It is no wonder that Three Card Poker, or Trey Poker as Net Entertainment dubs their version, is one of the more popular casino poker games of all time. The simple, yet tactical game is ingeniously addictive. Although the straightforward structure and flow of the game is less involved than other poker variations, the rapid speed with which one can play makes it very enticing to keep playing just one more hand.
This game is currently unavailable as it is no longer provided by Net Entertainment. Versions of the game from Microgaming, Playtech and other online gaming developers have disappeared too which leads us to suspect that there may be a legal issue surrounding the game.
The player makes two bets - an ante bet of between 1 and 40 as well as a 'pair up' bet in the same range. The player and dealer are subsequently dealt three-card hands. You then have two simple options: fold or play. If you fold, you lose your ante bet, a pay bet equal to the amount anted, as well as the 'pair up' bet if you put one down. If you play, you come up against the dealer, who must have a queen or higher to be eligible to beat you. Win and you take dealer's ante bet, a play bet equal to your ante, plus any 'pair up' bet it put down in the game.
An interesting twist occurs when the player is a dealt a pair or better: the 'pair up' bet comes into play. If a player wagers a 'pair up,' is dealt a pair or better, and has a better hand then the dealer, he or she wins the ante amount, a pay amount equal to the ante amount, and receives double the 'pair up' value wagered. Note, however, that if a player beats the dealer and does not have a pair or better, he or she loses whatever was put down in the 'pair up' pile.
It's also important to note that normal poker hands are adjusted to the three-card hands. For example, a 'straight' consists of having three cards in a row and is greater than, say, a pair. Similarly, a 'flush' only requires three cards of the same suit, but in 3 card poker, unlike most other games of poker, a straight actually beats a flush.
This game is very, very fun. For a faster, less complicated variety of poker, it strikes the perfect balance of speed and strategy. Enjoy, but make sure you can pull yourself away sooner or later!