• Dedicated Blackjack & Roulette.
  • Asian & European Studios.
  • Sporadic Promotions.
  • Highly Recommended.

4 / 5 Stars



  • Lots of Dedicated Tables.
  • Asian & European Studios.
  • Large Selection of Live Games.
  • Good Signup Bonus.

4 / 5 Stars



  • Lots of Dedicated Tables.
  • Asian & European Studios.
  • Large Selection of Live Games.
  • Good Alternative to Betfair.

4 / 5 Stars



  • Standard Playtech Tables.
  • Asian & European Dealers.
  • Good Selection of live games.
  • Nice Regular Promotions.

4 / 5 Stars


18+ www.begambleaware.org

Heads Up Holdem Review

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 to the Player and Dealer. An additional 5 community cards are dealt with each player forming the best 5 card poker hand they can.

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 pay out even if the dealer beats your Straight or higher hand.

How to 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 differences are the side bets and the initial raise bet, which is 3x the Ante rather than 4x Ante in the other games.

Initial Betting

The game 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 you 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

The dealer deals two cards face up to the player position and 2 cards face down to the dealers 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) is 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 players 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

The Showdown

Once all bets have been completed the dealer reveals his two cards. The Dealer and Players 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 pay out 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 pay table.
  • 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, all the Ante, Raise and Odds bets are pushed.


General Payout Table

Payout Table

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 Side bet Payouts

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

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 everyone is 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 very straight forward and easy to use.

Mobile – Portrait View

portrait mobile view of heads up holdem

Heads Up Holdem Playing Strategy

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

The value and combination of the first two cards dealt to the player determines 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, 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 you should fold.


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 is 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 its been given.

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