Casino Hold'em is a simplified casino version of the hugely popular poker game Texas Hold'em, with the major difference being that it is played only between the dealer and the player. Like in the traditional poker form of Texas Hold'em, you must decide whether you think you can beat the dealer by making the best possible 5 card hand out of the 7 cards dealt. You also have the opportunity of playing an 'Aces or better' side bet if you’re feeling lucky for a shot at extra winnings.
The game begins with the player making an ante bet as well as an optional AA or better side bet. You and the dealer then are each dealt two cards and the 'flop' of three shared cards are dealt to the middle of the table. Two options are then presented to you - you can either fold, forfeiting your ante bet and possible AA side bet, or you can call by placing an additional bet which is equal to double your ante. The 'turn' and 'river' cards are then dealt to the centre of the table and each player makes the best five card hand possible out of the seven cards shown. Four results are possible:
The pair of aces or better side bet adds an interesting element. When making your bet, you may choose to place between $1 and $50 in the AA pot. If you end up making a pair of aces or better, you receive either sevenfold or twenty-fivefold your bet. As usual with table game side bets, the house edge is considerably higher on the aces or better bet.
Calculating an optimal strategy for this game is very difficult as the optimal decision is based on the combination of all seven cards dealt. Unlike a regular game of Texas Hold'em Poker, you should only be looking to fold the worst 18% of hands - playing tight will not win you this game! The following rules help: