Old Picture Of Card Players

The History Of 3 Card Brag

The history of 3 Card Brag can be traced back to England in the 16th century with the game being a direct descendant of the Italian card game ‘Primero’. 3 Card Brag is one of a number of ‘vying’ or ‘bluffing’ card games which became popular during this time. Bluffing or vying card games are games where you can win with a weaker hand by bluffing your opponents off the pot after giving the impression that you have a stronger hand. Other bluffing card games include; Teen Pathi – An Indian game which is similar to 3 Card Brag, Bouillotte – A 19th century casino game which originates from France, the hugely popular American game – Poker and 3 Card Brag’s direct ancestor – Primero.

3 Card Brag has a rich history within Britain and even though the game may not be as popular these days with gamblers as it has been in the past, within certain circles it is still the card game of choice. 3 Card Brag is a popular card game for the travelling showmen of Britain. These fairground showmen can often be found playing among each other after the fairs close for the evening, with eagerly anticipated games taking place for larger stakes at bigger fairs throughout the year.

Along with being a popular card game in its own right 3 Card Brag has also evolved into various other card games, most famously Three Card Poker is credited as being a predecessor to poker. 3 Card Brag made its way to America during the late 1700’s at the end of the colonial period with the first recorded appearance of poker taking place in 1805.

Like poker, 3 Card Brag is primarily a game of skill and while the two games require confidence, the ability to successfully make and call bluffs and the careful consideration of odds there is one huge difference which is card counting. In a game of poker the deck of cards is shuffled after each hand ensuring that the cards are dealt in a random manner but when playing 3 Card Brag the deck is only shuffled prior to the start of the game and following a prial being shown as a winning hand. This allows players with extraordinary memories to establish which cards they and the rest of the players in the game have been dealt. Traditionally card counting is frowned upon but it is a respected skill in the game of 3 Card Brag.

3 Card Brag isn’t the most high profile card game in modern times but it did make its way into modern cinema through Guy Richie’s blockbuster film, Lock, Stock and Two Smoking Barrels where 3 Card Brag can be seen being played by characters in the film.

These days poker is the dominating card game across the globe and since the birth of the internet this dominance has been cemented. However all is not lost for all of us 3 Card Brag fans as one of the internet’s leading names in gambling has just launched online 3 Card Brag games where you have the chance to ply your skills against others in the same way that you would when playing online poker. This move is definitely a welcome sight for 3 Card Brag players across the globe and who knows, 3 Card Brag could become commonplace at online poker sites and online casinos in the future.

Scroll to Top