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Last Updated: December 5, 2001

Three Card Draw Poker

Introduction

Three Card Draw Poker is a video poker based game. Instead of five cards there are three and instead of one deck there are four. The player may choose from two games: sevens or better and bonus poker. The player may also choose between three pay, five pay, and ten pay. The machines I have seen have been multi-coin. So far I have noticed the game at the Orleans and Caesars Palace.

Sevens or Better

The following table shows the pay table and associated statistics for the best paytable I have seen for either variation of Three Card Draw Poker. It is available at the $1 coinage at Caesars Palace.

Probabilities in Three Draw Card Poker - Sevens or Better

Hand Pays Combinations Probability Return
3 suited ace of spades 800 96215784 0.000015 0.012267
3 suited aces 160 280930104 0.000045 0.007163
3 of a kind suited 80 3390178176 0.00054 0.043223
AKQ suited 80 5213655552 0.000831 0.066471
3 aces 25 12822960192 0.002044 0.051089
Straight flush 12 41454171648 0.006606 0.079277
3 of a kind 5 87660405504 0.01397 0.069851
Straight 3 547919376384 0.087321 0.261962
Suited pair 2 415505124864 0.066218 0.132436
Flush 1 486173627904 0.07748 0.07748
Pair: 7-A 1 1116492023808 0.177933 0.177933
Nothing 0 3557788920960 0.566997 0
Total 6274797590880 1 0.979153

The next pay table is available at the 25 and 50 cent coinage at Caesars Palace, and the 25 cent coinage at the Orleans.

Probabilities in Three Draw Card Poker - Sevens or Better

Hand Pays Combinations Probability Return
3 suited ace of spades 800 96215784 0.000015 0.012267
3 suited aces 160 280930104 0.000045 0.007163
3 of a kind suited 80 3390178176 0.00054 0.043223
AKQ suited 80 5213655552 0.000831 0.066471
3 aces 25 12822960192 0.002044 0.051089
Straight flush 12 41454171648 0.006606 0.079277
3 of a kind 4 87660405504 0.01397 0.055881
Straight 3 547919376384 0.087321 0.261962
Suited pair 2 415505124864 0.066218 0.132436
Flush 1 486173627904 0.07748 0.07748
Pair: 7-A 1 1116492023808 0.177933 0.177933
Nothing 0 3557788920960 0.566997 0
Total 6274797590880 1 0.965183

The next pay table is available at the 5 and 10 cent coinage at the Orleans.

Probabilities in Three Draw Card Poker - Sevens or Better

Hand Pays Combinations Probability Return
3 suited ace of spades 800 95397288 0.000015 0.012163
3 suited aces 160 280930104 0.000045 0.007163
3 of a kind suited 80 3390178176 0.00054 0.043223
AKQ suited 80 5209290240 0.00083 0.066415
3 aces 25 12795131328 0.002039 0.050978
Straight flush 10 39875487744 0.006355 0.063549
3 of a kind 4 87660405504 0.01397 0.055881
Straight 3 544337637888 0.08675 0.260249
Suited pair 2 414294686208 0.066025 0.13205
Flush 1 517871405568 0.082532 0.082532
Pair: 7-A 1 1116650110464 0.177958 0.177958
Nothing 0 3532336930368 0.56294 0
Total 6274797590880 1 0.952162

All the statistics in this section were based on optimal computer strategy. Following is a player strategy, which should correctly advise in all situations. It will work correctly for both the 97.92% and 95.52% return pay tables of sevens or better. To use the strategy play the hand that can be found highest on the list below. For example if you had a suited 3/4/J it would be better to play the 3/4 rather (two to a straight flush, no gap) rather than keep the pat flush.

  1. Pat three aces or higher
  2. Two ace of spades
  3. Straight flush
  4. Suited aces, except spaded
  5. Straight, three of a kind
  6. Suited pair 2-K
  7. Ace pair, unsuited
  8. 2 to A/K/Q suited
  9. Pair 7-K, unsuited
  10. Two to a straight flush, no gap, except A/2
  11. Flush
  12. Two to a straight flush with one gap, suited A/2 & A/3
  13. Ace of spades
  14. Two consecutive unsuited cards 6/7 to Q/K1
  15. Ace, except spades
  16. Queen
  17. King
  18. High card. If more than one then usually the highest one is best, however keep middle card if (1) middle card is 7-K, and (2) high card is suited with low card, and (3) there are two or more gaps between low and middle card.
  19. Toss everything
Exceptions:
Hold jack and queen over ace of spades if jack is spaded.

