Colorado Welcomes New Poker Game To Rulebook

Written By Ian St. Clair on 06/23/2020 - Last Updated on July 12, 2022

A new poker game, Three-Card Shine, is now available to casino-goers in Colorado. Well, when gamblers can play table games again at the state’s casinos, that is.

The Colorado Limited Gaming Control Commission (CLGCC) added the game to the combined rulebook during their meeting on June 18.

However, under the new health guidelines and restrictions for Colorado casinos to reopen, patrons can only play slot games. The Colorado Department of Public Health and Environment will revisit allowing table games in a few weeks.

The commission also discussed operator fees, blackjack rules and the openings of Colorado casinos.

Dan Hartman announced the first retail sportsbook was open at the Saratoga Casino in Black Hawk. Hartman is the director of the Colorado Division of Gaming.

Casinos in Cripple Creek opened with great enthusiasm last week. Black Hawk and Central City casinos are also open.

How to play Three-Card Shine poker

The object of the game is to make the best poker hand possible with only three cards. It allows bettors to play against the dealer and have a shot at winning based on how good the hand is.

The CLGCC had to approve the game and the rules before it could become available to Colorado players.

Colorado defines the game as:

“The game shall be played using one standard 52-card deck. The rank of hands in 3-Card Shine poker, from highest to lowest, is three aces, straight flush, three-of-a-kind, straight, flush, pair and high card. Each player may play a maximum of two hands following each shuffle of the deck.”

Why did Three-Card Shine get approved?

The fact poker is allowed in the Colorado Constitution may help explain why the CLGCC approved Three-Card Shine.

As of now, the Colorado Constitution limits the games casinos can offer to blackjack, craps, poker, roulette and slots.

However, when it comes to the addition of new games, say, baccarat, that’s where, historically, it gets more difficult.

To wit, craps wasn’t allowed in Colorado casinos until the voters approved Amendment 50 on Nov. 4, 2008. That shows you how difficult it can be to add a new game in the state.

Since Three-Card Shine is a form of poker, it’s not a surprise the commission gave it the go-ahead last week.

CLGCC checks off multiple boxes

The other items approved by the CLGCC at last Thursday’s meeting:

  • An update to blackjack game rules that will allow retail licensees to use two or six standard 52-card decks to play the game. Before the approved update, the rule allowed for six decks.
  • The CLGCC adopted the emergency change approved in the April 30 meeting on the definition of a proposition bet. The amendment was made for clarification purposes.
  • The commission approved sports betting operating fees for the fiscal year 2021. From the Colorado Department of Revenue Enforcement Division, the internet sports betting operator licensee, or master licensee conducting internet sports betting fee, is $77,000. The sports betting operator licensee, or master licensee conducting retail sports betting fee, is $17,900. The fees take effect July 1 and must be paid prior to July 31.

As the commission has done in the past, all the licenses on the docket were approved. In total, there were 25 licenses given the green light. Of those, The Denver Post and the Gannett Satellite Network publishing company were the most noteworthy to get licenses.

Ian St. Clair Avatar
Written by
Ian St. Clair

Ian is an award-winning sports journalist and a University of Northern Colorado graduate. He’s a Colorado native and has over a decade of experience covering college and professional athletics. He broke into the gambling industry right as Colorado launched legal sports betting in 2020. Ian now manages the sites for some of the biggest gambling markets in North America and is an analyst for PlayColorado.

View all posts by Ian St. Clair