Three Card 2nd Chance is offered a unique three card poker variation of Wager Works casinos. With an optimal strategy, the game has a lower house edge per unit wagered as standard Three Card Poker, but a higher variance.

Rules and Play

After placing an Ante bet, the player is 3 cards. He has the choice to either hold his hand or discard his hand and a replacement. If the player raises his hand, he must make a raise bet equal to his original bet double his bet. After the player treats his final hand, the dealer reveals his cards. If the dealer has a queen high or less, the dealer takes a spare hand. The last hands are compared and evaluated. If the dealer wins, lose both bets. If the player and dealer tie, press both bets. If the player wins both bets paid according to the payout table below.
Hand Pays
Straight Flush 6: 1
3 of a kind 4: 1
Just 3: 2
Other 1: 1

Best Hand Sidebet

Three Card 2nd Chance offers an optional Best Hand Sidebet with a maximum bet of 2x the initial ante bet. In contrast to almost all other side bets, the best hand Sidebet is a desirable option. The Sidebet pays if either the player or dealer has a flush or better, according to the payout table below.
Hand Pays
3 Aces 35: 1
Straight Flush 15: 1
3 of a kind 12: 1
Just 3: 1
Alignment 2: 1


As already mentioned, it is to the player’s advantage to make the best bonus Sidebet. Making the Sidebet reduces the house edge per bet if you best strategy. The maximum Sidebet is 2x the first ante bet. To minimize At this ratio, the optimal strategy to-edge (per hand) is to stand on unsuitable AK3 or better and take a hand on replacement unsuitable AK2 or worse. In order to minimize the house edge per bet (expected loss over a fixed employment requirement), the optimal strategy changes slightly. The player should be unsuitable or better on AK4 and take a hand on replacement unsuitable AK3 or worse. See the strategy Calc for more specific information about the EV differences.

House Edge

When using the above-described optional Sidebet strategy, the house edge of the main game bet is 11.02%, and the house edge of Sidebet is -3.53%. Note that the Sidebet a player edge. The combined house edge between the two bets is (11.02-2 * 3:53) / 3 is 1.32%. House edge is defined in the form of first use. The player throws 71.9% of the time, resulting in a house edge per unit (11.02 to 2 * 3.53) = 1.07 wagered / 3.719%. The future value of 1.07% corresponds to the expected loss over a minimum bet. A forum member and I determined the house edge per bet value of 1.07% within + / – 0.01% accuracy by independent simulation. For more details, see this forum thread.

If not a Sidebet and bet with the main strategy that is or better on KT2, the house edge is 3.56%. The player throws 50.2% of the time, which is set to a house edge of 2.37% per unit.

Variance and the use of

Using the optional Sidebet strategy described above, the standard deviation of the main bet 1.93 and the standard deviation of the Sidebet is 2.32. If the Sidebet is 2x the initial ante bet, the combined standard deviation per hand is 1.80, when expressed in terms of the 3-unit inital bet. Set The combined standard deviation per unit is 1.62. This latter value corresponds to the expected variance for a minimum bet. So the variance over a minimum wager with a combined use of 3 units is roughly the same as Casino Hold’em with an ante of 3 units and is much higher than standard 3-card poker (ante-and-play) with an ante use of 3 units.

When estimating variance over a minimum wager with the return & variance calculator, enter a bet size that is the sum of the ante and side bet. If you bet 1 unit on ante and 2 units on the Sidebet were, you would enter a bet size of 3.

If not a Sidebet and bet with the main strategy, the standard deviation is on KT2 or better 1.72 per hand and the standard deviation is set per unit 1.40.