Play Live Poker in Online Casinos!2021-07-20T01:37:55+00:00

Live PokerIf you love to play poker, one of the best ways to enjoy the casino version of the game is to play live dealer poker games at online casinos. Using cutting-edge streaming and webcam technology, these games are hosted in land-based studios and some even hosted at land-based casinos streamed to your mobile or desktop device using HTML5 web browsers bringing the live poker table to your screen in real-time.

These poker games are also incredibly easy to play. All you need to do is place your bets on live felts using virtual chips and make your decisions to call, fold and sometimes raise. You also get to choose from a variety of different poker games with completely different ways to play such as Caribbean Stud, Pai Gow Poker, 3 Card Bragg, Texas Hold’em, and Casino Hold’em.

This guide will take you through what you can expect from three of the most popular live poker variants online.

General Facts About Live Poker

Poker to most of you will be about players sitting around a table competing against each other. Many of you will have played at home with friends or seen tournaments such as the World Series of Poker on the television. Live dealer poker, in most cases, is not quite like this as you will usually be up against a dealer. Other players will still sit at the tables with you, but you will not pit your wits against them and instead, each of you will try to find a better hand than the dealer.

Popular live poker games at the live casinos will include Casino Hold’em, Three Card Poker, Caribbean Stud Poker, and Texas Hold’em Bonus Poker.

Special Features of Live Poker

  • You play against the dealer
  • There are many live poker variants
  • Each poker variant has different rules
  • Live dealer may need a minimum hand value to qualify
  • Some poker games have optional bonus side bets
  • It broadcasts the action with a live dealer via HD webcam

Live Texas Hold’em Bonus Poker Rules

Most poker fans will know all about the Texas ‘Hold’em variant of poker and Live Texas Hold’em Bonus is the closest you will find in a live dealer poker game. The mechanics are very similar, including the hand rankings and how each hand plays out.

You and the dealer both post your ante bets and you also have the option of posting a bonus bet and a progressive jackpot bet. Both of you receive two cards, yours are face up and the dealers are face down.  You, the player act next by folding (forfeiting) your hand or posting double the ante. If you chose the latter, the flop (three community cards) are dealt face-up on the table. You can now check (carry on with no bet) or post another bet.

A fourth card (turn) is dealt, followed by another betting round before the fifth card (river) hits the table. At this point, the dealer’s poker hand is revealed, and the winner determined.  The winner is the one who can create the best hand from their two hole cards and the five community cards.

How to Win on Live Texas Hold’em Bonus Poker

The winner of the hand is determined by who has the highest-ranking poker hand.

  • If the dealer has the best hand, the player loses all bets aside from any side bets (these are evaluated separately).
  • If the player has the best hand, he receives even money on the Flop, Turn, and River bets.
  • If the player has a straight or better, he will also receive even money on the Ante bet.
  • A tied hand results in all bets except the side bets being returned to you

Features of Texas Hold’em Bonus Poker

  • Each hand involves up to three betting rounds
  • Side bets are evaluated separately regardless of the result
  • Similar to Texas Hold’em Poker with the flop, turn, and river
  • First Five progressive jackpot side bet may be available
  • 47% RTP based on the total bet

The Bonus Side Bet Paytable

At the same time as placing the Ante bet, a player can place an optional Bonus Bet. This bet is separate from all main bets during the hand and is evaluated separately. It is possible to win money despite losing the hand.

  • Player & dealer both have two aces in their hand – 1000 to 1
  • Player has a pair of aces in their hand – 30 to 1
  • Player has A-K (same suit) in their hand – 25 to 1
  • Player has suited A-Q or suited A-J – 20 to 1
  • Player has unsuited A-K – 15 to 1
  • Player has K-K, Q-Q, or J-J – 10 to 1
  • Player has unsuited A-Q or A-J – 5 to 1
  • Player has a pair of cards 2-2 up to 10-10 – 3 to 1

If you placed a First Five progressive jackpot side bet, a Royal Flush will win the current jackpot amount. That Jackpot increases infinitely each time a player places that bet. It is only reset to $50,000 once one lucky player wins the full amount. You can win other fixed payouts when creating hands that are Three of a Kind or higher. The top fixed-payout is 2,500 to 1 for the Straight Flush.

