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Go Head to Head Against the House in Casino Hold’em

All About Casino Hold’em

Calling all Poker players! Casino Hold’em is an exhilarating casino gambling game which has its roots in Texas Hold’em. It is played incessantly in several countries all over the world, like Egypt, Russia, South Africa, Holland, Latvia, Estonia, Ireland, Morocco, Malta, Ukraine, Panama, and Romania. Casino Hold’em is a solo banking game against the house/casino, represented by the dealer. Being a single player game is advantageous as you don’t have many decisions to make. Moreover, you don’t need to wait for the other Poker players’ notorious humming and hawing before every move. To top it all off, you’re even offered an Ante Win Bonus along with the option of placing an additional side bet. The single objective of the card game is to form a better Poker hand than the dealer.

Why play Casino Hold’em?

  • It’s fast, fun and full of action with few decisions to make
  • It’s a one against one card game against the dealer
  • It’s a much simpler variation of the Texas Hold’em Poker game

The History of Casino Hold’em

Before we get started, it’s important to distinguish between Casino Hold’em and Texas Hold’em, which although are played in the same way, are two completely different types of Poker games. The key difference is that Texas Hold’em is a multi-player game wherein individuals compete for the pot contributed by the players themselves, whereas, as described earlier, Casino Hold’em is a single player game against the dealer’s hand. The latter game was created by Stephen Au-Yeung in 2000, the same genius behind other table games like Top Draw Blackjack, Caribbean Hold’em, and Lucky Draw Baccarat. Prior to inventing casino games, he was a very successful advantage gambler and Poker player who over the years has won a good amount of money and has several gambling titles under his belt, including the British No Limit Championship in 1992. The game came into being while he was looking for a tool to help train and prepare his girlfriend at the time to play Texas Hold’em Poker, which explains why both games share similar gameplay. He began to develop casino games as he felt his superb gambling skills were restricted to just Poker cash games and tournaments. The game he developed was first called Hold’em Against the House, which fittingly describes the game, but doesn’t perhaps have as good a ring to it as Casino Hold’em. It took a couple of years to catch on and only became a licensed game in the UK in 2007. Today it is played in over one hundred land-based casinos and over one thousand online casinos worldwide.

Playing Online Casino Hold’em

A game of Casino Hold’em is played with a standard 52 card deck and begins with each player making an Ante wager. An Ante is a forced bet that everyone must make in order to stay at the table. It forces there to be at least some payout in the pot, increasing the relative value of playing a hand to folding. There is also an optional AA+ Bonus side bet which you can also make at this point. Next, the dealer gives the player and himself two hole cards face down, followed by three community cards face up on the table. This is called the flop. The three cards are laid on what is termed the board, which will eventually contain five cards. After examining the cards in hand, each player must decide whether to fold their hand and lose the Ante bet or call by placing an additional bet double the size of the Ante. The croupier then deals two more community cards for a total of five on the board, called the turn and river, respectively. Soon after, the dealer reveals his own two cards. Both hands are scored according to the highest poker value combination of the two hole cards and five community cards. Essentially, who has the best hand wins, however, the dealer must have a pair of fours or better to qualify. If the dealer does not qualify then the Ante will pay as illustrated in the Ante paytable below and the Call bet will push (neither win nor lose). If the dealer qualifies and has stronger cards, you will lose both the Ante and Call bets. If the dealer qualifies, yet your hand is the stronger of the two, then the Ante pays out in line with the Ante paytable, whereas the Call bet will pay 1:1 (even money). If both you and the dealer have equal hands, then both Ante and Call bets will push.

Ante Paytable

Royal Flush 100:1
Straight Flush 20:1
Four of a Kind 10:1
Full House 3:1
Flush 2:1 1:1
All other 1:1

The AA+ Bonus side bet is based on the poker value of the player’s two hole cards and the three cards in the flop. In the paytable listed below, you can see how much the odds pay on this type of bet.

AA+ Bonus Side Bet Paytable

Royal Flush 100:1
straight Flush 50:1
Four of a Kind 40:1
Full House 30:1
Flush 20:1
Straight 7:1
Three of a Kind 7:1
Two Pairs 7:1
Pair of Aces 7:1

The house edge of Casino Hold’em, ignoring the side bet, is around 2.16% for the Ante paytable listed above. Generally speaking, the game's house edge ranges from 2-2.4%, however, it isn’t applied across the board as some casinos adjust the amounts.

In case your Poker cherry hasn’t been popped yet, here is a list of all the conceivable winning hands you can make in Casino Hold’em.

A Royal Flush is an ace high straight flush all in the same suit, for example, A-K-Q-J-10 all hearts.

A Straight Flush is a five-card straight all in the same suit. For example, 7-6-5-4-3 all diamonds.

Four of a Kind, also known as quads, are four cards of equal value. For example, four Queens.

A Full House consists of a set of three cards of the same value and a pair of another value. For example, K-K-K-2-2.

A Flush is any five cards of the same suit. For example, 2-5-6-8-K all clubs.

