Casino Hold’em is another poker variant that was brought into the industry in the 2000s. Essentially it is Texas Hold’em, but instead of playing against other players, it is played against the casino. With its arrival on the scene relatively late in the game, it made the transition to live casinos almost instantly and is one of the most commonly offered poker variants in this platform.
Casino Hold’em is actually designed to be dealt by a dealer and is played against each individual versus the dealer in the same way that blackjack or baccarat are played. The dealer has to qualify to play the hand, and once that has occurred it is simply a direct contest between the hand that the dealer possesses and the one the player has. As with other forms of poker, there are a variety of betting options available, though the fundamentals such as ante bets remain the same across the board.
Stephen Au-Yeung designed this new poker game in an attempt to help train a partner in playing Texas Hold’em. However, it became rather popular due to its rather simpler form and was soon released in casinos. Over the early 2000s the game was demonstrated at a number of venues throughout the world with Russia, Egypt and South Africa being the first countries to add it to their live casinos. It was not until 2007 that the game was approved in the UK, and now the game is played in thousands of casinos across the globe.
How to play Live Casino Hold’em
In order to play Live Casino Hold’em, players need to choose a casino that offers this game and then sign up for an account. This is a rather straightforward process, for the most part only requiring the player to be over the age of eighteen. Once the account is activated, the player can then deposit some real cash money and head over to the live casino game selection. Games are usually set out in a clear fashion, though players can also simply search for the game they wish to play as well.
Once at the game, the player will be faced with a live video feed of the dealer at the studio. There will also be a virtual overlay at the bottom of the screen where players can place their bets and communicate with the dealer. The live chat function is available there, so that players can inform the dealer of their exact decisions in the same manner that they would in a land-based casino. Once bets are placed, the game proceeds as follows.
As with other poker variants, the game is played using a 52-card deck. Each player will make an Ante bet, though there are optional side bets available depending on the casino – the player can simply ask the dealer directly about these. The dealer and the player are then dealt two cards with the player’s cards dealt face up and the dealer’s will be left face down so that not even the dealer sees them. Then three community cards are dealt, so that all players can see their values, which will eventually number up to five in the same way that Texas Hold’em does. During each phase of play the player can choose whether to call or fold depending on what the cards are. After the five cards are placed as the community cards, the dealer then turns over their cards and the two hands will be checked to see which has the highest value. The dealer must qualify, and to do so they must have at least a pair of fours. If this is not reached, the Ante bet will pay out in accordance with the available Ante paytable. Any winnings gained by the player at this point will be credited directly to their online casino account. Likewise, any losses will instantly be removed.
Live Casino Hold’em strategies
There is no easy or straightforward strategy available for Casino Hold’em, as the best decision for each hand really will depend on the overall combination of the final seven cards that are placed on the table. There are computer programs that can make calculations for the best play for each specific hand possibility, but it is much harder to create generalized strategies that can be memorized and used by players. For the most part, though, the best strategy is to raise as much as 82% of the time with only the worst 18% of the hands suggesting that the player should fold. A truly bad hand would usually cover two singles in the hand that are low in comparison to what has been placed out in the first three community cards, or flop. This would mean that there is barely any chance of the player acquiring a flush or a straight, therefore folding would be the wisest choice.
There are, however, a few generalizations that players can use in order to bring the house edge a little lower – though players need to bear in mind that these are by no means perfect. For example, players should always call when they have a pair or higher, holding an Ace or King High, and if they have two overcards. It is also recommended that players call if they have a Queen or Jack High, but players should understand that this only works if suits are not in play and the player does not hold a suit in their hand. It is also prudent to call if the player only needs one card to make a flush or a straight. When it comes to folding, players should fold on any pairs less than a ten.
For the most part, Casino Hold’em is a game of luck rather than strategy and with the one on one format it does make it rather difficult to predict any outcomes. It is a simpler version of poker, and due to this it has seen a boom in popularity, meaning that it is a very accessible and playable game on all platforms.