If you’re looking for exploitable casino games with a low house edge where your decisions matter, look no further than live dealer poker.
You probably came to this page wondering what live casino poker is in the first place, what games are available, and which is the best one.
Live dealer casino poker, or simply live casino poker, is not a specific game. It’s an umbrella term for any poker-style card game you play online with a live human dealer. It includes games such as Casino Hold’em, 3 Card Poker and Caribbean Stud Poker.
You’ve probably seen these games in online casino lobbies in their automated RNG form, but here we’ll discuss the real deal, the casino poker games hosted by a live dealer that use real decks of cards.
If you’re considering playing casino poker, you should only be playing the live dealer versions of these games.
On this page, I’ll review every live dealer poker game individually and explain the differences between them so you can find the one that suits you the most.
There are between 6 and 11 games to play, depending on whether you count individual games or game types.
At any rate, there are some exploitable ones where your strategy will make the difference!
In almost all online casinos, you will see many casino poker table games such as Caribbean Stud Poker, 3 Card Brag, and Casino listed in the games lobbies, including the games mentioned on this page and a few that are not.
Despite sharing the same names, these games are not live dealer poker games. The outcomes of these games are determined by a random number generator (RNG), which means you’re playing against a calculator and not against a live human dealer who shuffles a real deck of cards.
While these games emulate real card games, they are designed for quick play, where you control the pace of play, and you’re playing just on your own. The RTPs are similar to live dealer casino poker games, but the playing experience is completely different.
If you want to play casino poker, stick to the games mentioned on this page.
|Evolution Casino Hold’em||97.84% – 99.18%||Two side bets; progressive jackpot|
|Playtech Casino Hold’em||97.84% – 99.18%||Two table speeds to choose from|
|Ezugi Casino Hold’em||97.84% – 99.18%|
|Ezugi Royal Poker||98.23%||Also known as Russian Poker|
|Evolution Ultimate Texas Hold’em||97.82% – 99.47%||Bet on Flop, Turn and River up to 4x|
|Playtech Heads Up Hold’em||97.64%||Bet on Flop, Turn and River up to 3x|
|Evolution Texas Hold’em Bonus Poker||97.96% – 99.47%||Win 1:1 on each of four bets|
|Evolution Caribbean Stud Poker||96.29% – 98.18%||Simple and fast 5-card poker game|
|Playtech Casino Stud Poker||96.29% – 98.18%||Identical to Evolution game|
|Evolution Three Card Poker||96.63%||Fast game that uses only 3 cards|
|Playtech Three Card Brag||98.00%||Alternative to 3-card poker with better payouts|
|Evolution Teen Patti||96.63%||Alternative to 3-card poker. Indian Dealers,|
|Evolution Video Poker||99.54%||5 Poker Variations|
Casino Hold’em is a game in which you want to make a better 5-card poker hand than the dealer out of 7 cards dealt.
It is a simplified version of the multiplayer Texas Hold’em poker. You’ll see this in all online casinos in its RNG form and live dealer form in casinos with Evolution, Playtech or Ezugi live games, such as Leo Vegas. The game also exists in a two-hand version by Evolution, where you play two hands simultaneously.
RTP is 97.84% in all three live dealer games that are available, by Evolution, Playtech and Ezugi, as the payouts are the same, as well as the rules. RTP can go up to 99.18% with the correct strategy. Playtech has two different table speeds. Evolution has two optional side bets, one of which can award a progressive jackpot, which has a total for October 1, 2023 of £4,566,637.
Evolution Ultimate Texas Hold’em is more elaborate as you’re involved with the betting until the last card is dealt.
You can Check or Bet after each card is dealt, the same as in Texas Hold’em poker, which we all know and love.
Evolution is the only one to produce Ultimate Texas Hold’em. In this version, the Ante Bet pays 1:1, but the payouts for the Blind bet are more dependent on the value of the winning hand. The dealer must have a pair or better for you to win any money on the Ante or Blind bets.
The RTP for the Ante Bet is 97.82%, but it rises to 99.47% overall if you continue betting.
There is a Trips side bet that has a poor RTP of 96.50% and, while not a good value option, is exciting to play.
Follow my Ultimate Texas Hold’em Strategy to learn how to play this game optimally to win more often.
Evolution Texas Hold’em Bonus Poker is more similar to Blackjack in payouts than poker, as all you can ever win if you beat the dealer during the main hand is 1:1.
Four opportunities exist to win through the Ante, Flop, Turn and River bets.
The RTP is 97.96% based on the Ante bet and rises to 99.47% if you continue betting.
The optional Bonus side bet pays regardless of the dealer’s hand outcome.
While it has a poor RTP of 91.46%, this is where all the big payouts can be found and is the main reason why you play this game.
An optional progressive jackpot is available with a total for October 1, 2023 of £594,583.
Their games are identical. XPRO Gaming and Vivo Gaming have games that differ as they offer five-player hands.
The game is very simple. After you place the Ante Bet, you see all your five cards and one of the dealer’s five cards.
