Introduction to Three Card Blackjack

Three Card blackjack is an easy-to-play blackjack variant that is widely popular in many land-based casinos across the Washington state and along the Las Vegas Strip. It can also be found at numerous gaming sites. 

Unlike other blackjack versions which are usually played with multiple decks, Three Card blackjack is mostly played with a single 52-card deck. There are no drawing rounds, so players can’t choose to hit, double, or split as in other formats − they have the option to either play or fold. 

Three Card Blackjack involves some elements of poker, which makes this game more exciting to play. If you think that this blackjack version is something that you might be interested in, have a look at our how to play guide. 


How to Play Three Card Blackjack 

In the following section, we’ll walk you through the general rules of Three Card Blackjack. Also, we’ve highlighted special bets that are unique for this blackjack variant and mentioned all the possible outcomes that can happen during the actual game. 

General Rules

The three card blackjack hand begins with players making their ante wagers in the selected betting circle. Then both the dealer and the player will be dealt three cards each from a standard 52 card deck. 

The goal of Three Card Blackjack is to form a hand of point value 21 (blackjack) or as close to it as possible, using any two or all three cards. The card values are the same as in standard blackjack format − face cards are valued as 10, aces can be counted as 1 or 11, and the remaining cards are taken at face value. 

Once the players have seen their three cards, they can ‘’Raise’’ by placing an additional bet that must be equal to the original ante wager they made in the ‘’Play’’ betting area. You should do this only if you’re confident that you have good chances of beating the dealer. 

If you choose not to ‘’Raise’’, then you will automatically ‘’Fold’’ and lose your ante bet. This means that only players who choose to ‘’Raise’’ are allowed to compete against the dealer’s hand. 

If you choose to ‘’Raise’’, then the showdown phase begins. However, the dealer must qualify first by having a hand of at least 18, or else the remaining players win, regardless of what cards they hold. If the dealer qualifies, then the person holding the better blackjack hand will be the winner.


How to Win 

Three possible outcomes can happen in the showdown phase of Three Card Blackjack. The first is when the player forms a blackjack or natural 21, in which case he is paid even money on both the Ante bet and the Play bet. The player wins regardless of what the dealer holds − the player gets paid even if the dealer has blackjack too. 

The second outcome is when the dealer fails to qualify. In that case, all the players are paid even money for their Ante bets, while the Play bets are treated as a push. 

The third possible scenario is when the dealer’s hand manages to qualify. This is when the hands are compared, and the best hand wins. If the player has a better hand, they will win both the Ante and Play bets and get paid accordingly. If the dealer wins, the player loses their bets. Ties other than blackjack will result in a push, in which case the player will receive back all bets. 


Special Bets 

Three Card Blackjack offers an optional wager called the ‘’Ace Plus Bonus”. If the player wants to take advantage of this bonus, they must wager an additional unit before the beginning of the next round. Here are bonus payouts for players who win the ‘’Ace Plus Bonus’’: 

  • Only ace −  the payout is 1:1 
  • Ace + ten − the payout is 3:1 
  • Ace + two tens − the payout is 5:1 
  • Two aces − the payout is 15:1 
  • Two aces + ten − the payout is 25:1 
  • Three aces −  the payout is 100:1 

Rules 

Before you start playing Three Card Blackjack, we recommend that you take a look at the rules: 

  • The game is played in a single 52-card deck 
  • The player must make an Ante wager and ‘’Ace Plus’’ wager (optional) 
  • Both the dealer and the players are dealt three cards. Player cards are dealt face down, and two dealer cards are dealt face down, one face up 
  • Both the player and the dealer must form the best blackjack hand possible, using two or all three cards 
  • After receiving their cards, the player can ‘’Raise’’ or ‘’Fold’’
  • If the player folds, they will lose his ante wager. 
  • If the player decides to continue playing, they must opt for ‘’Raise’’ bet which is equal to their Ante bet. 
  • The dealer must have at least 18 to qualify, or else the player wins regardless of their hand. 
  • If the dealer qualifies and the player doesn’t have blackjack, then the higher card will win. 

Conclusion 

Although Three Card Blackjack was introduced in 2007, it has already become one of the most played blackjack formats in both land-based and online casinos. The rules are easy to learn, so those who are familiar with the standard blackjack format will be able to adjust to the modified version of Three Card Blackjack in no time. It has a house edge of 3.42%, which is higher than other blackjack versions and is comparable to other table games like Sic Bo and Roulette.