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Vegas Three Card Rummy

Gin Rummy is still played by millions of people around the world, but it was once almost as popular a gambling game as poker, with famous professional gamblers like Stu Ungar being equally known for their talents in both games. In more recent years, though, poker has taken the spotlight, and table games have followed along, with many versions of the game being offered at casinos.

But not everyone has left the old games behind. At some online casinos, you can find something called Vegas Three Card Rummy. It’s somewhere between the rules of the classic card game and 3 Card Poker, and offers both interesting gameplay and fairly good odds to players.

How to Play

Three Card Rummy is played using a standard deck of 52 cards. Every card in the deck has a point value: aces are worth one, numbered cards are worth their number, and face cards are worth ten. The object of the game is to have a lower point total than the dealer.

At the beginning of each hand, you will have to make an ante bet, with the option of also making a bonus side bet. The player and dealer are both dealt a hand of three cards, with the dealer’s hand being face down while the player can see their hand.

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Vegas Three Card Rummy

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The player can figure out the score of their hand by adding up the point value of their three cards. However, there are ways in which the hand’s total might be reduced. Any pairs or three of a kind count as zero points, as do runs of at least two consecutive cards of the same suit. For instance, a hand of ace, jack, and jack will only count as one point, because the pair of jacks would be worth zero points and the ace is worth one. Similarly, a hand of three-of-a-kind or a three-card straight flush would be worth zero points.

The player may then choose to raise or fold. If they raise, then they must make a second bet equal in size to the ante. If they fold, they will forfeit their ante bet, ending the hand immediately.

If the player raises, then their hand is compared to the dealer’s. The dealer must have a hand of 20 points or less in order to qualify. If they fail to qualify, then the player immediately wins even money on the ante bet, while the raise bet pushes. If the dealer does qualify, the player will win even money on the ante bet only if he has a lower total (ties push). Raise bets also win against a qualifying dealer hand, but can pay different odds depending on how strong the hand is. The following is the standard raise pay table:

  • 0 Points: 4-1
  • 1 to 5: 2-1
  • 6 or More: 1-1

If the player made the bonus bet, that will pay out if their hand is worth 12 points or less. The payouts are as follows:

  • Suited Ace-Two-Three: 100-1
  • 0 Points: 25-1
  • 1 to 6: 2-1
  • 7 to 10: 1-1
  • 11 to 12: 4-1
  • Basic Strategy

    Player strategy for this game is fairly simple. In order to get the best results possible, you should do exactly what the dealer does: raise with hands worth 20 points or less, and fold anything of 21 points or more. By using that strategy, the house edge is only about 3.23% on the ante bet.

    That still leaves the question as to whether is worth playing the bonus bet. The answer to that question may be entirely based on your personal preferences, because there isn’t a huge difference between it and the main game. The bonus bet has a very reasonable house edge of 3.46%, so if you like the possibility of hitting a huge payout, then playing it makes perfect sense.

    Why Play This Game?

    Vegas Three Card Rummy is an easy to play game that still has reasonably fair odds for the player. It offers something a little different for those who enjoy Three Card Poker, while still keeping a very similar style of play. And while there is some decision making in the game, the strategy is simple, meaning you can relax and play the game on autopilot without too much trouble. For many players, this will never be their favorite game, but it makes for a great chance of pace from time to time.

    Play Online

    If Vegas Three Card Rummy sounds like an interesting table game, you can start playing your first hands today; it's even available to US players. Sign up at any of our recommended sites that offer the game, and you will be playing for practice or for real money before you know it!

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