We have to give it to Evolution Gaming; they don't sit on their laurels.

They're always on the lookout for ways to attract new players with their games. And this release no different! Ever thought a regular round of poker was too slow-paced for you? Then 2 Hand Casino Hold'em is the perfect game for you! With the help of our guide, you'll become a master in no time!

Live 2 Hand Casino Hold'em Rules and Gameplay

This poker variant is played from the team's Latvia studio. And this being a live game, it naturally means it's played with real-life dealers! It's played with a single deck of 52 cards. Don't get any bright ideas about counting them, however. They're reshuffled after every round, so no shenanigans are available. In order to save on time, the dealer swaps between two decks. While one is reshuffled, the other is used for gameplay.

Before the round begins, players have the opportunity to place their bets. Like with all poker rounds, you start off with an initial Ante wager and an optional bonus bet. You must place a stake for each hand individually. If you want to, you can just play one hand and not the other. We think it defeats the purpose to play just one hand in 2 Hand Casino Hold'em. But hey, it's better to have that option than to not have it!

After all the wagers are set down, it's time to play! The dealer will place the cards on the table. Since you're playing against the dealer in this release, their hands are face-down and unable to be seen. You're prompted to raise your Ante 2x or Fold after the first three community cards are drawn. Evolution Gaming adds a quick overview of the five-card hand you have to help you make the decision faster.

Going forward, the dealer will draw two more cards, and your results are compared. If your five-card hand is better than the dealer's, then you win! The dealer needs at least a pair of 4's in his hand to qualify. Since you're playing with two hands, it's possible to win one hand, but lose with the other. The size of your payout depends on the card combination you have. The top prize is 100:1 if you have a Royal Flush.

Your side bet is only available if you stake 2x the Ante to play it. It pays regardless of whether or not you win the main hand! The bonus bet looks at whether or not the player has one of the card combinations it needs. If you do, you'll be paid in accordance with the paytable. Again, the top prize pays 100:1 for a Royal Flush. Combined with the main bet win, that means one poker round could grant a 200:1 payout!

Hand Rankings and Side Bet Paytable

This Evolution Gaming poker variant follows the following hand rankings. We've listed them from most to least valuable.

  • One Pair or less – 1:1
  • Two Pairs – 1:1
  • Three of a kind – 1:1
  • Straight – 1:1
  • Flush – 2:1
  • Full House – 3:1
  • Four of a kind – 10:1
  • Straight Flush – 20:1
  • Royal Flush – 100:1


Unlike a traditional poker game, in Live 2 Hand Casino Hold'em, you play against the dealer. You're only paid if your card rankings beat the dealer's own! But if you're looking for a little bit of extra safety, Evolution Gaming does offer a special feature you can take advantage of.

Bonus Side Bet Explained

The bonus bet pays based on which cards you have in your hand. Even if your hand loses to the dealer, you can still win the bonus wager. The prizes you can earn using this special feature are as follows.

  • Pair of Aces – 7:1
  • Two Pairs – 7:1
  • Three of a Kind – 7:1
  • Straight – 7:1
  • Flush – 20:1
  • Full House – 30:1
  • Four of a kind – 40:1
  • Straight Flush – 50:1
  • Royal Flush – 100:1


As you'd expect, any side bet tends to lower the game's RTP. Whether or not you choose to use it will come down to personal preference. Just keep in mind that you have to stake 2x the Ante to make use of the bonus when deciding whether or not to use it!

Live 2 Hand Casino Hold'em Strategy

This poker variant is a lot more lenient compared to other games. You aren't forced to make a decision to raise your stake or fold immediately after drawing your first two hands. Instead, the dealer will reveal the first three community cards and then ask if you want to double or fold. It's a massive boon for punters, and definitely impacts the way you want to approach this release.

  • Step number one to success: each hand is its own situation. Don't be afraid to fold one and play with the other if the situation doesn't work out for you.
  • Step two: assess your cards. Since we can already see what sort of five-card poker hand we have, we can decide if it's strong enough to risk going further or not.
  • Step three: keep in mind the dealer needs a pair of fours to qualify. If you see a pair in the community cards, you should be wary. We wouldn't risk it unless you have a high-value pair or the ability to make trips.


Aces and Kings are usually a safe hand to play. Aces is a pair on the board if you can pair it with one of your two cards. If the board isn't suited, you can also play a high Queen or Jack. If both your hole cards are higher than the visible flop cards, keep going. Finally, if you're one card away from completing a straight or flush, then we think it's worth risking it and playing that round. Any other card combination should be folded.

The RTP for each individual hand in this release is 97.84%. If you play both without the side bet, it climbs to a theoretical high of 99.18%! The side bet's RTP is far less generous: sitting only at 93.74%. Of course, all these numbers are great, but what do they mean for your strategy?

It means the most optimal way of playing is not to chase the side bet! You won't be able to win more than 100:1 in a single round this way. But you'll also avoid a dramatic increase in the House's edge. Which route you choose to go is up to you, though we'd personally play it safe.

A Few More Tips

Unfortunately, there's no way to try Live 2 Hand Casino Hold'em without spending real money. And while it's more lenient than a standard poker title, we still advise playing it slowly. Make sure you're managing your money correctly by playing smaller bets. This suggestion should be a top priority if you plan on using the bonus bet. With a lowered RTP, you'll need to make your budget last longer. It's a sacrifice you have to make if you want a shot at getting a 200:1 win.

Click here to visit live casinos powered by Evolution Gaming and play 2 Hand Casino Hold’em following the perfect strategy!