The Complete Guide to Casino Holdem Poker
Casino Holdem was invented as recently as 2000 and introduced into both online and live casinos soon afterwards. The game was devised to capitalize on the popularity of Texas hold’em, although the casino version follows some very different rules, the biggest difference being that you are up against the dealer as opposed to other players.
In this guide I start by explaining the rules of Casino Holdem. I detail how the betting rounds work, as well as the side bet and then look at the two payout charts in the game. I finish by looking at the house edge of the game and discussing strategy.
Casino Holdem – The Rules
When joining a game, the first decision you’ll make is the size of your ‘ante’ bet. This is your stake at the table, but you should be aware that a single hand can cost up to 3x your initial stake (even more if you add a side bet to the hand). This initial ante amount can be of any amount, as long as the amount is within the minimum and maximum table limits.
Having placed your initial ‘ante’ you’ll decide whether or not to place a side bet.
The initial betting round now complete, both you and the dealer will be dealt two cards (your hole cards) – your cards will be face up, while the dealers will be face down. You will also see the first three community cards.
At this point you’ll know whether or not your side bet has won – the side bet based upon the value of the hand that is made from your hole cards and the three community cards. A hand of AA or better will win the side bet.
You’ll now decide whether to ‘call’ or ‘fold’. If you ‘fold’, you’ll lose your ‘ante’ bet (you’ll also lose your side bet, so you should never fold if your side bet has made a hand that hits the pay table). If you ‘call’, your call bet is twice the size of the initial ‘ante’ – for example if your ‘ante’ was £1, it would cost you £2 to ‘call’.
You’ll now see the final two community cards and both you and the dealer will make the best hand possible using five of the seven cards (your two hole cards and the five community cards). If the dealer’s hand is better, you’ll lose both your ‘ante’ and ‘call’ bet. If your hand is better, firstly you’ll win your ante bet – this bet will pay out based upon the ‘ante’ pay table. You also have the opportunity of winning the ‘call’ bet – but this will only win if the dealer’s hand has ‘qualified’. The dealer’s hand will be deemed to have qualified if the hand is a pair of 4’s or better.
As you can see from the above hand, the player has a pair of Jacks, whilst the dealer has a pair of 4’s. Here, you’ll win both the ‘ante’ and the ‘call’ bet as the dealer’s hand has qualified. However if the dealer’s hand was a pair of 3’s, they would not have a ‘qualified’ hand, so the ‘ante’ would win, but the ‘call’ bet would be returned without a profit.
Casino Hold’em – The Payout Charts
Ante Payout Chart
- Royal Flush – 100 to 1
- Straight Flush – 20 to 1
- 4 of a Kind – 10 to 1
- Full House – 3 to 1
- Flush – 2 to 1
- Straight or Lower – 1 to 1
AA Payout Chart (Side Bet)
- Royal Flush - 100 to 1
- Straight Flush – 50 to 1
- 4 of a Kind – 40 to 1
- Full House – 30 to 1
- Flush – 20 to 1
- Straight or Lower – 7 to 1 (Minimum hand of a pair of Aces)
Casino Holdem – House Edge and Strategy
Casino Holdem has a house edge of 0.82% for ‘ante’ bets when playing optimally. The AA side bet has a house edge of 6.26%.
There is no definitive strategy to follow when playing Casino Holdem that you might find at other games such as Video Poker or Blackjack – although a computer would be quickly able to work out the optimum play on any particular hand. However there is some very general strategy advice you could follow when playing the game:
You’ll want to be calling around 82% of the hands, meaning that you should only fold when you have two low cards (not a pair) in comparison to the flop, with very little chance of landing a straight or a flush.
Where to Find the Best Casino Holdem Games Online?
This depends on whether you are based in the US or not.
International players have a huge choice. For table games, PlayTech software is my go-to platform. Coral, the casino arm of the trusted UK bookmaker, offer PlayTech Casino Holdem. They also offer new players £50 (Euros too!) in bonuses for just £10 in deposits, and then look after their loyal players really well. Check out www.coralcasino.com now!
US Players need to look offshore for their Casino Holdem action. Real Time Gaming is the best known platform, and Bovada an easy top rec for a casino which uses it. This brand used to be known as Bodog, and has been looking after their US players years. Check out the solid Casino Holdem game at www.bovada.com for yourself.