How To Play 3 Card Brag – Rules And Strategy

How To Play 3 Card Brag – Rules And Strategy

Sep 10th, 2020

You may have heard of 3-card brag, the game very similar to good old 3-card poker, but these are not exactly the same things. Currently, the legendary British 3-card brag is becoming more and more popular, not only in the UK but also globally, so why not learn everything about this game? Who knows, maybe it will bring good luck to you next time? So, let’s get started.

What Exactly Is a Three-Card Brag?

This is a card game that is quickly gaining popularity not only in Vegas but also in online casinos. It’s not new, though. It is the old game that has been played in Great Britain since the mid 19th century.

This brag card game is considered the very first game in the country that was not the game of chance – it was the game of skill, the brilliant bluffing skill, to be exact. Though you can hardly relax and enjoy the vivid themed game as when playing slots offered by most casinos, you are likely to love this variation of the version of brag, especially if you risk, bluffing, and strategies.

All Secrets Of Three-Card Brag Revealed: How To Play It?

There is nothing extraordinary about the game (at least, at first sight.) A classic 52-card deck is used, jockers are not in the game. The number of players may vary – the max number is 8, and the min number is only 2 players. The more gamblers participate the more engaging, emotional, and interesting your game gets. A dealer shuffles all the cards only once, at the very beginning.

Rounds last 5-10 minutes. The main goal of every player is to get the strongest three card brag hand, get rid of all other players until only 2 people are left, and beat the last competitor. You may argue that it sounds like a description of many other card games. Well, let us take a closer look at the rules, bets, and hands in this version of brag.

Brag step by step & basic rules

Let us talk about how this brag is played. So, here are the main stages:

Stage #1 – Getting started, making bets

Everyone around the table (online or offline) places the so-called Ante bets that can be also called initial bets. Please note that all players agree on max and min Ante before the game is started. Gamblers can also make side bets. They also agree on any special aspects like using wildcards.

Note that deal shuffles only for the first deal. It can be shuffled only if someone chooses the “See” option and wins by Prial.

Stage #2 – Getting cards

Everyone gets 3 face-down cards. Gamblers look at their hands without showing cards to anyone else. If any of the players want to play blind, he or she has the right to do it.

Stage #3 – Make it or break it

Everyone in a circle makes an important choice to stay in the game or leave it to eliminate himself or herself in this round of the game. If you decide to keep playing, you need to bet. As it was noted, max and min bet amount is discussed before your game is actually started, so you can only bet within these limits. But you cannot bet less money than the previous player did. If you cannot offer this much money, you have no other choice but to fold.

Stage #4 – Only two remain

Players continue to make bets – some of them keep playing due to good hands or their bluffing skills, some leave the game because of the bad hand, lack of money, etc. The idea is that only two people must stay in the game. If everyone except for only one of everyone who was around the table leaves the game, this “one man standing” wins the game. If two of them stay in the game, they can choose the “See” option, which, however, has its costs. You need to double the previous bet to use it.

The Dealer’s Hand

Remember that as in any other poker casino game the dealer needs to qualify for the game to play. In 3 card Brag dealer needs at least a Queen to be qualified.

What if I want to add some money to the game?

It is no secret that people playing a card game, in particular, good old poker, need to introduce all the money they are going to play with. Those who play brag usually must put a min amount on the table, for example, 20 pounds. However, they are also able to add money at any time.

Hand Ranks & Payouts

As we mentioned above, people often compare two similar games, 3-card brag, and poker. However, they are not exactly the same. In particular, hand rankings is one of the differences between them. That is why it is important to make sure that you know everything about hand ranks in this very version of the game. Let us take a look at them. They are presented in order from worst to best.

  • Card – odds of 3:1
  • Pair – 2 equal cards + 1 card of another rank – odds of 6:1
  • Flush – 3 cards of the same suite – odds of 20:1
  • Run (straight) – 3 consecutive cards of the different suits – odds of 31:1
  • Running Flush (straight flush) – 3 consecutive cards of the same suit – odds of 459:1
  • Prial (three of a kind) – three 3s to three 2s – odds of 459:1

And again, as we noted at the beginning of the article, Prial is the best hand possible. Three 3s (odds 5,524-1), and the rest of Prial hands rank as usual, from three Aces to three 2s.

What about the payouts?

In theory, RTP can reach up to 98% for the Ante bet and almost 98% for Pair Plus, about 91% for Poker Plus, and a bit more than 96% for the Blind Bay. Let us take a look at the exact numbers.


Payout3 Card Brag Hands




Running Flush



Poker Plus










Full House


Four of a Kind


Running Flush


Royal Flush

Pair Plus









Running Flush



The Pair Bonus Side Bet – Is It A Really Good Idea?

First, we would like to emphasise that it is a risky option. You don’t get a bigger chance to win, but it is sometimes hard to resist the wish to win some cash, especially when Ante is too low.

So what exactly is this side bet? Firstly is optional. It can give you some more cash if you have a pair or better hand. At online casinos, you can just click on “Ante” and then on Pair Plus to make this bet. It is not connected to a dealer’s hand. That means, in turn, that a player can win this bonus even if he or she loses play bet.

What is the pair bonus payout? Let us take a look:









Running Flush



Are There Any Ways To Win at 3 Card Brag Games?

Of course, so many people choose the brag card game not only because it is really engaging. You can win bigger money by playing it.

So, how to win on 3 card brag? There is no universal strategy or secret trick that would allow everyone to win under any circumstances. Practice, bluffing skills, and strategy that works are the things you need to be a winner.

Simply put, if you are a newbie and if you want to start playing the games, you need to try to remember the rules, play brag many times (play for free until you learn everything about the game, remember all hands, know what to do in particular situations, etc.) and then move on to real money brag.

What is the best strategy?

Some would say that bluffing is the best strategy when it comes to something that is actually a bluff card game. After all, even the name “brag” suggests that getting a good hand is not always a player’s top priority.

Still, there is one common strategy: remember the good old Q-6-4 hand. If you get a hand that is higher (or at least equal), bet. If not, fold. The idea is that the game starts only when the dealer qualifies, and for that, they have to have a Q at least. Starting with at least 4 and 6 you have more than 50% chance to beat the dealer’s queen or at least tie with it.

And again, it is not a 100% safe scheme to use. This is one of the schemes that work quite often.

The Best Sites Where You Can Practice The Game For Free

We mentioned that you should not play real money 3 card brag until you understand how things really work, learn everything about the pitfalls, try different strategies, and realise which of them works for you personally. This, of course, is possible only if you practice.
Playing real money is very risky, but all adults can join gambling platforms that allow playing this game for free. And there are many of them, actually.

Choosing the best poker and brag online casino in Britain

The trick is to choose the site that not only allows you to make bets with local virtual currency, the golden coins, or something like that but also to find a casino you can really trust. Even if you are not going to spend real money on the platform in the future note that you are going to provide your personal data, and that is the good reason to choose a trusted online casino.

Moreover, we think that choosing a casino once is better than choosing a company every time you want to try another strategy, game, payment system, etc. It’s great when you can find poker no deposit bonus or even poker deposit bonus code (perfect for those who are going to play real money), play cool slots, make instant payments, and use all other benefits of genuinely good gambling sites. It may be difficult to find them, but it is totally worth it, especially considering that you can find them here.

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