How To Play Casino Hold ’em

While most guides on casino games tend to focus on more popular games like Blackjack, Baccarat, and Roulette, there’s a wide variety of other casino table games on offer that are worth exploring, and Casino Hold ’em is one such game. 

On this page, we’re going to show you everything about Casino Hold ’em, from how to place an ante bet, a call bet, and what the hold cards and community cards are. We’ll show you how to play Casino Hold ’em, which strategies to use, and which online casinos you’ll find the game available!

Let’s look at what Casino Hold ’em is, and we’ll follow that up by looking at how to play it.

What Is Casino Hold ’em?

Casino Hold ’em, not to be confused with Texas Hold ’em, which is played between players, is a casino table game where you play directly against the dealer. It was invented just over 20 years ago, although it wasn’t until 2007 that it became widely available at land-based casinos and online casinos; it’s believed to have first appeared in land-based casinos in the UK.

Unlike Texas Hold ’em poker, where you play against real players, Casino Hold ’em is relatively straightforward. You don’t need to worry too much about making decisions, and there are no bluffing elements.

However, like Texas Hold ’em, the game’s goal is to make the best five-card hand, using a combination of hole cards and community cards, with the best hand being the royal flush. 

How To Play Casino Hold ’em

Casino Hold ’em is played with a standard 52-deck of cards, and this is one of the first critical differences between the Casino Hold ’em game and other games you’d find in the Casino; most blackjack games use eight decks of cards, for example.

As mentioned earlier, the goal of Casino Hold ’em is to make the best five-card hand possible, and the hand rankings are the same as in regular poker. A high card is the worst hand, followed by one paid, two cards of the same value.

The next-best hand is two pairs, simply two pairs in your hand. Next is 3-of-a-kind, and, as the name suggests, this is when you have three cards of the same value in your hand. Next up is a straight, and this is when you have five cards in consecutive order but not of the same suit — for example, 2, 3, 4, 5, and 6, all off-suit.

The next best hand is a flush, and this is five cards of the same suit, but not in consecutive order. You then have the full house, a 3-of-a-kind, and a pair in your hand together. After that, it’s a 4-of-a-kind. A straight flush is the next best hand, and this is five cards of the same suit in consecutive order. Finally, the royal flush, the big daddy, and this is 10, J, Q, K, and A, all of the same suit.

Placing Bets — The Ante Bet & Call Bet

To kick off a game of Casino Hold ’em, you’ll first need to begin by placing an ante bet; on the table, there’s a spot that’s marked ante bet. The ante bet is a requirement to begin a new game of Casino Hold ’em; it’s not possible to play the game without placing this bet.

Once you’ve placed the ante, the dealer will deal you two cards; these are dealt face up in front of you, known as your hole cards. Your hole cards act like the hole cards in regular Texas Hold ’em poker. The dealer will also deal themselves with two hole cards, although these are dealt face down.

Once all of the hole cards have been dealt, the dealer will immediately deal three community cards. These community cards are dealt face-up in the middle of the table. The first three community cards that are dealt are known as the flop. You now have the option to play your hand or fold it; if you’d like to play it, you’ll need to place a call bet, which is equal to your ante bet.

If you choose to play Casino Hold ’em and place the call bet, the 4th and 5th cards are dealt, and the hands are then compared to determine a winner. If you decide not to play the call bet and fold, the game ends, and you lose your ante bet.

Winning and Payouts

Essentially, if you manage to form a better five-card hand than that of the dealer, then you’ll win; the goal is to make a stronger set of five cards using a combination of your hole cards and community cards, and if your hand is better than the dealer’s then you’ll win. Now, it’s worth noting that the dealer needs to qualify in order for them to play; this means their hand needs to contain a pair of fours or better. If they don’t, then you automatically win the hand, although only your ante is a winner; the call bet is simply returned to you.

The amount of money that you can win from playing Casino Hold ’em depends entirely on how much you wager on the ante, and the strength of your hand also dictates how much you get paid out.

For example, if your hand is a straight or lower and wins, your ante is paid out at 1/1. If you get a flush, it’s paid out at 2/1, and if you get a full house, it’s paid out at 3/1.

If you manage to get a 4-of-a-kind, it’s paid out at 10/1, while a straight flush pays out at 20/1. A royal flush, the best hand in Casino Hold ’em and Texas Hold ’em, pays out at 100/1. Regardless of your hand, the call bet is paid out at 1/1, provided that you managed to beat the dealer.

Bonus Side Bet

Casino Hold ’em has a pretty common side bet that’s offered at virtually every variation of the game we’ve come across, and before you place your ante, you’ll be able to place what’s known as the bonus side bet. This bonus side bet is a special bet that pays out if you make a hand equal to or better than a pair of aces on the flop once the community cards have been dealt.

What’s more, the bonus side bet for the table game is independent of the ante and call bets; so, even if you don’t end up winning the hand, provided that you form the hands specified, you’ll get paid out.

