Let me first explain why there is a need for this article. Three Card Poker is a very popular casino game and for many players it is the second most preferable game after Blackjack. The popularity of Three Card Poker is due to its high paying potential which comes from a mix of an ante bet and a bonus bet called Pair Plus. Yet in many of the casinos in the Indian sub continent, in places like Goa, Sikkim, and Sri Lanka, it is always hard to find a Three Card Poker table. On the other hand, we find several tables everywhere of another game called Mini Flush that is a variant of Three Card Poker. Like I have said in my earlier article on Why Casino Owners Love Roulette & Baccarat, casino owners love the games where the casino margin or 'house edge' is the maximum. So is that the reason why casinos prefer Mini Flush to Three Card Poker? Read on for the answer...
|Mini Flush and Three Card Poker|
Three Card Poker & Mini Flush Basics
Both Three Card Poker and Mini Flush in this part of the world require a compulsory ante-bet and if the player, after seeing their card wishes to stay in the game to compare their hand with dealer's hand, they need to place a play bet that is equal to or double the amount of the initial ante bet. In addition, there are optional bonus bets available in both the games that are as under:
Three card Poker 'Pair Plus' Bet
There is only one bonus bet available in three card poker that pays for high hands starting with a pair. The amount of the Pair Plus bet is equal to the ante bet and this bet has to be placed initially along with the ante bet. A win on the Pair Plus bet is paid out by the dealer even when the dealer's hand fails to qualify (dealer's highest card lower than a Queen) for the main game, hence it is a very useful bet. Payouts on Pair Plus bet start from a pair of cards of equal rank (like two sevens or two aces) and go up to a Straight Flush (three cards in sequence, all of the same suit, a hand that meets the requirements of both a straight and a flush).
Pair: 1 to 1
Flush: 4 to 1
Straight: 5 to 1 (6 to 1 in some places other than Indian sub continent)
Three of a Kind: 30 to 1
Straight Flush: 40 to 1
Mini Flush Bonus Bets
There are two optional bonus bets available in Mini Flush both of which can be placed by a player along with the ante bet and these are a High bet, and a Low bet. A player wins the High bet if they get a high hand (starting from a flush) and they also have a chance to win on a Low bet from a low hand starting from a 9-top hand. High and Low bets are paid out regardless of whether the dealer qualifies for the main game (Queen high).
Mini Flush 'High' bet Payouts
Pair: Push (No win, the original bet is returned)
Flush: 2 to 1
Straight: 4 to 1
Straight Flush: 75 to 1
Three of a Kind: 100 to 1
Mini Flush 'Low' Bet Payouts
Highest Card 10: Push
Highest Card 9: 1 to 1
Highest Card 8: 2 to 1
Highest Card 7: 4 to 1
Highest Card 6: 15 to 1
Highest Card 5: 50 to 1
What Makes Three Card Poker a Better Game?
Just see the pay-tables above and you will notice a few problems with Mini Flush:
1. There is no payout for a pair. A pair is a hand that comes very often in a three card game. In Three Card Poker whenever you get a pair, the Pair Plus bet will double your money whereas in Mini Flush the High bet will only return your own bet. There is no win amount.
2. Payouts for both flush and straight are curtailed. Mini Flush High bet pays 2 times for a flush and four times for a straight whereas in Three card Poker you get four times the money for a flush and five times for a straight.
Is it not obvious that pair, flush, and straight are the hands that you are much more likely to get over the span of the game as compared to three of a kind and straight flush? So while waiting for those big payouts in Mini Flush, you miss out on several smaller payouts.
Other Problems With Mini Flush
In Mini Flush you end up placing bonus bets for both high and low hands that doubles your cost of bonus bets, thus reducing your overall bankroll. Another issue is of the amount of play bet. In Three Card Poker everywhere the amount of the play bet is equal to the ante bet but in case of one casino group in Goa (Pride Casinos), the amount of play bet in Mini Flush is required to be double the amount of ante bet. That forces you to take additional risk for comparing your hand with that of the dealer.
Several Smaller Wins Are Better Than Waiting For One Big Win
The one thing I have learnt from my several hours spent in different casinos is that it is more prudent to aim for a large number of small wins rather than bet big money waiting for that rare jackpot. If you find this logic acceptable, then you will also find Three Card Poker to be a better game than Mini Flush.
|Posted by Narinder Singh|