How to Play and Win at Casino Hold'em
Casino Hold'em is a fantastic card game that's actually relatively new compared to other popular online table games, having only been around since the late 90s to early 2000s. Based on the hugely popular poker variant, Texas Hold'em, the game differs in one crucial way: it's a single player game of you versus the dealer! Keen to learn more?
Casino Hold'em is easy to learn, with just a few simple rules dictating how the game is played. Whether you're just starting out or you're here to brush up on your skills, you'll find everything you need to know right here about how to play and win at Casino Hold'em. Let's get started!
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How to Play Casino Hold'em
You may have seen Texas Hold'em poker played on TV before and thought that it looks a little complicated, especially with so many players involved. If that's the case, then Casino Hold'em is definitely for you as it's much simpler to learn, meaning you can start enjoying it sooner!
Casino Hold'em is a bit like Texas Hold'em, but instead of there being multiple players, there's only you and the dealer, which eliminates most of the betting rounds for a faster and simpler game. In order to understand how the game works, it's a good idea to familiarise yourself with the table and the bets, which we'll look at next before taking you through a round of the game step by step.
A typical Casino Hold'em table is usually in the shape of a semicircle, with the dealer seated at the flat side at the top of your screen, and you, the player, seated at the rounded end at the bottom of your screen. Across the middle of the felt effect table, you'll also see the name of the game and the qualifying rule for the dealer, which is usually stated as Pair of 4s or Better.
On your side of the table, you'll see two betting options: Ante and AA or (AA Bonus), which we'll look at in more detail next. You will also have Call and Fold options too. A selection of chip values will be available to choose your bet size and you may also have a repeat bet button for easier betting.
The Ante bet option is your initial bet for the main game. In most games, this bet is essential in order to play, though some versions of the game allow you to play only the AA side bet without placing an ante bet. Think of the ante bet as the equivalent of the Big Blind in Texas Hold'em, but since there are no other players besides you and the live casino dealer, that fee must be paid by you on every round.
To place the ante bet, you simply choose how much you want to bet by selecting the chip value and clicking on the Ante spot. You'll then usually have to click the Deal button to proceed with the round.
AA Side Bet
The AA or AA Bonus spot is a side bet that was added to give players an extra opportunity to win. As such, this bet is not essential for the progression of the round, but you may find it interesting to play nonetheless.
The AA bet basically allows you to place money on the possibility of your hole cards (the two cards dealt to you) and the first three community cards resulting in a pair of Aces or better. While it's not a necessary part of the main game, this side bet does offer a bit of extra excitement that you might enjoy experimenting with once you're familiar with the rules.
Step By Step
Here we'll take you through a round of Casino Hold'em so you can get an idea of how it all works in practice:
- Select a chip value and click on Ante to place your bet
- If you want to play the AA side bet, choose a chip value and click on the AA Bonus spot to place the bet
- Click the Deal button. Two cards will be dealt face up to you and two cards will be dealt face down to the dealer. Three cards will also be dealt face up in the centre of the table. These are the first three of five community cards. At this stage, if you have a hand of a pair of Aces or better, your AA side bet pays. If not, the bet is lost.
- Now that you've seen your cards and the first three community cards, you get to decide whether to Call or Fold. Folding ends the round and you'll lose your ante bet. Calling results in another bet of double your ante bet being placed and the round proceeds.
- Once you've called, the remaining two community cards are dealt and the dealer's cards are revealed. The winner is whoever has the highest value poker hand. If you won, your winnings will be added to your balance and the round will finish. You can then begin the next round!
While that's the basic process of playing a round of Casino Hold'em, you'll need to know what you should be looking out for in order to win, so next we'll take you through how to do just that!
How to Win Casino Hold'em
One of the most attractive aspects of playing Casino Hold'em is the fact that you can play a round and win very quickly, especially when you compare it to a round of Texas Hold'em, which may take much longer depending on how many other players are involved. But how do you actually win playing Casino Hold'em?
While it is still possible to play - and win! - the game without this knowledge, it's in your best interest to learn the different poker hands so you can make a more informed choice when it's time to Call or Fold. It's also important to realise that the payouts can vary depending on the value of your winning hand, which is another reason the game is so popular. Let's take a closer look at the different poker hands before checking out how much you can expect to get back if you win.
