Poker players will be the first to admit that even though the game is skill-based, you do need to have a gambling instinct.
The willingness to take a risk to reap the reward also explains why so many poker players enjoy casino games. But it’s not just the traditional blackjack or roulette games that attract their attention. There are several live dealer casino poker games to enjoy.
And although the casino will always have the house edge, just as it does in every table game and slot machine, understanding the basics of poker, hand rankings, and mathematical probability will undoubtedly improve a poker player’s chances of making a profit on a single session.
Here are some of the top live dealer casino poker games, which are streamed live from a studio straight to your living room. You get to play along with a real dealer, just as you would in a brick-and-mortar casino.
This is the classic casino Texas Hold’em game. Rather than play against other players, everyone plays against the dealer. First, you must place your ante before receiving two hole cards. The dealer also receives two, dealt face down. Next, the three community cards – the flop – are dealt, and now you must decide based upon your poker knowledge.
If you believe you already have a good poker hand, made up of your two cards and the flop, or that you think there is a chance you can make a good hand once the fourth and fifth community cards (the turn and river) are dealt, then you must elect to ‘Play.’ This means doubling your original ante bet and seeing if you get lucky. You simply have to beat the dealer’s hand to win. If the dealer has anything less than a pair of fours, you win whatever happens. If you decide to fold at this point, you take no further part in the hand, but you do forfeit your ante.
Payouts for Casino Hold’em hands are based on the strength of your finishing hand. Unlike games like blackjack that payout at 1:1, Casino Hold’em will typically be as follows:
- Royal Flush 100/1
- Straight Flush 20/1
- Four of a Kind 10/1
- Full House 3/1
- Flush 2/1
Just like other casino games, there are side bets you can place on every hand, which will increase your premium hand payouts. Statistically, however, we advise against this as side bets eat into your potential profits.
Perhaps not as popular as Casino Hold’em, Caribbean Stud is still a fun game for poker players more used to battling for profits in the Las Vegas poker rooms. The game is ideal for live dealer action. You place your ante in the box (you decide how much to bet), and then you will receive five cards. The dealer will get five cards, too, but only one will be face up.
You must now use your poker skills to assess the strength of your five-card poker hand to that of the dealer’s, even though you only get to see one of their cards. If you decide you’re good to go, you must double the size of your ante and place this amount in the ‘Play’ box. Now the dealer will reveal their hand.
Once all cards are on their backs, the dealer compares the two hands. If your hand is stronger than the dealer’s, you get double your ante and bets back at 1:1 – but only if the dealer ‘qualifies’ with a hand that’s A-K or better. If the dealer does not qualify, you get 1:1 on your ante, but your ‘Play’ bet is simply returned without profit.
But you want to make more significant returns by making a decent hand. In fact, anything over two pairs gets a higher than 1:1 payout. Most casinos follow this payout list:
- 2 pair 2/1
- Three of a kind 3/1
- Straight 4/1
- Flush 5/1
- Full house 7/1
- Quads 20/1
- Straight flush 50/1
- Royal Flush 100/1
But, and it’s a big but, these payouts only come your way if you beat the dealer’s hand, and the dealer qualifies with A-K or better.
Other Casino Live Poker Games
Different online casinos host different types of live dealer poker games. While Casino Hold’em and Caribbean Stud are two of the most popular, you will come across many different variations of these. For example, try Three Card Poker, where you get three cards and must make a better three-card- hand than the dealer. Also, take a look at Pai Gow or Crazy 4 Poker.
Live dealer games make a nice fun diversion from your usual poker gameplay. Give them a go, but remember, the house always has the edge.