3 Card Poker tourny strategy

Discussion in '3-Card Poker Tournament Strategy' started by Blackjack Rebel Too, Jun 23, 2013.

  1. I searched through the Other Games Tournaments forum to try and find any discussion on strategy for a 3CP tournament but without success.

    Does anyone have any advice on strategy. It looks like I will be playing one this coming thursday.
  2. KenSmith

    KenSmith Administrator Staff Member

    Make your moves on the back bet, and essentially ignore the Pair Plus bet.

    If you bet half your bankroll on the Ante, and "play blind" by betting the other half of your bankroll on the Play bet, you are a favorite to make money on the hand.

    (Edited to add: This is wrong info. Keep reading. The real win rate is 53%...)

    Roughly 30% of the time the dealer fails to open, so you'll win the ante bet. Of the other 70% of the time, you'll beat the dealer half the time. Overall, that's a 65% chance of making money on the hand.

    (This is a bad strategy for regular play, because if you lose, you lose both bets, but when you win you often win only the ante. It's powerful for tournaments though.)

    Only use the Pair Plus if you are desperate near the end of the round.
    Last edited: Jul 5, 2013
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  3. deltaduke

    deltaduke Active Member

    my 3cp strategy

    Similar to bj betting
    I only bet minimum on ante, and no bet on pair plus at the beginning and sometimes all the way through. Most people will be betting the pair plus relatively high. However it only wins 25.6 percent of the time. The high paying straight flush and 3 of a kind only come 0.21% and 0.24% respectively. In most tournaments you will never see one. On the ante play with Q64 or better. Fold all others unless you are behind late in the tournament. If someone does happen to get the 3oak or st flush you then have to go after them with max bets or bust out trying. That's just your bad luck and not much you can do about it. If you are behind late in the tournament increase your ante bet to catch up. Don't play the pair plus unless you are forced to.
    This is my strategy and I have been quite successful with it in the few tournaments I have been able to play.
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  4. george

    george Top Member

    a lot of luck

    i found this on the net--threecardpokertournament:strategyandtips-- hope this helps you i'm still trying
  5. hopinglarry

    hopinglarry Top Member

    One little addition of strategy for the last hand. If you are close, but behind the leader and bet after the leader. There is a chance they will make a pair plus bet that will reduce their remaining chips under you. If you match them for ante and play, then as long as they do not have at least a pair (only 26% chance of winning) then if your outcomes are the same on ante/play you will have more chips. Of course, other people at the table may affect your bet, but it is an advantage.

    Of course, the antithesis is if you are the leader and have to bet first don't do this to yourself.
    gronbog likes this.
  6. gronbog

    gronbog Top Member


    Thanks to those who have posted advice in this thread so far. I am eager to learn more. These tourneys pop up every now and then in my area.
  7. hopinglarry

    hopinglarry Top Member

    My experience in 3 card poker tournaments is 3 of them in 2011 and 2012. Two at the Beau Rivage and one at Island View.

    I did not know squat about 3 card poker tournaments. So like you I asked some knowledgeable people and got the same advice you just got.

    My first tournament at the Beau. First round someone got trips on with a big bet on pair plus. I went bust shortly thereafter trying to catch them. I re-bought and lo and behold someone got trips with a big bet on pair plus. I didn't panic just yet since they were taking top 2. However, the next 2 hands one person caught back to back straights with a big pair plus bet. I then panicked and went bust shortly thereafter.

    When I got back I decided to look at the Wizard's site. Then using the Binomial calculator I garnered the following probably useless information.

    There were 5 and 6 people at my table on my two rounds with 20 hands per round. So my opponents would have 80 and 100 total hands during a round. Nobody ever dropped out early unless one person got the big hand. Too much starting money, 25K, for the max bet of 5K. There is a 25.3% chance someone will have trips or straight flush in 80 hands and 28.9% in 100 hands. There is an 84% chance of 2 or more straights. Chances are good that most people will have at least some money on the pair plus. People love to bet on it. After all it can assuage the mind to hit the big one and not have to think much at the endgame.

    The next one I played at was at the Island View. I advanced the first round with the straight Ante bet and only had to raise my bet a little bit at the end to win the table. I remember some woman said I had an interesting strategy since she had never seen anyone do what I did before. I also advanced the next round doing the same thing. But lost the following round.

    My second one at the Beau, I advanced 3 rounds to the finals doing the same thing, because I never faced the trips or SF. I eventually ended up 4th losing the next to last hand with K5 to dealer's K9 and a big bet. My experience is your chances of advancing are very good if you are not unlucky and have one of your opponents get trips or SF. Also in this tournament in the 2nd round on the last hand I was 500 behind the leader who bet first. When she made the 1K pair plus bet it gave me the chance to match her max ante/play bet and basically take the high/low on her. I was the only person to win the hand.

    More data from the Wizard's site. Ace high hand occurs 17.38%, K high hand occurs 14.66% and Q high occurs 11.95%. The average hand is about K9.
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  8. Thanks everyone for some good advice. I took that advice and started out with no PP bet and just the ante/bet in action. That was actually working out well till the fourth hand (of 20) when the lady next to me rolled over QQQ with a $25 bet on PP. That $750 win convinced me to jump into chase mode and it didn't take long for my big ante/bet bets to leave me in busted mode. Still, I had a lot better chance at success than before y'all shared your knowledge.
  9. KenSmith

    KenSmith Administrator Staff Member

    Larry pointed out to me that my simplistic approach to figuring the win probability when playing any hand is flawed in my post above.

    That's what I get for shooting from the hip.
    If I remember when I get back to reference materials, I'll post a corrected figure.
  10. hopinglarry

    hopinglarry Top Member

    Blackjack Rebel Too, unfortunate that you had the same unlucky start that I did in my first tournament.

    I was lucky in my other two tournaments that I never got very far behind and was actually the leader a number of times when we had the count after hand 17 of 20.

    Blackjack is basically a negative game. The rules affect the negativity but in general we will use .5% against. This is the reason that you basically play the minimum or there about until later in the round and then bet enough to try to get in the lead as hopefully most people have been trickled down in BR.

    When you look at 3 card. The pair plus bet runs from 2-7% negative, depending on pay table. The Ante/Play (with play at Q64) runs a little over 2% negative. It is a much more negative game. The majority of the players like to play something on pair plus, thus they have two bets of at least the minimum with a much higher negative impact than BJ. This trickles them down even more than BJ. If you play in more of these, I believe you will find yourself in the top couple of BRs in the last couple of hands.
  11. KenSmith

    KenSmith Administrator Staff Member

    Percentages for "playing blind" in 3 Card Poker

    Correcting my earlier post with the right info, thanks to James Grosjean's work in Exhibit CAA...

    If you blindly play the Ante and Play no matter what cards you are dealt, you have a 54.338% chance of winning your ante bet or more.

    Here are the payout probabilities, assuming the usual Ante Bonus paytable of (1/4/5 for St/3K/SF):
    -2        45.53106%
    -1         0.06644%
    0          0.06420%
    +1       29.29275%
    +2       22.38953%
    +3         2.20459%
    +5         0.07100%
    +6         0.22889%
    +7         0.15154%
    So, you'll win one ante bet or more 54.338% of the time.
    Last edited: Jul 5, 2013

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