Following are some of the hands you should never play:
  • A low pair
  • Two suited high cards with more than one gap
  • Two unsuited high cards with one or more gap
  • Unsuited king and ace

Bonus Poker

The following is the best pay table I have seen for bonus poker. It can be found at the $1 coinage at Caesars Palace.

Probabilities in Three Draw Card Poker - Bonus Poker

Hand Pays Combinations Probability Return
3 suited ace of spades 800 76966272 0.000012 0.009813
3 suited aces 400 246474600 0.000039 0.015712
3 of a kind suited: 2-4 160 432790200 0.000069 0.011036
3 of a kind suited: 5-K 80 3000735360 0.000478 0.038258
AKQ suited 50 4850072064 0.000773 0.038647
3 aces 20 12728839488 0.002029 0.040571
Straight flush 12 42015063552 0.006696 0.08035
3 of a kind 6 91409142528 0.014568 0.087406
Straight 3 553149769728 0.088154 0.264463
Suited pair 2 412959407616 0.065812 0.131625
Flush 1 482377843200 0.076875 0.076875
Pair: 7-A 1 1110135527424 0.17692 0.17692
Nothing 0 3561414958848 0.567574 0
Total 6274797590880 1 0.971675

The next pay table can be found at the 25 and 50 cent coinage at Caesars Palace.

Probabilities in Three Draw Card Poker - Bonus Poker

Hand Pays Combinations Probability Return
3 suited ace of spades 800 77132160 0.000012 0.009834
3 suited aces 400 246972264 0.000039 0.015744
3 of a kind suited: 2-4 160 433951416 0.000069 0.011065
3 of a kind suited: 5-K 80 3007163520 0.000479 0.03834
AKQ suited 50 4860688896 0.000775 0.038732
3 aces 20 12751400256 0.002032 0.040643
Straight flush 12 42126429696 0.006714 0.080563
3 of a kind 5 87660405504 0.01397 0.069851
Straight 3 554979956736 0.088446 0.265338
Suited pair 2 415336748544 0.066191 0.132383
Flush 1 485161499136 0.077319 0.077319
Pair: 7-A 1 1116155271168 0.177879 0.177879
Nothing 0 3551999971584 0.566074 0
Total 6274797590880 1 0.95769

Probabilities in Three Draw Card Poker - Bonus Poker

Hand Pays Combinations Probability Return
3 suited ace of spades 800 77132160 0.000012 0.009834
3 suited aces 400 246972264 0.000039 0.015744
3 of a kind suited: 2-4 160 433951416 0.000069 0.011065
3 of a kind suited: 5-K 80 3007163520 0.000479 0.03834
AKQ suited 50 4860688896 0.000775 0.038732
3 aces 20 12751400256 0.002032 0.040643
Straight flush 12 42126429696 0.006714 0.080563
3 of a kind 4 87660405504 0.01397 0.055881
Straight 3 554979956736 0.088446 0.265338
Suited pair 2 415336748544 0.066191 0.132383
Flush 1 485161499136 0.077319 0.077319
Pair: 7-A 1 1116155271168 0.177879 0.177879
Nothing 0 3551999971584 0.566074 0
Total 6274797590880 1 0.94372

Probabilities in Three Draw Card Poker - Bonus Poker

Hand Pays Combinations Probability Return
3 suited ace of spades 800 77132160 0.000012 0.009834
3 suited aces 400 246972264 0.000039 0.015744
3 of a kind suited: 2-4 160 433951416 0.000069 0.011065
3 of a kind suited: 5-K 80 3007163520 0.000479 0.03834
AKQ suited 50 4860688896 0.000775 0.038732
3 aces 20 12751400256 0.002032 0.040643
Straight flush 10 40599817728 0.00647 0.064703
3 of a kind 4 87660405504 0.01397 0.055881
Straight 3 550400120832 0.087716 0.263148
Suited pair 2 414191789568 0.066009 0.132018
Flush 1 517602003456 0.082489 0.082489
Pair: 7-A 1 1116155271168 0.177879 0.177879
Nothing 0 3526810874112 0.56206 0
Total 6274797590880 1 0.930475

Best Online Casino Video Poker Bonuses

Rank Casino Bonus % Wager Cash  
1 $500 50% 25xB Play Now
2 $200 20% 20xB&D Play Now
3 $250 250% 50xB Play Now
4 $250 100% 38xB&D Play Now
5 $3000 150% 90xB&D Play Now

My Video Poker Offerings

Basic Video Poker Info

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  • Probability of Ruin for single-play video poker
  • Random simulations of multi-play video poker
  • The standard deviation of n-play video poker

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Strategies

Full-Pay Jacks or Better:

Full-Pay Deuces Wild:

Quick Quads:

Other Strategies:



Written by: Michael Shackleford

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