New players to the world of 3 Card Brag need to familiarise themselves with a few facts and figures, with Three Card Brag hand rankings being the most important of these facts. Along with the various hand rankings we have also added the odds of being dealt the various hands, figures which can make the difference between being a profitable 3 Card Brag player or one of the players who generously donates to the aforementioned profits.
Three Card Brag Winning Hands
These hand ranks are listed with the top scoring ones first, down to the lowest scoring ones at the bottom. Memorise the order and please note, if you’re more used to Poker, the Run and the Flush switch places in order of ranking.
A prial, which is short for ‘Pair Royal’, is the highest ranking hand in the game of 3 Card Brag. A prial is three cards of the same value (eg. A-A-A, K-K-K) with the most valuable prial being 3’s followed by Aces, Kings, Queens and so on. The odds of being dealt a prial of 3’s while playing 3 Card Brag are 1 in 5,525 with the odds of being dealt any other prial being 1 in 460.
A running flush is the second highest ranking hand in the game of 3 Card Brag, only bettered by a prial. A running flush is three cards running in sequence (eg. 4-5-6) which are also in the same suit. The highest value running flush is A-2-3 followed by A-K-Q then K-Q-J and so on. The odds of being dealt a running flush while playing 3 Card Brag are also 1 in 460.
A run is simply three consecutive cards in any suit. The highest value run is A-2-3 followed by A-K-Q then K-Q-J and so on. Note that K-A-2 is not a valid run or running flush. The odds of being dealt a run while playing 3 Card Brag are 1 in 31.
A flush is three cards of the same suit of any value. If two players hold a flush the highest value card of each flush is used to determine the winner, if the highest cards have the same value then the middle card is used to determine a winner and if both of these cards are of the same value the third card of each flush is used to determine the winner of the hand (eg. K-7-4 of hearts beats K-6-5 of spades). The odds of being dealt a flush while playing 3 Card Brag are 1 in 20.
A pair is made up of two equally valued cards and another card (eg. A-A-5). The highest ranking pair is Aces followed by Kings, Queens and so on. If two players show the same value pair the highest third card decides the winner (eg. A-A-5 beats K-K-Q, which beats K-K-3). The odds of being dealt a pair while playing 3 Card Brag are 1 in 6.
A high card hand is the lowest hand in Three Card Brag and occurs when your three cards cannot be used to make any of the above combinations. In this instance the highest value card in your hand is used (eg. Q-9-2 would be a “Queen high” hand). If two players hold the same high card the second cards and then the third cards are used to determine the winner of the hand. The odds of being dealt a high card hand while playing 3 Card Brag are 3 to 1 on.