Live Casino Hold’em Rules

Another exciting live poker variant is Live Casino Hold’em by Evolution Gaming. Again, you start out by placing an ante bet and, if you like, a bonus side bet before you and the dealer receive two ‘hole’ cards. If the Jumbo 7 progressive jackpot side bet is available (depends on the online casino), you can also place this. The flop (3 community cards) then get dealt face-up on the table.

You now have the option to ‘Call’ which costs double the ante bet, or to ‘Fold’ and lose all previous bets. Should you call, both the ‘Turn’ and ‘River’ cards are dealt. The dealer also reveals his hole cards, and the winner is determined.

If the dealer does not get a qualifying hand of a pair of fours or better, you win the Ante bet according to the paytable, and it returns your Call bet. Should the dealer have a qualifying hand and your hand is better, you win that Ante bet according to the paytable and are given 1 to 1 on your Call bet. If the dealer has a better hand, you lose, and all bets placed go to the house. In the event of a tie, it returns all bets.

The Bonus side bet gives you the ability to win at better odds should you create a hand that is a pair of aces or higher.

Special Features of Casino Hold’em

  • You play against the dealer
  • There are two betting rounds
  • A pair of fours is the minimum qualifying hand for the dealer
  • There is a bonus side bet and sometimes, a progressive jackpot side bet
  • Best poker hand from 2 hole cards and 5 community cards wins
  • RTP’s are Ante (97.84%), Bonus (93.74%), and Jumbo 7 (81.64%)

Live Casino Hold’em Paytable

Poker Hand

Ante & Bonus Side Bet
Royal Flush 100:1 | 100:1
Straight Flush 20:1 | 50:1
Four of a Kind 10:1 | 40:1
Full House 3:1 | 30:1
Flush 2:1 | 2:1
Straight or lesser 1:1 | –
Any Other Pair or Less 1:1

If you are playing at a participating online casino, you will also have the option to place a Jumbo 7 progressive jackpot side bet. If you place this bet and anyone on your table lands a 7-card straight flush, you and anyone else that placed that bet will share the progressive jackpot. Fixed-odds payouts are also available for creating hands that are a straight or better. You can win between 2x and 5000x your bet depending on the hand you create.

Live Caribbean Stud Poker Rules

Caribbean Stud Poker is a 5-card variation of poker that does not involve community cards. After placing your chosen Ante bet and optional 5 + 1 Bonus side bet, the dealer deals five cards to you face-up and five cards to himself with the first face up and the rest face down. At this stage, the results of your 5 + 1 bonus bet are determined. If your five cards and the single face-up card in the dealer’s hand can create three of a kind or better, you win according to the bonus bet paytable,

You now have the option to ‘Call’ at double your Ante bet or to ‘Fold’ and lose your Ante. If you call, the dealer reveals their four face-down cards, and the winner is determined.

The Different Ways to Win at Live Caribbean Stud Poker
  • You win the side bet (if placed) should you create a three of a kind or better from your cards and the face-up card of the dealer. This is irrespective of folding, calling, or the result of the main hand.
  • If the dealer does not have a hand that has a minimum of an A-K combination, you win and are awarded 1 to 1 on your Ante bet. Your ‘Call’ bet is returned to you.
  • If the dealer qualifies and you have the better hand, you win 1 to 1 on your Ante and your Call bet pays according to the paytable.
  • If the dealer qualifies and has a better hand than you, you lose both the Ante and the Call bets.
  • With a tie, it is a push (they return all bets).

Special Features of Caribbean Stud Poker

  • No community cards – Just 5 ‘hole’ cards each
  • A single betting round requiring ‘Call’ or ‘Fold’
  • 5 + 1 Bonus bet is separate and pays before the ‘Call’ stage
  • Minimum qualifying hand for dealer is Ace and King
  • Total Bet RTP is 98.19%

Caribbean Stud Poker Paytable

Poker Hand

Ante & 5 + 1 Bonus
Royal Flush 100:1 | 1.000:1
Straight Flush 50:1 | 200:1
Four of a Kind 25:1 | 100:1
Full House 10:1 | 200:1
Flush 7:1 | 15:1
Straight 5:1 | 10:1
Three of a Kind 3:1 | 7:1
Two Pair 2:1 | –
High Pair or Lower 1:1 | –
Live Pai Gow Poker Rules

The Pai Gow Poker variant is a rare live casino game that gives players a 52-deck card game that takes on the dealer with 2 poker hands using the standard poker hand ranking system, which is a lot of fun. As there is no mathematical edge for the house playing this style of poker, there is usually a 5% commission on all player wins. This creates a house edge is 5% so your RTP is 95% playing Pai Gow Poker.

