Live Dealer Poker

by GambleScope Review Team

From a Texas Hold'em Training Tool to the Best Online Casinos

Casino Poker, also known as Casino Hold'em Poker or just Casino Hold'em, is a variation of Texas Hold'em Poker. It was invented in the 1990s by Stephen Au-Yeung as a way to help train his partner in playing Texas Hold'em. Later, it was adapted into a real money casino game and launched with great success in Russia, South Africa, and Egypt. It was also featured at big expos and made its way to the casinos in Las Vegas in the early 2000s.

Nowadays, Casino Hold'em can be found in more than 100 casinos around the world and at even more online casinos. The main difference with this poker variant is that it is played against the dealer and not against other players at the table, like in Texas Hold'em. There are set payout rates for strong combinations, and some versions even offer side bets with progressive jackpots.

Considering its quick rise to popularity and the fact that it is very similar to one of the most famous card games in the world, Casino Poker was adapted as a live version by some of the best developers. You can play Live Casino Hold'em Poker today while watching the cards being dealt in real time by a professional dealer. You can bet real cash and collect your winnings instantly. All of this and more from the relaxing environment of your own home and even from your mobile device while on the go.

Why Live Casino Poker Can Become Your Favourite Game

If we were to describe the ideal player of Live Casino Poker, we would have to say that he/she likes playing Texas Hold'em. More than that, the live element is mostly aimed towards users who want to get the best experience online. You can get an authentic casino feel without having to go to a crowded casino. And since live hold'em can be played by basically an unlimited number of clients at the same time, you never have to wait in line for a seat to open up.

Live games are exciting in general, but there is something special about Live Casino Hold'em. Thanks to the top providers, the tables are open around the clock so you can play at any time you feel like it. Also, compatibility with mobile devices is very good, so you are not restricted to your desk either. The easy access to the real money table makes it a game that can find its way into the busiest of schedules.

Another reason why this casino game can become your favourite is its low house edge. This represents the advantage that the casino has based on the odds of winning and the offered payouts. In the case of Casino Hold'em, the house edge is of around 2%.

And last but not least, we have to consider the significant payout rates that often draw players to the tables. You can stand to win 100 times the bet with a royal flush. Not to mention that you can place a side bet and get extra prizes for hands of Ace-Ace and higher. This adds to the excitement and can make any hand a nail-biter.

Live Dealer Casino Hold'em Brought to You by the Best Studios

Several software providers offer Live Casino Hold'em. For the best live options online, the list comes down to two studios: Evolution Gaming and Playtech. The best part is that these two developers combined cover the majority of online casinos.

Evolution Gaming is focused only on live dealer games, and so it can be found alongside other providers that offer slots, table games, and other options. It is arguably the best studio in this field, and it has an impressive range of options. Live Casino Hold'em from Evolution Gaming is one of the best games you can play online. There are gorgeous dealers behind the tables, and the video is also crisp. The HD details can be useful, and the betting interface makes everything go very smoothly.

Playtech is a stand-alone software provider that usually powers entire online casinos. Its variety is not limited to slots and also includes multiple live games. You can find Live Casino Hold'em from Playtech at some of the best casinos and start playing within seconds. The layout is a bit different here, but it still follows the basic design.

Both of these studios are top-notch, and the final decision mostly comes down to personal preference. We recommend that you try both versions.

A Step-by-Step Guide to Playing Live Casino Hold'em Poker

The first thing you need to do to play Live Casino Poker is to join an online casino that has the game. You will almost certainly not have any issues with this step since practically all of the top brands have the title as part of their collections. You will also have to make a real money deposit before you can get started.

Once you are all set, you need to join the table. You can place your bet by selecting the chip size and then clicking on the Ante box. Keep in mind that the wager must be between the table limits, which are usually of €5 and €50. Also, the wager has to be made during the allocated time for betting that is generally of 10 seconds. Once this period is up, the dealer will deal cards from the deck.

Casino Hold'em is played with a regular deck of 52 cards which is shuffled by the machine after every hand. You can see the dealer get a freshly shuffled deck before each round and put it in the shoe. Cards are dealt from the top of the deck, and they go through a little scanner to instantly transmit the information to the online gaming software.

You will receive two cards facing up, while the dealer gets two cards facing down. Three community cards are also dealt on the table facing up. At this point, another betting round takes place, and you can make a Call bet, which is twice the size of the ante, or Fold the hand. The dealer adds two more community cards to the table. Hands are compared, and payouts are granted automatically by the software.

Hand rankings in Casino Hold'em are based on standard poker rules. Your hand is the best possible combination of five cards between your two cards and the five cards in the middle of the table. The dealer must have at least a pair of 4s to qualify. If you win the hand and the dealer qualifies, the ante bet pays based on the table, and the call bet pays 1:1. If you win, but the casino side doesn’t qualify, the ante bet usually pays, and the call wager is returned. If the dealer has a stronger hand, both the ante and the call bets are lost.

While ante win pay tables may vary, the standard rates in Live Casino Poker are as follows:
•    100:1 for a Royal Flush
•    20:1 for a Straight Flush
•    10:1 for Four of a Kind
•    3:1 for a Full House
•    2:1 for a Flush
•    1:1 for a Straight or lower

You will also find an extra betting box marked AA. This is a side bet that can be placed during the starting betting round and it is successful if the player hand has a pair of Aces or higher. The gamble pays according to a different table, usually like this:
•    100:1 for a Royal Flush
•    50:1 for a Straight Flush
•    40:1 for Four of a Kind
•    30:1 for a Full House
•    20:1 for a Flush
•    7:1 for a Straight or lower

We Took a Complicated Strategy and Made It Easy to Use

The perfect strategy for Live Casino Hold'em Poker is hard to quantify since there are a lot of possible outcomes based on combinations of seven cards. You only have a few seconds to decide to call or to fold, so the optimal strategy had to be simplified.

The general idea is that you should call/raise about 82% of hands and only fold the worst 18%. These apply to starting hands where you have no pairs, no flush or straight draws, and low hole cards.

It is also worth emphasising that the house edge for the side bet is much bigger than it is for the regular gameplay. Based on the payout tables discussed previously, the theoretical return to player on ante bets is of 99.18% while the one for the AA side bet is of only 93.74%. Of course, the RTP goes down a bit if we also include the call bet after the ante.

Live Casino Poker: Final Thoughts & Verdict

In just a few words, Live Casino Poker has it all. It doesn’t take more than a few minutes to become familiar with the buttons and the interface. The strategy is somewhat simple to put into practice. You can win big payouts as part of the regular gameplay, and you can further increase the prizes by opting for the side bet as well. On top of that, you can enjoy the action with a professional dealer.

Despite the fact that the live version of casino hold'em is a bit more challenging to play than the standard online variants, we believe it is worth it for the extra entertainment value. It maintains its high RTP while bringing the casino action to your screen. Overall, it is easy to see why so many players say Live Casino Poker is the best game.