If you are looking for a little more action and real money on the table, then 3 Card Draw poker is for you. The fast pace of this poker game and its easy-to-learn strategy is a great option for beginners and veteran gamers alike. This guide will walk you through 3 card draw basic rules, review a sample hand, explain how the bonus side bet works and differences between regular 3 Card and 3 Card Draw.
At its core, 3 Card Draw poker is just like 3 Card, a variation of poker but with the option for each player to swap one, and only one, card in exchange for a fourth in an attempt to strength their hand. While each player receives three cards, the dealer receives four, always qualifies and is tasked with making the strongest 3-card poker hand from the four cards.
The objective of 3 Card Draw poker is to finish with a stronger hand than that of the dealer. Because we’re playing with fewer cards than a typical poker round, here’s the 3 Card Draw hand rankings breakdown (strongest-to-weakest):
|Mini-Royal||Ace-King-Queen of same suit|
|Straight Flush||Three sequential cards of same suit|
|Trips||Three of the same card value|
|Straight||Three sequential cards, off-suit|
|Flush||Three cards of the same suit|
|Pair||Two cards of same value|
Before a player receives their three cards from the dealer, they must first place an ante bet and decide whether or not to bet on the “First 3 Bonus” optional side bet. The value of the bonus bet does not have to be equal to the ante. The “First 3 Bonus” pays out when a player possesses a pair-or-better on their initial hand.
After initial bets are placed, the dealer or online casino random number generator software deals three cards face down to each player and four to the house. After reviewing their three cards, known only to them, the player has three choices:
If the player chooses to swap one card for another, the dealer gives them one face down, tucked under either the “First 3 Bonus” or original ante chips. When keeping or drawing, the player must move their cards into the “In to Win/Draw” box to confirm their bet decision.
The dealer then flips over their four cards and creates the best 3-card hand. Players then flip theirs over and hand rankings are compared. If the dealer has the higher hand, players ante and raise bets are collected. If the player has the higher hand, they’ll be paid 1-to-1 on the ante wager and raise bets.
The “First 3 Bonus” and “In to Win / Draw” bet payouts are unique to the casino provider as odds can vary. A sample of a “First 3 Bonus” paytable could look something like this:
|First 3 Bonus Hand||Payout Odds|
To reiterate, payouts occur when you build these hands on the initial three cards you receive. Some casinos will also pay small bonuses when you draw and build these hands.
At its core, 3 Card Draw poker is just like poker with 3 cards, but with the option for each player to swap one, and only one, card in exchange for a fourth in an attempt to strength their hand.
For this sample hand, let’s play at a $10 / hand 3 Card Draw table.
Players may wager an ante and additional “First 3 Bonus” before receiving their cards. This additional play wager doesn’t need to be equal to that of the original ante. Bonuses are paid if players hold qualifying hands after receiving their first three cards.
Depending on the different bonus payouts, the house edge in 3 Card Draw poker is between 3 and 5 percent.
The primary differences between the poker variation and 3 Card Draw Poker are: