How to Play
First off, Casino Hold ‘em is a poker game, which means you’re going to need to know what winning poker hands look like. Below is an example of what the classic poker hands look like, from the lowest to highest:
- High Card: If no players have a valid combo, the player with the highest value card in his hand wins.
- 1 Pair: This is when you land two of the same type of card. (2x Kings, or 2x Aces, etc).
- 2 Pairs: This is when you have two sets of pairs in one hand.
- 3 of a Kind: This is a hand that has 3 matching card values in it (3x 9s, etc).
- A Straight: All 5-cards in your hand run in consecutive order of value (2,3,4,5,6, etc). They need not be of the same suit: 6♣-5♠-4♦-3♣-2♥
- A Flush: When all 5-cards in your hand are from the same suit. They need not run in consecutive order (all hearts, or all spades, etc): A♣-10♣-8♣-4♣-2♣
- Full House: This is when you have ‘one pair’ and a ’3 of a Kind’ together in your hand.
- 4 of a Kind: A hand where four of the same card value is in the hand (4x 5’s, etc).
- 5 of a Kind: When all cards in your hand are the same value (joker poker only)
- Straight Flush: this combines the principles of the Straight and the Flush. All five cards in your hand are of the same suit and run in consecutive order: 8♣-7♣-6♣-5♣-4♣
- Royal Flush: This is the same as a Straight flush, but it combines the 5 highest value cards: A♥-K♥-Q♥-J♥-10♥
In order to win, the player must finish with a better hand than the dealer, and then payouts will be determined based on the player’s hand. Payouts can vary a little from table to table, but here’s an example of one such pay table. The dealer must have a least a pair of 4s to qualify, which can affect the payouts.
- Player wins with: Payout
- Royal Flush: 102x
- Royal Flush, dealer doesn’t qualify: 100x
- Straight Flush: 22x
- Straight Flush, dealer doesn’t qualify: 20x
- Four of a kind: 12x
- Four of a kind, dealer doesn’t qualify: 10x
- Full House: 5x
- Flush: 4x
- Straight or less: 3x
- Full House, dealer doesn’t qualify: 3x
- Flush, dealer doesn’t qualify: 2x
- Straight or less, dealer doesn’t qualify: 1x
- Tie: 0
- Player folds: -1x
- Player loses: -3x
As far as actual gameplay is concerned, here’s how things unfold in Casino Hold ‘em poker:
- Players each make an ante wager.
- Dealer gives each player and himself/herself two face-down hole cards, then places three community cards face up on the table.
- The object of the game is to use your 2 cards and the table cards to produce the best 5 card poker hand possible.
- Players can fold or call. Folding means that you do not wish to play further and add a wager to the hand. Folding forfeits the ante bet. Call bets (if you wish to carry on and play) must equal two times the ante bet.
- The dealer will add two more community cards to the table, then reveals his own cards.
- The dealer’s and players’ hands are rated according to highest poker value. Hands can be built using any combination of the five community cards and two hole cards. So, for instance, if the community cards are 10, J, Q, K, 8, and the dealer has K, Q and the player has A, 4, then the player wins with a straight, while the dealer has just two pair.
- Dealer must have a pair of 4s or better to qualify to play. If he/she does not qualify, the ante bet pays according to the pay table, while the call bet is pushed and returned.
If the dealer beats the player, then the player loses all his bets. If the dealer qualifies and the player wins, the ante pays according to the pay table and the call bet pays 1 to 1.
As far as Casino Hold ‘em strategy goes, your only real point of control here is in deciding whether to call or fold. Unlike games like blackjack, there are no hard-and-fast rules dictating optimal play.
Much of your success in this game comes from experience. Generally, we’d say that you’re best off calling either when you have at least a pair (and not one made within the community cards that everyone else also gets by default) or for a strong draw, like needing one Heart to complete a flush.
Casino Hold ‘em Poker vs Texas Holdem Poker
Different or the same– Casino Texas Hold ‘em poker and regular Texas Hold ‘em are similar in a lot of ways. The order of winning hands is identical, as is some of the timing of determining when to bet or fold. But there are some key differences:
- No Raising: Players can’t raise — they can only call — there’s no risk that you’ll place one bet, only to have someone else raise the stakes and force you out.
- Deal with the Dealer: Casino Hold ‘em pits all players against the dealer, while regular Hold ‘em forces the players to beat each other. This cuts down on the heartbreak a little bit — it’s far less likely that you’ll pick up a huge hand, only to be outdone by another player.
- Learning Environment: Casino Hold ‘em is a great place to learn the poker-hand hierarchy if you’re thinking about one day transitioning to regular Hold ‘em, but it’s also a fun game with solid odds to play on its own.
- Skill vs Control: While regular Hold ‘em payouts generally align more with skill, your odds in Casino Hold ‘em are a bit more controlled, meaning veteran players have a bit less of an advantage — great news for beginning players.
Playing Casino Hold ‘em Poker Online
If you’re interested in playing some Casino Hold ‘em, I really recommend starting at one of the casinos highlighted above. While a lot of online casinos do feature some sort of Hold ‘em game, the ones above have some of the best online poker versions with fair house edges. Most also have a free casino games in a demo mode of those games so you can practice. And, like all my recommended casinos, they offer generous welcome bonuses and a lot of other fun within their digital walls.
Casino Hold ‘em Poker Tips
My top tip, hands down, is just to play. You’ll figure out your own personal code for when to call and when to fold. There may not be bluffing and what not like in regular Hold ‘em but developing your ‘gut’’ to make the right calls is a thing that takes time. Like I said above, many of my recommended casinos offer demo modes of Texas Hold ‘em casino table games, so you can learn the Texas Hold ‘em casino rules and get some experience before playing for real money. Practice a bit and you’ll do just fine.