The various poker hands in Casino Hold'em are identical to those used in Texas Hold'em, and very similar to those used in video poker. Here they are from lowest to highest value:
- High Card: If neither you or the dealer have any of the following hands, whoever has the higher card wins (only really used in the case of kickers determining the winner)
- Pair: Two cards of the same value, eg. 2x J
- Two Pair: Two pairs of cards, eg. 2x 4 and 2x 7
- Three of a Kind: Three cards of the same value, eg. 3x 10
- Straight: Five cards of consecutive value, eg. 2, 3, 4, 5 and 6
- Flush: Five cards of the same suit, eg. 2h, 4h, 7h, Jh and Qh
- Full House: Two cards of the same value with three cards of the same value, eg. 2x 3 and 3x 6
- Four of a Kind: Four cards of the same value, eg. 4x K
- Straight Flush: Five cards of consecutive value and the same suit, eg. 2c, 3c, 4c, 5c and 6c
- Royal Flush: The five highest value consecutive and suited cards, ie. 10d, Jd, Qd, Kd and Ad
Once you know which hands pay, you'll have an idea of the potential your hand has to turn into a winner and what to look out for in order for that to happen.
Main Game Payouts
Before we start looking at payouts, there's one rule that affects how much you will get back, and that is the dealer's qualifying rule, which says that the dealer must have a pair of 4s or better to qualify.
If the dealer qualifies and your hand beats the dealer's, you'll get a payout based on your hand value according to the table below. If the dealer does not qualify, your ante bet is paid as below, and your call bet is returned.
Here are the payouts on the ante bet:
- Anything below a Flush: Pays evens (1:1)
- Flush: Pays 2:1
- Full House: Pays 3:1
- Four of a Kind: 10:1
- Straight Flush: 20:1
- Royal Flush: 100:1
AA Side Bet Payouts
The AA side bet gives you an extra opportunity to win and your payout in this case also depends on the hand you get, as follows:
- Pair of Aces to Straight: Pays 7:1
- Flush: Pays 20:1
- Full House: 30:1
- Four of a Kind: 40:1
- Straight Flush: 50:1
- Royal Flush: 100:1
While those payout odds are really attractive, remember that they reflect the likelihood of you actually managing to make up a high value hand from your two hole cards and the first three community cards, so use the AA side bet sparingly, especially at first.
Casino Hold'em Strategies
At this point you may be wondering if there's anything you can do to boost your chances of winning playing Casino Hold'em. While the results of other games are completely dictated by luck, Casino Hold'em is one of those games that involves an element of skill, which means there are a few things you can do to get a bit of an edge!
Let's take a look at a few approaches you can use, individually or all together, to push the odds slightly more in your favour.
This may be a bit of a boring thing to hear but it's true. If you want to get better at anything, you need to practise, and the best way to practise Casino Hold'em is to play in demo mode! Almost all online casinos let you play their games for free as a way of exploring without risking your own money, making it the ideal opportunity to perfect your game and practise any strategies you might want to try. Take the time to practise and you will soon be able to spot when a really good hand is likely to come up. Skip this step and you risk losing money from the start!
Another boring but true piece of advice is to keep a close eye on your bankroll. Bet too much from the start and your game could be over sooner than you'd like! Always have a set amount you're going to play with in mind before you start, and try to keep your bets modest. That way the focus is on enjoying the game rather than betting big in an effort to win big. It also means you can play for longer, which will undoubtedly improve your game through practise.
Try a Hand Analysis Tool
If you're struggling with the different poker hands or you want something concrete to refer to while you're playing that will basically tell you what your action should be based on your hole cards and the first three community cards, you might want to explore a hand analysis tool. These are based on probabilities and will help you learn which hole cards are worth playing and which are better off being discarded (folded).
Here are some general tips to follow while playing that will boost your chances of winning:
- Call with a pair, an Ace or King high card, two overcards (higher than the highest of the community cards), or a straight or flush that only needs one more card to win.
- Call with a Queen or Jack, unless there's a chance of a flush in a suit that you're not holding.
- Fold if neither of your cards match the community cards and you have less than a 10 (except if you have a straight or flush draw).
- Fold if you have low unpaired cards, unless there's a straight or flush chance.
Do You Want to Play Casino Hold'em?
Now you know all there is to know about how to play and win at Casino Hold'em. Your next step is to start playing!
Simply join one of the carefully reviewed online casinos featured here on our site, make your first deposit and start playing!
What's the different between Poker and Texas Hold Em?
Texas Hold Em is a form of playing poker where all of the cards are visible on the table. It's most popular for competition games of poker, as the audience can watch what's going on just as well as the players.
What's the difference between Casino Hold 'Em and Texas Hold 'Em?
In casino Holdem players bet against the dealer instead of betting against other players. In Texas Hold 'Em you play with and against other players competitively - in Casino Holdem you only need to worry about two hands - yours and the dealer's.
Can I play Casino Holdem for free online?
Yes, casinos usually offer a demo mode that allows players to play casino hold em for free online, as well as for real money. This means you can practise your game strategy before you play for the real thing.