Players place a single bet each round with no more bet required. Once the bet is sown the player receives 7 face-up cards while the dealer also takes 7 cards but deals them face down. The idea is to create 5-card and 2-card high hands known as the back and up hands, respectively. To win, players must beat the dealer with a 5-card poker hand and a 2-card poker hand at the same time, likewise both dealer/house hands have to win for the player to lose.

With the rules stating that ‘2 hands must win’ or ‘both hands must win’, Pai Gow is a relaxing game with plenty of ‘push’ results which happens quite often. It also makes the game a lot of fun as the dealer and player tussle from one hand to the next in search of a double hand win.

Another point worth noting is that the player has more flexibility over his/her hand compared to the house. The dealer must set the cards in a particular way i.e. the dealer has to use the best 5-card hand possible, while the player has the choice to create a 5-card ‘back hand’ and 2-card front hand as he/she feels will have the best chance of winning both hands.

Features of Live Pai Gow Poker

  • The game uses a 52-card deck
  • Players make a single bet every round
  • Both the player and house receive 7 cards
  • Player and dealer must create 2 high hands
  • 5-card hands use the 5-card poker rank system
  • 2-card hands use poker’s high card rank system
  • Players receive even odds minus 5% commission

How to Win Playing Live Pai Gow Poker

The winner of each round needs to create 2 winning high hands. If the player wins 1 hand and the house wins 1 hand, then the bet is always pushed, and a new hand dealt.

  • The 5-card hand uses the 5-card poker ranking system
  • The 2-card hand uses poker’s high card ranking system
  • If the player beats the dealer with both hands, he/she wins
  • When the player wins, the player receives even odds minus 5% commission
  • All tied rounds result in a push and neither house nor player win or lose
Live 3-Card Poker Rules

For fast-paced poker action, Live 3-Card Poker is the game to play. During the base game, all you need to do is create a better hand than the dealer. You could even win with a high card. After placing your ante, the dealer deals three cards to you and three cards to himself all face-up. The winner is determined there and then. Should that be you, you get 1 to 1 on your ante bet.

There are bonuses to look out for, though. Firstly, you win an additional bonus if you create a three of a kind or straight flush. Additionally, there are two optional side bets that you can place at the start of each hand.   The ‘Pair Plus’ and ‘6 Card Bonus’ side bets are separate from the main result and payout according to the paytable.

Ways to Win in 3-Card Poker
  • If the dealer does not qualify with a minimum Queen-high in their hand, you win 1 to 1 on your Ante bet and your call bet is returned.
  • Should the dealer qualify but your hand is better, you win 1 to 1 on both the Ante and Call bets.
  • If you decide to ‘Call’ and create a 3 of a Kind, or Straight Flush, you win 4 to 1, or 5 to 1, respectively. This is not dependent on the outcome of the hand.
  • If the dealer qualifies and has a better hand, you lose all bets placed unless you create one of the above two hands.
  • If a tie occurs, they return all bets.
  • The ‘6-Card side’ bet involves creating a hand using both the player’s and dealer’s cards. It requires a minimum of 3 of a Kind to win. Winning this bet is not dependent on the main result of the hand.
  • You win the ‘Pair Plus’ side bet with any hand that is at least a pair. They give you a return as per the paytable for that hand. Winning this bet is not dependent on the main result of the hand.

Special Features of Live 3-Card Poker

  • Fast-paced 3-card poker game
  • Ante Bonus and two optional side bets.
  • Wins from side bets are not reliant on winning the hand
  • Ante bet gives a 96.63% RTP
  • Base game winnable with just a high card

Paytable for Live 3-Card Poker

Poker Hand

Ante Bonus & Pair Plus Bonus & 6 Card Bonus
Mini Royal Flush — | — | 1000 to 1
Straight Flush 5 to 1 | 40 to 1 | 200 to 1
Four of a Kind — | — | 50 to 1
Full House — | — | 50 to 1
Flush — | — | 25 to 1
Straight — | 5 to 1 | 10 to 1
Three of a kind 4 to 1 | 30 to 1 | 5 to 1
A Pair — | 1 to 1 | —
Live Dealers at the Poker Tables

Playing poker in a live casino format is truly exciting. A fully trained and professional dealer controls the game in front of your eyes, and you place the bets using your desktop or mobile device. They stream the action to your device in real-time via high definition webcam technology. Using an overlay interface, you control your bets and actions. That interface also automatically determines the result of each game and takes your bets or gives you your winnings.