A pair of aces all the way through to a straight pays out at 7/1, while a flush pays out at 20/1. If you manage to form a full house using your hole cards and the community cards, you’ll get paid out at 30/1, and a 4-of-a-kind pays out at 40/1. A straight flush pays 50/1, and a Royal Flush pays out at 100/1.

As you can see, while the top two hands pay the same as the ante bets, the lower-value hands like straights and flushes pay a lot more. It’s usually advisable to play the bonus bet on each hand, despite the house advantage being a little higher than we’d typically recommend.

Casino Hold’em Strategy

Casino Hold ’em has a pretty common side bet that’s offered at virtually every variation of the game we’ve come across, and before you place your ante, you’ll be able to place what’s known as the bonus side bet. This bonus side bet is a special bet that pays out if you make a hand equal to or better than a pair of aces on the flop once the community cards have been dealt.

What’s more, the bonus side bet for the table game is independent of the ante and call bets; so, even if you don’t end up winning the hand, provided that you form the hands specified, you’ll get paid out.

A pair of aces all the way through to a straight pays out at 7/1, while a flush pays out at 20/1. If you manage to form a full house using your hole cards and the community cards, you’ll get paid out at 30/1, and a 4-of-a-kind pays out at 40/1. A straight flush pays 50/1, and a Royal Flush pays out at 100/1.

As you can see, while the top two hands pay the same as the ante bets, the lower-value hands like straights and flushes pay a lot more. It’s usually advisable to play the bonus bet on each hand, despite the house advantage being a little higher than we’d typically recommend.

Casino Hold’em Strategy

As with virtually all casino table games, Casino Hold ’em has a unique strategy you can follow. While this doesn’t guarantee that you’ll be able to beat the dealer and win, it can improve your chances of winning. In fact, if you manage to follow the recommended strategies for Casino Hold ’em, it’s possible to reduce the house edge to below 1%, so it’s one of the top casino games to play if you’re looking for a high RTP.

Let’s look at some of the strategies to follow when playing Casino Hold ’em. Also worth noting is that the recommended strategies can vary slightly depending on the Casino Hold ’em rules. Some games don’t deal all the community cards at once, some variations let you bet after the fourth community card, and if there’s a progressive jackpot in play or if you play online, the rules may be slightly different. In some games, the dealer qualifies with a high card. The dealer’s hand is even dealt face up in some situations.

Regardless of the dealer’s cards, it’s always recommended to call when you hold a pair or better. It doesn’t matter if the dealer shows a pair of aces and you only have a pair of 2s; you should still play your Casino Hold ’em hand. You should also always call if you have an ace of a king in your hand because it’s still highly likely that you have a better hand than the dealer.

Now, when it comes to whether you should call if you hold a queen or a jack, generally speaking, you should, unless all of the first three community cards are suited, and none of your cards match this suit. This is because there’s a strong chance that the dealer will hold one of these suited cards, giving them around a 25% chance of hitting a flush.

If you have a flush or straight draw, then most strategy guides will advise you to call. However, this only applies when your flush or straight draw requires one more card for you to win; if you only have a backdoor draw, you should generally fold your hand.

When playing Casino Hold ’em, including Live Casino Hold ’em, and if you don’t have side bets in play, just the AA bet, then you should call if you hold two overcards; this is if your two cards are higher than all of the community cards. As a general rule of thumb, if your poker hand doesn’t hold a card over 10, then you should generally fold unless you have four cards to a flush or straight. There’s a higher chance that the house will win, especially if there’s a flush draw.

FAQs

Where can I play Casino Hold ’em?

If you’re looking to play Casino Hold ’em, you’ll be pleased to learn that there’s a huge number of casinos that offer this game. Whether you’re looking to enjoy Live Casino Hold ’em or just regular computer Casino Hold ’em, you’ll find that many of the online casinos we recommended here at Casinomeister offer a variation of the game. If you’re looking for the top casinos to play at, simply check out our list of accredited casinos, all of which have been hand-picked by our team of online gambling experts.

What are hole cards?

These are the two cards dealt to you at the beginning of the game once you’ve placed your AA bet. The dealer is also dealt these cards, although his or hers are dealt face down. Once these cards have been dealt to you, you’ll need to decide whether or not you want to play your hand or not, which is done by placing a call bet.

What’s the bonus bet?

The bonus bet is an optional wager that you can place at pretty much every Casino Hold ’em game. It allows you to place a side bet that’s independent of the dealer’s hand, and it offers significantly higher payouts than just the AA bet alone.

What’s a four of a kind?

A four-of-a-kind hand is formed when you manage to get four cards in your hand that are all of the same value, for example, four 5s.

Does the UK Gambling Commission approve of Casino Hold ’em?

Yes, the UKGC allows Casino Hold ’em to be offered to UK players.

Do I need to know how to play poker to play Casino Hold ’em?

No, although it doesn’t hurt, as the hand rankings are the same. However, there’s no skill involved, and you’re playing against the Casino as opposed to other players.

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