For lovers of poker, Texas Holdem has always ranked among the most popular variants. The ability to employ strategy has been one of its strong attractive points. The game was one of the premier casino games to be played online, but it took a while for it to be incorporated into the live casino model.
That is water under the bridge now, and Texas Hold’em fans can enjoy the game in a live simulation now. Through a video stream, they can interact with the dealer and the house as if they were physically present. Here is a guide to enjoying and winning Texas Holdem in a live casino.
What is Texas Holdem
This variation of poker pits the player against the dealer. The aim of the player is to beat the dealer in a five-card hand.
The player creates this hand from seven cards dealt to them in a series of draws. The only difference between Texas Holdem online and the traditional is that players play against the house rather than against each other.
Texas Hold’em Rules
The game is played in three stages. In the first phase, the player receives two cards, face down. These are usually known as hole cards.
The dealer also deals themselves two cards in a similar manner.
In the second stage, three cards are dealt to the centre of the playing area. These are known as ‘community cards.’ They can be used by both the player and the dealer.
In the third and final phase, two additional community cards are dealt. From the total of seven cards (two hole and five community), the player comes up with a five-card hand that should beat a similar one of the dealer.
How to play Texas Holdem
After signing up in the house and making a deposit, the player heads to the Texas Hold ‘Em table by clicking the relevant button. A dealer appears on the screen in a live stream.
The player initiates play by placing the first bet, known as the ante. This prompts the dealer to draw the hole cards. These are dealt to the player. The dealer also draws three community cards face up. This deal is known as the flop.
The player may look at his/her hole cards and combine them with the community cards.
The player then decides whether to quit (fold) or continue playing (raise). The decision to raise is made by making another bet, two times the value of the ante. By folding, the player forfeits the ante and the round is concluded.
If a player raises, the dealer draws the remaining two community cards. The fourth community card is called the ‘turn’ while the fifth is referred to as the ‘river.’ The dealer then goes on to show his/her cards to reveal whether they qualify to play.
For the dealer to qualify, they must have two fours or better. If not, the ante bet receives a payout and the raise is refunded (pushed).
If the dealer hand qualifies, and in doing so beats the player, the ante and raise are lost.
In the event dealer qualifies but does not have a better hand than the player, the punter receives the ante payout according to the going rate.
The raise gets a 1-to-1 payout.
If the two bets ties, then both the ante and raise bets push.
Differences between conventional Texas Hold ‘Em and the live online version
The first visible difference is that players do not play against each other but the dealer. By playing directly against the house, one avoids incidents of bluffing that would push them to increase their bets unfairly.
Game rounds also move faster.
Similarly, the duration of the round that a player can wait before making the final bet when playing against the dealer is more than when playing against other players. In the ordinary player vs player model, a player who does not bet or call has to fold. In the online model, a player can hold out for much longer.
When playing online, a player only needs to make one raise bet. This is unlike in the offline version of the game where one can make several raise bets when playing against others.
Again, the house does not rake in live Texas Hold ‘Em online. Raking is the practice of taking a percentage of the winnings that happens in ordinary games. Instead, the house depends on the house edge to make money. This is individual for an individual player because the house earnings are more spread among all players.
Texas Hold’em Online Strategy
This is, after all, a game of poker. It is a game of skill and strategy; players who master the art have a better chance of winning. The basic strategy involves the following:
Knowing when to raise. If a player has a pair, king or ace high or a flush, it is safe to raise
When to Fold: Without a 10 or more when pairing the hole and flop, and no king or ace or two overcards, it is time to fold.
This strategy is very basic and can be improved as a player gets used to the live online game. A player may also opt to go for side bets to improve their winning avenues. Side bets can include Royal Flush, Straight flush, 4 of a kind, full house, flush, straight, 3-of-a-kind, two pair, and a pair of aces.
Players can also bet on the progressive jackpot at the start of the gaming round.
The advantage of this bet is that even if the player loses or folds, they stand to win if a royal or straight flush occurs.
Texas Hold’em, a widely popular version of poker, is a great addition to live gaming catalogues. Players who love games of skill and strategy love it, especially because they play against the house directly. For a new player, it might appear quite complicated, but it really isn’t. One can quickly learn the ropes by applying the basic strategy discussed here and reading more about the game.