You either Call or Fold. The Ante Bet pays 1:1, and the Call Bet pays according to the paytable, up to 1000:1 for the Royal Flush.
The RTP for the Ante Bet is 96.29%, rising to 98.18% overall.
There’s an additional 5+1 side bet at Evolution casinos and an optional Progressive Jackpot with a total for October 1, 2023 of £338,057
Three Card Poker is a hugely popular game that reduces the number of cards a player is given from seven to three.
The objective is for the player’s hand to beat the dealer’s hand with a better three-card poker hand.
Evolution currently has the only live dealer version available to play online.
The RTP is 96.63%.
Two side bets, Pairs Plus and 6 Card Bonus, are fun to play and have enhanced payouts.
If you want a simple introduction to live dealer poker, Three-card poker is the one to try.
Three Card Brag technically isn’t poker. It’s brag, an 18th-century British card game that is one of the ancestors of poker.
What this means to you as a player is that the best possible hand isn’t a Royal Flush but three of a kind called a Prial.
The best Prial you can get is 3-3-3, followed by A-A-A, K-K-K, etc. The RTP of this game is 98.00%.
Playtech is the only provider that offers a live Three Card Brag game.
Side Bet City isn’t strictly a poker card game, because no cards are dealt to the player or dealer.
However, I’ve included it because the results of the game are all Poker ranked hands.
The dealer deals 7 cards face-up on the table. You have the option to bet on the first 3 cards, the first 5, or all 7.
If you’ve bet on the first three your results are limited to 3 card poker hands. The 5 and 7 cards are used to make the best 5 card poker hand.
Payouts on the hands depend on which option you’ve bet on. There’s also the option to bet on All lose, where you receive a 0.70:1 payout if there are no winning hands.
Teen Patti is an Asian version of Three Card Poker.
The game rules are the same, even the side bets you can play.
I’ve no idea why the game is named differently; perhaps it has to do with Copyright or something?
So, if you’re looking for an alternative to the Western-presented Three Card Poker, Teen Patti, with its Indian dealers and authentic-looking studios, is a great alternative.
Video Poker Live is five games of poker in one. Play Jacks or Better, Tens or Better, Deuces Wild, Bonus Poker and Double Double Bonus Poker.
Created by Evolution, Video Poker Live brings the popular RNG video game to live dealers. It plays much slower but is an excellent alternative to the other live dealer poker games and has an RTP of 99.54%!
Every poker game has a different Return to Player (RTP). This is the expected return you’d get on your bets, and it’s worked out over millions of hands. In general, you want to play games with a high RTP. I’ve gone through all the games and listed the published RTPs. I’ve included the bonus and side bet RTPs for completeness.
|Live Poker Game||Overall RTP||Aces or Better Bonus||Trips||Bonus||Pairs Plus||5+1 Bonus|
|Ultimate Texas Hold’em||99.47%||n/a||96.50%||n/a||n/a||n/a|
|Texas Hold’em Bonus Poker||99.47%||n/a||n/a||91.46%||n/a||n/a|
|3 Card Poker||96.63%||n/a||n/a||n/a||95.51%||n/a|
|3 Card Brag||98%||n/a||n/a||n/a||97.86%||n/a|
|Caribbean Stud Poker||98.19%||n/a||n/a||n/a||n/a||91.44%|
|Video Poker – Jacks or Better||99.54%||n/a||n/a||n/a||n/a||n/a|
|Video Poker – Tens or Better||97.96%||n/a||n/a||n/a||n/a||n/a|
|Video Poker – Deuces Wild||98.91%||n/a||n/a||n/a||n/a||n/a|
|Video Poker – Bonus Poker||99.17%||n/a||n/a||n/a||n/a||n/a|
|Video Poker – Doubel Double Bonus||98.98%||n/a||n/a||n/a||n/a||n/a|
Casino Hold’em pays according to the hand rank. You place an Ante bet and, after that, a Call bet that is 2x your original bet when you see three of the five community cards.
Payouts for all three Casino Hold’em games and 2 Hand Casino Hold’em by Evolution, Playtech and Ezugi are the same.
Below are the payouts for the Ante Bet (RTP 97.84%) and the optional side bet called Bonus Bet, Aces or Better, or simply AA bet (RTP 93.74%).
Evolution also has a Jumbo 7 Jackpot side bet that will pay millions when a 7-card straight flush is dealt. The 2-Hand Casino Hold’em by Evolution pays the same.
Here, I will also include Caribbean Stud Poker – available in Evolution and Playtech versions – a simple casino poker game that pays according to hand rank. That paytable has a worse RTP of 96.29%.
|Hand||Ante Bet||Bonus Bet||Caribbean|
|Four of A Kind||10:1||40:1||25:1|
|Three of A Kind||1:1||7:1||3:1|
|One Pair||1:1||7:1 (must be AA)||1:1|
Two games let you bet all the way, from Ante to River.
The Evolution game is Ultimate Texas Hold’em, and the Playtech version is Heads Up Hold’em.
