Texas Hold’em has got to be the most popular version of poker in the world. If you are new to the game you have likely seen the big money tournaments on TV and featured in movies. Who can’t forget the classic Casino Royale movie with Bond playing high stakes hold’em against the villainous Le Chiffre.
While Ultimate Texas Hold’em has similarities to the traditional game with its gameplay and hand rankings it’s much easier to learn and play as well as being faster paced.
If you are an Ultimate Texas Hold’em raw beginner or have played a few games and it’s just not working out for you then learning these basic fundamentals could give you the edge at the casino.
Here are the 13 things you should know before playing ultimate Texas Hold’em
Don't Tilt When Playing Ultimate Texas Hold'em
Have you ever heard the term ’tilt’ before? A player who tilts when playing poker is one who gets frustrated when they have had some bad luck and they let it adversely affect their actions during a game. The reasons could be things that are happening in the game, usually a run of bad luck or external stressors such as an argument with your partner or your boss being a jerk at work.
This will usually result in distracted and aggressive play and in most instances you’ll come away from the game a loser. Even experienced Texas Hold’em players will tilt from time to time but they will know to walk away from the game or turn off their computer and destress for a bit before they let their emotions rue the day. So the top thing to know before you play Ultimate Texas Hold’em is how to keep your cool.
You Are Competing Against the Dealer Not Other Players
While Ultimate Texas Hold’Em has similarities to other poker games one of the reasons it is easy and entertaining to play is that you don’t have to worry about what the other players are up to. You just have to beat the dealer’s hand to win. You don’t need to read tells or notice if other players are bluffing and you don’t need to try to guess what cards they have in their hands. This leaves you to concentrate on your own hand and not worry about what other players are holding.
Unlike Regular Texas Hold'Em There is No Rake
If you’ve played poker before you’ll probably understand what rake is. With most poker games such as regular Texas Hold’Em, Omaha, Seven Card Stud, and Draw Poker the house turns a profit by taking a percentage of the pot. Ultimate Texas Hold’Em is different as the house profits from having a mathematical advantage built into the game. This house edge in Ultimate Texas Holdem is 2.18% which is better than many casino games.
Start with Small Bets
Before the hand begins in Ultimate Texas Hold’Em you must post an ante and blind bet. The bet must be the same amount for both of these and it is the base bet for other wagers as the hand proceeds. For this reason we recommend when you first start out bet small amounts to make your bankroll go further. As you get more confident you can up your stakes and place higher bets.
Work on Your Player Skills
If you learn some basic strategy and don’t play too aggressively you will narrow the odds. For those players who know when they should hold their cards and fold’em the house edge is 2.18% of your opening ante which compares favourably against other table games such as roulette. These odds give you a reasonable chance of winning as long as you play optimally.
The Best 5 Cards From a Total of 7 Make Up Your Hand
Ultimate Texas Hold’Em is a community card poker version similar to the regular version and games like Omaha. You will be dealt two cards face down and only you can make use of them. The other cards which are dealt are the community cards and can be used by any players and the dealer’s hand. They are played in two turns, starting with three cards and then two.
You Have to Make Ante and Blind Bets
The blind and ante bets are obligatory before you can be dealt a hand. The bets are required to be the same amount if you stake $10 on the ante you must place $10 on the blind. The ante bet is required for you to compete against the dealer and the blind is paid out for a straight or better.
You Have Three More Chances to Make a Bet
Once your initial two cards have been dealt you can bet three or four times the Ante. Once the initial three community cards are dealt if you didn’t place the three or four times bet you can wager two times your ante. You have the last chance to bet when the final two community cards have been dealt this time equal to the Ante.
You Don't Need To Bet or Fold Until All The Cards Have Been Dealt.
In other poker games if the players bet and you don’t call them you are obliged to fold. In Ultimate Texas Hold’Em you can stay in the game right until the last community card is dealt with. At that point you have the option of folding and losing your ante or betting that you have a superior hand to the dealer.
The Dealer Must Make a Qualifying Hand To Win
The dealer must have at least a pair to qualify if he doesn’t your Ante will become a push and be refunded. If the dealer has a pair or better he will qualify and you need to beat that hand to secure an even money bet.
Winning bets for ante and play are paid at 1:1. So if your initial ante was $10 and you made the 4x bet of $40 and you beat the dealer you win $10 for the ante and $40 for the play bet.
Win Up to 500:1 with a Royal Flush With the Blind Bet
Whether the dealer opens or not blind bets will payout following a pay-table.
The winning hands and payouts are; Straight 1:1, Flush 3:2, Full House 3:1, Four of a Kind 10:1, Straight Flush 50:1, and the big win Royal Flush at 500:1.
Play the Optional Trips Bet to win up to 50:1
The trips bets is an additional side bet that you can make, betting that your hand will make at least three of a kind. The problem with trips bets is that the pay tables aren’t always the same at every casino. They all have the three of a kind as the minimum bet to qualify at 3:1 and the Royal Flush at 50:1. But the other qualifying bets will vary so one casino might payout 9:1 for a full house and another 7:1 giving the house a distinct advantage.
Avoid The Other Side Bets
Sometimes you’ll find other side bets that you can make at both live and online casinos when you play ultimate Texas Hold’em. Apart from the trips bet most of the bets give the house a huge advantage so they are best avoided. The only bet that might be worth making is when there are progressive jackpots. This will all be down to personal preference as the chances of winning are rare and you might in the long term lose money if you don’t ever hit the jackpot.