This variant of blackjack combines blackjack and three-card poker and was first played in 2013, at the Palazzo in Las Vegas.
The player makes three equal bets, two apply to two separate blackjack hands and the third will apply to a 3-card poker hand.
The player is allowed to choose which card will be the “common” card for the blackjack hands.
RULES & PLAY OF THE GAME
- 6 or 8 52-card decks are used
- Cards are valued the same as in classic blackjack
- Play begins with player making 3 bets, 2 for blackjack and 1 for 3-card poker (blackjack bets must be equal, poker bet must at least match, but can be more)
- Player is dealt 3 face up cards and the dealer gets one card face up, one card face down
- The 3 card poker hand is paid off first, based on the chart below
- The player then forms his blackjack hands, declaring which card will be the common card, the common card is placed in the middle
- Cards cannot be moved once the first player has acted
- Players are offered insurance if dealer shows an ace, may insurance only 1 hand
- The dealer then checks for blackjack if showing an ace
- At this point, regular blackjack rules are followed, giving the player the options of stand, hit, double down, or split
- Surrender is not allowed
- Blackjack pays 3-2
- Depending on casino, dealer must stand on 17’s
- Double any two cards
- Double after split allowed
- Split up to four hands
- Aces split only once
- Cannot draw on split aces
3 Card Poker Bonus Payout:
- 75-1 A-K-Q suited (mini royal flush)
- 60-1 Suited 3 of a Kind
- 20-1 Straight Flush
- 10-1 3 of a Kind
- 2-1 Straight
- 3-2 Flush
- 1-1 Pair
- Loss Anything else
While basic strategy is used once the blackjack hands are set, The Wizard of Odds has developed a chart, (check here) suggesting the proper way to split the cards you receive.
The only other strategic move suggested is to make your poker hand bet the same as the blackjack bets, despite having the option to make it more. This bet is where the casino ups it’s edge, with the seemingly player-friendly rules. That bet actually increases the house edge by about 25%.
While it appears to be a player-friendly variant, that forced 3rd poker hand bet, takes back all player advantages. You also want to keep in mind that you’re actually playing 3 bets each hand, that can be expensive. With a minimum bet of $5, you actually have to play $15 each hand. It would be a fun variant to try if you have a bigger bankroll.
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