Playing off the wave of interest in three-card poker nationwide, Gulfstream Park Racing and Casino has introduced a Florida version of the game.
The game is more complicated than, say, blackjack or Texas Hold 'em, but also has the prospect of quick-hit payouts. For example, Gulfstream has a jackpot for any player with a "mini-royal" of ace-king-queen of spades that's at about $7,000 now and could grow to six figures, card room manager Scott Poole said.
"The idea is to offer life-changing money," he said. A three-card straight flush pays $200 on a $5 bet and three of a kind pays $150. Wagers can run from $5 to $500, and players can choose to take a turn at being the banker -- which gives them favorable odds but requires a more robust bankroll to cover any losses.
Most casinos with live table games, including those run by the Seminole Tribe of Florida offer three-card poker, and trade journals report growing interest by casino guests. Because Florida racinos aren't allowed table games, Gulfstream sought state approval via altered rules that could get its game classified as poker, and the table is inside the poker room.
Gulfstream (with Bobby Veillette dealing and A.J. Boydston of Aventura and Chris Magliato playing) is calling its format "Florida rules," and regular players from elsewhere will notice some differences, Poole said. The Isle Casino and Racing in Pompano Beach also has set up a table in its poker room and will likely begin offering it this month.
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