You’ve probably seen +3 points before. Whether it’s in the form of a bonus at the end of a free-bet trial or as part of a special promotion, you’ve probably noticed that some sportsbooks, poker networks, and casino games allow for +3 points. What does this odd scoring method mean, and how does it work? Let’s explore.
Point Schemes Generally
In the grand scheme of things, +3 points isn’t anything special. It doesn’t mean that the number of points you get is tripled or that the number of games you play is multiplied by three. It’s simply a method of scoring used by select books, sportsbooks, and certain poker tournaments (mostly low-stake tournaments).
According to The Mathematics of Poker, multiplying three by three in this case is just “a convoluted way of saying ‘add three to your original score.’” In some situations, you’ll add five points, in others you might add two or one. It really depends on the point scheme of the game you’re playing. For example, most blackjack variants don’t score any points for wagers placed during the game, but variants that do score additional points typically give you a point for each card you draw and two points for every doubling (e.g., two to four, four to eight, etc.).
There are hundreds of different point scoring schemes used throughout gaming. Some are more complicated than others, but all follow the same basic principle: the more you wager, the more you score. It’s all about how the game’s designers want you to score. There’s no set formula for what +3 points means, it depends on the game.
The Oddity of ‘+3′
If you’ve ever played at a casino or sportsbook that uses +3 points, you might have noticed that this ‘plus three’ designation doesn’t exactly mean what you’d expect. For example, if you wager $100 and win, the casino might give you $200 in reward – which is actually not that great of a bonus. The reason is that most casinos have a minimum wagering requirement of at least three dollars (or three times the size of your wager) before you can withdraw any winnings. In mathematical terms, this is known as a rake (or take-down).
In general, if you meet the minimum wagering requirements, winning $100 in a $10 wager will result in you actually having $130 winnings ($100 + $30 = $130). This is because a rake is usually added to your total earnings at the end of every round or session (in this case, it’s the end of the session).
If you don’t meet the minimum wagering requirement, the casino will only give you $100 in winnings. In this case, your actual winnings will be $100 ($200 – $30 = $170). To put it simply, the more you wager, the better your odds of winning. But the more you wager, the more you’ll lose.
How Does It Work?
It’s important to remember that no matter which game you’re playing or how many points you have at the end of a round, you’re always going to have a maximum of three chances to win. If you meet the minimum wagering requirement, you’ll be able to win additional funds on top of your original wager. But that’s about as far as it goes. You’ll never be able to get more than three wins in any given round (or session).
However, you might get lucky and win the poker game of your dreams after placing dozens of bets. But since you’re not supposed to win more than three times in any given round, you might actually end up with less money than you started with (up to three times over, of course).
That’s what makes games like blackjack so exciting! The house edge (the advantage the casino has over you) in blackjack is actually very small. In fact, according to Poker for Dummies, “the house edge is basically the same as for real poker—1% or less.”
What Are The Rules?
Once you understand how +3 points work, it’s easier to figure out the rules. Typically, you’ll have to obey a few basic guidelines to remain eligible for the bonus. First, make sure that you meet the minimum wagering requirement – usually three dollars or more. If not, you’re out of luck. (In the above example, you would need to wager $100 at least three times to be eligible for the bonus).
Next, make sure that you play in a legal casino or in an online poker room that’s properly licensed. If you’re not sure where to play legally, check with the state or province where you live. Some gambling laws are different from state to state, so be sure to familiarize yourself with the rules before playing. (You might also want to read Poker For Dummies or Texas Hold’Em For Dummies).
What If I Don’t Meet The Minimum Wagering Requirement?
If for some reason you don’t meet the minimum wagering requirement, the casino will only give you the amount they deem fair for your game. For example, say you play at a land-based casino in Nevada and win $100 in a game with odds of two to one. Your winnings will be multiplied by two (hence why you have twice the number of chances to win), but since you don’t meet the minimum wagering requirement, the casino is only going to give you $100 for your game. In order to get your $200 in winnings, you’re going to have to wager $300 (three times the amount you need to meet the minimum wagering requirement).
Again, it really depends on the game. Some blackjack variants don’t have a minimum wagering requirement at all, so if you get dealt an ace, you might be able to walk away with a good chunk of change. (There are also some blackjack variants that don’t require you to place a wager at all, which essentially eliminates the house edge).
More On Bonus Points
If you’ve ever wondered what happens to bonus points after a given session or round in a multiplayer online poker game, the short answer is that they’re generally kept. However, this is completely up to the game’s designers, and it might not always be that way. If you find that bonus points disappear after rounds or sessions end, then that’s probably because the game’s designers don’t want them to. In some games, bonuses are essentially insurance policies the casinos use to cover losses due to invalid plays (or cheats). In the grand scheme of things, it’s usually not worth worrying about, but it could be something to keep in mind.
As poker fans may know, there is also a maximum number of cards that can be played with per hand. This is called the game length and is usually set by the game’s designers. In most cases, the game length doesn’t matter for the purposes of fulfilling the wagering requirement – once you meet it, you’ll be able to withdraw your winnings. However, in some cases (usually in low-stakes games), it can make a difference in how many wins you get. For example, if you’re playing 15 cents per hour (the minimum wage allowed in most casinos), it might not be worth it to continue playing past the 40 minute mark. (You’ll get one win for every 40 minutes of play).
As you can see from the above, +3 points doesn’t necessarily mean that the games are easy to play or that there’s a lot of money to be made. It simply means that the games use a scoring method that is a bit more complex than usual. That being said, if you meet the minimum wagering requirement and play in a legal casino or in an online poker room that’s properly licensed, then you’re going to have a good time.
Hopefully, the above explanation has helped you understand what exactly +3 points mean in betting. If you have any other questions about betting or gaming in general, please feel free to leave a comment below! Good luck out there.