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Three Card Rummy Review

Screen shots of the games

Overview

Three Card Rummy is a casino card game that likely has its roots in Three Card Poker. The game is played with a single standard 52 card deck.

Initially the player places an Ante bet and the dealer will deal out 3 cards to the player and 3 cards to themselves. The player’s cards are face up and the dealer’s cards are face down. The player adds up the total of their hand using the same point system as Blackjack other than Aces always counting as 1 (Aces = 1, pips = shown value, Face Cards = 10). If the player has 2 or more cards of matching rank these cards count as 0. If the player has 2 or more numerically adjacent cards of the same suit these cards would also count as 0.

The lower the score the better for the player.

The player then has to decide whether to place and additional bet equal to their Ante bet to continue the hand or to Fold the hand and lose their Ante bet. If the player Folds the hand is over.

If the player plays the dealer’s hand is turned over than the hands are compared. If the dealer has a hand of 21 or more the player automatically wins and their Ante bet is paid at 1 to 1 while their Play bet is returned.

If the dealer has a hand of 20 or less the lower scoring hand wins the round. If the player wins their Ante bet is paid at 1 to 1 while their Play bet is paid by the following table;

Player’s Hand Point Total Payout
0 4 to 1
1-5 2 to 1
6-19 1 to 1

Example;

In the above picture the player has the 6 and 7 of Diamonds, meaning these cards count as 0 and the player is left with a score of 4.

The dealer has the Q and K of Diamonds which also counts as zero meaning the dealer has a score of 6.

4 is lower than 6 and as such the player wins. As the dealer has a score of 20 or less they have qualified and both the player’s Ante bet will be paid at 1 to 1 and their Play bet will be paid at 2 to 1 (as they have a score of between 1 and 5).

The optimal strategy for Three Card Rummy is very straight forward – if you hold a hand of 20 or less Play, otherwise Fold.

The House Edge of Three Card Rummy – when considered over the full round of play rather than as a percentage of the initial bet and assuming that the player always plays optimal strategy – is 1.93%.

To learn more about Three Card Rummy see our sister site – Three Card Rummy.

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