A Straightcontains five cards of sequential value made up of different suits. Every likely straight will consist of a 5 or 10. For example, 8-7-6-5-4.

Three of a Kind is the name for three cards of the same value, for example, three Sevens.

Two Pairs is a hand in which you have two cards of one value and another two cards of another. For example, two Tens and two Aces.

One Pair refers to two cards of the same rank, for example, two Queens. When your hand contains none of the hands described above, your highest card plays. If both players have the same high card, then a kicker (the next highest card) comes into play.

Beginners' Tips

It’s extremely difficult to pin down an optimal strategy to win regularly at Casino Hold’em. Ergo, it is highly advisable to practise through trial and error by calling, raising and folding different hands. When playing online, you can even make use of a Casino Hold'em Calculator. In this way, you can always make sure to run some different scenarios before you decide what your next play is. Here are some moves which may bring you a step closer to overcoming the dealer, in turn, beating the house.

  • Unlike in Texas Hold’em, in this card game, you should only fold 18% of your hands. Playing tight won’t win you anything. This means that the optimal strategy player will raise 82% of the time, making Casino Hold’em an action packed and fun table game. When following this form of strategy, the typical house edge decreases to a low of 2%.
  • It’s best to avoid AA+ side bets as they raise the house edge to 6%.
  • You should always raise with the following cards: a pair, an Ace high or King high, a flush draw or straight draw. You should also raise when both your two cards are higher than the three face up community cards on the table.
  • It would even be wise to raise with a Queen or Jack high unless the board contains cards of the same suit that doesn’t match your Queen or Jack.
  • You should definitely fold against a paired board when you have a 10 high or worse, for example when you have 668 on the flop (unless you have a straight or flush draw). Furthermore, you should fold unpaired low cards which don’t leave you with much of a chance of a straight or flush draw, like hole cards ranging between 2 and 7 in your hand. This approach results in a 2.16% house edge.
  • Seasoned players and veterans also recommend playing Casino Hold’em over the copycat Caribbean Hold’em because the difference between two games is the house edge. If the dealer doesn’t qualify in Caribbean Hold’em, you get paid 1:1 instead of the amount listed in the payout table. This raises the house edge from 2.16% to 3.09% – nearly a 50% increase!

Variations of the Game

There are two variations of the Casino Hold’em Poker game, them being the hybrid, Caribbean Hold’em and Texas Hold’em.

Caribbean Hold’em is identical to Casino Hold’Em except the Ante bet pays even money (1:1) only if the dealer doesn’t qualify (remember a pair of fours or better is required for the dealer to qualify). The game also features a Progressive Jackpot side bet. It is another wager you can make which pays based on your final seven-card hand only, even if you’ve folded or lost to the dealer. It’s a 1 credit side bet that pays a portion of the progressive jackpot depending on your poker hand. The payouts are as follows.

Progressive Jackpot Side Bet Paytable

Royal Flush 100%
Straight Flush 10%
Four of a Kind 500 credits
Full House 100 credits
Flush 75 credits

Texas Hold’em is the most popular card game in the world today and is where Casino Hold’em stems from. In the original variation of the game, players play against each other and can bluff or raise their opponents out of hands. If it’s this version you’re after, make sure to practise your Poker face or invest in a pair of shades if you’re playing in a brick and mortar casino.

Playing Casino Hold’em for Real Money

When it comes to table games it’s always recommended that you play online for free first to get used to how the game is played and how the winning hands are formed. You can do that just here on this page. After you’ve got your head around the game you can up the ante and play Casino Hold’em using real cash. Just head down to your local casino or don’t go anywhere at all, as you can play the game from anywhere you like as long as your device, be it a computer, tablet or mobile, is connected to the internet. You can then deposit money into any online casino of your choice to stand the chance of winning your money back and taking the casino’s too while you’re at it.

There are two types of online Casino Hold’em games, the first involves a video feed of a live dealer, utilising real cards. This gives you the ability to interact with the dealer and other players too. Seeing as players play against the dealer, and not each other, there’s no limit to the number of players in a single game. This type of gameplay throws you into the action of a real life casino. But, if you’re not feeling particularly sociable, you can also play online against the casino’s computer software. Whatever method you choose, make sure to keep an eye on your bankroll – remember when playing with real money, you can lose it just as easily as you’ve won it.


Is there an optimal strategy I could adopt to win in Casino Hold’em?

As aforementioned, the only optimal strategy encouraged by veterans and seasoned players alike is to raise 82% of your hands. You can go back to the Beginners’ Tips section for a clear description of when to raise and when to fold. Furthermore, when playing online there are calculations which can be made using a strategy calculator wherein you can run some different scenarios to make your best play.

Do betting systems work in Casino Hold’em?

No, betting systems like the Martingale, Fibonacci systems, card counting etc., won’t work because there are 169 different starting hands in Casino Hold’em and your odds of winning the hand depend largely on which starting hand you get, so there are too many variables involved.

Important: US residents are only permitted to play for real money at casinos that are licenced and regulated by the State they reside in. Please ensure you are familiar with your local laws if you intend to play slot games online or take part in any other form of online gambling for real money.