Live Casino Hold'em: Play Live Dealer Hold'em Games at PokerStars Casino

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Texas Hold'em is by far and away the most popular form of poker, both online at PokerStars and in most of the world's card rooms.

Casino Hold'em is a fast-paced variant of traditional Texas Hold'em games. Here, you face off against the dealer – and the dealer alone – in trying to make the best five-card hand.

You won't need to bluff or worry about your poker face; just use your intuition and instinct to judge if you can win the hand and scoop the pot.

Join our Casino Hold'em tables to match your wits and nerve against our dedicated team of Casino Hold'em Live Dealers.

Live Casino Hold'em: Basic Instructions

So, what is the goal of Casino Hold'em? Unlike in regular Texas Hold'em poker, in which you have to take on multiple opponents to contest the pot, in this game you simply have to beat the dealer's hand.

Like Texas Hold'em and most other poker variants, the best five-card hand will be declared the winner. Like in regular Hold'em games, the best hand is made up of any combination of your two hole cards and the five community cards. 

As opposed to the six-max or nine-handed tables you'll find in normal poker games, there is no limit to the number of players that can sit at one Casino Hold'em table – but you're all betting on the same hand. 

There's no cutthroat bluffing and aggressive re-raising here; everyone at the table has the same goal: make a five-card poker hand strong enough to beat the dealer. 

Casino Hold'em is played with a standard 52-card deck and the cards are shuffled after every hand.

How to Play Live Casino Hold'em Online for Dummies

Time to play! To begin, you need to place a bet on the 'Ante' square. This is considered to be your initial bet and must be placed in order for you to take part in the hand. 

After some more action? Easy – just top up your Ante Bet with a Bonus Bet. If you make a pair of Aces or better after the first betting round, your Bonus Bet will pay out. 

Once your bets are placed, the Live Dealer will deal you two face-up cards (your hole cards, or pocket cards) as well as two face-down cards to themselves. Then, three face-up cards will be dealt in the middle of the table; this is known as "the flop" just like in regular poker games. 

You can use these three community cards and your two hole cards to begin to build your hand. 

Like the look of your hand so far? You have the option to 'call' by which you will place a Call Bet, twice the size of your Ante Bet. 

However, if you don't think that the next two community cards will be of much use to you, you can fold and end the game; this forfeits both your Ante Bet and your Bonus Bet. You need to place a Call Bet in order to receive a pay-out on your Bonus Bet – but if you have a pair of aces or better, you probably shouldn't be folding anyway! 

Decision made, the dealer will now deal two more community cards. These are known as "the turn" and "the river" respectively. 

Now it's time to declare a winner. The best five-card combination of your two hole cards and the five community cards will be matched against the best five-card combination of the dealer's two hole cards and the same five community cards. 

If the dealer does not have at least a pair of fours, you will win automatically – the dealer does not qualify. In this instance, you will receive a pay-out on your Ante Bet and your Call Bet will be returned to you. 

If the dealer does qualify but you have the better hand, the Call Bet is paid out at 1:1 (evens) while the Ante Bet is paid according to the pay-out table. 

If the dealer qualifies and you cannot beat their five-card poker hand, then you lose both your Ante Bet and your Call Bet – unlucky! 

If you have the same hand, both bets are pushed – but your Bonus Bet (if applicable) will be paid. Remember, your Bonus Bet is an optional side-bet that cannot be placed alone. Once a wager is placed on the Ante Bet, you will then be given the option to place a Bonus Bet.

How much can you win?

