Live dealer Casino Holdem is a twist on the ever-popular poker game we all know as Texas Holdem. The difference is that this game is played against the house instead of against other players. There’s less stress because there’s no bluffing or advanced strategy to worry about. All you have to do is catch the right cards and collect your cash.
The rise of Casino Holdem is no surprise considering it’s based on the most popular form of poker in the world. Anyone with experience in Texas Holdem poker will feel right at home with Casino Holdem. If you’re completely new to the game, read on to learn everything you need to know to get started.
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Live dealer Casino Holdem sites are still relatively rare but I was able to find a few places with the game. It is definitely growing in popularity, so we can expect to see more casinos host the game in the future. In the meantime, the sites you see on this page will treat you well and give you the full real-world experience from the comfort of home.
What makes live dealer Casino Holdem unique is that it is played with real human dealers as opposed to automated computer dealers. You get to watch the dealer handle the cards in real time via streaming technology. Every bet is still placed with your mouse, but a real person shuffles real cards on your screen. It’s just like being at the casino without actually being at the casino.
How to Play Live Dealer Casino Holdem
Casino Holdem is played a lot like the traditional poker game with a couple twists to make it a more casual game. Each round of play begins with you placing an ante wager. The live dealer will then deal two cards to each player, two cards to herself and three cards in the middle of the table. The two cards dealt to you are called your “hole” cards.
The three cards in the middle of the table are called the “flop” and are considered community cards. All players at the table share the community cards. Eventually, a total of five community cards will be dealt.
After the three community cards are dealt, it’s time to make your first decision. You may either fold and forfeit your ante bet or you can “call” by placing a second wager equal to two times your original ante. If you fold, you’re out until the next hand.
Next, the dealer will deal two more community cards for a total of five. You will now form the best possible 5-card poker hand using any combination of your hole cards and the community cards. The dealer and the other players will also do the same.
Now, it’s time for the showdown. Your hand will be compared to the dealer’s hand to determine the winner. The other players also compete against the dealer, but you do not compete against the players. Each player at the table competes only against the dealer.
You win a payout if you have a stronger hand than the dealer or if the dealer fails to qualify. The dealer qualifies by having a pair of 4s or better. Here are the four possible outcomes at the showdown:
- The dealer fails to qualify: your ante bet will be paid according to the table below and your call bet will be returned to you with no additional winnings.
- The dealer qualifies and has a better hand than you: you lose both bets.
- The dealer qualifies and you have a better hand: Your ante bet will be paid according to the table below and you will win even money on your call bet.
- The dealer qualifies and you tie the dealer: Both bets are returned to you without any winnings.
Pay tables may vary from casino to casino, but here’s what you can usually expect to see for winning hands.
- Royal Flush: 100:1
- Straight Flush: 20:1
- Four of a Kind: 10:1
- Full House: 3:1
- Flush: 2:1
- Straight or Lower: 1:1
Bonus Side Bet
Most live dealer Casino Holdem sites offer an optional side bet that you can place at the beginning of the hand. Placing this bet qualifies you for special payouts if you achieve one of the following hands using the first three community cards and your two hole cards.
- Royal Flush: 100:1
- Straight Flush: 50:1
- Four of a Kind: 40:1
- Full House: 30:1
- Flush: 20:1
- Straight or Lower: 7:1
Wes Burns co-founded OnlineCasinoSites.com with a mission to help gamblers understand and navigate the regulated online casino market in all countries around the world. Wes is a respected gambling journalist, working in the industry since 2008.