How to Play Casino Hold’em – Rules and Strategies That You Should Know
Last Updated: September 17, 2022
Are you a poker fan? Do you like playing games that have a lower house edge? If yes, Casino Hold’em is among the most popular casino-banked poker variations.
Since its introduction to the gambling world in the 2000s, players often enjoy Casino Hold’em against the house instead of drilling a hole into the pockets of fellow players.
Players who tactfully risk their money in Hold’em and follow strategies could find it a lucrative pick.
Excited to get a detailed knack of Casino Hold’em rules, terms, strategies and winning tricks to beat the house? Check out our detailed guide below.
What Is Casino Hold’em?
The game of Casino Texas Hold’em revolves around the deck of 52-cards where players make hands by creating a winning combination of hole cards (starting hands) and community cards.
The basic difference to the casino version of Hold’em is that it’s played exclusively against the dealer instead of other players.
Thus, poker enthusiasts need to aim to get better cards than a dealer and beat them to win the hand.
Casino Hold’em and Texas Hold’em have a few important differences. Keep reading this guide to learn about Casino Hold’em, from basic rules, hand rankings and terminology to game strategies.
This format was introduced in the UK in 2007, making it and it soon became very popular with the players.
Apart from Casino Hold’em, players enjoy other popular card game variants like Three Card Poker, Four Card Poker, and Caribbean Stud. All these are similar games with slight tweaks to them.
Why Play Casino Hold’em?
While the game is fairly new, Casino Hold’em has quickly risen in popularity with the players. Here are some of the reasons why:
- It is the best format for poker beginners and those who like the original Texas Hold’em game.
- The game has similar rules and hand rankings, and the main difference is you need to beat the house instead of fellow players.
- No poker room or other players are required. A stable internet connection and online casino sign-up are all you need to get started.
- Players do not have to bluff or manipulate, as the dealer is bound to stay back till the end of the game.
All in all, this is a very player-friendly poker format where you can enjoy many benefits of the poker game without the stress of bluffing and dealing with other players.
How to Play Casino Hold’em?
Below are the steps to playing Casino Hold’em, starting from the ante to the winning bet to help you understand the game dynamics in detail.
- The first step is making an ante bet on the table that brings you into the game, and the dealer commences the play.
- Once antes (Initial bets) are placed, the dealer distributes 2 hole cards to themselves and each player. The dealer will keep 2 cards in a face-down position. Then, 3 community cards are dealt face up on the table, and players begin with the Casino Texas Hold’em game.
- The first three community cards placed on the table are called ‘the flop.’
- By now, the player has a fair knack for their potential Hold’em hand, as they aim to create the best 5-card combination using the two hole and three community cards.
- Before the next round, players must decide if they want to fold their hands and lose their ante bets or call by making an additional wagered of two times the ante.
- When the player opts for a call, the dealer deals additional 2 community cards. The fourth card is called ‘the turn’ and the fifth is known as ‘the river.’ In all, now you have two hole cards and five community cards to create a potential winning Casino Hold’em combination.
- In the last round, the dealer will flip over their two cards to find out who holds the strongest card combination.
- The dealer must hold at least a pair of 4s to qualify for this round. If not, you can only win the original ante bet, but not the call bet.
- If the dealer’s hand is stronger than yours, the casino wins, thus making you lose both the call and ante bets.
- If the dealer’s hand qualifies but is weaker than yours, you will get paid on both your ante bet and the call bet.
What are the Possible Side Bets in Casino Texas Hold’em?
To add some excitement to the game, Casino Hold’em also allows for side bets to be placed. These are some of the most popular ones.
AA+ or the Pair Plus Bet
Most casino Hold’em games permit the players to place a side bet referred to as the “AA+ Bonus” or the “Pair Plus” bet.
Players must stick to the basic Casino Hold’em rules that insist on using two hole cards and three community cards to create the best possible combination. Every casino has its own payout table for the pair plus bonuses.
The next side bet you must learn about in Casino Hold’em is the progressive jackpot. It also revolves around the players’ game of two hole cards and five community cards, where the outcomes depend on initial wagers.
Here, the progressive jackpot is independent from the dealer’s hand.
Players are eligible for progressive jackpots in full if they get a royal flush. The payout for the straight flush is usually 10% of the total pot amount.
Casino Hold’em Hand Rankings – Highest to Lowest
It is the strongest possible hand in the game of poker that could win you a progressive jackpot. The royal flush consists of the five highest rank cards of the same suit. For instance, Ah-Kh-Qh-Jh-10h.
It is the second-best amongst the poker hand combinations that comprise of five sequential cards having the same suit. For example, 10d-9d-8d-7d-6d.
Four of a Kind
This hand consists of the four cards having the same ranking. Here, the fifth card is a kicker and has very little relevance. For example, Ah-Ac-Ad-As-Kh.
The full house hand consists of three cards of the same value and a pair. For example, 5h-5s-5d-Kh-Ks.
It is a hand of five cards having the same suit but different values. Flushes are quite strong in Casino Hold’em.. For example, 2c-4c-7c-Qc-Kc.
The next playable Casino Hold’em hand in is straight which consists of five sequential card values having different suits. For example, 6h-7c-8s-9d-10h.
This Hold’em hand consists of three cards holding the same value. For example, Ah-Ad-Ac-Jh-Qs.
