Live Casino Hold’em Guide31st January 2017 |
The hugely popular game of Casino Hold’em is just one of many poker variants around today. Originally based on Texas Hold’em, a multi-player poker version, Casino Hold’em does have some differences. When it comes to Live Casino Hold’em, you only play against the dealer, whose hand you are aiming to beat. To do this you must have a better five-card hand than the one the dealer holds. What’s different here is that an unlimited number of people can play the single set of player cards.
The game is played with a single 52-card deck, which is shuffled and changed for every single hand. Depending on which live casino you are playing at it will depend on whether this action is performed by the dealer, an automatic dealing machine or an assistant. Betting (placing an ante), must occur before any of the cards are dealt out. When it comes to determining which hands are best, these follow the same standard ranks that are used in any poker variant and are listed here from low to high:
- High Card
- Two Pair
- Three of a Kind
- Full House
- Four of a kind
- Straight Flush
- Royal Flush
Once all ante bets have been placed, two cards will be dealt to the player and the dealer. The player’s cards will be placed face up so that all can see them, the dealer’s however, will be placed face down. Next, three community cards will be dealt, again face up, and these can be used to create a five-card hand. At this point, a second round of betting will take place and this is the moment when players can choose to fold if things aren’t going their way.
However, if the cards look to be going in your favour, then you will want to continue playing the round. If this is the case, the player will have to make a call bet. This must be double the value of the initial stake in the ante. Once all bets have been placed, the dealer will then place the final two community cards face-up on the table. Now it’s time to see what the best hand is and who will be the ultimate winner!
- Place an ante bet
- Check out the hole and community cards
- Decide whether to fold or to play
- If play, make a call bet
- Check who has the best hand!
A Brief History of Casino Hold’em
Casino Hold’em was created by Stephen Au Yeung as a training method for his girlfriend. In fact, he was trying to teach her Texas Hold’em but found this simplified version easier to demonstrate the rules and nuances of the game. Since its first online appearance in 2010, this poker variant has grown in popularity with a number of different providers now all offering the game. All follow the exact same rules, with the exception of the Evolution Gaming version, but we’ll get to that later!
Throughout a single round of Casino Hold’em there are three different moments when you can place a bet. We’ve already discussed two – the ante bet at the beginning of the game, and the call bet, which is placed when you decide to continue to the bitter end. But in the middle is a third occasion. This is a side bet and is totally optional. You place this at the same time as the ante and it pays out if a pair of Aces or higher is dealt within the first five cards.
Once the game’s over, you’ll want to know whether you won or lost. After all, that’s the point of playing. If you’re familiar with the hand rankings, you’ll no doubt have an idea of how things are panning out. But as you don’t know what the dealer has you won’t know for sure until they flip over their cards. For starters, a dealer can only qualify for the round if they have two fours or better in their hole cards. The player will automatically win if the dealer’s hand doesn’t even qualify for the round.
If the dealer has qualified but the player has the better hand, the player wins. However, if the dealer does have a good hand, one that beats the player’s, well, you will lose all the bets. If both player and dealer have the same five-card hand, this is known as a push and the player’s bets are simply returned to them. However, if you’ve placed a bonus bet, and the initial five cards have an ace pair or greater, you’ll be paid out at the displayed odds, as long as you made the call bet.
When To Keep On Playing
If you’re new to this game, it can be hard to know when to fold or call at that first crucial stage. There are a few simple tips that can keep you ahead of the game. For instance, you should always call and continue the hand if you have a pair or more in your hole cards. Similarly, call with an ace or king in your hand. Having a queen or jack should also see you call, but there is a caveat – fold if the community cards are the same suit, which you don’t have.
Leading on to hands that should mean you fold we have hands such as those that have no hole cards matching the community cards or no hole cards that are over 10. In these instances, you should fold, unless you have a straight or flush draw in which case, continue on! Finally, you should also fold if the hole cards are low, unpaired, not the same suit and also don’t match with any of the community cards. Similarly, if the hole cards don’t give you a flush or a straight then you should fold too.
Which Live Casino Hold’em Game To Play
There are a number of different Live Casino Hold’em games available. These games come from Evolution Gaming, Playtech and Ezugi. Each of them may look different in the theme, layout, and design, but all of them offer the exact same rules and payouts. Seeing as it’s the design that really sets them apart, it’s totally up to you where you play. However, recently, Evolution Gaming made one rather important change to their game. They added a networked progressive jackpot, and that really does change everything.
This progressive jackpot means that any casino that offers this specific Live Casino Hold’em version will be linked. The pot will grow as players from all different casinos place their bets. This means that the jackpot can rise to some phenomenal amounts. However, to claim this jackpot you will have to land a 7 card straight flush, which doesn’t occur so often! Players using the bonus bet when this hand lands, will also get a cut and there are smaller prizes awarded for other, lower value hands as well.
Why Play Live Casino Hold’em?
Okay, so you can actually play this game in virtual form, but if you’re going to play online, it’s so much more fun to play it live. Why is that you ask? Well, firstly when playing live you get to interact with other people, in this case just the dealer. Playing against a real person means you can also try and hone your skills and practice new strategies. Finally, though, it evokes a truly great casino atmosphere that you can immerse yourself in without having to leave your house.
Casino Hold’em is a rather unforgiving game and really helps to hone your skills as a poker player. Once you get to grips with the rules and know the hand rankings like, well, the back of your hand, it’s time to give this game a go. Available to players at a number of online casinos around the world, it’s definitely worth your while trying it out. If you want a little more lenient a game, try out Evolution Gaming’s Two Hand Casino Hold’em and pick between player hands.