Three-card blackjack is one of the most straightforward variants to learn and play at online casinos. Although it is popular in land-based casinos, the game has found its way into leading online casino sites in the US and across the iGaming industry.
Unlike many popular blackjack games, 3-card blackjack is played using a deck of 52 cards and a shoe with multiple decks. Cards are shuffled after every hand.
However, this casino game has no drawing lines, and players don't get the option to hit, double down, and split. The only options that players have in this game are to play or fold.
Also, what makes this variant different from other blackjack games is that it has a relatively high house edge of 3.24%.
If you are interested in learning about 3 card blackjack, you've come to the right page. We've shared all the information to get you started. You will learn how to play, payouts and odds, basic strategy, and more.
How to Play Three Card Blackjack
As we stated earlier on, the rules of playing three-card blackjack are not different from other variants. The thing rule is to beat the dealer's hand by getting a total close to 21 without going burst. The gameplay starts with players making a blackjack bet. Also, before the game starts, players are allowed to place a 'poker play' bet.
At the beginning of each hand in three-card blackjack, the players have the option to make ante bets in the marked areas on the table. Once all bets have been placed, the dealer deals to each player and three more cards for himself. The three cards of the player are dealt face down, while the dealer's first two cards are dealt face down, and one is exposed.
This is followed by each layer checking the dealt cards to decide how they will form their hands. The player selects two or three cards to form the best blackjack hand. Additionally, the player decides the cards to add to the hand, and if the total exceeds 21, it bust.
As you know, the cards have different values in three-card blackjack. All aces are equal to 1 or 11 points. The rest of the pictured cards, King, Queen, and Jack, are worth 10 points each. The remaining cards, 2 to 10, retain their face values.
After each player has evaluated their three cards, the gameplay goes on in a clockwise manner from the player to the dealer's left side. In addition, each player gets a chance to raise by making a bet equal to the original ante bet in the marked area. If not, the player can decide to fold. However, this decision will make the player lose the initial ante bet.
Lastly, the dealer reveals the two hole cards once players are done raising and folding their hands. Note that there is one special rule that dealers must abide by. The dealer's hand must qualify with a total of 18 or higher. Otherwise, any active layer in the game wins, regardless of the cards.
How to Win in Three Card Blackjack
As we mentioned in the rules of playing three-card blackjack, the goal is to get a hand close to 21 without exceeding. Having said that, players have only two cards to get a winning hand in blackjack. This hand always pays even money on the ante wager and the play bet. Note that the player wins even money, regardless of the dealer's blackjack.
Additionally, if the hand of the dealer does not qualify, the player's ante bets win even money. In this case, the play bets are treated as push or tie, and the bets are returned. Also, whenever the dealer's hand qualifies, the best hand wins the game. All wins by the player pay even money on the ante and play bets. However, the player must forfeit all bets if the dealer wins. All hands other than blackjack end in a push, whereby there's no winner or loser, and the bets are returned.
Furthermore, casinos that offer three-card blackjack also have side bets. This side bet is known as Ace Plus Bonus, and it offers payouts of 1:1 when the player's hand has an ace. In this regard, the player must wager at least one unit in the Ace Plus area before a new hand is dealt.
Note that big bonuses are paid for higher-ranking hands as follows:
- An Ace Plus ( Any card 10 through King): pays 3 to 1
- An Ace Plus (Any pair of 10 through Kings): pays 15 to 1
- An Ace Pair: pays 25 to 1
- An Ace Pair Plus (Any card 10 through King): pays 100 to 1 for three aces
3 Three Card Poker and Three Card Blackjack - Are they related?
When playing this variant, the side bet can be placed together with the first bet in casinos. The game mixes classic blackjack and the popular three-card poker to offer lucrative odds. With the side bet, you bet if the first two cards and the dealer's up card can merge to create one of the three poker hands. In that regard, the payouts are awarded as follows:
- Flush - formed by three cards of the same suit.
- Straight - formed by three cards with consecutive values, like 2, 3, and 4.
- Three of a Kind - formed by three cards of the same value.
- Straight Flush - formed by three cards of the consecutive value of the same suit.
- Suited Three of a Kind - formed by three cards of the same value.
Do understand that all bets are dealt before cards are dealt. These games have a 21+3 box where the side bets are placed. In case the first two cards and the dealer's up card combine to give one of the five hands, the player wins the 21+3 blackjack. Otherwise, the player loses the side bet.
The odds of winning 21+3 blackjack hands vary in this variant. The wager with the biggest payout is the suited three of a kind which pays 100, and the lowest in the hierarchy is flush, which pays 5 to 1.
It is essential to cross-check the 21=3 blackjack odds at each online casino before you start playing this game.
The Bottom Line
Three-card blackjack is an incredible card game that will amaze all table game lovers. Like other blackjack variations, it is important to start with the free-play version before moving to play with real money. Also, ensure you use an essential strategy to reduce the high house edge to your favor. Whether you plan to play three-card blackjack for fun or gamble for real money, we recommend you choose a regulated and reputable online casino.
Three Card Blackjack FAQs
Can I play three card blackjack for free online?
Yes, three-card blackjack is are online in free mode and real money. Playing the free game will help you to develop a strategy to help you beat the dealer.
How many cards are used in three card blackjack?
Three-card blackjack uses a standard deck with 52 cards and a shoe with many decks.
Can I play three card blackjack on mobile?
Like other casino games, 3-card blackjack is fully optimized for small-screen devices like smartphones and tablets.