Texas Hold’em: A Brief Overview.
Texas Hold’em is the most popular variant of poker.
Ideally, up to eight players sit at a poker table. The game aims to beat all the other players to win the “pot” of money.
Table position matters; after each player has received two cards, the dealer deals up to five community cards. Players bet, bluff and exploit each other’s weaknesses in a race to claim the pot with the best 5-card poker hand.
Texas Hold’em is a game that’s simple to understand but can take years to learn how to win. Some players dedicated their lives to honing their skills in Land-Based and online tournaments that can last days.
Thankfully there are alternative games that use the same principles as Texas Hold’em that are quicker and easier to play.
Casino Hold’em: The Differences.
Casino Hold’em is one of the alternative games. Unlike Texas Hold’em, where you play against other players, Casino Hold’em is played against the house/dealer. All you have to do is beat the value of the dealer’s hand to win.
You can play automated RNG versions, which I don’t advise. Or, live dealer Casino Hold’em, where you’ll play against a human dealer.
You’re still given two cards at the beginning of the game, but the dealer also gets two cards. Players can fold or call to continue playing after the first three community cards appear. A call costs double the Ante bet.
The remaining two community cards are then dealt, unlike in Texas Hold’em, where they’re split into River and Flop. The best five-card combinations are then made for the player and the dealer. Whoever has the best combination wins.
This makes Casino Hold’em a much faster game and one where no bluffing is involved; it’s a straight shoot-out between player and dealer hands.
Some of the skills picked up in Texas Hold’em regarding hand strengths, and probabilities are just as relevant in Casino Hold’em. So having them in your arsenal can undoubtedly help improve your chances of winning.
Casino Hold’em Payouts
The payout table in Casino Hold’em resembles video poker more than regular Texas Hold’em poker.
You always win a preset multiplier of your bet; you don’t win the pot. For more information, look at my Evolution Live Casino Hold’em review, where I explain the payouts.
Here I’ll mention them briefly.
For you to get paid, the dealer has to fail either to qualify or have an inferior hand to yours.
You win 1:1 with a Straight or less, 2:1 with Flush, 3:1 with Full House, and so on, all the way up to Royal Flush, which pays 100:1.
The theoretical return to player of the Evolution game is 97.84%, and it’s usually similar to live dealer Casino Hold’em games by other developers. Expect a house edge between 2% and 2.5%.
The Thought Process Behind Casino Hold’em Betting.
Unlike in Texas Hold’em, where you make your first bets after you’ve received your first two cards, in Casino Hold’em, you wait to see the first three community cards before you make your first betting decision.
The choice you face is whether to fold the hand and lose your initial bet, or if you want to continue to play the hand, you’ll need to make a bet of twice your original bet.
For example, If you wagered 10, your bet will be 30. Remember that the total bet should be tailored according to your budget, so make sure you can afford it when placing the first bet.
Since you see your two cards and the three community cards, you should have a pretty good idea of the kind of hand you can expect to get and work out the likely odds of that happening.
There are no starting hand Casino Hold’em charts because they’d be too complex. In Texas Hold’em, you’re basing your decision on your first two cards, while in Casino Hold’em, the decision is based on five.
What The Dealer has
The next part of the thought process is determining what the dealer might have.
Unlike in Texas Hold’em, your opponent can’t make a tell in any way since he’s not betting and is simply passively waiting for the hand to play out. That’s why it’s best to err on the Side of caution. If you see an Ace in the community cards, assume the dealer has one too.
The situation changes dramatically If you have an Ace, as the chance of the dealer also having an Ace is significantly reduced.
Casino Hold’em is played with one deck. If you and the dealer have the same value hand, you don’t lose; the outcome will be a draw.
Like in Texas Hold’em, you should constantly be alert regarding straights and flushes. Always ask yourself could the dealer make a straight or a flush with those three community cards – and the two that will come afterwards.
You should fold if you expect to lose. If your 3-unit bet is producing an EV of -0.99, then you should bet, and if it’s making an EV of -1.01, you should fold.
In most cases, it’s good to push your luck in Casino Hold’em, especially when you have the slightest chance of getting one of the hands that pay a lot, such as four-of-a-kind, full house, or royal Flush. These are the situations where you get a decent payout.
In Texas Hold’em, you win the pot regardless of the hand you have. You might have nothing and bluffed your way to a win or a royal flush. You still win the same amount.
In Casino Hold’em, you win more when your hand is better.
So, for all practical purposes, you raise when you have a slight chance to get an excellent hand and a decent chance of winning the hand.
For example, an ideal hand would consist of a high card, such as an Ace or a King, while the other card and the community cards create a decent situation for landing one of the top hands, such as a royal flush.
As a general rule of thumb, your raised EV will always be slightly negative, such as -0.08 – but you should still bet unless it’s below -1.00 – and the positive EV will be blatantly obvious only when you already have a made hand.
You can search online for some Casino Hold’em hand calculators, and you should get a pretty good idea of how EVs change according to your two cards and the three community cards.
Casino Hold’em Side Bets.
Casino Hold’em has optional side bets you can wager on separately from the main game.
Like in other live dealer games, additional game options, such as side bets, vary with the developer who created the game. However, in Casino Hold’em, there are only two types, as you can see below: Aces or Better, or the progressive jackpot bet on the Evolution game.
Playtech Live Casino Hold’em
Aces or Better – This is a standard side bet in Casino Hold’em that you’ll see on many live dealer and land-based casino tables.
It’s called Aces or Better, or simply AA. The side bet has a different paytable to the main game, paying out even if the dealer beats you. Only the first five cards are counted. Of course, you only get paid if you have at least a pair of Aces.
Ezugi Live Casino Hold’em
Bonus Bet – This is also the Aces or Better side bet, as it pays only when you get at least a pair of Aces. The bet is settled on the first five cards regardless of whether you win or lose the hand. Payouts are standard for this type of bet.
Evolution Live Casino Hold’em
Bonus Bet – Winning hands are paid using the first five cards only, regardless of winning or losing the main hand. RTP is lower, 93.74%, as opposed to 97.84% for the main game. Again, this is the Aces or Better side bet with the standard payouts.
Jumbo 7 Jackpot – This game has a progressive jackpot that is quite large, and you can win it only if you have an active side bet on the Jumbo 7 Jackpot. The progressive jackpot is won when there’s a 7-card straight flush. There are also smaller payouts for other hands—the jackpot size for February 23, 2024 is currently £4,659,660.
Can you learn Texas Hold’em by playing Casino Hold’em?
Casino Hold’em was invented by Stephen Au Yeung, a guy who wanted his girlfriend to learn the rules of Texas Hold’em without the need to play a full game of poker. So, he came up with a game to learn the hand rankings through a simple two-handed game.
You will not, however, learn anything about real poker play, as there’s no bluffing and pressuring involved, no positions, no stealing of blinds, and no strategies for going far in tournaments.
The skills used in these two poker variants are not interchangeable. You’ll ruin your Casino Hold’em game if you play Texas Hold’em, and vice versa. The hand rankings are the only things the games have in common.
Live Casino Hold’em is a fun game that doesn’t have a significant house edge, and you can develop some strategies to be good at it.
The game is often overlooked but decent if you know poker hand rankings.
Casino Hold’em is like video poker but with an opponent.
The only way to find out if you like the game is to try it out.
This one could be the variant you stick to – give it a go.