them has the higher hand. The second game is called the Pair Plus game where the player bets on dealing with a pair or better. While some casinos offer the option for one to bet on one game alone, most actually mandates that a player bets on the Play/Ante game prior to proceeding to the Pair Plus game.
At the Tri Card Poker table, there are three distinct betting circles in front of each player’s seat. The Pair plus Game’s betting circle is the top most one. This is where the player puts his bet if he wants to proceed to the Pair Plus game. The other two circles that are found below the Pair Plus game betting circle are labelled Ante and Play, where players can put their bets for the Play/Ante or the base game. There will be one dealer at the table. A shuffling machine is also essential for speedy shuffling in the entire duration of the game.

The Mechanism of the Game

At the beginning of the game, the players are requested to put their bets on the table. The bets should either be equal to the table minimum or higher. Betting circles can be visibly seen on the table. Each player has a set of betting circles where he is allowed to put his bets. After shuffling the cards, the dealer will then deal out three-card hands to each player. The first player to begin the round is simply the one on the right side of the dealer, followed in suit from right to left.
The Betting Options

Ante/ Play Game

There are the so-called Ante and Play Circles on the table. When a player bets on the Ante Circle, he has the option of either playing or folding once has seen his cards. If he decides to fold, his bet on the Ante wager is forfeited. On the other hand, if he decides to play, he must bet on the Play circle. His bet must be equal to his Ante Circle wager. All of the players will follow the same mechanism. Once everyone has already finished deciding, the dealer will lay down all his three cards. The dealer’s three-card hand should have at least a queen or any other high-value cards. If the dealer’s hand does not have any of these cards, he must pay all of the player’s Ante bets while at the same time return their Play bets to them.

If in case, the hand of the dealer does contain any of the high-ranking cards, each player will get the chance to compare his hand to the dealer’s. If the total of the player’s hand is lower than that of the dealer’s, he automatically loses both bets. If, on the other hand, he has obtained a higher point than that of the dealer, he wins the round, and he will be paid for both his Ante bet and his Play bet. If there’s a tie, the player is said to win.

The Pair Plus Game

The Pair Plus Game is allowed only when the player has received a pair in his hand. If he finds out that his pair are high-ranking cards, he has the option of playing on this type of bet right away, regardless of whether or not the dealer’s hand contains any of the high-ranking cards or not. There is a separate betting circle for this one. If the player’s hand is found to contain a high-ranking pair, he wins right away. If he doesn’t have a high-ranking pair, he automatically loses.

The Hand Ranking

  • Straight Flush – three sequential card belonging to the same suit
  • Three of a Kind – three cards of the same value belonging to different suits
  • Straight – three sequential cards of any suit
  • Flush – three cards belonging to the same suit
  • Pair – two cards of the same value
  • High Card – one high-value card



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