Learning Three Card Poker at a Las Vegas dealer school is simply a matter of learning a poker derivative game. There are three bets on the layout – “queens up,” “ante,” and “play.”
The “ante” and “play” refer to the player’s hand vs. the dealer’s hand.
The “queens up” is a bet based only on the player’s hand. It pays odds, beginning with 1:1 for a pair of queens and 40:1 for a three card straight flush.
Players may bet either the “ante/play” or the “queens up” or both “ante/play” and “queens up.”
The dealer needs a queen to qualify. If the dealer doesn’t qualify, the player wins the “ante” but not the “play.”
When dealing a game of Three Card Poker, whoever has a better hand – player or dealer – is the winner. If the dealer does not qualify, there is no competition. The player automatically wins the “ante” even if he has a hand worse than the dealer. For this reason, players often play in the dark – playing completely blind – hoping the dealer will not qualify.
Note, in Three Card Poker, unlike regular poker, a straight is higher than a flush.