Online gaming has exploded in popularity over the last few years. Globally, it is reportedly responsible for about 47% of all desktop and console gaming revenue. Among the many titles available online, poker has proven among the most popular. In fact, over the last two years alone, the online poker market has grown by almost 43%. That said, while online poker has many benefits that make it ideal for both new and experienced players, those who come unprepared can still stand to lose some money. Thus, if you’re thinking about trying online poker for the first time yourself, here’s a quick guide on how to play one of it’s relatively simpler varieties, 3-card poker:

What is 3-card poker and what makes it different?

Although poker varieties like Texas Hold’em and Omaha may be more well-known outside of poker circles, 3-card poker (sometimes called three-card poker) is equally enjoyed in casinos across the globe. Much like other poker varieties, 3-card poker recognizes the same hand rankings such as pairs, flushes, and straights. As its name implies, what makes 3-card poker different is that the dealer and players only get three cards each. This is unlike other varieties wherein you’d see five- or seven-card draws. Because of this, many argue that 3-card poker is more beginner-friendly since it’s “easier” to get three cards that are consecutive or of the same suit.

How to play 3-card poker online

Those who want to learn how to play 3-card poker must first understand that unlike other poker varieties, here you only play against the dealer. This means that it doesn’t really matter what hand the other players at the table have or how they’re betting. This is quite similar to the classic rules of baccarat, which sees players only betting against the banker. After joining a table (whether in person or online), players must place an ante wager and/or a pair plus wager. This means that the player bets that they have a hand that is at least a pair or better than this. For reference, while a high card or one pair are among the lowest ranking hands, a straight flush and mini royal flush are the highest. If you’re feeling particularly lucky, online poker sites also have betting bonuses. These include pair plus and 6 card bonuses. Essentially, these are only optional bets that you can wager on prior to being dealt your cards. Once you’ve placed all your wagers, three cards are dealt to the dealer and each player.

From here, take a look at your cards. In online poker, your cards will automatically be revealed for you. Fortunately, in online poker, many sites also include hand ranking onscreen for players to reference. If you still believe that your hand is better than that of the dealer, then go ahead and place another wager. Otherwise, this is where you’ll want to fold. Upon folding, the dealer takes the player’s ante wager and pair plus wager. If you decide to push through with your hand, though, then you’ll place a play wager. At this point, the dealer will reveal their hand and you’ll see immediately whether you win or not. If you did place an additional bonus bet, then this is also where you’ll see if you’ve qualified for it or not. Regardless, if you win or lose, your online player balance will automatically reflect your current balance. Afterwards, as with any other game, you can either choose to rebet or leave the table.

Perks of online poker

Aside from the remote nature, online poker has the added benefit of being more forgiving for new players. Apart from the available references (as mentioned above), many online poker sites offer unique incentives. This includes sign-up bonuses and cashbacks which are especially appealing to players who are just building up their bankroll. Additionally, with online poker, you can choose to be as discreet or as involved as you’d like to be. As such some sites allow you to use usernames for privacy. On the other hand, some offer live dealer matches and chat options for those who want more interaction.

Since 3-card poker is enjoyable and pretty easy to understand, there are many online platforms that offer this particular format. Notably, it is also available in GTA Online’s Diamond Casino and Resort. In the game, players can even stand to win up to several million GTA$ in one sitting. Of course, in real life matches the payout is usually a lot more modest. That said, with a little practice, you can still easily make a decent amount online with 3-card poker without entering into high stakes.