Playing poker against other people can be a competitive, pressure-filled game. Especially in No Limit Texas Hold’Em, any hand could put you to a life-or-death decision for your whole stack. But our poker-inspired table variants offer the chance to get a poker fix without having to sweat out those all-in coin flips and aggressive re-raises.

These poker alternatives include video poker, Caribbean Hold’Em, and a lovely little game called Tri Card poker that we’ll be covering in this article. Like so many games at Ignition Casino, Tri Card poker combines skill and a bit of luck. It’s one of those games you can totally zone out and get a long play session in. It’s not that hard to beat, either.

How to play tri card poker: basic rules

Okay. You’re going to get dealt three cards, and you want to make the best poker hand you can. The possibilities are:

  • High card
  • Pair
  • Flush
  • Straight (this is above a flush in Tri Card poker!)
  • 3 of a kind
  • Straight flush

You’ll start with your original ante. Then you’ll get dealt your three cards, as will the dealer.  The dealer’s cards are dealt face down. After that, you have two choices. You can fold if you have rags and think your hand won’t beat the dealer’s hidden hand. Or, you can raise and see what three cards the dealer is holding.

The dealer only “qualifies” if holding a queen high or better. This sets up 3 scenarios:

  • You raise and the dealer does not qualify. Your original ante wins a 1:1 prize. Your raise is returned as a push.
  • You raise and the dealer qualifies, but you can’t beat the dealer. You lose your ante and raise.
  • You raise and the dealer qualifies, and you BEAT the dealer! This is ideal. You get paid 1:1 on both your ante and raise.

Those are the basics. But Tri Card poker also offers bonus payouts and a Pair+ bet. Let’s talk about those in the payouts section below.

Tri Card Poker odds and payouts

Tri Card poker has some bonus payouts that add bigger rewards to the game. If you hit a straight or better, here are the odds on the bonus payouts you will win:

  • Straight flush 5:1
  • 3 of a kind 4:1
  • Straight 1:1

There’s a side bet in Tri Card poker called “Pair plus” or Pair+.” This is a separate bet you can wager on that pays out if you get a pair or better. You can play this without an ordinary ante and totally skip the normal game of Tri Card Poker, just playing a game that is a single bet on whether you will get Pair+ hands. Here are the payouts on your Pair+ bets:

  • Straight flush 40:1
  • 3 of a kind 30:1
  • Straight 6:1
  • Flush 4:1
  • 1 pair 1:1

A normal straight flush in NLHE requires 5 cards to line up. But Tri Card Poker only takes three, so the odds make it much more likely to occur!

To play the normal ante game and Pair+, click the Ante button in the middle of the screen. After that, click your desired wager amount in the chip section at the bottom right of the game screen. Then, click the Pair+ button in the middle, and click your desired chip amount. Chips should appear on both bets.

Now you’re ready to press the Deal button at the bottom and get some cards!

Tri card poker strategy: winning tips

The good news is that Tri Card Poker strategy is dead simple. It’s as easy as it gets. You only need to know three cards:


If your hand is this or better, raise it up. The statistics are in your favor. If not, toss it. Fold hands worse than that. It’s really that simple! There’s no drawing additional cards or holding on to high value cards like in video poker, so you don’t have to have any complicated strategic knowledge down. Just remember Q-6-4, and you’re good.

If you do this, the house edge should be dropping to around 2%, which is pretty solid. Your good days will definitely have you up!

Did you know you get rewarded for playing?

Tri Card Poker will pay you 0.5 Ignition Miles for each dollar you wager. This means that you’re earning rewards while you play! Ignition Miles can be redeemed for cash, so it’s a lot like a rakeback system. It’s just another built in bonus that you get for playing at Ignition.

As you build up your Ignition Miles, you will increase your rank and rate of redemption. The ranks/levels start at Steel, and go up to Chrome, Bronze, Silver, Gold, Platinum, Titanium, and then finally, Diamond. At the lowest level, Steel, your redemption rate is 2,500 miles to get $1. By the time you reach Diamond, this has improved to 1,000 to get $1. That’s 250% better.

So, no matter what kind of luck you’re having at Ignition, you’re always getting a little something back.

Want to get started playing a chill and fun version of poker? Check out Tri Card Poker today (and don’t forget to go Pair+ for a possible 40x win!)