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Live Dealer Casino Holdem Poker Online: an Expert Guide

Posted by Veronica Taylor on
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Thanks to movies like “Rounders” and the popularity surrounding the annual World Series of Poker, Texas Hold’em has enjoyed a resurgence over the past two decades. Online hold’em is best enjoyed at live dealer casinos, where you can banter and interact with your fellow players.Among other things our guide to live dealer casino hold’em will cover:

  • The best live dealer hold’em casinos for US players
  • How to play live dealer hold’em (with winning hands)
  • Proven live dealer hold’em strategy
  • Different variations of live dealer hold’em

Best Live Dealer Hold’Em Online Casinos

Here are our favorite live dealer hold’em online casinos for US players:

How to Play Live Dealer Texas Hold’em Poker

Simply put, your goal in live dealer hold’em is to build the best possible poker hand using the two cards you’re dealt and any three of the five shared community cards.

The Difference between Standard Online Hold’em and Live Dealer Hold’em

In Live Dealer Hold’em, as opposed to traditional online Texas Hold’em, you play against the dealer and the dealer only, rather than trying to beat the other players.

Live dealer casino hold’em places you at a virtual casino table, but unlike other online poker rooms, the flashy graphics and random card generators are replaced by a real-life dealer and a real card deck seen via live video stream. Thanks to this live video stream, you can interact with the dealer and fellow players just as if you were at a real casino, sitting at your favorite poker table.

Hold’em Deal and Betting Rounds

At the beginning of each hand, each player at the table will be dealt two cards face down. These are also known as the “pocket” or “hole” cards. Over the remainder of the hand, the dealer will reveal five community cards, interspersed with rounded of betting.

Here’s what the game looks like:

  • Each player is dealt two cards face-down
  • First round of betting
  • The dealer reveals the first three community cards (this is known as the “flop”)
  • Second round of betting
  • The dealer reveals the fourth community card (this is known as the “turn”)
  • Third round of betting
  • The dealer reveals the fifth and final community card (this is known as the “river”)
  • Final round of betting

After all rounds of dealing and betting are complete, the remaining players will reveal their ‘pocket’ cards, and the best hand wins the pot.

Bet Types in Live Dealer Holdem

When it’s your turn to wager in a hand of Live Dealer Hold’em, you’ll have five options available to you: fold, check, bet, call or raise.

Fold

‘Folding’ means turning your cards in and give up on that round, forfeiting any bets you may have made.

You may want to fold if the wager sizes are higher than you like, or if you don’t have a strong hand and/or believe the dealer has a very strong hand

Check

‘Checking’ is choosing not to bet, but to remain in the game. It’s essentially the equivalent of choosing to wager zero dollars.

You may want to check if you want to see how the dealer will bet, if it’s early in the game, or if your hand is good but not great

Bet

‘Betting’ means placg a wager into the pot (the prize pool). Betting is how the pot gets full, and if you or the dealer want to remain in the hand, they must match the other’s current bet size.

You may want to bet if you feel confident in your hand, or if you think the dealer is likely to fold.

Call

‘Calling’ means matching the dealer’s bet. Once the dealer has placed a bet, if you want to remain in the game, you must either call or raise.

You may want to call if you want to stay in the game, if you’re close to having a winning hand, or if you want the dealer to think you’re confident in your hand.

Raise

‘Raising’ means both matching and increasing another player’s bet.

If you raise someone’s bet, the dealer must match this new bet size in order to remain in the game.

You may want to raise if you are confident in your hand and want to increase the pot size, if you believe you have a better hand than the dealer, or if you want to appear more confident in your hand than you actually are (a ‘bluff’.)

Live Dealer Hold’em Hand Rankings

Below are Live Dealer Hold’em winning hands, ranked strongest to weakest:

Royal Flush

Royal Flush

Five cards of the same suit, ranked Ace through 10

A Royal Flush is a hand that contains five consecutive cards of the same suit ranked Ace through 10 (e.g. Ace, Kinda, Queen, Jack & 10 of hearts.)

royal flush

Straight Flush

Straight Flush

Five consecutive cards of the same suit

A Straight Flush is a hand that contains five consecutive cards of the same suit (e.g. 4, 5, 6, 7, & 8 of spades). A Royal Flush is technically a straight flush, just containing all of the face cards.

straight flush

Four of a Kind

Four of a Kind

Four cards of the same rank

A Four of a Kind is a hand that contains four of the same card (e.g. four 9s.) The fifth card is irrelevant.

four of a kind

Full House

Full House

Three cards of the same rank and a different pair

A Full House is a hand that contains three cards of the same rank, and two different cards of the same rank (e.g. three 6s and two Jacks)

full house

Flush

Flush

Any five cards of the same suit

A Flush is a hand that contains any five cards of the same suit (e.g.: Queen, Jack, Seven, Four, Two of Hearts)

flush

Straight

Straight

Five cards, of any suit, consecutively ranked

A straight is a hand that contains any five consecutive cards, of any suit (e.g. 4 of Clubs, 5 of Diamonds, 6 of Diamonds, 7 of Hearts, 8 of Spades)

straight

Three of a Kind

Three of a Kind

Three cards of the same rank

A Three of a Kind is a hand that contains any three cards of the same rank (e.g. three 5s). The other two cards are irrelevant.

cards-three-of-kind

Two Pair

Two Pair

Two cards of the same rank & two different cards of the same rank

Two Pair is a hand that contains any two cards of the same rank, and any two different cards of the same rank (e.g. two 4s and two 9s). The fifth card is irrelevant.

cards-two-pair

NEED A PIC OF TWO PAIR

One Pair

One Pair

Two cards of the same rank

A Pair is exactly what it sounds like – a hand that contains any two cards of the same rank (e.g. two Kings). The other three cards are irrelevant.

cards-one-pair

 

High Card

High Card

Five unmatched cards

A high card is a hand that contains none of the above poker hands. In this instance, as a last resort, players default to the highest card in their hand (e.g. five different cards, no pairs and no straight).

five playing cards, all different

Different Variations of Hold’em Poker

While there are more than a dozen variations of Texas Hold’em, like Omaha and Pineapple, the most common, and most popular among US players, are these three:

Limit Hold’em – the size of the bets are determined before the start of the game, but wagers in the first two rounds are smaller than bets placed in the final two rounds. If you’re playing a $10/$20 limit Texas Hold’em game, you can wager in multiples of $10 after receiving your cards and after the flop, but bets increase to $20 following the turn and the river.

Pot Limit Hold’em – the maximum amount players can wager per round is whatever the total is in the pot. If after the flop, there’s $50 in the pot, no player may wager more than $50.

No Limit Hold’em – exactly what it suggests. So long as they have the chips in front of them to cover the bet, a player may wager as much as they wish per betting round. The World Series of Poker is played under No-Limit Hold’em rules.

Live Dealer Hold'em FAQs

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