Evolution Live Ultimate Texas Hold’em

evolution live ultimate texas hold'em banner

Evolution Live Ultimate Texas Hold’em was launched in September 2016. It was the first significant poker game release we’d seen in a while, so when it arrived I was beyond excited.

I first came across Ultimate Texas Hold’em in Las Vegas a few years ago. It was clearly a different game from Blackjack, which is my normal go to game.

Initially I found it a little difficult to get my head around, even though I knew how to play Texas Hold’em, the betting looked somewhat complicated until you’d played a few game rounds and understood its purpose.

If you’ve played poker before the game is more aligned to Texas Hold’em than say Caribbean Stud Poker. Players are dealt two cards and use 5 community cards to create the best 5 card poker hand they can.

Differences between Online and Land Based Ultimate Texas Hold’em

The major difference between the version Evolution has released and what you’d play in a land based casino is the number of player hands dealt.

The online version only has one player hand, which an unlimited number of players can play.

In the land based version a maximum of 7 player hands are dealt with play restricted to just 7 players.

Evolution Live Ultimate Texas Hold’em in Summary

The game is played against the dealer with one deck of 52 playing cards. The player has to make a better 5 card poker hand than the dealer to win.

Two cards are initially dealt to the player and dealer.

There are 3 opportunities to bet during the game, basically every time additional community cards are dealt.

The player gets to choose when to bet, but can only bet once during the game round.

Betting early means the player can raise his Ante by a multiple of 3 or 4x his initial Ante bet.

Waiting for all cards to be dealt restricts the additional bet to 1x or 2x the Ante.

The player doesn’t have to make a bet if he thinks he has a losing hand. In these instances folding the hand is a good option.

Payouts and Return to Player (RTP)

Before we get in the game play section I think it’s important to highlight the Bets you can make and also the payouts for winning hands.

The Return To Player (RTP) is an important figure as it describes the theoretical return you can expect when playing the game.

Ante Bet – The Ante Bet is the mandatory bet you make to play in the next game round. It’s made before any cards are dealt, and should be for an amount that’s suitable for you’re bankroll. If you choose to play the hand you’re dealt you’ll need to place at least the same amount again or up to 4x, so don’t go betting to high! There’s an RTP of  97.82% for the main game (1st Bet) and 99.47% for the Total Bet.

The Blind Bet is automatically placed when you place the Ante. The highest the Ante bet will ever pay if you win is even money. The Blind bet is where the money is made, but only if the dealer qualifies. This is how the house creates it’s edge and why the RTP’s are not 100%.

The TRIPS Side Bet is optional and will pay out if you have 3 of a Kind or better in your hand. The hand payouts are greater than the Blind. This bet gets paid regardless of whether you beat the dealer and doesn’t need the dealer to qualify. RTP of 96.5%.

evolution live ultimate texas hold'em payout table

Dealer Qualification – What does it mean?

It’s a really good question. Dealer Qualification is a way for the Casino to make an edge on it’s games. They set a minimum value that the dealers hand must reach before it will make a payout to winning players. It’s not good enough to just beat the dealer to win, the dealer must also have a hand for you to get paid.

In Evolution Live Ultimate Texas Hold’em the Dealer qualification minimum is set at a pair or better. So the dealer has to have a Pair of Two’s or above to pay you on the Ante and Blind bets.

If the dealer’s hand does not qualify:

‘Dealer did not qualify’ is displayed on-screen

  • The dealer signals a push for the Ante and returns the Ante bet to each player that did not fold. The player’s hand is then evaluated against the dealer’s hand to settle the Blind and Play bets.
  • When the player’s hand is better than the dealer’s,the player’s Blind and Play bets are settled in accordance with the payout rules and tables.
  • If the player’s hand is weaker than the dealer’s,the player does not receive a payout for their Blind or Play bet.
  • When the player’s hand is equal to the dealer’s, the player’s Blind and Play bets push.

If the dealer’s hand qualifies:

  • The player’s hand wins if it has a higher poker value than the dealer’s hand. The dealer then settles the Blind and Play bets in accordance with the payout rules and tables.
  • The player’s hand loses if it has a lower poker value than that of the dealer’s hand. The dealer then collects the player’s Ante, Blind and Play wagers.
  • A tie is called if the player and dealer hands are of equal poker value. The player’s Ante, Blind and Play bets all push.

Playing Live Ultimate Texas Hold’em

Placing the Initial bets

The first action of the game is to place a mandatory Ante Bet and an optional Trips Bet. A Blind bet is automatically placed that’s equal to the value of the Ante Bet.

evolution live ultimate texas hold'em betting

Initial Deal

The dealer then deals two cards face up to the player position and two cards face down to the dealers position.

evolution live ultimate texas hold'em 1st betting decision

The player then has the option to make a bet of 3x or 4x the Ante, or check and wait for the flop to be dealt before deciding to bet.

The Flop

The dealer then deals the community three flop cards face up.

evolution live ultimate texas hold'em 2nd betting position

This is the next decision point, whether to bet 2x the Ante or Check to see the Turn & River Cards before deciding to bet or fold.

The Turn & River

The dealer deals the Turn and River cards and adds them to the flop.

evolution live ultimate texas hold'em 3rd betting decision

The player then has the option to play the hand by placing a Play bet for 1x the Ante or Fold if he thinks the hand will lose to the dealers hands.

The Reveal

The dealer then reveals their cards and the two hands are compared against each other to find a winner.

Payouts are made as described in the Payouts Section above.

Playing Strategy

I’ve written a separate post about the playing strategy for Ultimate Texas Hold’em with a video that shows it in action.

I’d encourage you to read the post or watch the video. It’s not complicated but will help you manage you bankroll a lot better than just betting on every hand.

Truly a game for all Device Types

The game has been developed in HTML5 and is available across all device types, Desktop, Mobile and Tablet.

My preference is to play on desktop, but that’s because I’m always at my PC.

The Playing interface can detect streaming speeds, and is able to adjust the quality of the stream to give the best possible experience.

When connections are really bad, the Classic mode takes over where the live stream is minimised and you’re given a bigger computer generated image view of the cards and betting functions.

Where you Can Play

Evolution Live Ultimate Texas Hold’em poker can be played at most Evolution casinos. It’s a popular game, you only have to look in the lobby to see how many people are playing each evening.

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