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3 Card Brag: A Complete Guide with Rules, Strategies and Where to Play for Free

If you are new into casino card games, the first and the most basic game that may be recommended to you is known as 3 Card Brag. It is basically a British card game originating in the 16th century that became widely popular in the upcoming years.

Currently, this game is played by millions of gamblers in numerous regions who can try out their luck in this game against real players or against live dealers in an online casino. If you are interested in 3 Card Brag, check out our detailed guideline on this game.

3 Card Brag Basics You Need to Know

The game is almost similar to poker but played with 3 cards. Though the idea of the poker games that we see today were inspired by 3 Card Brag, and it took an even longer time for the ancient game to come to online casinos.

3 Card Brag - 3 Card Brag: A Complete Guide with Rules, Strategies and Where to Play for Free
3 Card Brag

Traditionally, it is played against a few players where everyone is given 3 face-down cards. Players need to continue betting or folding their cards until one bets with the highest hand and wins the pot.

In online casinos, the game is simplified and takes place between the player and the dealer. The key objective of this online 3 Card Brag is to end the game with a higher valued hand than the dealer’s.

As you can assume from the name of the game, ‘brag’ or ‘bluff’ is pretty common in 3 Card Brag. Somehow it enhances the thrill of this card game and makes it more appealing to the witty players.

How to Play 3 Card Brag at Online Casinos

A 3 Card Brag game starts with 52 Playing cards which are shuffled when a new hand is played. Depending on the online casino you choose, you can play this game within a range of £1 to £1000. Before you begin 3 Card Brag, let us take you through some of the terms and the gameplay.

Hand Values

The hands in a 3 Card Brag look a lot similar to those of poker. The difference lies in the order of value. To clarify it better, here are the hands based on their values. We have included them in low to high order.

  • High Card: An Ace is known as the high card.
  • Pair: A pair indicates two cards consisting of the same value. If there is a standoff, the one with the higher pair will win.
  • Flush: Flush is the combination of three cards of the same value. In a tiebreaker situation, the high card rule will be applicable in here.
  • Run: A run is 3 cards from any suit making them a straight.
  • Running Flush: A running flush is 3 cards from same suit making them a straight.
  • Three of a Kind/ Prial: A prial is 3 cards of the same value.

3 Card Brag Betting Rules: Betting Types and Gameplay

When you play 3 Card Brag in an online or a live casino, at first you will be asked to make a bet. In this game, you can bet in two ways: The Ante and the Pair Plus Side Bet.

  • The Ante

Unlike many other games, in 3 Card Brag, this can be an optional bet if you play with the Pair Plus bet. If you place this bet, you will be qualified for the Ante Bonus payout. It means that even if you do not win, you can still earn bonuses for certain hand values.

  • Pair Plus Side Bet

As you can assume from the name, this type of bet is related to the pair hand. This bet works only for the player who has a hand containing one or two pairs. It increases the odds for the player if he receives a pair.

It can also be paid out when the dealer has the better hand. Unlike the Ante bet, Pair Plus Side Bet can be made alone. However, most gamblers go for both types of bets at the same time.

The way this game works is that you need to select a bet type before you see the cards. After you make a bet, the dealer will deal cards and distribute 3 cards to the player while keeping 3 for himself.

The player can then consider their hands and decide whether to fold or play. It can be done in a few ways, such as:

  • If you have chosen Ante bet and decide to play, you will require placing a Play bet equivalent to the amount of Ante bet.
  • If you have chosen Pair Plus side bet, the game will proceed normally without you doing anything.
  • If you decide to fold the hand, you will lose both the Ante Bet and the Pair Plus side bet.

After your turn, the dealer will compare his cards with the player’s. He can continue to play only if he has a Queen or higher in his hand. Depending on his move, the game’s outcome is set.

  • If the dealer does not play, the player receives the Play Bet money as PUSH and an amount equal to Ante bet.
  • If the dealer plays with a higher hand, the player loses both bets unless the hand is qualified for an Ante bonus.
  • If the player succeeds in beating the dealer, both bets are paid to the player unless the hand is qualified for the Ante bonus. In that case, the player will receive this payout instead.

Hand Ranks and Payout Tables in 3 Card Brag

Your payouts are different based on the hand value and the type of bet you aim for. Check out this table below to see what we mean.

Ante Bonus

Hand Value Payout
Three of a Kind 5:1
Running Flush 4:1
Run 1:1

Pair Plus

Hand Value Payout
Three of a Kind 40:1
Running Flush 30:1
Run 6:1
Flush 4:1
Pair 1:1


How to Win at 3 Card Brag: Strategies to Maintain

This game has a very simple strategy that helps you to take better decisions. Just keep on mind that you need a hand equal to or higher than Q, 6 and 4. If you have it, make a bet. If not, call it a fold.

Why You Should Give 3 Card Brag a Try

There are many user-friendly benefits of this game. Firstly, it may be your first step to master before you go for a harder version of other card games. It also comes with less complicated rules and requires a basic level of knowledge of gambling. In addition, 3 Card Brag is fast-paced and a lot simpler than its other counterparts with similar features.

The game has 98.00% RTP for the Ante Bets and 97.86% RTP in case of the Pair Plus Side Bet. Potentially, it has a higher payout percentage than traditional pokers, which is another reason why you may want to check this game out.

Where to Play 3 Card Brag Online for Free

3 Card Brag is a relatively new game that is available in Playtech powered online casinos. However, before you get all hyped up and play the game for real money, we will suggest you to try it in free mode first. These extra practice sessions will not only help you to understand the game more clearly but also let you develop some of your own strategies to win in 3 Card Brag for real.