How to Play 3 Card Brag

You may well have played poker before, but do you know how to play 3 card brag?  Sometimes known as three-card poker in a casino setting, this simplified twist on the popular game has become a table standard across the globe as well as online.

In fact, it’s thought the game may even traditionally outdate its wider equivalent.  Poker in itself can be a fairly long game if you have plenty of great players at the table.

This version of the game, however, can often be speedier – and may not need as many players involved at once.

If you’ve never played the game before, here’s your chance to learn more about what’s involved, and what you’re going to need to do to win.

More and more online casinos and gaming sites are bringing 3 card into their live 3 card casino line-ups, which means there’s never been a better time to get brushing up on how to beat the dealer at their own game.

3 Card Brag How to Play

Anyone looking for a 3 card brag how to play guide need look no further.  While there are 3 card strategies and systems which can help to boost the probability of you winning every time, we are going to focus today on the basics.  That is, what makes up the game, how you win, and what’s at stake.

Three card is thought to date back to 16th-century Britain, where it’s supposedly a forerunner of a number of bluffing games which are still popularly played in casinos and for fun all over the world today.

It’s a game which may well be known to Eastern players as Faras or Teen Patti.  One of the main differences between this game and poker in general lies in the fact that there’s less cards – and that there are some big changes when it comes to hand rankings.

With this in mind, if you’ve played poker before, you may be surprised by some of the variations.

3 Card Brag Rules

Let’s take a close look at the basic 3 card brag rules, step by step.

  • Firstly, a table of three players or more is dealt three card per person, all face down.
  • As with poker, the first round now takes place, whereby players will choose to bet or fold based on the hands they’ve been dealt.
  • You’ll choose to bet if you think you have the makings of a 3 card winning hand, and fold if you don’t.
  • As with poker, however, you may choose to bluff – which could influence the decisions made by other players. This means that you could choose to bet even if you don’t have the best hand around.  You’ll be banking on other players dropping out, intimidated by your alleged hand.
  • Betting will continue round until there are only two players left in the game, when the players will be requested to show their hands. The highest hand, based on the hand rankings, will take away the pot money.
  • The pot money is composite of all bets placed during the game.
  • When it comes to your turn in betting once more, you will need to make sure to honour at least the same amount you bet in the preceding round. You can, of course, raise your bets – if you are confident.
  • In three card, you do also have the choice of betting ‘blind’ or ‘open’. Betting blind means that you place your bet without having looked at your cards.  When you do this, other players will need to double your initial bet if they are betting open.
  • Betting open essentially means that you have already seen your cards and are making a bet based upon such knowledge.

How to Play Three Card Brag

Knowing to play three card brag is half the battle – it’s knowing how to bluff and when to bet that counts!  Brave players choose to bet blind when they feel they can get an advantage over other players – while some players may choose to bluff their way into the final pair.

Bluffing will only stand to work in this game if you do have the makings of at least a small hand – as otherwise, you will likely be beaten in the final showdown.

The game is slightly different to the main poker games out there in that it is largely rounds of betting based on only one deal.  Other variations of poker may see you pick up extra cards, or even work from a ‘community’ pile.

Community piles are where a run of cards are placed in the middle of the table and can be used by all players to help make up hands.

Plenty of players prefer this version of the game as it can be a quicker alternative.  What’s more, learning the various hands and combinations needed to win can be seen as far easier.

You will come across lots of 3 card sites online, some will offer free 3 card games and others will offer new 3 card games. Make sure you have a look at the various sites so you can find the best three card poker games for you.

Three Card Brag Hands

It’s a good idea to acquaint yourself with the hands required to win in the game while you are learning to play 3 card.

It takes a lot of skill and luck to summon up the best hands – and thankfully, unlike some of the more advanced poker variations, it’s not as difficult to remember the winning hands required.  Here is a brief rundown of the hands you’ll need in ranked order:

  • Prial – a prial hand is the most valuable, and it’s otherwise called a ‘pair royal’. Score three cards of the same value – e.g. QQQ or JJJ – to claim one.  The higher the card value, the more valuable the prial, so AAA is most sought-after.
  • Running Flush – get three cards in sequence, e.g. A-2-3 (the highest combination).
  • Run – a run is three cards of the same suit in sequence, e.g. 3-4-5 of diamonds.
  • Flush – a flush offers you any three cards of the same suit.
  • Pair – nice and simple, just find two cards of the same value.
  • High Card – the lowest hand, simply use your highest value card.

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James has almost a decade of experience in the Online Casino Industry. Winning several awards including "UK Casino Affiliate of the Year" he uses his experience to research the UK market to source the best bingo welcome bonuses, highest casino slots real money payouts and free spins sign up offers.