Live Casino Hold’em is based around the Texas Hold’em Poker card game, which is a multi-player poker variant. The players in Texas Hold’em are dealt two personal cards while five cards are dealt publicly. Each player will then attempt to beat one another by forming the best five card poker hand from the seven cards that have been dealt. Casino Hold’em is quite different.
The first difference you will notice is that you will only be playing against the dealer, and the second difference is that only one player hand will be dealt where an unlimited number of online players can place a wager on.
Betting will take place prior to any cards being dealt and again after the three community cards or flop have been dealt. After the second round of betting, the remaining two community cards will be dealt.
I’m sure you will agree with me, as Casino Hold’em is enjoyed against the dealer, that this is the perfect game to be enjoyed in a Live Casino, and it’s for this reason that you will see and hear it being referred to as Live Casino Hold’em.
Top Casino Holdem Casinos with Live Dealers
The Objective of Live Casino Hold’em
The main objective while playing Live Casino Hold’em is to beat the dealer with a better five card poker hand. An unlimited number of online players can bet on the one set of player cards. Live Casino Hold’em is played with one standard deck of 52 playing cards.
The deck is always changed and shuffled after each hand, and depending on which Live Casino you are playing with, there will usually be an assistant standing next to the live dealer to shuffle the cards.
In other cases, the live dealer will shuffle the cards or an automatic dealing machine will take care of it. As with poker, the hands in Live Casino Hold’em will be ranked according to a pre-set value.
Poker Hand Rankings
Royal Flush: This is the best possible hand in poker and contains a straight flush with the highest card values. For instance, 10-J-Q-K-A of diamonds.
Straight Flush: This is a hand containing five cards in a run, as well as displaying the same suit. For instance, 4-5-6-7-8 of diamonds.
Four of a Kind: This hand will contain four cards of the same value. For instance, 8-8-8-8-A. The four of a kind value will determine the winner if the dealer also displays a four of a kind.
Flush: This is a hand containing five cards of the same suit. For instance, A-2-4-8-J of hearts. The high card will be used to determine tier. This hand is an Ace high heart flush.
Straight: This is a hand containing five cards forming a run. For Instance, 5-6-7-8-9. The suits of these five cards do not have to be the same. If the dealer’s hand contains a higher straight value, the dealer will win.
Three of a Kind: There will be three cards displaying the same value. For instance, 5-5-5-Q-7. Should the dealer hand display three 6’s or higher, the dealer will win.
Two Pairs: There will be two sets of pairs, and each pair will be different from the other pair. For instance, 9-9-3-3-K. If the dealer hand also displays a two pair, then the hand displaying the highest pair will be declared the winner.
One Pair: There will be two identical card values. For instance, 9-9-K-5-2. Should the dealer have a pair of 10’s or better, the dealer will win against this hand. If the dealer’s hand also produces a pair of 9’s, the next highest card will be used to determine the winner.
High Card: The Ace is the high card, and if it ties with the dealer’s hand, the second highest card in your hand will be used as a tie-breaker. This will continue until either hand has won.
There are three possible bets you can place when playing Live Casino Hold’em. The first will be your Ante Bet that needs to be placed before any cards are dealt. The second bet will be an optional bonus bet, or side bet, and will need to be placed at the same time you make your Ante Bet. The optional bonus, or AA, bet will pay when a pair of Aces or higher are dealt within the first five cards. The third bet is the CALL bet, and it will be twice the Ante Bet when you decide to continue playing after the three community cards have been dealt.
Playing Live Casino Hold’em
You will first need to make your Ante bet and optional bonus side bet. Thereafter, the dealer will shuffle the cards and deal two cards to the player position, face up, and another two cards to the dealer position, face down. Three community cards will then be dealt in the middle of the table, face up.
Thereafter, you will need to make one of several decisions. You can either choose not to play your hand, fold, and lose all bets, or if you think you can beat the dealer, you should go ahead and Call. If you decide to Call, a Call bet will be taken that is twice the amount of your original Ante Bet. The dealer will then deal the two remaining community cards and turn over the dealer’s cards. A showdown will take place where the best five cards from each hand will be displayed and compared to determine a winner.
Should the dealer position have a pair of 4’s or better, it is known as a qualifying hand. This means the dealer can pay players winning Call bets as well as Ante Bets.
- Should the dealer qualify and the player displays a better hand, the player will win. The dealer will then need to pay the Ante Bet, and the Call bet at 1:1.
- Should the dealer not qualify, the player will win. The dealer will then pay the Ante Bet, and the Call bet will be returned to the player.
- Should the dealer beat the player, the player will lose their bets.
- Should the dealer and player display the same hand value, the player’s bets will be returned to them.
- Should the player have placed a bonus side bet and the first 5 cards contained a pair of aces or better, the player will be paid if the player placed a call bet.
- Ante Bet
- Royal Flush will pay out 100 to 1
- Straight Flush will pay out 20 to 1
- Four of a Kind will pay out 10 to 1
- Full House will pay out 3 to 1
- Flush will pay out 2 to 1
- Straight or Less will pay out 1 to 1
- Bonus (AA) Bet
- Royal Flush will pay out 100 to 1
- Straight Flush will pay out 50 to 1
- Four of a Kind will pay out 40 to 1
- Full House will pay out 30 to 1
- Flush will pay out 20 to 1
- Pair of Aces to Straight will pay out 7 to 1
Best Live Casino Hold’em Casinos
To my knowledge, Live Casino Hold’em is offered by four different software providers, including Ezugi, Evolution Gaming, Microgaming, and Playtech. Therefore, my Best Live Casino Hold’em Casinos will be restricted to these four software providers.
The game is played and presented in the same manner from all software providers. However, Evolution Gaming is the only provider that also offers an optional progressive jackpot to live casinos utilising their software. The biggest differences between these four software providers is their software interface and the casino itself.
PaddyPower Live Casino
PaddyPower offers a single player Casino Hold’em game with low Ante stakes ranging from $2.50 to $500, and the Bonus Bet ranging from $5 to $250. You can also enjoy high Ante stakes ranging from $100 to $1,000 and the Bonus Bet ranging from $50 to $500. Playtech powers the live casino at PaddyPower and the game is offered out of a European dealing room.
Unibet Casino offers single player casino hold’em with ante stakes starting at $0.50 and peaking at $3,000 as well as bonus bet stakes starting at $0.50 and increasing to a maximum of $1,500. Evolution Gaming powers the Live Casino at Unibet Casino, and in my book, this is undoubtedly the best Live Casino destination to enjoy a game of Casino Hold’em.
Bet365 provides a single player Casino Hold’em game with Ante states from $0.50 to $25, and bonus bet stakes from $0.5 to $25. There are also slightly higher Ante stakes from $5 up to $50 available, with bonus bet stakes starting at $5 and peaking at $50. Playtech powers the online casino and is very similar to the set up at PaddyPower Casino.
William Hill also offers a single player Casino Hold’em game with Playtech stakes ranging from $0.50 up to $50, and Evolution Gaming stakes ranging from $0.50 up to $7,500. I was really impressed with the offering at William Hill and the only other live casino I could find that matches them is Grosvenor Casino.