Does the Ante Bonus Pay When You Fold?

Discussion in '3-Card Poker Tournament Strategy' started by gronbog, May 17, 2014.

  1. gronbog

    gronbog Top Member

    I've searched all over the internet, including the Wizard of Odds, but can't seem to find the answer to this question. The Wizard's site implies that it does not:

    "If the player made the Ante bet and has a straight or higher then the player will receive an Ante Bonus, regardless of the value of the dealer's hand.
    The Pairplus bet will pay entirely based on the poker value of the player's hand, as shown in the Pairplus section below."

    It is clear that the pairplus bet pays regardless of whether you play or fold, and the wording for pairplus is what implies (to me) that you must play to get the ante bonus, however, the wording for the ante bonus says "If the player made the ante bet ...", i.e. it does not say "If the player played the ante bet ...".

    Now this does not matter for the basic strategy player who plays anything Q64 or better, or for the tournament player who is playing blind. However, there are tournament situations where it could matter. For example, min 25, max 500, final hand, two players, one advances. Ante bonus pays 1/4/5 (straight, 3 of a kind, straight flush):

    BR1, bankroll 5000, ante bet 25, pairplus bet 0
    BR2, bankroll 3800, ante bet 500, pairplus bet 0

    BR1 has tried to lock out BR2 by forcing him to win more than two max ante bets. BR2 has bet max, trying to do just that. For the purposes of this example, let's not get into why BR2 didn't bet on pairplus (I believe that he can afford to). Now assume that BR2 has been dealt three-of-a-kind.

    If the ante bonus pays after folding, then BR2 can lock out BR1 by folding. He will lose his ante, but win 4 bets on the bonus for a net win of 3. If he plays, then there is a small chance that he will lose to the dealer, which would reduce his net win to 2 units. Better to take a lock than to take a chance.

    If the ante bonus does not pay after folding then BR2 has no choice but to play his hand.

    Does anyone know the answer to this?
  2. hopinglarry

    hopinglarry Top Member

    If you fold the hand you forfeit which I would consider a lost and you should get paid the ante bonus. However, no matter what answer you may get on this board, I would have the tournament director make a decision on what would happen if you fold. Casinos do their own thing in tournaments and they are always the final decision maker.
  3. hopinglarry

    hopinglarry Top Member

    There is a possibility that this has never come up before. Seems to me that the dealer does not look at the cards when a player folds. He just makes sure there are 3 cards and puts them in the discard pile. A person would never do this on purpose in a regular game and I doubt that anyone would think of doing it in a tournament. The percentages are so small for folding to be the correct play people would just not consider it. I am amazed that you even thought of this.
  4. gronbog

    gronbog Top Member

    Interesting point about the mechanics of the game. If I had ever played the game, I would have known. What happens when someone folds with a pairplus bet? The dealer must then have to look at the cards.

    The main reason I thought of this is that it came up while I was coding a simulator for this game. I coded it so that the bonus always pays and thought I had it right when my results for basic strategy play agreed with The Wizard's. I then realized that it doesn't matter for a basic strategy player. That then got me to thinking about whether it could ever matter in a tournament which led to this contrived example. It's not really that far fetched, since it's similar to surrendering in order to lock in a result for blackjack. Sometimes it's the best play even if you have 20.

    You're right about real life, however. Always best to clarify any questions privately with a tournament supervisor before play begins.
  5. hopinglarry

    hopinglarry Top Member

    Ah, yes. Here we have 2 people who do not play the game discussing the strategy. I can't remember if the dealer looks at the cards if a person folds a hand and has a pair plus bet. We need someone who actually plays the game to give us some info.
  6. hopinglarry

    hopinglarry Top Member

    I probably should not have used the word "correct". It could be the correct play more often than a person thinks. However, my little experience at 3 card poker tournaments, would lend me to think that a person with a straight or above would not even consider folding. Most of them bet PP. After the hand is over with, even if a person would have been better off folding with a straight up, they probably would still not have thought about it.
  7. hopinglarry

    hopinglarry Top Member

    Actually, I have not seen where you get paid an Ante bonus when the hand is a push which is possible on straights and straight flushes, but I am willing to bet that you get paid the bonus. I saw one site that says no additional wager is required for the ante bonus.
  8. gronbog

    gronbog Top Member

    Ahhh, but a push implies that you did not fold.
  9. gronbog

    gronbog Top Member

    Some more research and offline discussion leads me to the conclusion that the answer is "it depends".

    It depends on your region
    It depends on online vs real casino
    It depends on the whim of the dealer/supervisor

    The most common rule set seems to be that the ante bonus only pays if you play and that the pair plus always pays. I've changed my sim so that these are configurable with those defaults.

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