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PLAYTECH LIVE HEADS UP HOLDEM:Rules, Playing Strategy and Side Bet Options

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18+ www.begambleaware.org

Introduction to Heads Up Holdem Online

Playtech Heads Up Hold’em is a single deck live dealer poker game, where the player has to beat the dealer with a better 5 card poker hand.

Based on Texas Hold’em, 2 pocket cards are dealt, one set to the Player and one to the Dealer. An additional 5 community cards are dealt with each player forming the best 5 card poker hand they can.

What does Heads Up Mean in Poker?

The skill in this game is knowing when to bet as the cards are dealt.

Two Side Bets make the game more interesting — and to top it off a Bad Beats facility will payout even if the dealer beats your Straight or higher hand.

How Do You Play Heads Up Hold’em?

Heads Up Hold’em is similar to Ultimate Texas Hold’em and Ultimate Texas Hold’em Bonus Poker, both of which can be found at Evolution Gaming Casinos.

The difference in the Live Heads Up Hold’em rules are the side bets and the initial raise bet, which is 3x the Ante rather than 4x Ante in the other games.

Initial Betting with Heads Up Holdem Online

The Heads up Holdem online round starts with an initial Ante bet being placed. Placing this also places a mandatory Odds Bet of the same value.

The Odds bet exists to create an edge for the house, as does the dealer Qualifying on a Pair, which I’ll explain later on.

Having placed the initial Ante bet, you can also place 2 additional Side Bets. These will pay, even if the dealer wins the hand.

  • Trips – Pays an enhanced payout if you make 3 of a Kind or more in your 5 card hand.
  • Bonus Bet – This is only paid on your Pocket cards and pays for a Pair and above. See hand values below for more details.

Initial Betting Round

First Betting Round of Heads Up Holdem Online

In Heads Up Holdem online, the dealer deals two cards face-up to the player position and 2 cards face-down to the dealer position.

The decision is to either bet early, by placing a bet of 3x the Ante or to “check”– i.e. not place a bet and wait for the next cards to be dealt.

If the player chooses to bet the 3x, that is the end of the betting for that player.

He will have to watch the remaining cards being dealt and betting rounds until the dealer reveals his cards to know whether he’s won.

first betting round

Second Betting Round

Once the previous bets are confirmed three community cards (the Flop) are dealt.

The player decides whether to play the hand and place a 2x Ante bet or Check and wait for the next cards to be dealt.

If a bet is made, the player takes no further part in the game round.

Flop betting round

Third Betting Round

The last two cards are dealt — the Turn and the River, making up the 5 community cards.

The player’s decision is to play the hand by placing a bet equal to the original Ante or folding the hand because he sees no chance of winning.

If the hand is folded, the Side Bets remain in play until the outcome of the hand is known.

final betting round

Heads Up Holdem Online Showdown

Once all bets have been completed in heads Up Holdem online, the dealer reveals his two cards. The dealer and player’s best 5 card hands are compared and the winner is announced.

To enable the dealer to pay some of the bets he needs to have a minimum hand value of a Pair. This is known as Qualifying and provides the casino with an artificial edge.

If the dealer does not qualify with a pair or better, the Ante Bet and Raise bets are pushed and the Odds bet and  Side Bets are paid as per the payout tables.

If the dealer qualifies (has a pair or more in their hand) and wins:

  • The players Ante, Odds and Raise bets are lost — the Trip and Bonus Bets are settled as per pay table.
  • If the player has a straight or better, the bad beats function comes into play and the player will receive a payment as per the payout tables.

If the Player wins:

  • The Ante and Raise bets are paid at even money, while the Odds is paid according to the paytable.
  • If the player has less than Trips, the Ante and Raise bets win and pay even money, while the Odds bet is pushed.

