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Texas Hold 'Em vs Three Card Poker

Texas Hold ‘Em vs Three Card Poker | Tipico
Texas Hold ‘Em vs Three Card Poker | Tipico
James Reynolds
Published: 2023-05-04

By James Reynolds

You’ve heard about having a good ‘’poker face” and seen the players on TV wearing ridiculous sunglasses inside. Maybe you’ve played some $1 video poker at a casino bar to get free drinks, or maybe you’ve never played at all. Whatever the case is, there are many forms of poker, all which are lots of fun and some might be a lot easier to learn than you think. 


Let’s start with the types of ways to have a winning hand. Here is a list of the types of hands you can have (from worst to best):

High card — In poker, aces are the highest, and twos are the lowest. This also comes into play as a tiebreaker when two players have hands of the same strength.

One pair — Two matching cards, like a pair of nines.

Two pair — Two sets of two matching cards, like a pair of nines and a pair of jacks, for instance. If you’re facing off against another player with two pair, the player with the highest pair wins.

Three of a kind — Three matching cards. Also known as “trips” or “a set.” In situations when two players both have the same three of a kind (like when they’re using the same community cards to make their hand), the player’s next highest card decides the hand. (For example, 5-5-5-A-K beats 5-5-5-K-3.)

Straight — Five cards in sequential order, like 8-9-10-J-Q. The suit doesn’t matter. When comparing straights, the higher, the better.

Flush — Five cards all in the same suit. An ace high flush is the best you can put down.

Full house — Three of a kind and a pair. Also known as a “full boat.” Full houses are ranked first by the strength of the triple, so Q-Q-Q-4-4 would beat J-J-J-10-10. If the triplets are equal, then the hands are ranked by the pair.

Four of a kind — Now we’re getting into the rare hands! If you see four of a kind, which is all four cards of a particular rank, you’re going to have a good night.

Straight flush — Five cards in sequence like 5-6-7-8-9 and in the same suit.

Royal flush — The most powerful hand in the game (unless you’re playing with a wildcard, which is for a more advanced lesson). A royal flush would be, for example, 10-J-Q-K-A in the same suit. It can’t get better than this hand.

For more poker basics, check out our How To Play Poker article.


Debatably the simplest form of poker is Three Card Poker. (At Tipico we offer both Live Dealer Three Card Poker and regular Three Card Poker.)

Live Dealer: Bring the Casino into Your Home

How to Play Blackjack

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How to Play Casino War

So, let’s start with how it works. It’s you versus the house, and you’re each dealt three cards from a 52-card deck. The objective is to have the better hand than the house. Since you are only dealt three cards, you don’t have to worry about a full house, a two pair, or a four of a kind.

Subsequently, flushes and straights now only require three cards instead of 5. So, having 3, 4, 5 (or any other sequence of three cards in a row) is a straight! Normally, you’d need 3, 4, 5, 6, 7, so hitting a straight is a lot easier.

Each game of Three Card Poker starts with an ante — this triggers the dealer to deal you three cards. From there you can decide to play (where you put another stack of chips equal to your ante in) or you can choose to fold, forfeiting your ante and your cards.

With each player only having three cards, and no flop to create better hands, this makes having a hand which may be considered weak in Texas Hold ‘Em are a lot more powerful. Even having a high card in Three Card Poker is effective. A low pair in Three Card Poker is also very good, considering having two out of the three cards match is pretty rare.

Whereas in Hold ‘Em, you essentially have seven cards to make a combination — so getting a pair in Hold ‘Em is a lot more common, but a lot less powerful. A low pair in Hold ‘Em might be a reason to fold, whereas in Three Card Poker, it’s a green light to up the ante!


Texas Hold ‘Em is the most popular form of poker. It’s often the type of poker people play against each other in tournaments, but at Tipico you can play the house one-on-one! 

The most obvious difference between Hold ‘Em and Three Card Poker is the number of cards you’re dealt. In Hold ‘Em you are only dealt two cards, and from there you must decide if you’re in or if you’re going to fold. If you’re in, you place another bet to trigger the flop.

The flop is a set of three community cards that everyone will use to make combinations with. After the flop, you have the option to fold if you don’t like your cards, or to keep going by checking or making another bet. This triggers the “turn” card, an additional community card.

The same process is repeated for the last and final community card, known as the river. Once the river card is dealt it’s time to see the cards of the house and find out who has the winning hand. 

This whole process is something you don’t have to worry about in the much simpler Three Card Poker. But because of all the stages in Hold ‘Em, you can really get the most out of a good hand by betting big when you feel you’re going to win.


The name of the game may be similar, but the games are unique in their own way! The simplicity of Three Card Poker is great for trying to learn poker or if you don’t want to think about too many combinations.

Whereas the combinations to consider in Hold ‘Em make the game more complex and strategic. Tipico offers both games in a standard version and a Live Dealer version through our Casino app if you’d like to give either — or both — a try!

Photo credit: IMAGO / YAY Images

Texas Hold ‘Em vs Three Card Poker | Tipico


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