Furthermore, to add to the entertainment, you are not the only one playing. Although there is just one seat, all other players at the table are playing their own game using the same cards. A chat function allows players to communicate, which just adds to the playing experience. You can even speak to the dealer who will reply via his microphone.

Live Dealer Poker Facts

  • Fully trained professional dealers
  • Chat functions allow you to converse with other players
  • Some tables are multilingual
  • You play against the dealer only
Tips and Tricks When Playing Live Poker

Live poker differs from the poker you may play at home with your friends. There is no ability to bluff, look for tells, or make calls depending on the bets your opponents placed. You should play live dealer poker with a more mathematical approach. Practise a good bankroll management strategy to ensure that you are not risking too much per hand.

Another tip would be to understand the minimum qualifying hand a dealer requires and make your decisions according to them. For example, in Caribbean Stud Poker, the dealer needs a minimum of A-K to qualify, that means you should always ‘Call’ if you have a pair and fold if you cannot beat that hand.

The key to winning any live dealer poker game is to employ an optimum playing strategy. Play to the odds and you will stand a greater chance of winning.

5 Live Dealer Poker Tips

  • Understand the rules of the game you are playing
  • Learn when to fold
  • Practice sensible bankroll management
  • Play to the odds and not to gut-feeling
  • Know the hand-rankings for each game
Questions and Answers About Live Poker

💡 Are there live poker tables with a casino bonus?

There are plenty of live casinos that have bonus deals for casino games. As long as the terms and conditions of the bonus include poker tables, then you can claim the bonus deal and use your bonus money on the designated live poker tables. However, there is usually a low percentage of the bet contributed towards the bonus.

💡 Can I play live casino poker games versus other players via webcam?

Live dealer poker games streamed via webcams do not offer multi-player tables. You can play on the same table as other players at the same time but you will all be playing versus the house.

💡 What is Live Casino Hold’em?

Casino Hold’em uses the Texas Hold’em poker variant and you play your hand versus the dealer. As with all Texas Hold’em games, you receive 2 hole cards which you will need to match up with 5 cards dealt on the table. The dealer places the 5 cards on the table in stages with betting rounds in between each. From a total of 7 cards (2 hole cards and 5 cards on the table), you will need to make the strongest 5-card poker hand that beats the dealer’s 5 card hand.

💡 What is Live Caribbean Stud Poker?

This variant of poker is perhaps one of the fastest variants out there. You play versus the house and you will need to place an ante to receive your cards. Both you and the dealer receive 5 cards each. You will only see 1 of the dealer’s 5 cards while all your cards are face up. You have to decide whether you want to continue by adding another bet to force the dealer to show his/her hand. The best 5 card poker hand wins as long the dealer qualifies.

💡 What is Ultimate Live Casino Texas Hold’em Poker?

This variant of poker is often found in casinos and comes with a progressive jackpot. You pay an ante then compete against the dealer by adding more bets to continue the hand. By landing higher hands such as the royal flush, you can receive higher payouts – for example the royal flush pays 500 to 1.

💡 What is Live Texas Hold’em Bonus Poker?

On this variant of poker, you play versus the house in much the same way as other live dealer hold’em games. You have a flop, turn, and river and betting rounds for each stage with the chance to fold at any point. An added bonus, or incentive if you will,  to this style of live poker is the side bet which gives you a bonus chance at winning a progressive jackpot.

💡 What is 3 Card Poker or 3 Card Bragg

Some live dealer studios call 3 Card Poker 3 Card Bragg. They are the same poker game and on this variant of poker, you need to beat the dealer’s 3-card hand with your 3-card hand. The hand ranking changes slightly because there are 3 cards, and as such probabilities change versus the 5-card versions of poker. There are also different payout tables for your hands.

💡 Are there other variants of live poker available?

Yes, you can play Pai Gow Poker, which is a fun variant of poker on which you play 2 hands versus the dealer. 2 Hand Texas Hold’em is another popular live poker table giving you 2 hands to play versus the dealer.

💡 Can I play live poker on my mobile and desktop devices?

With advanced HTML5 technology in place, you can open many of the live poker games provided by the top live casino software providers on any web browsers. That means your web browser on your desktop, smartphone, tablet, or laptop devices whether they run Windows, iOS, Linux, Blackberry, or Android.

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