Any Ties with the dealer – and all the Ante, Raise and Odds bets are pushed.

showdown

General Payout Table

Hand Win Bad Beat Bonus
Royal Flush 500 : 1
Straight Flush 50:1 500:1
Quads (Four of a Kind) 10:1 50:1
Full House 3:1 10:1
Flush 3:2 8:1
Straight 1:1 5:1
All Other Push Loss

Heads Up Hold’em Side Bet Options

Trips Plus

The Trips Plus Side Bet is played alongside the main hand. It’s paid if you get a qualifying hand regardless of the outcome of the main hand. You can lose to the dealer and still win with this Side Bet.

Your best 5 card poker hand is used to determine if you have a winning hand for the side bet.

Qualifying hands start from 3 of a Kind.

Trips Plus Bet Pay table
Royal Flush 100:1
Straight Flush 40:1
Quads (Four of a Kind) 30:1
Full House 8:1
Flush 7:1
Straight 4:1
Trips (Three of a Kind) 3:1
Two Pairs Loss
One Pair Loss
High Cards Loss

Pocket Bonus

The Bonus Side Bet is played with the first two cards dealt to the player. If it’s a pair, you’ll get 5:1.

Other hand values are described in the pay table, but all require at least an Ace and a Face combination to qualify for the bigger payouts.

Pocket Bonus Bet Payout
Pair of Aces 30:1
Ace and face card (suited) 20:1
Ace and face card 10:1
Pair (2 – K) 5:1

Return To Player (RTP)

The RTP for the initial Ante Bet is 97.64%.

The Trip Plus Side Bet is 96.66% and the Pocket Bonus comes in at 95.48%.

The Ante bet is quite generous — not so the Bonus side bet, which although fun to play, you’ll struggle to get a return in the long term.

Playing Interfaces

Desktop View

third betting round

Mobile – Landscape View

landscape mobile view of heads up holdem

As with all Playtech Live Casino Games, all are created with the mobile playing experience in mind.

Whether you’re on an Android or iOS device you’re getting the same playing experience.

There is no advantage to playing in Landscape or Portrait modes as both provide a good view of the table.

The betting options are straightforward and easy to use.

Mobile – Portrait View

portrait mobile view of heads up holdem

How to Win Live Head Up Poker Online?

The Live Heads Up Holdem strategy follows the same sort that you use with Ultimate Texas Hold’em.

The value and combination of the first two cards dealt to the player determine whether to play the 3x Raise Bet.

If you’re holding:

  • A pair of 3’s and above. Do not raise a pair of 2’s in this betting round.
  • Ace high or better.
  • An Unsuited King 5 or better.
  • Unsuited Queen 8 or better.
  • Unsuited Jack 10 or better.
  • A Suited King High.
  • Suited Queen 6 or higher.
  • Suited Jack 8 or higher.

then place the 3x Raise Bet. Anything else, you should check until you’ve seen the flop.

When the flop comes, if you’ve paired with the board, your Live Heads Up Holdem strategy should be to play the raise 2x Bet.

If you’ve got 4 to a Flush or Straight, raise to 2x.

Otherwise Check and wait for the River and Turn to be Dealt.

Once all of the cards have been dealt, if you’re holding a pair to the table make a 1x bet.

Otherwise, if you have nothing — no high card, like an Ace — that’s the end of your Live Heads Up Holdem Strategy and you should fold.

Where Can I Play Heads Up Holdem Online?

Bet365 is among the best places to play Heads Up Holdem Online, as they have dedicated tables and also ongoing promotions and bonuses.

Also give BetFair Casino a try, because they have a good sign-up bonus for new players, lots of live games and dedicated tables too.

I also recommend Casino.com for playing Heads Up Holdem online, and like the others, they have Asian as well as European studios.

William Hill is also a great place to play Heads Up Holdem online, and you can take advantage of regular promotions and bonuses.

Summary

I really like this version of single card poker. Live Dealer Heads Up Hold’em is a good solid game. I like the side bets and although there’s no 4x bet, I was winning more hands than I lost during my playing session for this review.

The studio is much better than the more classic casino view we’ve become used to. A bit of design goes a long way, and this live dealer game feels something special with the attention it’s been given.

Play Playtech Heads Up Holdem online if you like poker or just want a change from other live dealer poker games.