3 Chip Stack

Contributed by Jim Kuglics and Jamie Licari

This a simple yet strategic game. It involves 2 - 6 players using a standard 52-card pack (no jokers). Each player is given a certain amount of poker chips that they can decide before the game. Usually we use around 15 chips. All chips have the same value no matter the color.

The dealer stacks 3 of his chips in the middle to start. Dealer must always do this. He then deals 3 cards to everyone in anyway he wants but always going clockwise. This meaning that the dealer can deal 1 card at once, 2 at once, or 3 at once. Players then look at their cards.

Now the hand begins. The object of each hand is to have the best card(s). The cards are ranked like this: 3's are the best, then Ace, then King, then Queen, all the way down to 4. 2's are worthless. So, in this game you want to just have the best card possible. Having 3 of a kind or a pair does not change anything, so if you got 3 aces and someone else has just one 3, the player with the 3 has the better hand.

The player left of the dealer can now stack 3 chips in the middle and if he wants, he could raise it up a bit if he thinks his hand is good or wants to bluff or he could fold and pass the dealer 1 chip (every player must pass the dealer a chip if they don't bet any of their chips). If the player stacks 3 chips or raises, the next player must see the bet, raise even higher, or fold and pass the dealer a chip. So the minimum amount of chips bet is 3 in the first round. It's very hard to tell when people are bluffing in this game.

Now after the first round of betting, each player can throw away 1 card that they choose. Usually their worst card. The dealer deals one card off the top of the deck to each player that threw a card away in a clockwise direction. Then another round of betting begins, starting with the first player on the left of dealer. He or she could "check" and not bet anything and wait to see if anyone else bets or he could bet any amount he wants. Watch out for bluffs here. If players fold in this round they do not have to pass the dealer a chip. After the round of betting is complete the cards are shown. Whoever has the best card wins all the chips in the pot. If players have the same best card it goes down to the next best card in their hand. If they have all 3 cards the same then they split the pot.

The person left of the dealer now becomes the dealer and a another hand is played. When a player loses all his chips, the player is out of the game. When a player wins all the chips, the game is over.