Live Casino Hold’em for real money

With easy rules, affordable table limits and a lower house edge than roulette, casino hold’em poker is a firm favourite amongst gamblers. Find out how to play live hold’em games with real dealers at our top-ranked online casinos.

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Live dealer online casino hold’em games

Dealt by real people and streamed to your screen in HD video, live dealer casino games represent the closest thing yet to playing at a traditional brick-and-mortar gambling venue. While casino hold’em tables aren’t quite as widely available as the likes of roulette, baccarat and 21, our approved real money casino sites offer high-quality versions from some of the world’s leading developers.

Evolution Gaming
With more than 30 different tables for real money play on desktop and mobile, Evolution Gaming is the king of the live dealer realm. Casino Hold’em Live is one of the most accessible real-time versions on the Web, as players can bet anywhere between $1 and $1000 per hand. If you’re a member at, you can even play for real cash on your smartphone or tablet device.

Microgaming expanded its popular live dealer platform in 2016, adding casino hold’em to its collection of live blackjack, live baccarat and live roulette games. It offers everything you could expect from the world’s biggest casino software providers, including top-notch dealers, live chat, flexible table limits and an easy-to-use betting layout. Play it now at – our top-ranked Microgaming casino site.

Live chat and video quality options

Online gambling with real dealers is all about meshing the convenience of remote play with the vibrant, immersive atmosphere of a land-based casino. Thus, it’s important for developers to ensure players have all the tools required to make their experience as smooth and enjoyable as possible.

The live chat feature plays a big part in recreating the social aspect of live gambling. You can make friends while you play, trade some healthy banter and even interact with the croupiers. Just remember to keep your comments clean, lads and ladies, or the operators may well eject you from the room.

The best live dealer casino hold’em games also come with a variety of custom video options. If you don’t have a lightning-fast Internet connection, the ability to adjust the picture quality means you can optimise software performance and reduce the risk of drop outs. On top of that, you can choose from different camera angles and virtual layouts to create a truly bespoke online gaming experience.

How to play live dealer hold’em poker

Live dealer Casino Hold'em by MicrogamingCasino hold’em, or Caribbean hold’em, is a variation of Texas hold’em poker where players go head-to-head with the house. If you beat the dealer, you win a payout according to the value of your hand. The better the hand, the bigger the return.

The game is played with a standard deck of 52 cards. Each hand begins with a forced ante bet – the price of admission, if you will. The dealer then deals two cards to each player, two to the house, and three community cards face-up on the table.

Players then have a choice to make: fold or call. If you fold, you forfeit the hand and your ante bet; but if you call, you stay in the game by putting up an additional wager. The call bet must be twice the amount of the initial stake (e.g. if the ante was $10, the call would cost $20).

Two more community cards are dealt to the board, after which the croupier reveals their hole cards. As in Texas holdem, the winner is whoever forms the best five-card poker combination from their seven available cards (two in the hole, five on the board). While the player can win with any hand value, the dealer needs at least a pair of Fours to qualify.

For players who called, there are four possible scenarios:

  • Dealer doesn’t qualify – The ante bet is paid according to the pay table, while the call bet is pushed.
  • Dealer qualifies and wins – The player loses both the ante and the call bet.
  • Dealer qualifies and loses – The player wins both the ante and the call bet.
  • Dealer qualifies and ties – Both the ante and the call bet are pushed.

Payout odds for ante bets

When the dealer fails to qualify, all live hands are paid according to the odds below. The player’s total return increases by two units when they also win the call bet (e.g. royal flush becomes 102 to 1).

  • Royal flush – 100 to 1
  • Straight flush – 20 to 1
  • Four of a kind – 10 to 1
  • Full house – 3 to 1
  • Flush – 2 to 1
  • All other hands – 1 to 1

House edge and strategy

Under these rules, the house edge for casino hold’em comes to just under 2.16 per cent. That equates to an expected loss of about 0.82 per cent for each unit wagered, which compares favourably to games like three card poker (2.01%) and Caribbean stud poker (2.56%).

Unlike real money blackjack or video poker, there is no easily defined strategy for online casino hold’em. Most experts suggest players should call about 82 per cent of the time, only folding on the worst 18 per cent of all hands. Thus, the best casino hold’em strategy is to only throw out your cards when you have no high cards, no pairs and very little chance of drawing a straight or better.

AA+ Bonus side bet

Many versions of real money casino hold’em feature an optional side bet where players can win with a starting hand of two Aces or better. Aces, two pair, three of a kind and straight pay 7 to 1, while flush or better pays 25 to 1.

Like the vast majority of casino side bets, the AA+ Bonus is a proverbial wolf in sheep’s clothing. The payouts might be tempting, but probability says nine out of 10 hands won’t win a thing. That leaves a house edge of around 6.40 per cent – nearly three times higher than the standard rate of loss in casino holdem.

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