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How to Play Triple Option Poker


Deal each player 5 hole cards. Place a total of 6 cards face down on the table in a group of 3 cards, a group of 2 cards and a single card. May be played high-low split.Players may use these cards in this manner:

1. Three cards (Option 1). Use any 5 cards from the 5 dealt plus these 3 cards to make a hand. There are no wild cards in this option.
2. Two cards (Option 2). Any cards among a players 5 dealt hole cards that matches the rank(s) of these 2 cards is wild. A player may use only the 5 cards dealt to them to make their hand with this option. The 2 board cards are indicators only. They do not play in the players hand.
3. One card (Option 3). This common card and any card of the same rank held in a players hand is wild. Use this wild card plus 4 of the 5 cards dealt to make a hand.

Summary of action
Deal 5 hole cards to each player. Arrange board cards.
Reveal 3 cards of Option 1 row (none wild).
Reveal 2 cards of Option 2 row (indicates wild cards).
Reveal single card of Option 3 row (common wild card).
High only or Hi-Lo Cards Speak: Showdown
High-Low Declaration: Declare

Option 1 Option 2Option 3

Playing Tips for Triple Option Poker


The first thing to be said about Triple Option poker is that it can be a difficult game to understand. The most important thing to keep in mind is that the 3 options are distinct and separate. Nothing that occurs in one option can be transferred to another. For example, the single card (Option 3) is a wild card that applies only to that card and like ranked cards that are present in a players dealt cards. It does not apply if a card of the same rank appears in one of the other options.

Option 1


Option 1 - 3 cards. 3 cards that are combined with the 5 cards dealt to a player. Any 5 of these 8 cards may be used to make a player's hand. None of the 8 available cards are wild. The fact that there are no wild cards to be used makes it less likely that the winning hand will be determined using this option. In this option the highest possible hand is a royal flush. In the other options the availability of wild cards makes 5 of a kind possible.

For high, the best hand that will be made is probably no better than a flush or occasionally a full house. Those hands are extreme long shots compared to the hands that are makeable by using one of the other options which include wild cards.

It may be a bit easier to use this option to make a low hand. You need to have been dealt 3 cards to the nut low then catch the other 2 cards to complete the nut low. Unfortunately, the chances of catching 2 perfect cards is pretty low. If you are lucky enough to have been dealt 4 cards to the nut low, the playable wild card you get in Option 3 is guaranteed to give you best low, so you can ignore Option 1 entirely and just start betting.

Option 2


Option 2 - 2 cards. Neither of these cards are can be used in a player's hand, they are merely indicators. Only cards of these same rank that are present in the 5 hole cards dealt to you can be used as wild cards. You are limited to using the 5 cards in your hand so this option is the least likely to make you a winning hand unless you get 2 or more playable wild cards from it and you have 3 other coordinated cards (e.g. 3 to a straight flush). But, be careful, even catching 2 wild cards may not give you a winner. For example, say you were dealt KQ32A. If the 2 wild cards are KQ, you have the nut low. But, if the 2 wild cards are K3, K2, KA, Q3, Q2, QA, 3A or 2A you have no low and only trips for high. 32 gets you an ace-high straight which is not much better as well as no low.

Option 3


Option 3 - 1 card. A single wild card that you may play in your hand. This means that all players will have at least 1 wild card. If you were dealt trips, you will automatically have at least quads by using this wild card. Unfortunately, quad nines or lower are not a likely winning hand. If you were dealt 4 to a straight flush (including 1 gapper), you have an automatic straight flush. That's far better and also a probable winner. If you were dealt 4 cards to the nut low, you automatically have the winning low hand.

Of the 3 options, Option 3 is usually the best one, since you have 1 wild card plus your 5 hole cards to make your hand. Be sure to read our Playing Guide for Wild Card Poker. It has additional information that you will need to play this game.

What Are Wild Card Indicator Cards?


Indicator cards are cards that are use only to indicate or designate what the wild card(s) are but can not be used in a players hand. Examples of games using indicator cards are King Tut's Tomb and Triple Option (Option #2). A card of the same rank as the indicator card serves as a wild card, but the indicator card itself is not in play.