3 Card Brag

Based on the iconic card game which is played around the world in brick & mortar casinos, online 3 Card Brag is a popular variation of poker which you can enjoy at a number of trusted sites. Played with one full deck, which is shuffled at the start of each game, 3 Card Brag is like two games in one. There is the main game in which players are dealt a three-card hand. The aim here is to beat the dealer’s hand to win. Alongside this main game there is also a Pair Bonus game, the end result and winning amount in the Pair Bonus is determined by the player’s own hand- regardless of the dealer’s hand.

Three card brag was first invented in 16th century Britain and follows the traditional british theme of vying or bluffing style card games. This poker variant is very similar to the even older, Primero, which is widely considered to be the direct ‘ancestor’ of poker.

Since its renaissance beginnings, 3 Card Brag has spread around the world. Versions of the game are popular in the Caribbean and South Asia where they are known locally as ‘flush’ and ‘teen patti’.

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3 Card Brag vs 3 Card Poker

One commonly made mistake when it comes to 3 Card Brag is that it is just another name for Three Card Poker. Although these two games are strikingly similar, there are a few important differences between them.

If you're used to playing 3 Card Poker, then you'll need to get used to using new terminology. Some of the terms which are translated between the two games are;

  • Three of a Kind in poker becomes a Prial in 3 Card Brag
  • A Straight in Poker is called a Run in 3 Card Brag
  • A Straight Flush in Poker becomes a Running Flush in 3 Card Brag

An important difference between Three Card Brag and Three Card Poker can be found in the ranking of hands. In Three Card Brag a Prial (three of a kind) beats a running flush (straight flush), whereas in Three Card Poker a straight flush beats three of a kind. Additionally, the best three of a kind hand in Three Card Poker is A-A-A, whereas in Brag it's 3-3-3, then A-A-A, K-K-K and so on.

Another difference in the ranking of hands is that A-2-3 is the highest ranking run in Three Card Brag, whereas Q-K-A is the highest straight in Three Card Poker.

K-A-2 doesn't make up a run or straight in either game, and no single suit is better than another.

3 Card Brag Rules

When you play 3 Card Brag online, you'll begin by choosing your stake. In most versions of the game, this is done by selecting chips from the bottom of the screen. You'll then be required to place your chosen amount of chips on the table. The majority of casinos then give the option of placing a main bet (the Ante), a Pair Bonus bet (also known as PairPlus) or both.

Most online casinos will give you the option of an undo button to overturn your last action. There might also be a ‘Clear Bets' button which will remove all of your chips from the table. However usually, once you have clicked on ‘Deal' you will not be able to undo or cancel your bets.

The betting then begins once all the cards have been dealt, starting off with the player who is positioned to the left of the dealer. Players have the choice of folding or playing. If they choose to play (i.e. they think they will beat the dealer's hand) they must place a bet equal to their Ante. If they choose to fold, they forfeit their Ante bet as well as their Pair Bonus bet. Note that if only a Pair Bonus bet has been played, and not an Ante bet, then nothing more is required from the player and they can automatically advance to the next round.

Once all players at the table have made their decision, the dealer's cards are revealed and compared to each player's hand. If the dealer doesn't have at least a high card Queen hand, then they do not qualify and your Play bet is returned to you. Your Ante bet is still paid out regardless of whether you beat the dealer or not.

If the dealer qualifies and your hand beats theirs, you will get paid on both your Ante and Play bets.

If the dealer qualifies and beats your hand, you will lose both your Ante and Play bets.

The Pair Bonus bet is paid out regardless of whether the dealer qualifies or not, or whether you beat their hand or not, so long as you have at least a pair.

3 Card Brag Hands

One of the unique things about 3 Card Brag is that the hand ranking system revolves around the number three. As mentioned earlier, the highest ranking hand it is possible to get in this game is a Prial of 3s, followed by a Prial of Aces. Prial is short for Pair Royal and is always used in 3 Card Brag to refer to a set of three cards of the same value. The odds of being dealt a Prial of 3s in 3 Card Brag is one in 5,525.

The second best hand in the game after a Prial is called a Running Flush. A Running Flush is three cards of consecutive value in the same suit. An example of a Running Flush (which is known as a Straight in Three Card Poker) would be King of Spades, Queen of Spades and Jack of Spades. The odds of being dealt a Running Flush while playing 3 Card Brag is one in 460.

The third best hand you can get is a Run. This is simply three cards of consecutive value in any suit. The best value Run you can hope to be dealt when you play 3 Card Brag is Ace, 2, 3.

Three Card Brag Strategy

The generally accepted strategy of Three Card Brag is that you should have at least a Queen and 6 if you are to "Play". Any hand lower than this is statistically unlikely to win in the long term.

Play 3 Card Brag at Online Casinos

If you like the sound of 3 Card Brag and fancy giving it a go yourself then check out the above list of trusted casino sites. We've carefully selected some of the best online casinos to feature 3 Card Brag so you can rest assured you'll have a great experience.

Also - don't forget to join Cashbacker first to benefit from our exclusive points rewards and casino cashback if luck doesn't go your way!