They are identical except for the larger 100:1 payout for Royal Flush in the Evolution Trips Plus side bet and that you can bet 4x in the Evolution game if you want to.
After you make your Ante bet and see your two cards, you will be given a choice to Check or Call 3x, in which case betting for you will end. After the Flop, you will Check or Call 2x. Turn and River are dealt together, and you can Call 1x or Fold.
Here are the payouts for the main game and the side bets.
|Hand||Base Payout||Trips/Trips Plus|
|Royal Flush||500:1||50:1 / 100:1|
|Four Of A Kind||10:1||30:1|
|Three Of A Kind||Push||3:1|
Evolution Live Texas Hold’em Bonus Poker pays 1:1 if you win, but you can place from 2x to 4x your Ante bet as the cards are revealed, which lets you affect how many times you win the 1:1.
A complex optional side bet pays according to dealer/player hand rank.
These are also my favourites, as you’re involved in each hand until the last card is dealt.
Of the three live 3-card poker games, 3-card Brag is the better choice.
If we look at the paytables of all five-card poker games and their bonus bets, we can quickly eliminate Caribbean Poker, as it has a poor paytable and doesn’t let you make any decisions. Its paytable, however, is weighted a bit towards the low-hand ranks, which is a good thing.
All Casino Hold’em games are decent choices, and with a correct strategy, you can do well, but you only win 1:1 unless you get a Flush or better.
Evolution Ultimate Texas Hold’em, Playtech Heads Up Hold’em and Evolution Live Texas Hold’em Bonus Poker all let you exploit the game with your betting strategy regardless of your hand. You can win big with a Straight.
I’d search for my candidate between these three exploitable games.
Since Playtech is difficult to find in the UK, that leaves us with two Evolution games, and I think Ultimate Texas Hold’em is slightly better. I have a significant page with the correct strategy for playing this game.
Now, let’s continue with more elaborate individual casino poker game reviews.
5 Live Casino Software Providers offer Live Poker games, but not all of them can offer all of the games. This is due to licensing restrictions.
Evolution Gaming has been leading the way in introducing progressive jackpots on Live Poker games.
There are currently three jackpots running.
The Jackpot total for October 1, 2023 is £4,566,637.
Play this for £/€ 1 at Leo Vegas
The Jackpot total for October 1, 2023 is £594,583.
Play this for £/€ 1 at Royal Panda
The jackpot is triggered when a Royal Flush has been dealt to the Players hand. All players playing the Jackpot bet at the time qualify for an equal share of the prize.
Other cash prizes can be won for smaller winning poker hands. These are fixed payments that are paid directly to the player.
The jackpots are not available at all Evolution live casinos, it all depends on whether they signed up for it.
The progressive Jackpot for Caribbean Stud Poker was last won in June 2018.
The lowest-ranked hand in poker is the High Card, with the Ace being the highest. If two people have equal high cards, the next highest card (kicker) in the hand determines the winner.
Two cards with the same value form a pair. A Pair of Aces is the top hand, followed by Kings, Queens, etc.
Two sets of pairs in the same hand. If two people have the same first pair, the rank of the second pair decides who wins.
Also known as Trips, this hand has 3 cards of the same value, e.g. 3 Kings, 3 Eights , 3 Fives etc.
This is a sequence of cards from any suite, like 3, 4, 5, 6, 7, 8 or in 3 card poker 4,5,6.
All cards are from the same suit. The kicker rule applies if there are two flushes. This is an Ace High Flush.
A pair and a 3 of a kind make up a Full House. The higher 3 of a kind would win if there are two full houses.
4 cards that are of the same value, one from each suit.
This is a straight and a flush all in one.
The best possible hand in poker. A straight flush of the highest value cards in a suit, A-10.
Its beatable by a Prial in 3 Card Brag.
Live Casino Poker is one of the most underrated casino games.
Many players flock to Blackjack as the exploitable game with the ‘lowest house edge’, but in reality, Live Dealer Poker is just as good in house edge, if not better.
In Blackjack, you only bet once and then make your decisions, but in some versions of Live Casino Poker, you can bet multiple times on Flop, Turn and River. That makes all the difference, as you can fine-tune your bet size and gain an advantage over the house.
I’d say the most exploitable live casino poker game is Ultimate Texas Hold’em by Evolution, and I have written an extensive strategy guide for it:
For strategy guides for other Live Casino Poker games, visit the respective game pages on this site.
Also, look into my post about gambling bankroll management.
Live Casino poker is a general term for a range of online live dealer games based on traditional poker.
In traditional poker, players play against each other. While in Live Casino Poker, play is against the house/dealer.
In 2000, Stephen Au-Yeung developed a table game called Casino Hold’em while trying to teach his wife how to play Texas Hold’em Poker.
This live dealer poker game first made its way online for us all to enjoy.
Casino Hold ’em uniqueness lays in there being only one player hand. As it turns out was a revelation for online play, where an unlimited number of people could play the same hand at the same time. Talk about being lucky!
Casino Hold’em was probably responsible for helping develop other single-handed poker games and is still the most popular single-hand poker game to be played online.