Texas Hold Em is one of the most popular poker variations played anywhere and the array of online casinos offer this game in a live dealer version. While the variant played in live dealer casinos is more based on chance, there is still Casino Hold'em strategy involved. Let's look at some basic steps to win Casino Hold'em.
Since Casino Hold Em does have a house edge, players will not make millions as they could with other poker games. Things like bluffing, raising, and most usual poker strategies are simply not applicable. However, there is still a difference between a skilled player and a total beginner. Playing optimally can significantly reduce the house edge and preserve your bankroll.
Before we dive into our Casino Hold'em strategy guide, we'll point out that we're assuming you already know the basic rules of the game. If not, check out our Casino Hold'em tutorial.
There are a variety of rules and bets that can be placed, so players should first familiarize themselves with these before even attempting to enter a live dealer game.
Deciding whether to Call or Fold in Casino Hold’em is the biggest decision the player can make. In fact, it’s the one point of the game where you have direct control over the game. That’s a lot of pressure, but it’s also a key point for any sort of Casino Hold’em strategy.
The problem is that there is no 100% fool-proof way to determine the best move. The reasoning is simple – there are way too many variables to consider.
For instance, saying that you should always Call on a High Card of 8 sounds easy, but it’s not true. Sometimes this is the right move. For example, if the remaining community cards are all low, Calling an 8 High is a good decision. If there are higher cards on the table, however, it’s suddenly sub-optimal.
The good news is that there are many situations where the best move is fairly optimal. So while we can’t provide a reliable CAsino Hold’em chart, we can at least give you some guidelines.
The stats tell us that the optimal Casino Hold’em strategy involves Calling more than 82% of all hands. In other words – don’t be shy. Even a seemingly weak hand can still win, especially if the dealer fails to qualify. A folded hand, however, can never possibly win.
Our Casino Hold’em tutorial explains the basic premise of how Ante payouts work. We also mentioned that they can be different, which is important to keep in mind.
For example, we’ve seen tables that only offer 20:1 payouts for Royal Flush Ante wins, as opposed to the industry-standard 100:1. This may not sound too impactful – how often does one even get a Royal Flush? However, the very fact pushes the house advantage ever so slightly in the casino’s favor. If you’re trying to play optimally, that’s far from ideal.
A more interesting example is tables with 1:25 payouts on both Royal Flush and Straight Flush outcomes, along with 12:1 odds on Four-of-a-Kind. This is an acceptable ruleset that doesn’t really increase the house edge – it just rearranges the odds to be less top-heavy. Realistically, though, a tiny number of hands will actually be affected.
What we’re trying to say is that the devil is in the details with a game like Casino Hold’em. Read the rules carefully and be sure to check even the tiniest details such as Ante bet and Side bet payouts.
Folding should only be done on very low cards or those that cannot possibly create a straight or another paying hand.
While we can’t give you a perfect Casino Hold’em strategy chart, our tips highlight the fact that practice makes perfect. Essentially, you will need to play a lot before you will actually be confident in your choices. Live Casino Hold’em rewards practice and patience – more so than most other live dealer casino games.
If you want an incentive do to so, note that some software providers claim that the Casino Hold’em house edge can be as low as 0.80% with optimal strategy. It’s very unclear what this “optimal strategy” involves considering the average house edge of this game is around 2.16%.
The best way to prepare for playing any live dealer game is to take advantage of free games at the online casino. Most sites will have a free version of Casino Hold Em, where players risk no money but can benefit greatly from the practice time. Here, players can learn all of the game strategies and take their time in making game decisions. After a few hands, you’ll notice you’re much more comfortable with making those difficult calls. Better yet, you’re not risking anything if you play Casino Hold’em online for free.
Unfortunately, you can’t really play live dealer casino games for free in most cases. RNG-based options will have to do instead.
Another interesting point about this game is that it has proven to be fertile grounds for innovation. Our favorite example of this fact is Evolution Ultimate Hold’em.
Ultimate Texas Hold’em is fundamentally different from most other Casino Hold’em games. It uses a system of Blind bets and allows players to raise mid-round. IT’s an exciting variant, but you have to keep in mind that you will need a game-specific Ultimate Texas Hold’em strategy if you want to succeed. We already have a guide for that if you’re interested.
The point we’re trying to make is that playing poker at a casino is not as established as, say, roulette. Industry standards are still a bit shaky, especially if we’re talking about online gambling. Always be sure you know what you’re getting into and never risk real money without carefully reading the game’s rules.
Whatever you do, remember that a “meta-strategy” is as important as what you do in-game. We’re referring to the fact that you can do things outside the poker game itself that still impact how much you win or lose.
The most obvious thing you can do is pick the right casino to play Hold’em online. Although casinos look similar to the untrained eye, this choice will impact every part of your experience. Besides – offers like casino bonuses can turn even a game with a house advantage into a profitable one.
Here are our suggestions for some of the best live dealer casinos to play Casino Hold’em.
Standard Casino Hold’em operates with a 2.16% house edge, which translates to a 97.84% RTP rate. In other words, playing the game will mean you lose 2.16% of your bankroll in the long run. However, this can be brought down as low as 0.80% if you’re using an optimal Casino Hold’em strategy.
Yes and no. During standard play and assuming optimal strategy, you still stand to lose a certain part of your bankroll – though it is less than 1%. We’re, of course, referring to average results over a long period of time and many rounds played. Deviations are possible in terms of both winnings and losses, especially in the short term. The only reliable way to beat Ultimate Texas Hold’em would be by using free casino bonus funds to boost your bankroll, ensuring you walk away with more than you deposited. Even then, we’re assuming that you can find a bonus offer with reasonable wagering requirements and a decent contribution for this specific game.
The first thing to understand about all casino games is that the casino has a mathematical advantage built into the game mechanics. In the long run, the house always earns more than the player in any casino game. It is possible to make money with Casino Hold’em if you’re lucky or take advantage of things like bonuses. However, don’t go into the game expecting to win big, and don’t treat it as a financial investment. Gambling is a form of entertainment and should be treated as such.
The main Ante bet pays out at most 100:1, and only if you get a Royal Flush. The side bets sometimes offer higher maximum payouts but are much less reliable.
Live Casino Editor
Our Chief Editor is a live casino aficionado with years of playing casino games online under his belt. His vast knowledge of the industry’s ins and outs makes him a great leader of our LC team, while his penchant for learning new things has made him a great strategist. This has come particularly handy with our in-depth articles and editorials, where his expertise can shine to the fullest.View more from author
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