This Hold’em hand includes two different pairs, for example, As-Ah-Ks-Kh-7d.
It is amongst the least-valued hands that you can play that comprises of just one pair in the whole hand. For instance, Ah-As-Ks-Jc-8s
When none of the players have any of the other combinations, the winner is the one having the highest rank card. In Casino Hold’em, the Ace is the highest value card.
Casino Hold’em Rules
Before leaning out on Casino Texas Hold’em strategies and winning tricks, let’s look into its basic rules. They are as follows:
- Casino Hold’em is usually played with a 52-card deck without jokers in it. The dealer shuffles the deck before every round in the game.
- Making ante bets in this game is mandatory, so the winner receives some incentive for their play.
- The dealer distributes two hole cards in a face-down position while three community cards are dealt face up on the table.
- Players can choose between folding and calling once the flop is out, depending on how strong hands they have.
- If players fold, they give up on the ante bets, and the dealer wins the round.
- If players call, they need to place an additional wager that constitutes twice the amount of the ante bet,
- Turn and river are two other community cards to be placed on the table. This is followed by a showdown, and the winners are determined based on poker hand rankings.
- When you and the dealer have the same hand, the tie occurs, and players get back their raise and ante bets.
- Players have to place ante bets to play. However, there is also an option to place the bonus bets.
- Bonus bets are evaluated based on the first five cards in a hand.
- For the bonuses and the ante bets, the payouts vary as per the odds of making a particular hand.
Casino Hold’em Strategy
Now that you’re familiar with all the rules of the game, we can proceed to Casino Hold’em strategies. These will help you win more often playing this popular table game.
Know When to Fold
Veteran Casino Hold’em players are well-versed about when to call and when to fold to beat the house and find the winning edge in the game.
Players following the optimal wagering strategy tend to call for almost 82% time while folding away just 18% of their hands.
They allow a small house edge of just 2.16% in this manner. Keep in mind a few things when unsure about whether you want to fold or call:
- Call when you hold a pair
- Call any open-ended straight draw
- Call if you have an Ace-high or a King-high
- Call in case of any Flush Draw
- Call with any two over-cards
- Call with Queen-high hands unless the board is monotone in a different suit
- Fold if you have any low or unpaired cards
Begin With a Low Ante
Every time you call in Casino Hold’em, you’ll need to wager twice the initial ante bet amount. Good players generally call on 4/5 hand, which indicates that most of their bets will need three times the ante amount: 1 for ante and 2 for call.
These bets can add up quickly. Thus, keeping the ante bets lower is ideal to ensure that you get the most out play out of your bankroll.
Refrain from AA+ Side Bets
Though the incentives for hitting the side bet might be lucrative, the pair plus bet is not a good proposition.
Very few players are aware that this slides the house edge from 2.16% to around 6.40%.
Participating in side bets thus triples the original house edge. So, as alluring the idea of winning big on a single hand might be, serious Casino Hold’em players steer well clear of these bets.
Important Poker Terminology You Must Know
Gearing up to wager at Casino Hold’em games? Get yourself acquainted with some standard poker terms before you jump into the action:
- Ante: It is a basic bet that serves as a seed fund for the pot. As per Casino Hold’em rules, this is the initial bet required to start the game.
- Board: The board comprises all community cards. For instance, “There are no Kings on the Board.”
- Call: It refers to adding more money to the pot to stay in the game. As per Casino Hold’em rules, the call bet is twice the value of the ante.
- Community Cards: These are the cards dealt face-up to the middle of the table by the dealer, thus allowing other players to create the best hand combination along with the hole cards.
- Dealer: Casino employee who accepts the wagers, deals cards, pay out winnings, and enables the progression of table games.
- Draw: Draw refers to the playing hand, which is not good on itself but has the potential to get better with the combination of community cards.
- Favorite: A poker hand with high winning chances.
- Flop: These are 3 initial community cards dealt face up at the center of the table.
- Fold: Forfeiting the weak hands with lower winning probability.
- Hole Cards: Two cards dealt to each player in the game, used to create hand combinations along with community cards.
- House: The House refers to the online betting platform or the casino that accepts bets and facilitates the games.
- Kicker: The kicker is the unpaired card often used as the tie-breaker in various games.
- Off-suit: Players have two-hole cards of different suits.
- Pocket: These cards are visible only to players they are dealt with, another name for hole cards.
- Quads: Another name for the four-of-a-kind hand.
- Raise: Increasing the bet amount.
- Rank: Numerical denomination of the card.
- River: It is the fifth community card dealt in Casino Texas Hold’em and other community cards poker variations.
- Set: A three-of-a-kind hand made of two hole cards and one community card.
- Suited: Two hole cards of the same suit dealt to the players.
- Turn: This the fourth community card dealt for everyone to use.
Casino Hold’em is a perfect choice if you are a hard-core poker fan! Sticking to basic Casino Hold’em rules and playing strategies can lead to some decent winning sessions.
This game is available at various online casinos and brick-and-mortar venues and you can enjoy it at different stakes.
Keep in mind, though, that no matter how good you become at it, it is a casino game and the house will always have an edge.
So, have fun, enjoy your time at the tables, but stick to your bankroll and don’t bet more than you can afford to lose.