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Casino Hold 'em
Casino Hold 'Em is a poker variation, similar to Texas Hold 'Em, that is played in Egypt, Russia, South Africa, Holland, Latvia, Estonia, Ireland, Morocco, Malta, Ukraine, Panama, and Romania. It is also available to play online at casinos using Net Gaming, Real Time Gaming, Playtech, Gamesys, and Galewind Software.
The rules are as follows.
- Play begins with each player making an Ante wager.
- The dealer gives the player and himself two hole cards and three community cards face up on the table.
- Each player must decide to either fold or call. If the player folds, then he gives up his cards and his Ante bet. If the player calls, then the Call bet must be equal to two times the Ante bet.
- The dealer will then deal two more community cards, for a total of five. The dealer will then turn over his own two cards.
- Both hands shall be scored according the highest poker value of the two hole cards and five community cards.
- The dealer must have a pair of fours or better to qualify. If the dealer does not qualify then the Ante will pay according to the Ante pay table below and the Call bet will push.
- If the dealer qualifies and beats the player, then the player will lose both the Ante and Call.
- If the dealer qualifies and the player beats the dealer then the Ante will pay according to the Ante pay table below and the Call bet will pay 1 to 1.
- If the dealer qualifies and the player ties the dealer then both Ante and Call bets will push.
Ante Pay Table
|Hand||Table 1||Table 2||Table 3||Table 4|
|4 of a kind||10||12||10||17|
Caribbean Hold 'Em Warning
Be warned that Realtime Gaming has an imitation of this game called Caribbean Hold 'Em. However, they pay 1 to 1 on the Ante if the dealer doesn't qualify, as opposed to the full Ante Bonus pay table. Nowhere is this rule change disclosed in their game rules, I might add.
The following table shows the number of combination, probability, and contribution to the return of all possible outcomes under ante pay table 3, which I'm told is the most frequently used. The lower right cell shows a house edge of 2.16%.
Return Table — Pay Table 3Expand
|Player wins with royal flush||102||736259040||0.000026||0.002700|
|Player has royal flush, dealer doesn't qualify||100||119892960||0.000004||0.000431|
|Player wins with straight flush||22||6001122284||0.000216||0.004747|
|Player has straight flush, dealer doesn't qualify||20||1089672828||0.000039||0.000784|
|Player wins with four of a kind||12||41419896552||0.001489||0.01787|
|Player has four of a kind, dealer doesn't qualify||10||909499320||0.000033||0.000327|
|Player wins with full house||5||589505037660||0.021195||0.105973|
|Player wins with flush||4||505131419580||0.018161||0.072645|
|Player wins with straight or less||3||6426670016572||0.23106||0.693181|
|Player has full house, dealer doesn't qualify||3||24601676832||0.000885||0.002654|
|Player has flush, dealer doesn't qualify||2||168883536432||0.006072||0.012144|
|Player has straight or less, dealer doesn't qualify||1||5521376219148||0.198512||0.198512|
The following return table is four pay table 4. The lower right cell shows a house edge of 0.35%. This pay table can be found at Internet casinos using Gamesys N.V. software titled "Casino Hold 'Em with Zero House Edge." As you can see, the "Zero House Edge" part is a misnomer. The player must pay a 10% commission on any net gambling win per session. A "session" ends after a period of one hour with no bet or 24 hours, whichever happens first.
The owner of Casino Hold 'Em wishes for me to state that Gamesys N.V. is using his game without permission.
Return Table — Pay Table 4Expand
|Player wins with royal flush||102||736,259,040||0.000026||0.002700|
|Player has royal flush, dealer doesn't qualify||100||119,892,960||0.000004||0.000431|
|Player wins with straight flush||51||6,031,161,932||0.000217||0.011059|
|Player has straight flush, dealer doesn't qualify||49||1,096,758,936||0.000039||0.001932|
|Player wins with four of a kind||19||41,421,337,056||0.001489||0.028295|
|Player has four of a kind, dealer doesn't qualify||17||909,634,104||0.000033||0.000556|
|Player wins with full house||5||589,638,417,816||0.021199||0.105997|
|Player wins with flush||4||505,727,272,920||0.018183||0.072730|
|Player wins with straight or less||3||6,429,871,396,516||0.231175||0.693526|
|Player has full house, dealer doesn't qualify||3||24,601,738,176||0.000885||0.002654|
|Player has flush, dealer doesn't qualify||2||169,051,416,912||0.006078||0.012156|
|Player has straight or less, dealer doesn't qualify||1||5,526,154,486,512||0.198684||0.198684|
I would like to thank Stephen How of Discount Gambling for supplying the combinations in pay table 4.
The only pay tables fully analyzed are 3 and 4, because it takes my computer about a month to cycle through all possible combinations. However, assuming the player was following optimal strategy under pay table 3 but playing under pay table 1 or 2, the house edge under pay table 1 would be 2.40%, and under pay table 2 would be 1.96%. The actual house edge under pay tables 1 and 2 would be slightly less or equal to these figures.
Unfortunately, there is no easy way to quantify optimal strategy for this game. I can say that the optimal strategy player will raise 82% of the time. So only in the worst 18% of hands should the player fold. In general these are when the player has two singletons in the hole that are low compared to the flop, with little or no chance for a straight or flush.
The only side bet I am aware of for this game is known as the AA+. It pays based on the poker value of the player's hand after the flop. There are three known pay tables, as follows:
|Hand||Pay Table 1||Pay Table 2||Pay Table 3|
|4 of a kind||25||40||40|
|Three of a kind||7||7||8|
|Pair of aces||7||7||7|
Pay tables 1 and 2 can be found in land casinos. Pay table 3 is used by Internet casinos using Gamesys software.
As an example, following is the full return table for Pay Table 1.
AA+ Side Bet — Pay Table 1
|4 of a kind||25||624||0.000240||0.006002|
|Three of a kind||7||54912||0.021128||0.147899|
|Pair of aces||7||84480||0.032505||0.227537|
The above analysis was performed using a brute force combinatorial program that analyzed all 27,813,810,024,000 possible outcomes, and played every hand according to optimal player strategy. It took my computers about a month to crank though the 27.8 trillion hands.
The web site for Casino Hold'em, as well as other games, is www.casinopokergames.com.
There is a good Casino Hold 'Em calculator at beatingbonuses.com.
Written by: Michael Shackleford