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Last Updated: January 14, 2004

Three Way Action

Three way action is three games in one. The player may make any number and combination of them. There is also an optional blackjack side bet. The game is played with a single deck of cards that is shuffled after every hand. Following are the betting options:

  • Blackjack: Normal single-deck blackjack rules except the player the player may only split aces and player automatically wins with a seven-card hand of 21 or less (7-card Charlie). Assuming the dealer hits a soft 17, double on any two cards, and double after a split the normal house edge would be 0.18%. Not splitting any pair except aces adds 0.35%. The 7-card Charlie rule helps almost nothing. So the overall house edge in the blackjack portion is 0.53%.
  • Combat: Player's first card against Dealer's up card, highest card wins. A player win pays even money. Dealer wins half on a tie. House edge of 2.94%.
  • Seven Card Showdown: Additional cards are added to player's and dealer's final blackjack hands to make seven each. The best poker hand wins. Dealer must have at least an ace high to qualify. If dealer doesn't qualify then the players wins 1/2 his bet, otherwise a win pays even money. Following are the possible outcomes of this bet according to a random simulation.

Seven Card Showdown - Seven Card Showdown

Hand Total Probability Pays Return
Dealer doesn't qualify 7058671 0.077398 0.5 0.038699
Player wins 38775791 0.425173 1 0.425173
Dealer wins 45306542 0.496782 -1 -0.496782
Tie 58996 0.000647 0 0
Total 91200000 1 0 -0.03291

The lower right cell shows a house edge of 3.29%.

There is also a side bet titled Bonus Action based on the player's final seven cards. The following table shows the winning hands, their probability, what they pay, and the return.

Three Way Action - Bonus Action

Hand Combinations Probability Pays Return
Royal flush 4324 0.000032 1000-1 0.032321
Straight flush 37260 0.000279 100-1 0.027851
4 of a kind 224848 0.001681 25-1 0.042017
Full house 3473184 0.025961 7-1 0.181727
Flush 4047644 0.030255 5-1 0.151275
Straight 6180020 0.046194 3-1 0.138581
3 of a kind 6461620 0.048299 3-1 0.144896
2 pair 31433400 0.234955 lose -0.234955
Pair 58627800 0.438225 lose -0.438225
Nothing 23294460 0.174119 lose -0.174119
Total 133784560 1 -0.128632

The number in the lower right hand corner shows the house edge is 12.86%.

There is also a similar game called Triple Shot.

Michael Shackleford, ASA

Written by: Michael Shackleford

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