Live Casino Hold’em

live casino hold'emLive Casino Hold’em is based on the card game Texas Holdem Poker, which is a multiplayer poker variant.

In Texas Hold’em players are dealt 2 personal cards and 5 community cards and attempt to beat each other by making the best 5 card poker hand out of the seven cards dealt.

Casino Hold’em is different.

Firstly, you are only playing against the dealer and secondly, only one player hand in dealt that an unlimited number of players can play and bet on.

Betting takes place before any cards are dealt and again after the flop or 3 community cards have been dealt.

After betting has taken place the remaining two community cards are dealt.

As Casino Hold’em is played against the dealer it’s a perfect game to be played at a live casino and that’s why you will hear and see it referred to as Live Casino Hold’em.

Game Background

The objective of Live Casino Hold’em is to beat the dealer, by having a better 5 card poker hand than he does. An unlimited number of people can play the one set of player cards.

The game is played with a standard 52 card deck.  The deck is shuffled and changed after every hand, and depending on the live casino it will be done by an assistant to the dealer, the dealer themselves or an automatic dealing machine.

As in poker, hands are ranked according to a preset value.

Poker Hand Rankings

High card

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The high card is the Ace, if this ties with another hand, then the second highest card in the hand is used as a tie-breaker, and so on until the hand is won or tied.

One Pair

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Two identical valued cards, in this case a pair of 9’s. A pair of 10’s or above would beat this hand. If another hand has a pair of 9’s then the next highest card is used to determine the winner.

Two Pair

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Two sets of pairs where each pair is different from the other e.g. 9’s and 3’s. if another hand has two pairs then the hand containing the higher pair will win.

3 of a Kind

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One set of 3 cards that have the same value. In this case three 5’s. This hand would be beaten by three 6’s or above.

Straight

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A hand of 5 cards that form a run. The suits do not need to be the same, so in this example, we have a run of 3, 4, 5, 6, 7. Straights with a higher run value e.g. 5,6,7,8,9 would beat this hand.

Flush

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A set of 5 cards from the same suit. The high card in the hand is used to determine ties. This hand is a 10 high heart flush.

Full House

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This is a combination hand that is made up of 3 of a kind and a pair. The three of the kind is dominant in the hand and would be used to determine ties with other full houses. This hand would be referred to 9’s over 5.

4 of a Kind

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4 cards that are of the same value, one from each suit. The value of the 4 of a kind is used to determine a winner if there is another 4 of a kind hand in play.

Straight Flush

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This is a set of 5 cards in a run, but all in the same suit. In this example, we have 3c, 4c, 5c, 6c, 7c.

Royal Flush

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The best possible hand in poker. A straight flush of the highest value cards in a suit.

Betting

There are 3 opportunities to bet in Live Casino Holdem. 

The first is the Ante Bet, which is placed before any cards are dealt. 

The second is an optional Bonus (or AA) side bet that is placed at the same time as the Ante bet, which pays out if a pair of aces or higher is dealt in the first 5 cards. 

The third is the CALL Bet, which is twice the Ante bet and is placed if your decide to play the hand after the 3 community cards have been dealt.

Playing the Game

The player makes his Ante bet and optional Bonus bet.

Following a shuffle, the dealer deals two cards face up to the player and two cards face down to the dealer position. 

Three community cards are then dealt face up in the middle of the table.

The player then has to make a decision.

  • He can choose not to play his hand and Fold and all his bets will be lost.
  • If he has a winning Bonus bet them to collect it he must Call.
  • If he thinks he has the dealer beaten then he should Call. A Call bet is then taken which is twice the original Ante Bet.

The dealer then deals the remaining two community cards and turns over his two cards.

A showdown now takes place where the best 5 cards from each hand are displayed and compared.

Game Outcome

If the dealer has a pair of 4’s or better, he is said to have a qualifying hand i.e he has “qualified”.This means he’ll be able to pay players winning call bets in addition to the Ante Bet.

  • If the dealer qualifies and the player has a better hand the player wins. The dealers will pay the Ante Bet (at the displayed odds) and the call bet at even money 1:1.
  • If the dealer doesn’t qualify, the player wins. The dealer will pay the Ante Bet (at the displayed odds) and the call bet is returned to the player.
  • If the dealer beats the players then the player loses all his bets.
  • If the dealer and the player have exactly the same 5 card hand this is known as a push. The players’ bets are returned to them.
  • If the player has placed a Bonus Bet and the first 5 cards contain a pair of aces or more, he is paid at the displayed odds, as long as he placed a Call Bet to play the hand.

Payout Tables

Ante Bet

Hand Payout
Royal Flush 100:1
Straight Flush 20:1
4 of a Kind 10:1
Full House 3:1
Flush 2:1
Straight or Less 1:1

Bonus (AA) Bet

Hand Payout
Royal Flush 100:1
Straight Flush 50:1
4 of a Kind 40:1
Full House 30:1
Flush 20:1
Pair of Aces to Straight 7:1

Where to play Live Casino Hold’em

I’ve produced a list of the Best Live Casino Holdem casinos which gives you a choice of great live casinos that carry the game. 

Currently Playtech, Microgaming and Evolution Gaming offer Live Casino Hold’em, although this is bound to improve as the market matures.

Live Three Card Poker and Ultimate Texas Hold’em are other variants of the game.  You can read more about live three card poker or other live casino games here.

Progressive Jackpot

live casino holdem progressive jackpot

Evolution Gaming has introduced a Progressive Jackpot for their version of Live Casino Hold’em.

It’s a network jackpot, which basically means that all of the casinos using their software and have signed up to offer the jackpot will be able to offer it to their players.

The jackpot is paid when a 7 card straight flush is dealt.

All players playing the bonus bet at the time the hand is dealt will receive a cut of the progressive jackpot.

There are lesser prizes available for lower valued hands.

These get paid to each player rather than a proportion of the payout.