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Three Card Rummy is a unique table poker game that is available at casinos using Microgaming, RealTime Gaming, and Cryptologic softwares. The game's house edge and variance are both similar to 3-card poker with a standard paytable. Under many bonus weighting systems, it can be a useful option for bonus play.


Rules and Play

In Three Card Rummy, the player and dealer are both dealt a hand of three cards from a standard 52-card deck. The objective of Three Card Rummy is to get a lower hand score than the dealer. Hands are scored according to the sum of the individual cards unless there are multiple cards of the same rank or a suited run. Aces are ranked as 1, numbered cards are ranked as the corresponding number, and face cards are ranked as 10. If there are cards of some rank or a suited run of at least 2 cards, then those cards are ranked as 0 instead of their individual card rank. In the screenshot at the top of this page, the player has a pair of 6's and an Ace. The pair counts as 0, and the Ace counts as 1, for a total score of 0+1 = 1. The dealer has a 2 card suited run and a 2. The suited run counts as 0, and the 2 counts as 2 for a total score of 2+0=2.

After the player views his three card hand, he has the choice to either raise and double his ante bet or fold and forfeit his ante bet. If the player raises, the hands are scored. The hand with the lower total wins. If the dealer has a score of 20 or lower, the dealer qualifies. Payouts depend on whether the dealer qualifies, as listed below.

Dealer Does Not Qualify -- Raise bet pushes, ante bet pays 1:1

Player Wins, Dealer Qualifies -- Raise bet pays according to table below, ante bet pays 1:1

Player and Dealer Tie, Dealer Qualifies -- All bets push

Player Loses, Dealer Qualifies -- All bets lose

Player Score
Raise Bet Payout



Optimal strategy for Three Card Rummy is straight forward -- raise with a score of 20 or less, and fold with a score of 21 or more. Note that the dealer qualifies with 20 or less, so hands of 21 or more will lose unless the dealer qualifies.


House Edge

The house edge (defined per initial bet) of Three Card Rummy is 3.23%. The average bet size is 1.67x the initial ante bet, making the house edge per unit wagered 1.93%. The latter value of 1.93% is more appropriate for estimating expected loss while completing a wagering requirement.

The house edge of the optional bonus bet is 3.46%, significantly higher than the ante bet.



The standard per initial bet of the ante bet is 1.61. The standard deviation per unit wagered of the ante & play bet is 1.25. The latter value of 1.25 is more appropriate for estimating range of return while completing a wagering requirement.


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