3-Card Poker vs Texas Hold’em: What’s the Difference?

3 card poker vs texas holdem

1 minute

Last Updated: February 21, 2024

3-Card Poker and Texas Hold’em are two popular poker games with some very different features. In a direct 3-Card Poker vs. Texas Hold’em comparison, the biggest difference is the house edge between the two games. More specifically, the former comes with a house edge, while the latter doesn’t feature such an element.

The house edge in 3-Card Poker is 3.37%. This can be further lowered to just over 2% by taking the Play bet with a Q, 6, 4 hand, or better. The Pair Plus is another bet that lowers the house edge, placing it at about 2.3%.

In contrast, the house edge doesn’t exist in Texas Hold’em, as you’re playing against other players, and not the house. Because of this, the house takes a small percentage of the pot. This is called a rake.

The two games also differ in terms of odds, so let’s first cover the odds in Three-Card Poker:

Three-Card Poker Hand Odds
Straight Flush 0.22%
Three-of-a-Kind 0.24%
Straight 3.26%
Flush 4.96%
Pair 16.94%
High Card 74.39%

Here are the odds for expected starting hands in Texas Hold’em poker:

Texas Hold’em Hand Odds
A Specific Pocket Pair (i.e. Pocket Aces) 0.45%
Any Pocket Pair 5.88%
Suited Cards 23.53%
Suited Connectors 3.92%
Connected Cards T+ 4.83%
Any Two T+ Cards 14.30%

Three-Card Poker and Texas Hold’em Gameplay Differences

Gameplay-wise, Three-Card Poker is much simpler than Texas Hold’em. There are not many elements to the Three-Card Poker strategy, apart from playing all hands better than Q, 6, 4, and folding the rest. In comparison, Texas Hold’em requires a lot of strategy, calculations, and mind games through bluffing and similar actions. It involves active participation over several betting rounds, as well as evaluating the shared cards on the community board and competing with up to eight other players at the table.

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