Carnival Game Rules

Carnival Games refer to the novelty games in a casino, typically variations on Blackjack or Poker games. They tend to be easy to learn at our Las Vegas dealing school as soon as you know the formula. At Gold Star School of Gaming, we focus on three popular and distinctly different Carnival Games: Three Card Poker, Let It Ride, and Ultimate Texas Hold’em.

To master the Carnival Games, begin by learning Poker Hand Rankings. Knowing the hand rankings as well as the basics of Blackjack will make learning the variations very easy. Most rules and payouts are written on the layout so that players (and dealers) may approach the game and understand the basics after a quick read through.

If you find yourself nervous about dealing a Carnival Game, you may find comfort in the fact that the Table Games department strives to present games simple enough for even the drunkest tourist to understand. With a little experience, you will be able to quickly master the mechanics of dealing.

  • Carnival Game Basics

  • Pay accordingly, but notify your floor supervisor when paying greater than 5 to 1.
  • Pay attention to table minimums and maximums. If the table minimum is $5, the player may not bet any lower than $5 on each spot – not $5 collectively. Table maximums are typically much lower than on other table games.
  • Players may only bet one hand.
  • Players must be seated.
  • Only one player may touch the cards, using only one hand. Players may not bend or mark the cards in any way.
  • Players must wait until all cards are dealt and the shuffle machine displays a green light, signaling that the deck is complete.
  • A machine malfunction voids all hands.
  • In the event of a machine malfunction (flashing red light, card jam, etc) call you supervisor. Do not fix the machine yourself.
  • If a dealer must qualify in a game, “qualify” refers to the minimum value hand the dealer must have in order to play.
  • If the dealer does not qualify, typically only one of the two bets – play or ante – is paid, regardless of the player hand.
  • Deal all cards behind or beside the bet – you do not want players reaching over their bets to grab their cards.
  • Do not toss players their cards; fan the cards gently in front of the player.
  • When revealing cards to the players, turn them outward so the player may see the cards before you, the dealer, see them.
  • Most carnival games are “pick and pay” meaning that after a dealer has revealed all necessary cards, he will turn over the first player’s cards, pay/take/push accordingly, discard the cards, then move on to the next player’s hand. (The opposite is “lay and pay” where the dealer will turn over the first player’s cards, take/push/leave the winning hand visible, discard the losers, then come around the table and pay all winners at once.)