Best Casino Hold 'Em Sites

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What to Consider When Choosing a Casino Hold 'em Site

Casino Hold 'em has all of the excitement of regular Hold 'em, but in a fast, friendly format. Unlike a Texas Hold'em game, the casino version puts the game entirely in your hands: so choosing where you play is perhaps the biggest decision you'll have to make.

Why Play Casino Hold 'em Online?

It's the first Hold 'em game in which the player directly faces the dealer, and only the dealer. This eliminates the need for a full table of participants and the psychology that comes with it. This simplicity makes Casino Hold 'em ideally suited to an online casino environment, where fast deals, quick decisions and rapid settling are common.

How to Support Your Strategy

The main strategy considerations in Casino Hold 'em are how many risks to take, how many hands to play over a fixed period of time and, of course, when to call and when to fold. With this in mind, there are several common features that should be sought out in Casino Hold 'em sites:

  • Minimum/Maximum Bets | Some Casino Hold 'em games offer free plays to help you get to grips with the rules, and bets from £0.01 for a soft start. At the other end of the spectrum, experienced players should expect games to have flexibility in the stake (not big, unwieldy increments) and high maximums to cater for a hot streak or a strategy in the style of Martingale, should you wish to deploy it.
  • Rebet/Autoplay | The former is more common than the latter, but both speed up games by allowing players to repeat their last bet, either for the next immediate deals or for a predefined number of deals.
  • Session Timer | Most casinos position a clock in the corner of their games, but ideally serious gamblers should look for a session timer too. These time exactly how long you've been playing, making it easier to calculate your winnings (or losses) over set periods.
  • Game History | This brings up a log of every hand dealt during your session. It's useful if you're looking for patterns, or judging how consistently you're really using your strategy.

Exploring Rule Variations

The basic game involves the player betting an ante, before the dealing of two cards to the player and dealer. Three communal cards are dealt face up, and the player decides whether to call (placing a bet of double the ante) and view the remaining two communal cards, or fold and forfeit the ante. Variations to these rules include:

  • AA+ Side Bet / Bonus Bet | This is an optional bet offered at the start of the game in addition to the ante. Players wager on their hand containing a pair of Aces or better, with pay tables dictating the reward. The house edge on this side bet is generally 6.25% or 6.4%, depending on whether a Royal Flush pays at 100/1 or 25/1.
  • Caribbean Hold 'em | Not to be confused with Caribbean Stud Poker, this game is near-identical to Casino Hold'em, except it pays evens on the ante when the dealer doesn't qualify, instead of the full pay table as per standard Casino Hold 'em rules, making it one to avoid.

Unusual Alternatives

If you like Casino Hold'em, the chances are you'll like Caribbean Stud Poker. With less decision-making and an even more rapid-fire feel, this game matches the intensity of Casino Hold 'em, and is frequently accompanied by a progressive jackpot.

Pai Gow Poker, in which players are dealt seven cards to be set into two hand, a high (five card) and low (twocard), is the thinker's alternative, though, and even boasts an impressive house edge of 1.46%.

How to Maximise the Experience

Of all the poker variants in which the player faces off against the dealer, Casino Hold 'em is, at the time of writing, alone in having a live dealer version of the game.

Websites offer Casino Hold 'em Live, in which a live video feed of the dealer is used for the game. This helps to create an authentic casino experience, and even includes a chat function so you can engage directly with the dealer and other players, making this the most social poker variant of its kind.

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