When it comes to poker, Casino Hold’Em is the new kid in town. While other casino games such as craps, baccarat or blackjack have a rich history that goes back centuries, this new member to the casino game family only came into being at the start of the millennium. Many of the other casino games that we have come to love originated in a community or some sort of social group, but Casino Hold’Em was created solely by a man called Stephen Au-Yeung. However, just because it doesn’t have an antiquated history like its peers, doesn’t mean that it is something that is not worth talking about. On the contrary, its history is extremely interesting and you will probably be surprised to hear that this game came about purely by chance.
Au-Yeung had not originally set out to create a new variant of poker that would take the casino world by storm. He created the game with the sole purpose of using it as a training tool that his partner could use to help him improve his poker skills. This is what it was used as throughout the ’90’s; but, at the onset of the new millennium, the realization dawned that he could quite possibly have created a new casino game. Au-Yeung took his idea to a number of casinos and, before he knew it, it was being played in Russia, South Africa and Egypt. Soon after, things got even better as it reached the UK and Europe. In 2007, Casino Hold’Em became an officially licensed game.
How to Play Casino Hold’Em
Casino Hold’Em is similar to Texas Hold’Em, with the main difference being that it is the dealer who is your main opponent. In other words, your sole aim is to beat the hand that the dealer has. If you want to play, you must place an initial ante bet. The bet size can be whatever you like – just as long as it is within the limits of that particular table. You need to remember that the size of your bet will have an impact on your next bet if you decide to play on until the end. Once you have placed your ante bet, the dealer will deal you and themselves two cards. Both of the dealer’s cards will be placed face down, while yours will be face up.
The dealer then places down three flop cards and you must decide whether you would like to carry on. If you think that your hand isn’t good enough, you can opt to fold, thus losing your ante bet. If, however, you wish to play on, you can double your ante. The dealer will then place down the final two flop cards and reveal their hand. Your best hand and the dealer’s are created using the five flop cards and your own two cards. Both hands are then compared and the best one wins. The dealer must have at least a pair to play on. A call bet is paid out at 50:50; while ante bets are paid out: royal flush 100:1, straight flush 20:1, four of a kind 10:1, full house 3:1, flush 2:1 and straight 1:1.
Useful Casino Hold’Em Strategies
Casino Hold’Em, just like any other casino game, has a lot of luck involved, but there are also a number of strategies that can be used that will help you decrease the house edge to its lowest percentage (around 2.5%). As you have probably already guessed, bluffing and trying to read an opponent’s body language is useless in this variant of poker, as it is just your hand versus the dealer’s. However, just like other poker variants, if you play this game making haphazard bets, we guarantee that you will be walking away from the table with considerably lighter pockets (and a significantly bad mood). Therefore, it is highly recommended that you take the time to fully familiarize yourself with the following basic strategies:
1) Raise often – According to statistics, players should consider raising on 82% of their hands. If, after the flop has been played, you have a pair, make a call. You should also consider raising even if you have just a high card when compared to the three-card flop.
2) Fold rarely – Players should fold only 18% of their hands. You should only fold if you have two singletons that are low when compared to the three-card flop and if you have no chance of landing a flush or a straight.
3) Play flush draws – Raise your bet if your hand is a flush draw as you have the chance to land a flush. If you don’t, the dealer might not have a pair to play with anyway.
4) Play straight draws – If your hand contains low cards and no pair, but there is a chance that you will be able to make a straight when the five card flop has been placed down on the table, then you really should consider making a call bet. Even if you don’t end up getting the straight that you want, there is still a very good chance that the dealer might not have the pair that they require to carry on playing, meaning you win anyway.
5) Bet on a Jack-high – You should rarely consider folding on a Jack-high hand. When it comes to a Queen-high hand, you should consider folding even less, and if you happen to have a King-high hand, then you should absolutely never consider folding.
6) Use a Casino Hold’Em calculator – If you are playing online, you should consider using a Casino Hold’Em calculator. This fantastic tool tells you what you should think about doing based on the hand that you have. All you have to do is simply input your hand into the calculator and it will tell you what your odds of winning are. Such calculators can have a huge impact on what you decide to do next.
7) Avoid pair plus bets – The house edge for a main bet is 2.16%, but if you make a pair plus bet, then that house edge will increase to as high as 6.26%. While that 100/1 payout for having a royal flush looks very good, just think about what your chances are of getting that.
Quick Summary of Potential Hands.
Obviously, if you are playing any variant of poker, you need to be familiar with the possible hands you could be dealt. Failure to know the hands could see you fold the chance of winning some money. Therefore, we will now take the time to briefly go through the different types of hands you might get. The best poker hand is the royal flush, consisting of a 10-A all of the same suit. The straight flush follows with any five cards of the same suit in a sequence. Four of a kind involves four cards of the same rank, while a full house includes three of a kind with a pair. These are followed by a flush (five cards of the same suit), a straight (sequence), three of a kind, two pairs, a pair, and a high card.
Worst Casino Hold’Em Mistakes
Obviously, you cannot avoid making Casino Hold’Em mistakes if you don’t know what they are to begin with. Casinos love it when players make stupid moves as it increases the amount of money that they are raking in each day. Here are some common mistakes that you must avoid:
1) Not practicing – Trying to learn Casino Hold’Em on the go while playing with real money is a huge mistake. Practice with a friend until you know the ins and outs.
2) Not asking for help – People assume that the dealer is an adversary, much like your opponent would be in Texas Hold’Em, but they are there to play the hands according to strict casino rules, while ensuring that their customers are enjoying themselves. Therefore, if they are asked, they will help you out by giving a few tips.
3) Avoid progressive betting – Casino players often hear about betting systems that will help them lower the house edge. However, it is important to realise that a mathematical edge won’t change just because you vary what you are betting on. Therefore, you should really avoid the Fibonacci system and the Martingale technique, as these progressive betting techniques will just increase your chances of losing money.
4) Folding too often – Casino Hold’Em players are often told that they should raise the bet around 80% of the time, so if you find that you are folding 30%, 40% or 50% of your hands, you’re folding too much. Avoid all of these mistakes and you will increase your chances of walking away from the table with more money in your pockets than when you sat down.
If you are a lover of all things poker but have never sat down to turn your hand to a game of Casino Hold’Em, then we strongly recommend that you do, as there is really no better way to get your poker kicks. If you don’t consider yourself much of a poker player, you should still give it a go. However, before you do, you need to sit down and familiarize yourself with the potential hands that you could be dealt – you wouldn’t want to be throwing away a winning hand now, would you? Furthermore, you should take the time to learn a number of popular strategies; this will go a long way towards increasing your chances of walking away with a smile – and significantly heavier pockets.