Three Card Poker – Learn How To Win With Side Wagers

Written by: Sadonna Price, OUSC Expert in Online Casinos and Poker
4 minute read

Three Card Poker Side WagerThree card poker is a popular poker variant, offered online as well as in land-based gaming venues. The game can be played in several ways and offers side bets that can be quite lucrative. Take for example the recent win in Atlantic City.

According to, Harold McDowell, an 85-year-old-gambler, was visiting the Borgata Casino with his wife after finding out that she had beaten cancer. They were celebrating at the casino when Mr. McDowell played Three Card Poker and decided to place a $1 wager on the Six-Card Bonus. This was the right move as he is now $1 million richer!

The Six-Card Bonus of Three Card Poker

Harold McDowell Three Card Poker Winner

Harold McDowell

Some Three Card Poker games, like the one Mr. McDowell played at the Borgata, offer a side wager. For a small amount, you can bet that a certain turn of events will take place and if you win the bet, you earn a sizable sum.

The Six-Card Bonus bet pays off on the best five-card hand that can be made from the player’s three cards and the dealer’s three cards. According to experts at, the odds of the Six-Card Bonus being hit were 1 in 20,348,320.

In 3 Card Poker, a side bet can be found online as well as in land-based casinos. Learning more about the side bet that is offered can help you to find out the odds of winning and if the wager is worth the risk.

How Does Three Card Poker Work?

Three Card Poker is different from traditional poker gaming. The game is actually two in one. You have the ante bet and the side bet, which is known as the Pair-Plus bet. The following table shows the types of bets you can make.

Ante Bet

Sets the cards of the player against the cards of the dealer

Pair-Plus Wager

The cards of the player are set against the pay table

Side Wager

You will win if the cards you hold are strong enough, no matter what happens at the table according to the ante bet.

How Do You Play?

When gameplay begins, you will place your bet and decide if you want to make the Pair-Plus wager. Cards will be dealt, and you will be given a 3-card hand face down to the dealer. Once you look at your cards, you will need to decide if you wish to raise or fold. If you fold, you lose the ante bet but you can still win a Pair-Plus bet if you qualify.

The dealer then shows his hand and if the player’s hand is better, they win a 1 to 1 payout on the ante and the raise wagers. If the dealer has a better hand, then both wagers are lost.

Three Card Poker Hands

The hand rankings used in 3 Card Poker are found below:

  1. Straight Flush: This is the best hand. Three cards of the same suit in a sequential like 8 – 9 – 10 of spades
  2. Three of a Kind: Three cards of the same rank like a 4 – 4 – 4
  3. Straight: Three cards in sequence like a 2 – 3 – 4
  4. Flush: Three cards of the same suit
  5. Pair: Two cards of the same rank and the third card of a different rank
  6. High Card: Three cards of different rank and suit, not in sequence
If you want to know more about how to play and win at 3 Card Poker, check out our in-depth Three Card Poker Guide.

Try Your Luck at Three Card Poker

If you have never played Three Card Poker a good place to start is BetOnline. This top-rated online casino offers the game in their Table Games section, with the traditional 3 Card Poker format. Give it a go a few times to see what happens. You never know, you might end up like Mr. McDowell and earn a huge jackpot after beating the odds!

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Sadonna Price

Sadonna Price OUSC Expert in Online Casinos and Poker

Sadonna is a former professional poker player. Passionate about writing and loves using her creativity to provide insight into the interesting gambling world.

Learn More About Sadonna