Casino Hold ‘Em: The Poker Table Game Where Players Compete Against the Casino, Not Other Players

Casino Hold ’em is similar to the king of all poker games, Texas Hold ’em. The main difference being players compete against the house rather than other players. It is easy to learn and play, as long as you understand poker hand rankings. Novice players need not worry about being intimidated by other players. First let’s list the face value for each card and the five card poker hand rankings in sequential order:

Face Value of Cards

2 through 10 and Jack, Queen, King, Ace (2 is lowest, Ace is highest)

Poker Hand Rankings

High card – Five cards of different values with mixed suits and Ace being the highest.

One Pair – Two of the same cards such as 2, 2.

2 Pair – Two of the same cards twice, 7,7, & K, K

3 of a Kind – Three of the same cards, K, K, K, (AKA Trips)

Straight – Five cards in sequential order with mixed suits, 7,8,9,10, J

Flush – Five cards with the same suit in any order (5 Spades, Hearts, Clubs, Diamonds.

Full House – Trips and a Pair, Q, Q, Q, 8,8, (AKA, Full Boat).

4 of a Kind – Four of the same cards, J, J, J, J, (AKA, Quads).

Straight Flush – Five cards of the same suit in sequential order.

Royal Flush – 10, J, Q, K, A, of the same suit.

How to Play

A standard 52 card deck is used. All players must first make an ante wager before play begins. There is also an optional bonus wager called AA Bonus. The dealer will then deal his or herself two hole cards face down, and place three community cards face up in the center of the table. This is known as the flop. The community cards can be used by all players to complete their hands.

Players examine their cards and must make one of two decisions:

Fold – forfeiting the ante bet.

Call – Make a wager equal to two times the ante bet.

The dealer will then deal two more community cards face up for a total of five, and reveal his or her cards. The players and dealer make their best five card poker hand by using any combination of their own two cards and the five community cards.

The dealer must have a pair of 4’s or better to qualify. If the dealer does not qualify, the call bet pushes and the ante bet will pay according to the pay table listed below.

If the dealer qualifies and player beats dealer, the call bet pays 1 to 1 and the ante bet pays according to the ante pay table below.

If the dealer qualifies and beats the player, the player loses the ante and call bets.

If the dealer qualifies and ties the player, the ante and call bets push.

Pay tables may vary, below is supposedly the most common one:

Ante Bet Pay Table

Royal Flush – 100/1

Straight Flush – 20/1

4 of a Kind – 10/1

Full House – 3/1

Flush – 2/1

All Other – 1/1

Optional AA Side Wager

The AA optional side wager pays if the player is holding a pair of Aces or better. The bet pays even if the player folded the original hand. Here is the pay table:

Royal Flush – 100/1

Straight Flush – 50/1

4 of a Kind – 40/1

Full House – 30/1

Flush – 20/1

Straight – 10/1

Three of a Kind – 8/1

Two Pair – 7/1

Pair of Aces – 7/1

Strategy

Strategy is rather simple for this game according to gaming Analysts. Only the worst 18% of hands should be folded. Which are two low unsuited hole cards with no chance of a straight or flush when matched with the three-card community flop.

House Edge

The house edge has been calculated at 2.16% for the call wager and 2.97% when making the bonus wager, based on the pay tables listed.

Good Luck!

High Five Poker: The Casino Table Game Where the Joker Is Wild

High Five Poker is a casino table game originally developed and marketed by SHFL entertainment. The objective is to have a better five card poker hand than the dealer. If you ever played Pai Gow Poker you’ll find some similarities in that it uses a 53-card deck, where the 53rd card is a Joker. This lone semi-wild card can be used to complete a Straight, Flush, Straight Flush, or Royal Flush; otherwise it can be used as an Ace.

High Five Poker tables are currently at The Brass Ass (real name) Casino in Cripple Creek, CO, which also offers a progressive version.

How High Five Poker is Played

The table has seats for up to six players. Players must first make an Ante wager. The dealer will then deal seven cards face down in a clockwise manner to each player, and seven to him or herself. Each player then examines his or her cards and makes one of the following decisions:

– Fold, forfeiting the Ante bet.

– Discard two cards while keeping the best five card poker hand and make a Play bet equal to the Ante wager.

The dealer then reveals the house cards to make the best five card poker hand. The dealer qualifies if he or she has at least a pair of sixes or against a player who has a straight.

