HOW TO PLAY CASINO HOLD’EM
How to play Casino Hold’em – a live casino game based on the game we all know and love – Texas Hold’em. The rules are very similar to the original game, but with added elements to make the game flow. The hand classification remains the same but there are a couple of rules which differentiate Casino Hold’em to Texas Hold’em in order to speed up the game. In order to play the game efficiently, knowing the classification of hands blindly is essential and having poker experience is always going to be a plus.
However, if you’ve never played Texas Hold’em before, fret not, as you’ve come to the right place. In this How to play Casino Hold’em guide, we’ll be covering all there is to know about this live casino favourite, including the rules of the game, a detailed walkthrough, the different types of bets, strategies, as well as odds and payouts.
How to play Casino Hold’em – Rules & Walkthrough
As explained above, the rules for Casino Hold’em don’t differ much from Texas Hold’em, but since you’ll be playing the cards and not the player, the game is far quicker and the action is continuous.
Before the hand starts, the first round of betting occurs, where players have the option to place three bets. We’ll be covering each bet in more detail later in this guide, but for the sake of the walkthrough, we’ll stick to the mandatory bet, ‘The Ante’ and the main ‘Call Bet’.
After the Ante bet has been placed, the dealer proceeds to deal two cards to both him/herself, and the player, starting with the player. The dealers’ hand is dealt face down, while the players’ hand is dealt face up.
Right after being dealt the hand, (your two cards), the dealer reveals the flop (the first three cards) and the player is faced with the decision on whether to call or fold. In Casino Hold’em, the ‘Call Bet’ must be double the ‘Ante’ in order to stay in the game. For instance, if you placed a €10 Ante bet, you’ll need to wager another €20, making your bet a total of €30.
The player has a total of 15 seconds to decide whether to call or fold and not clicking on any of the options will automatically fold the hand. Once the second round of betting concludes, the river and the turn cards are dealt after each other. The dealer will then proceed to reveal his/her cards and just like in any other poker game, the best hand wins the hand.
The dealer will only qualify for the hand with a pair of 4’s or better (displayed clearly on the table), which means that High Card, Pair of 2’s or 3’s are ignored. This rule changes the dynamics of the game and will also have a significant effect on which hands you should be calling.
Casino Hold’em Classification Of Hands
The classification of hands in Casino Hold’em is identical to Texas Hold’em and to be successful in the game, it’s essential that you know the classification of hands inside out. You won’t have much time to think in between bets and before you feel absolutely confident, don’t try your luck on real-money tables.
Bet Types in Live Casino Hold’em
The first bet that gets the action started in Casino Hold’em is the Ante Bet and is a mandatory bet to be included in the hand. The Ante bet is always half the size of the following bet, which is the Call bet. The call bet is the one which allows the player to proceed and will result with a showdown with the dealer.
The Ante and Call bets are the most common bets in Casino Hold’em, but there is one more bet which can be placed in the game, which is ‘Aces or Better’.
‘Aces or Better’ is based on the poker value of your hand (two cards) in combination with the flop. This side bet has dedicated payouts for the different hand combinations that can be made and below is the payout structure for each combination:
- A Pair of Aces all the way up to a straight: 7:1
- Flush: 20:1
- Full House: 30:1
- Four of a Kind: 40:1
- Straight Flush: 50:1
- Royal Flush: 100:1
Jumbo 7 Jackpot Side Bet
This side bet is exclusive to online casinos who host Live Casino Hold’em by Evolution Gaming. The Jumbo 7 Jackpot side bet gives players the potential to cash in on the biggest live dealer jackpot known to man. The jackpot is a progressive one, which means that a tiny percentage is taken from each side bet, which in turn contributes towards the jackpot. The Jumbo 7 Jackpot side bet has no limit on how much it can grow (uncapped) and is only triggered when a player hits a straight flush with the 7 cards available.
This side bet pays for a range of other lower-ranking poker hands, even if the dealer has a better hand. The bet will still be a successful one, as long as the side bet was placed.
The Casinos’ House Edge
Any casino game you play comes with a house edge, which essentially translates into the advantage the casino has over the player. Live Casino Hold’em is one of the better games to play, as it comes with a house edge of between 2% and 2.5%. When you take into account the Ante Bet, the house edge stands at 2.16%.
The small house edge only comes into effect if the player is making the best decision in every hand. Casino Hold’em, just like Texas Hold’em requires discipline and even though it might be tempting to play every hand, you need to take into consideration the constant house edge the casino has and the fact that the Call Bet is double the size of the Ante. Careless calls is a surefire way to dwindle your bankroll.
Live Casino Hold’em Strategy
In Texas Hold’em, there is a multitude of strategies that can be used but in Live Casino Hold’em, the player is playing the cards, not the player. There’s no bluffing, raising or re-raising which are all tactics aimed at opposing players.
Any decisions made in Casino Hold’em are purely based on what cards the player is holding and the possibilities of making a stronger hand.
The following are some guidelines on whether you should be calling or folding certain hands:
- Call if the dealer has low cards, especially 2’s and 3’s
- Call with any pair that’s higher than a pair of 3’s
- Call with any overcards
- Call on flush or straight draws
- Calling when the board is paired is dangerous – Any board pair higher than a pair of 3’s will see the dealer qualify
- Never chase cards, especially inside straight draws
The following table illustrates the odds of making hands in Casino Hold’em
|Hand||Final Hand Odds|
|Four of a Kind||1:600|
|Straight or Less||16 out of 17|
There are two reasons why Live Casino Hold’em should be played flawlessly, or as flawlessly as possible:
- The ‘Call’ bet is double the ‘Ante’ bet, which means that if reckless calls are made, your bankroll could dwindle very quickly
- The house edge will change drastically if the right decisions aren’t made with every hand you play
Where to play Live Casino Hold’em
Many online casinos have Live Casino Hold’em available to play, but if you’re a newbie to the game, it’s always advisable to play the game for free before playing for real money. Playing for free will give you a feel of the game and lets you get comfortable with certain strategies you’ll want to use in the real money game.
The bigger the online casino, the more likely the live casino game selection hosts casino hold’em. Most online casinos with a limited number of games give priority to Blackjack and Roulette due to their notorious popularity.