Three Card Poker Etiquette

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Before sitting down at a table, it is a good idea to become familiar with the rules that govern Three Card Poker—not only the House Rules, but also the unofficial rules of proper behaviour. In most casinos, Three Card Poker etiquette adheres to standard pit area protocols, including the accepted ways of handling cards and chips. Here are some aspects of the game to be particularly mindful of when playing.

Getting a Seat – At almost all casinos where Three Card Poker is offered, a Shuffle Master machine is used to mix the cards. That means there is no such thing as a prohibition on mid-deck entry and players may be seated any time between deals. Although open seats are usually available for immediate seating of new players, some Three Card Poker tables allow wagering on multiple positions. For that reason, it is advisable to ask the Dealer whether a desired seat is open prior to sitting down.

Knowing the Limits – A placard should be located on each table, displaying the minimum and maximum wagers allowed. Some tables start at £5, while others may require a stake of at least £10, £25 or even more. If the limits are unclear, ask the Dealer or one of the pit crew before taking a seat. Avoid playing at tables where the maximum is not equal to at least ten times (10X) the minimum.

Buying In – There are many ways to obtain chips for playing Three Card Poker. For example, they are available for all games at the cashier’s cage, or they can be brought to the Three Card Poker table from another table game. The most common practice, however, is to exchange cash for chips directly from the table’s Dealer. The proper time to do so is between hands, by placing currency on the table surface outside the betting areas. Do not attempt to hand cash to the Dealer. The bills must be in plain sight for security cameras to record the transaction. Chips will be counted out and stacked by the Dealer and then pushed across the table to the player. Be sure to confirm that the amount is correct before accepting the chips. Then, place them in the rail rack or stack them on the felt next to the rail.

Making Bets – Wagers should be made only after the Dealer calls for them, not while payouts are being made or card collected. Stack the chips neatly, completely inside the appropriate betting area. Make sure that lower denomination chips are on the top of the stack and higher valued ones on the bottom. After dealing begins, do not touch the wagered chips until the hand is done and all bets have been settled.

Handling Cards – In most casinos, players are permitted to handle their cards, which are dealt face down. The hand must be picked up and evaluated before making a decision whether to fold or make the Play wager. When folding, abandon the hand by placing the cards back on the table face down and signaling the dealer with a wave of the hand. When continuing to play, turn the cards face up on the table and make the Play bet in the appropriate area. Never bend, fold or crease the cards. After placing them back on the table, do not touch them again.

Collecting Winnings –The Dealer makes payouts to each winning hand by stacking chips next to the original bet(s). Do not begin pulling in any winnings until after all wagers have been settled. Grabbing the chips as soon as they are paid out is considered to be poor manners. Be sure not to leave chips in the betting circles at the end of the hand, else they will be treated as a wager for the next hand.

Cashing Out – When ending play and leaving the table, smaller denomination chips should be exchanged for larger ones. To do so between deals, push the stacks of chips toward the Dealer and say “color up” or “color out.” Be careful not to position any chips within the table’s wagering areas, or else they might be mistaken for bets.

Tipping – Most casino employees depend on gratuities as part of their income. Tip the Dealer by pushing a chip toward the center of the table. Point toward the Dealer and say, “For you” or “For the dealer.” Do not try to hand a tip to a dealer directly. Once again, the security cameras must be able to record very action at the Three Card Poker table.

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