How to Play Vegas Three Card Rummy

Vegas Three Card Rummy is poker variation that combines elements of the game known as Gin Rummy. It is played primarily at online casinos, powered by software developed by Cryptologic and Real Time Gaming. It has been installed at WinPalace Casino, Star Palace Casino, Bovada, Vegas Casino Online and Grand Parker Casino, to name a few.

Vegas Three Card Rummy is played directly against the Dealer with three-card hands dealt from a single 52-card deck, thus resembling Three Card Poker to some extent. However, the scoring of the hands is very different. The object of the game is to get fewer points than the Dealer. No Ante bonus is offered and the Raise bet can pay as high as 4-to-1 for premium hands.

Vegas Three Card Rummy begins with the Player making an Ante bet. Then, three cards are dealt to the Player face up and three to the Dealer face down. All cards are ranked according to their poker value, except Aces, which are always low. Cards 2 through 10 are counted at face value; Jack, Queen and King are each worth ten points, and Aces count as one point.

Additionally, any pair or triple counts as zero points; a two-card or three-card suited run counts as zero points, too. However, because the Ace is low, the A-K of a suit does not count as a suited run, while the 2-A does. When a hand contains cards that could form either a pair or a run, the lowest possible value is counted; otherwise, both totals being equal, the run is counted rather than the pair.

Once the Player has seen his/her own cards a decision must be made to Fold or Raise. Folding means abandoning the hand and losing the Ante wager outright. Raising allows play to continue, and the amount of the Raise must be equal to the original Ante bet.

The Dealer turns over his/her cards only after the Raise bet has been made. The Dealer’s hand must have 20 points or fewer to qualify. If the Dealer does not qualify, the Player wins even money on the Ante regardless of the total, while the Raise is refunded as a “Push,” no winner. If the Dealer and Player hands are of equal value, both the Ante and the Raise wagers are returned as a Push, no winner.

Whenever the Player’s hand has a value lower than the Dealer’s qualifying hand, it wins, paying even money on the Ante bet. The Raise wager pays out according the House Pay Table, which should be clearly posted at the table. Typically, the payouts are 4-to-1 when the hand is worth zero points, 3-to-1 for a value of one to five points and 1-to-1 for six or more points.

There is also an optional Bonus Bet that can be made prior to each deal. This bet automatically loses if the Player’s hand total is thirteen or more points, the maximum being thirty. Otherwise, it earns a bonus payout of 4-to-1 for a value of eleven or twelve points, even money for seven to ten points and 2-to-1 for one to six points. A total of zero earns 25-to-1 and the suited 3-2-A is worth 100-to-1.

The House Edge at Vegas Three Card Rummy has been calculated at 3.23% on the Ante bet when playing an optimal strategy. In about two-thirds of all cases, the Player will want to Raise. In such cases, the House’s advantage moves up slightly to 3.46%. In the case of the Bonus Bet, which is always a single unit, the margin for the House is 3.54%.

Because the Dealer’s qualifying point is 20, the Player should usually Raise when holding 20 or fewer points, and Fold on totals of 21 or higher. Since the risk on the Bonus Bet is just slightly higher than on the Ante or Bonus, a good strategy is to never wager on the Bonus and increase the Ante wager instead.

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