Enjoy Live Dealer Ultimate Texas Holdem Poker at 888 Casino
There are several casino table games which use elements of Texas Holdem poker. Ultimate Texas Holdem has become one of the most popular – thanks to fast game-play and the opportunity to win big. If you have enjoyed games like Casino Holdem in the past, then UTH or Ultimate Texas Holdem is a must-play.
This guide to playing Ultimate Texas Holdem online starts with an outline of the rules – and then covers the pros and cons compared to the other poker themed casino table games on offer.
You can now enjoy this game via a live dealer (streamed) casino setup at the (non-US) 888 Casino. You’ll play with a real dealer, betting using your computer. 888 are currently allowing new players at their casino to spin a wheel for up to $888 in bonus play. See www.888casino.com for more!
How to Play Ultimate Texas Holdem Online
The game starts with the requirement of making two equal bets – the ante and the blind. Both of these bets are compulsory and they have to be for the same stake. You can also add an optional 'trips' side-bet, this does not have to be the same size as your blind / ante.
Next, both the dealer and the player will be dealt two cards, while five community cards will be placed between the players and the dealer. Once the player has seen the two cards, they’ll have two options – whether to check or bet (play).
Before seeing the flop, you can bet either 3x or 4x the size of your ante bet – or check. If the player makes a bet, their decisions are now over as they cannot place any more bets.
The first three community cards will then be turned over. If the player hasn’t bet already, they can now make a bet of 2x the ante, or they can check again. Finally, the last two community cards will be turned over and the player will have the option of betting again, this time only 1x the size of the ante. If the player decides not to bet now, it will be considered a ‘fold’ and both the ante and the blind will be lost.
Once all the betting decisions have been finalised, the dealer will now turn over their two cards and the hands will be assessed. In this game (as in all versions of Texas Holdem) a hand is made up of the best five cards made from a combination of the player’s 2 cards and the 5 community cards. If the dealer has the better hand, the ante, the blind and the additional bets will all be lost.
If the player’s hand is better, then the ante and the blind are assessed differently according to the pay table in use. The ante and any played bets will simply be paid out at even money, although the dealer will need to have a hand of a pair or better to qualify, otherwise this will be considered a push.
The blind bet plays out a little differently, with a larger pay out based on the strength of the hand. A royal flush pays out at a generous 500/1, while a straight flush has a pay-out of 50/1. Four of a kind, a full house and a flush pay out at odds of 10/1, 3/1 and 3/2 respectively, while the lowest pay-out is even money for a straight. Any hands worse than a straight will be considered a push, meaning that the player will simply receive their blind bet back
Basic Strategy for Ultimate Texas Holdem
For a detailed look at the math behind UTG Strategy, I recommend the excellent Wizard of Odds.
Here are the basics:
Before the Flop: Bet with any ace, any suited king, king six off+, queen 9 off+, Jack-ten and pairs 33 and up. Always bet 4x, there is no situation where a 3x bet is better.
On the Flop: Bet with any hidden pair or better, or 4-card flush draw or open ended straight draw.
On the River: Bet when the dealer has fewer than 21 outs to beat your hand.
Trips Side Bet
When you play Ultimate Texas Holdem you can also place an optional ‘Trips’ side-bet. This bet pays out on the strength of your hand (just like the blind bet) but this will pay out regardless of whether the hand beats the dealer or not.
For many people (myself included), this is an entertaining extra – UTH would feel kind of flat without it. Do keep in mind that it does have a bigger house edge than the main game vs. the dealer.
Where to Play Ultimate Texas Holdem?
UTH has yet to make it into ‘virtual’ form – though can be enjoyed online at the 888 Live dealer casino. Here you’ll be playing in a live casino setting streamed directly to your device, so you’ll be placing your bets based on the turn of real cards. This version of the game uses the ‘one to many’ format, where all of the players at the table will be making betting decisions based on the same hand. These games have a social aspect, as you can chat to both the dealer and the other players through a chatbox and the dealer will normally chat throughout play too.
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Advantages and Disadvantages of Playing Ultimate Texas Holdem
For me the biggest advantage of UTG is that you stay around to the end with your bad hands as well as good ones. In some games, you fold out early if you do not want to play. This means you have to wait for everyone else to complete their action before the next hand. In Ultimate Texas Holdem you can check to the end – and sometimes you’ll make a pair by the river and end up with a win.
In Ultimate Texas Holdem you have the opportunity of winning a big prize when you have a big hand. A royal flush pays out at odds of 500/1 which is sure to give a player an amazing session.
Keep in mind that this game does have a higher volatility. While you can go on streaks where you win several hands that you bet 4x with – there are also times when the dealer makes some unlikely hand to take those chips away.
As long as you play a solid strategy and have the chips to ride out the variance, the house edge for this game is a low 2.6% over time.
Overall, having access to Ultimate Texas Holdem online is a big positive, check out the live dealer game at www.888casino.com for yourself soon.
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