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How to Play 3 Card Brag?

Getting Started

At the beginning of the game the cards are shuffled and each player at the table puts an agreed amount into the pot, lets say £1 for an example

Each player is then dealt 3 cards face down. The player to the left of the dealer is 1st to act. There is no checking in brag, it’s has got to be a bet. At this point players can either look at their cards or decide not to. If you have not seen your cards you can play the hand “blind” this means all player who have seen their cards are playing open. Players who are “open” must pay double what ever the blind bet is.

The betting continues around the table in a clockwise direction and each player must bet the same as the person before them to stay in the hand. The choices you have are to fold, bet or raise. The stakes are usually decided before the game starts as to a minimum and maximum bet, often there is no limit.

The betting carries on until 2 players are left and the rest have “stacked” their cards, at this point players can call to see who has the best hand or continue to bet and raise.

Important: you can never call a blind man

If one player is blind and one player is open the open better must continue until either the blind better looks, in which case he could call or wait until the blind man calls him.

Some rules say to call you have to put twice as much as the other player has bet into the pot to see who has won.

Once the call has happened the two remaining players turn their cards and the highest hand wins. See hand rankings.

The winner takes all the chips in the pot and all cards are placed on the bottom of the pack and the dealer position moves one place to the left.

Important: The cards are never shuffled again until a prial comes out which is 3 of a kind House rules

If you run out of chips in an active hand you can place your cards on the pot “cover the pot” the other players continue in a “side pot” much the same as being all in at Texas hold-em.

Also if you have covered the pot and lost you can’t suddenly pull £100 from you pocket to carry on the next hand. Having no money in brag means HAVING NO MONEY!

The handranks are listed below. Check it out to make sure you know if a run beats a flush!

The ranking of hands

Most people will be familiar with these hands but for beginners and poker players there are a few to watch out for. The one most likely to catch a poker player out is that in 3 card brag a straight known as a run beats a flush! Hands below are in order from low to high

Hands below are in order from low to high.

  • High Card: All three cards count here. Ace high is best obviously although an ace can count as high or low when making a run (straight). Example Ace - King - 10 would beat Ace - King - 9 as the 10 is higher than the 9.
  • A Pair: Aces are the highest pair followed by king, queens, jacks down to 2’s. All three cards play again so if two player both had a pair of 7’s the highest 3rd card would win. Odd’s of getting a pair are 5/1
  • If any hands in brag are exactly the same the player who called loses.
  • The Flush: again all 3 cards play so an ace king ten flush would beat an ace king seven flush. No suit is higher than any other. Odd’s of getting a flush are 19/1. A Flush does NOT beat a straight (run) in 3 card brag.
  • A Straight known better as a “run” Ace -2 - 3 is the highest followed by Ace - King - Queen and so on. Odd’s of getting a run are 30/1
  • A straight flush Ace - 2 - 3 is the highest followed by Ace- King – Queen. Odd’s of a running flush are a staggering 459/1
  • Three of a kind or a prial Three three’s is the best hand to have in brag, followed by 3 aces then kings and so on. Odd’s on hitting a prial are also 459/1
  • The odd’s on getting three threes is 5524/1

Three Card Poker

This very popular game is based on the game of 3 card brag and is sometimes referred to as BritBrag. There are four betting positions, Ante, Pair Plus, Play and Prime.

Place a bet on the ante section and the dealer will deal three cards to each person. Look at your cards and decide if you want to play.

If you do play, place a bet equal to your ante bet on the play section and place your cards under the play bet. If you do not want to continue simply fold your cards and your ante bet loses.

You can make an additional bet on the pair plus section where you bet that your hand will contain a pair or better. Winning hands will be paid according to the pay table below.

PRIME is another additional side bet. To play, just place your bet on the Prime betting section. To play the Prime you must also be playing either the Ante section or Pair Plus. You are betting that your hand will contain three cards, all of the same colour. If it does, you will be paid at odds of 3 – 1. If your three cards are all the same colour and the dealer also has 3 cards the same colour as the cards in your hand you will be paid at odds of 4 – 1. If any one of the three cards in the players hand is a different colour to the others then your Prime side wager will lose.

Rank of Hands

  • Straight Flush 35-1
  • 3 Of a Kind 33-1
  • Straight 6-1
  • Flush 4-1
  • Pair Even

You can't see a blind man...

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