For example, if the dealer has a pair of deuces and player number 1 has a straight, and player number 2 has a pair of three’s, the dealer qualifies against player 1 but not against player number 2. So, what happens to the payouts when the dealer does or does not qualify?

– If the dealer does not qualify, the Ante bet pays even money, and the Play bet pushes.

– If the dealer qualifies and beats the player, the player’s Ante and Play bets lose.

– If the dealer qualifies and is beaten by the player, the player’s Ante and Play bets pay even money.

– If the dealer qualifies and ties the player, the player’s Ante and Play bets push.

The dealer works counter-clockwise when determining the outcome of all of the remaining players’ wagers. The house edge is about 3.6%.

Trips Side Bet

The Trips side Bet pays for a player hand with Three of a Kind or better, regardless if the player wins or loses the hand, according to the following table:

Three of a Kind pays 1/1

Straight pays 2/1

Flush pays 4/1

Full House pays 7/1

Full House (Aces Full) 20/1

Four of a Kind pays 40/1

Straight Flush pays 50/1

Royal Flush pays 100/1

Five Aces (Four Aces w/Joker) 200/1

Pay tables may vary slightly between jurisdictions.

Strategy

The strategy for this game is quite basic in that the dealer does not qualify if he or she has less than a pair of sixes, then you should fold with less than a pair of sixes. Otherwise make a play bet.

The game is relatively simple to play.

Good Luck!

Criss Cross Poker – Two Ways to Win With One Hand

How Criss Cross Poker is Played

What’s unique about Criss Cross Poker is that there are two ways to win with one hand. The objective of this poker table game is to have a winning five card poker hand which pays according to a poker ranking pay table. The dealer does not play. A standard 52 card deck is used. Before play begins, players must first make two ante bets of equal size, one in the across betting circle and one in the down betting circle. An optional 5 card bonus bet is also available that pays according to the total poker ranking in the 5 card community hand.

The dealer gives each player two hole cards face down and places five community cards face down in a cross pattern. Three horizontal and three vertical. Based on the value of player’s hole cards, the following action takes place:

  • Player may make an across bet from 1X to 3X the ante or fold the hand.
  • Dealer exposes the two outside cards on the horizontal row of the cross.
  • Player may make a down bet from 1X to 3X the ante or fold the hand.
  • Dealer then exposes the two outside cards on the vertical column.
  • Player must then make a middle bet from 1X to 3X the ante of fold.

After the middle card is exposed, the players use their hole cards to make two five card poker hands, one across and one down. The middle bet pays according to the ranking of the across and down hands according to the following pay table:

Winning Pay table

Royal Flush – 500/1

Straight Flush – 100/1

Four of a Kind – 40/1

Full House – 12/1

Flush – 8/1

Straight – 5/1

Three of a Kind – 3/1

Two Pair – 2/1

High Pair (J-A) – 1/1

Low Pair (6-10) – Push

All Other – Loss

Optional Bonus Pay Table

Royal Flush – 250/1

Straight Flush – 100/1

Four of a Kind – 40/1

Full House – 15/1

Flush – 10/1

Straight – 6/1

Three of a Kind – 4/1

Two Pair – 3/1

Pair of 6’s or Better – 1/1

All Other – Loss

Strategy and House Edge

Here is the recommended strategy:

Across Bet

Fold if your hole cards are unsuited, unpaired, and the highest card is 2-5. If you have a suited Jack-Queen or any pair, make the 3X raise. With all other cards, make the 1X bet.

Down Bet – The same applies to the down hand. You have already seen the two across cards which may assist you with your wagering options.

Middle Bet – You have now seen fou community cards from the deck. If you made at least one 3X bet, do not fold.

The house edge is calculated at about 4.3%, and 3.5% for the optional bonus wager.

Good Luck!

Objectives of Poker and How to Play Texas Holdem

Poker is probably the most popular of all card games in existence, thanks in part to an exciting format, huge sums of money that is regularly on offer, and the swings and roundabouts that come with a game with an element of luck. Even with an element of luck, playing winning poker takes a good amount of skill and some time to master. This guide will take you through some of the basics poker rules and also more generally, how to play poker.

First of all, let’s consider what the objectives of poker are in a game of poker. The objective of most is to win money. To do that, players would need to eithermake it to showdown with the best 5 card hand OR force everyone else out of the hand, thus winning the pot. Most games are played against the same standard ranking of hands however, there are a few variants that use slight variations to this standard. For this article we will focus on Texas Hold’em mainly as it’s the most popular game and a good place to start out as a new player.

