Three Card Brag

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The casino table game known as “Three Card Brag” has remained virtually unchanged for some 400 years. It is typically played between two or more opponents, each of whom receives three cards and attempts to beat the other(s) by bluffing or holding a stronger hand. It is the forerunner of Three Card Poker and a featured game at many casinos around the world.

The online version of Three Card Brag developed by Ash Gaming in 2010 can be found at major gaming sites such as Bet365 and William Hill. It is a bit different from the original game in that the player competes directly against the House instead of taking on other players. There is only one round of betting after the ante and no bluffing is possible. Nevertheless, it is an exciting game with plenty of opportunities for big winnings, especially when the optional “Pair Bonus” is in play.

The Three Card Brag display features a single position for the player, which is made up of three betting areas: the “Ante,” the “Play” and the “Pair Bonus.” Instructions printed on the felt of the table top list the game rules for the Dealer, who plays with any hand containing a Queen or higher. Otherwise, the Dealer does not qualify and the player can win with any active hand.

The table top also describes payouts for various winning hands. If the Dealer plays, the Ante and Play bets are both worth odds of 1-to-1, even money. If the Dealer does not play, the Ante is worth 1-to-1 and the Play bet results in a push, no winner. Additionally, an Ante Bonus of even money is paid for a hand containing a Run (three sequential cards, not of the same suit), 4-to-1 for a Running Flush (three sequential cards of the same suit) and 5-to-1 for a Prial (three of a kind).

As the table information relates, the 3-3-3 is the highest ranking Prial, followed by three Aces, three Kings, etc. The A-2-3 is the highest Run or Running Flush, followed by the A-K-Q, K-Q-J, etc. For the Pair Bonus, if played, the payouts are even money for a Pair, 4-to-1 for a Flush, 6-to-1 for a Run, 30-to-1 for a Running Flush and 40-to-1 for a Prial. Additional House Rules can be seen by passing the cursor over the placard to the right of the Dealer’s chip rack.

To begin a game of Three Card Brag, the player must first select an amount to bet by using the chips in the lower left corner of the table display. The denominations available are €0.25, €0.50, €1.00, €2.50 and €5.00. The maximum wager is €10. If the player wants to bet on the Pair Bonus, that wager must also be placed prior to the deal. Once the bets are right, clicking on the green “Deal” button below the betting area will cause three cards to be dealt to the player face up and three to the dealer face down.

Next the player must decide whether to “Play” or “Fold” by using the corresponding green and red buttons that appear below the betting area. If the player folds, both the Ante and the Pair Bonus bets will be forfeit. If the player decides to challenge the Dealer, a “Play” bet equal to the original Ante must be made. Once the decision is taken, the Dealer’s cards will be revealed and the payout, if any, will be paid by stacking the winning chips on the right side rail with the total indicated underneath.

After each hand, two new buttons pop up below the betting area, a green one to “Repeat & Deal” and a red one to “Repeat Bet.” Alternatively, the player may click on the chips and wager as before. Other options that appear after “Repeat Bet” is selected include “Double Bet,” “Undo” and “Clear All Bets.” One other useful control is “Turbo” under the Options tab at the top of the screen, which helps to speed up play.

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