If you decided to call after making a Bonus Bet and you have a pair of aces or better on the flop, you will be paid out according to the pay-out table:

Bonus Bet pay-outs

  • Royal Flush – 100:1
  • Straight Flush – 50:1
  • Four-of-a-Kind – 40:1
  • Full House – 30:1
  • Flush – 20:1
  • Straight – 7:1
  • Three-of-a-Kind – 7:1
  • Two Pair – 7:1
  • Pair of Aces – 7:1

If you win the hand, your Ante Bet will be paid according to the following table:

Ante Bet pay-outs

  • Royal Flush – 100:1
  • Straight Flush – 20:1
  • Four-of-a-Kind – 10:1
  • Full House – 3:1
  • Flush – 2:1
  • Straight – 1:1
  • Three-of-a-Kind – 1:1
  • Two Pair – 1:1
  • One Pair or High Card – 1:1

The Winning Hands in Live Casino Hold'em

  • Royal Flush: the best hand in poker, this is an Ace, King, Queen, Jack and a Ten all of the same suit.
  • Straight Flush: similar to a Royal Flush, this hand contains five cards in sequence, all of the same suit. The winner of two straight flushes is determined by the highest-ranking card; a hand of 9s-8s-7s-6s-5s will beat 7d-6d-5d-4d-3d.
  • Four-of-a-Kind: this is a powerful hand that contains four cards of equal rank, with four aces being the best Four-of-a-Kind combination.
  • Full House: this hand contains three matching cards of one rank and two matching cards of another rank. Two full houses are compared with the highest three ranking cards as the winner. For example, K-K-K-2-2 will beat a J-J-J-A-A, but not A-A-A-3-3.
  • Flush: this is a hand in which all five cards are of the same suit, but not in sequence. Two flushes are compared by the highest-ranking card. If both hands have the same highest-ranking card, then the second highest ranking card is compared and so on until there is a difference. A flush of K-Q-9-5-4 beats a flush of K-Q-9-4-3.
  • Straight: this hand that contains five cards in sequence, but in different suits. Two straights are compared by the highest-ranking card of each, so K-Q-J-T-9 will beat 9-8-7-6-5.
  • Three-of-a-Kind: this hand that contains three cards of equal rank but no accompanying pair, unlike a Full House.
  • Two Pair: this hand contains two matching cards of one rank and two matching cards of another rank. To determine the winner between two Two Pairs, the highest-ranking pairs are compared. If these are the same, the lower-ranking cards are compared – for example, A-A-9-9-4 will beat A-A-6-6-2. The fifth, unpaired card is called the 'kicker' and is used to determine the winner between identical Two Pair hands. This means that K-K-Q-Q-8 will beat K-K-Q-Q-5.
  • Pair: this is a hand that contains two cards of equal rank. The remaining cards are used only to determine a winner between matching pairs; this means that 7-7-5-3-2 will beat 7-7-4-3-2. The Dealer must have at least a pair of fours to qualify.
  • High Card: this is a hand that does not meet any of the above requirements. Essentially, no hand is made, and the only thing of meaning is the highest ranked card. These hands are named after the high cards – A-J-7-4-2 is "Ace high" or "Ace-Jack high".

The theoretical Return to Player (RTP) for Live Casino Hold'em is 97.84%. 

The theoretical Return to Player (RTP) in the Bonus bet for Live Casino Hold'em is 93.74%.

Play Live Casino Hold'em Games for Real Money at PokerStars Casino

So, what makes Live Casino Hold'em more exciting to play than your traditional online poker games? 

Live Dealers! Experienced and professional Hold'em dealers will greet you when you join the table at PokerStars Casino and they'll handle all of the action. 

The dealers will be able to comment on the game and interact with you and your fellow players throughout the hand; it truly is a huge step up from looking at static avatars in a normal Hold'em game online. You can even send the dealer chat messages throughout the game and watch them answer you in real time! 

This version of Casino Hold'em gives the recreational poker fan a chance to get in the game without having to compete against any other players. 

Instead, you will simply be competing against the dealer and with a bit of strategy (and a healthy dose of luck), you could be hitting big wins like a pro. 

Live Casino Hold'em is available 24 hours a day at PokerStars Casino. 

Visit the Casino tab in your desktop client to get started. You can also play Live Casino Hold'em games on your iOS or Android phone or tablet. 

For more detailed information on how to play Casino Hold'em, visit our Live Casino Hold'em rules page.

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