Texas Hold’em

Texas Hold’em is the party favourite and carries the most traffic, both live and online. It is the game that is featured in most major poker tournaments or televised cash games.

It’s known as a community card game for the reason that there are shared cards that are used by all players, when trying to make their best 5 card hand. In short, each player will get two private cards, dealt face down, better known as hole cards. These cards are only seen by the player they are dealt to. Throughout the game there will be a number of betting rounds and 5 community or shared cards that will be dealt. These cards are dealt face up. Players will try to make the best 5 card hand using any combination of the 7 available cards to them (2 private cards and 5 shared cards). This same principle applies across all poker games.

Something that makes the game really unique is that a player doesn’t have to have the best hand to win. Imagine you’ve got ten people and gave them one card each and told them to race up a hill. The person who got up there would be first, automatically winning. If there was a tie, the two players would hold up the card they were given and the highest card would win. Poker is similar in principle. The player who stays in the hand all the way and has the best hand would take down the pot. If there is only one person who makes it up the hill or who stays in the hand, they would be the winner, regardless of the card or hand they held. So if only one made it to the top of the hill, he would win, no matter his hand.

Structure of the Game

Ok, let’s look at how the game is actually played. When starting a game, it’s normal for each player to be dealt a card. The highest card gets the dealer button or button. The button acts as an indicator as to who is dealt cards first, and also who posts the blinds. The blinds are automatic bets that are made to ensure each pot has some money to play for (or there would be no incentive to play anything but the top hands). The blinds consist of two automatic bets, the small blind, posted by the player to the immediate left of the button, and the big blind, the player two seats to the left of the button. The small blind is usually half of the value of the big blind. Once these bets are posted, all players are dealt 2 cards face down.

Players will now need to decide whether to play the hand or not, starting with the player to the left of the big blind (or 3 left of the dealer button). This would, in large, be down to the two cards the player has been dealt (although there are other factors which I will cover separately). A player has the choice to call, fold or raise. Here are definitions for each action:

Fold– to throw your cards into the muck and take no further part in the hand. By doing so, you lose your stake in the pot.

Call– to match the highest bet made so far. If the highest bet is the big blind, then that must be matched to stay in the hand. If a player raises, all other players will need to ‘call the raise’ or match it, to stay in the hand.

Raise– this would be a bet that would be more than the big blind and a sign of strength (a good hand). If a player was to raise and all other players folded, he will win the pot by default, regardless of the strength of his hand.

So play moves clockwise around the table until all players have either called, raised or folded.

Once all players have completed this initial betting round, the first three community or shared cards are dealt. These are dealt face up on the table. The first 3 cards dealt in Hold’em are known as ‘the flop’. All shared cards that are dealt are known as board cards or referred to as ‘the board’. At this stage, players will be trying to assemble their best 5 card hand from the 2 in their hand and the 3 on the board. Some players might already have made their hand and others might need cards, still to come, to make their hand. Either way, with 2 shared cards still to come, players will have a good indication as to the strength of their holding and their chances of hitting one of the cards they may need.

A second betting round now takes place and again players, moving clockwise, have the choice to fold their cards, call or raise. Once this betting round is complete, a fourth community card is dealt face up, otherwise known as ‘the turn’, ‘the turn card’ or ‘fourth street’. There is then a third betting round with all remaining players and then a fifth and final card (known as ‘fifth street’ or the ‘river card’) is dealt to the board, again face up (all shared cards are dealt face up). There is one final found of betting, conducted in the same manner as the previous rounds, and then the showdown.

During each betting round, it is usual for some players to fold their hand, either as the betting is too much for the strength of hand they have, or they fail to hit their cards needed to make a strong hand. At showdown, any player left in the hand would turn over their hole cards to reveal their hand. The best 5 card poker hand wins the pot (which would be a collection of blinds and all bets).

Key additional Points

– If all players fold, leaving one player in the hand, the hand ends there and the remaining player wins the hand.

– If a player is all in (.i.e. has bet all his available chips, he would only be able to win the same amount that had been wagered from each player in the hand). If players who had more than the all-in player continued to bet, a side pot would be formed.

– If two players have the same hand at showdown, the winner is determined by the best kicker. For instance if player 1 has the hand A-A-2-3-4 and player 2 had A-A-2-3-8, both players would have a pair of aces but player 2 would have the next highest card, the 8 (compared with player 1 who’s next highest is a 4). Ace is the highest kicker possible.