Best Strategies for Playing Three-Card Rummy

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Three-Card Rummy. Image Credit: Shutterstock

Although not one of the most popular card games, three-card rummy offers an exciting gambling experience alongside a good set of odds for the punters.

Poker is, by far, the most popular card game at both land-based and online casinos. However, there are numerous other table games that you can choose from, which are equally as exciting, with the three-card rummy being one such game. Offering good odds, three-card rummy is enjoyed by millions of players worldwide.

Gameplay Basics of Three-Card Rummy

Rummy has several versions, with the three-card rummy being one of the easiest to get to grips with. Played with a classic deck of 52 cards, all cards carry a points value. Luckily, the values are simple to remember; aces equate to a single point, numbered cards carry the weight of their number, and face cards have a value of ten points. You win the game by having a point total lower than the dealer.

Placing the Ante Bet

At the start of each hand, the player makes their ante bet. There is also an alternative option of placing an additional bonus side bet. Both the player and the dealer are dealt a hand containing three cards. Dealer’s hand is placed face down, while the remaining players can see their hands.

Adding the Score

Players can determine the total score of the cards in their hand by adding the points total of the three cards they were dealt. However, there are ways for the total score of the hands to be reduced. For example, if you have three of a kind (e.g., three kings) or any pairs, these will add up to zero points.

Any runs of a minimum of two successive cards also count as zero if they belong to the same suit. For example, if your hand has two jacks and an ace, your hand’s value will be one point. The ace will have a value of one, and the jacks are worth zero points since they’re a matching pair. Also, a hand that contains three same-value cards, or three consecutive cards from the same suit, has a zero value.

Raising and Folding

Once players receive their hand and add up the value, they can decide whether to raise or fold. Should a player choose to increase their bet, they must make another bet equal to the ante. Should a player decide to fold, the ante bet is forfeited, and the hand immediately ends.

Should a player raise their bet, the hand is compared with the hand of the dealer. Should the dealer’s hand be less than 21 points, it qualifies for the round. If the dealer’s hand has more than 20 points, the player immediately wins the hand, receiving even money on their ante bet, with the raised bet pushing.

Should the dealer’s hand qualify, and the player has a lower value hand than the dealer, they will receive even money on the ante bet. Should the values of the player and dealer cards tie, they will push. The raise bet also pays out against any qualifying dealer hand and has a higher total than the player. Still, the odds paid out will differ based on the strength of the player’s hand.

Payout Table for Three-Card Rummy

The standard payout table for three-card rummy:

  • zero points pay out 4-1
    • one to five points pay out 2-1
    • 6 points or more pay out 1-1

If a player made a bonus bet, their bet also pays out should they have a hand with a value of 12 points or less.

These are the payouts for bonus bets:

  • A consecutive ace, 2 or 3 in the same suit pays out 100-1
    • A hand with a value of zero points pays out 24-1
    • A hand with a value of one to six points pays out at 2-1
    • A hand with a value of seven to ten points pays out 1-1
    • A hand with a value of 11 to 12 points pays out 4-1

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