3 Card Poker’s Ante/Play has you trying to beat the dealer’s hand, similarly to Blackjack, but the winner will be determined by the hand’s poker ranking, not by using the point system Blackjack does, wherein you are trying to reach 21 without exceeding it.
3 Card Poker can be classified as two separate games being played at the same time, and in the same place: one game is Ante/Play, and the other Pair Plus. Both of these games make use of the standard rankings for poker hands, but there are also some exceptions: a straight beats a flush in 3 Card Poker, and three-of-a-kind will beat both a flush and a straight.
In the 3 Card Poker Ante/Play game, you will be asked to place an Ante, and then a three-card hand will be dealt. If you like the cards that you have been dealt you will need to place another bet, the Play, to the same value as your Ante. If you fold at this point you will lose the game. The dealer will turn over his or her cards when all the players have viewed their hands and decided to bet or to fold, and he or she will need to be holding at least two queens in order to qualify. Should the dealer fail to qualify, the Ante bets will be paid off at even money, but Play bets will not. Should the dealer qualify, his or her hand will be compared to players’ and winning hands will get even payouts on both the Ante and Play bets.
The Pair Plus 3 Card Poker game pays out according to the strength of your hand – you do not have to compare your hand to that of the dealer’s, or beat him or her. If your hand is high enough you will get a payoff. Pair Plus 3 Card Poker is very similar to slot machine games, but resembles video poker more strongly in that the payouts are determined purely on the strength of the hand you are holding.
If you are playing both the options at the same time and you fold on your Ante bet, you will automatically fold on your Pair Plus bet as well. However, if you have a hand that manages to qualify for any type of payout on your Pair Plus bet you would not fold your Ante bet either.