How To Play Three Card Prime

Learn to Play Three Card Prime at Island Resort and Casino

One of the most popular casino table games, Three Card Prime is a variation of stud poker played with a standard 52-card deck. The game offers a wide range of betting options and strategies and heads up action against the dealer.

How to Play Three Card Prime


Three Card Prime offers a number of betting options and ways to win. Betting options include:

  • Ante: Prior to the start of play, each player may make a bet in the Ante spot. The player’s 3-card hand is played against the dealer’s hand. If the dealer fails to qualify with a Queen or better, your Ante wager is paid 1 to 1!
  • Play wager: Make a play wager to play against the dealer. You can receive an Ante Bonus based on your hand, regardless of the outcome. If the dealer fails to qualify with a Queen or better, this wager pushes.
  • Pair Plus: Bet the Pair Plus spot to play your own hand. To win the Pair Plus bet, the player’s hand must equal a pair, flush, straight, three of a kind or straight flush.
  • Play both: Players may bet both the ante to play against the dealer, and the Pair Plus bet to play their own hand. Make a pair or better AND beat the dealer’s 3-card poker hand to win both bets.
  • Ante bonus: Players who make the Ante and Play wagers may qualify for a bonus payout even if the dealer doesn’t qualify, and even if the dealer’s hand wins. To win an Ante Bonus wager, the player must hold a Straight, Three of a Kind or Straight Flush.
  • Pair Bonus: If your 3-card hand is a pair or better, you win!
  • Prime: If your hand contains three cards of the same color, you win 3 to 1 odds. If all cards in both your hand and the dealer’s hand are the same color, you win 4 to 1 odds!



To start the game, each player must make an Ante or Pair Plus bet. Once bets are in, players and the dealer are dealt three cards, face down. Players view their cards and decide if they believe their hand can beat the dealers. If so, the player makes a Play wager equal to their Ante bet. Players who make the Play wager then place their cards face-down in the play area. If the player does not believe their hand can beat the dealers, they may fold and forfeit the Ante bet. If the player bets the Pair Plus spot and qualifies to win, they may place their cards face-down into the play area.

Once all players have made their bets, the dealer turns their cards over and arranges them into the best possible poker hand. To qualify, the dealer must have a hand of queen-high or better. If the dealer does not qualify, Ante bets are paid to all players in the hand at 1:1. Play wagers are returned to players.

If the dealer qualifies and holds a better poker hand than the player, the Ante and Play wagers are forfeited.

If the dealer qualifies and the player holds a better poker hand, the Ante and Play wagers are paid at 1:1.

If the dealer qualifies and their hand ties the player’s hand, the bets are pushed.

Rules of play can be found here.

Things to Remember When Playing Three Card Prime

At Island Resort and Casino, we are focused on providing an enjoyable and memorable gaming experience for every visitor. To make your visit as enjoyable as possible, we hope you remember to:

  • Ask for help: If you have questions regarding the rules of the game or the betting process, just ask. Our table supervisors and dealers are always available to answer questions and offer advice.
  • Gamble responsibly: Gambling is a risk – never bet more than you can afford to lose. If you or a loved one have a gambling problem, we are here to help.
  • Register for an Island Club card: Before taking to the tables, be sure to register for an Island Club Card. With your club card in hand, you’ll earn rewards redeemable for hotel, dining and entertainment, as well as slot and bingo credits.

For help planning your next visit, please call 1-877-475-7375.