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Last Updated: September 8, 2015

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Bet on Poker

Introduction

Bet on Poker is a live-dealer game found at some Internet live dealer studios. It is a cross between Texas Hold 'Em and a horse race. There are six numbered players, and bettors may wager on who will win as well as the poker value of the winning hand. The game allows for in-progress betting as the cards are dealt.

This is a nice, slow, mindless way to gamble. The best part is the game is dealt by lovely live dealers via a webcam who keep the game entertaining and keep it moving.

Live dealer brands where I have seen Bet on Poker are Bet Construct, BetGames, and TvBet.

Rules

  1. The game is based on standard Texas Hold 'Em rules, which I assume the reader is already familiar with.
  2. There are six numbered positions the dealer delivers cards to. All six positions play until the end. In other words, there is no folding.
  3. Before the first card is dealt, the player may bet on the winning position as well as the poker value of the winning hand.
  4. After this initial round of betting, the dealer will deal each position two cards face up.
  5. The odds will be recalibrated and the players may bet again.
  6. After the second round of betting, the dealer will deal the flop.
  7. Again, the odds are recalibrated and there is another round of betting.
  8. After the third round of betting, the dealer will deal the turn.
  9. The odds are recalibrated a final time for the last round of betting.
  10. The river card is dealt, the winning player(s) and poker value of the winning hand(s) are identified, and winners are paid.
  11. In the event of two or more winning positions, it is my understanding that both are paid in full.
 

Winning Position Bets

There are six bets available on the winning position. As mentioned in the rules, if two or more players tie, then I believe that the odds are still paid in full. I welcome correction on this if I'm wrong.

 

Let's start by looking at the initial state of the game, before any cards are dealt. The odds offered on each position are 5.2 for 1 at all three Live Dealer brands. According to my analysis, the probability of a tie is 7.214% and the average number of players involved in a tie is 2.227. What is important is that the probability that any given position will win, or tie for the win, is 18.142%. At 5.2 odds, the return on this bet at this initial state is 94.34%. In other words, a house edge of 5.66%.

For betting after the flop, I show the return stays about the same at BetGames, but drops significantly at Bet Construct and TvBet. After a lot of number crunching, here is the overall return I get after the hole cards are dealt:

  • Bet Construct: 90.0%
  • BetGames: 94.4%
  • TvBet: 89.4%

These returns are consistent between all three rounds the hole cards are dealt — before flop, after flop, and after the turn.

Example

Using my Texas Hold 'Em Calculator, I next did an analysis of a randomly selected games after the initial cards were dealt and before the flop. Here is an example from Bet Construct.

Winning Hand Bet — Analysis before Flop — Bet Construct

Player Cards Pays Prob. Win Prob. Tie Return
1 Qh, 8c 3.43 0.2354 0.0221 0.8832
2 5s, 2s 5.4 0.1493 0.0202 0.9153
3 6d, 4s 6 0.0147 0.1385 0.9192
4 8h, 2d 14.5 0.0235 0.0397 0.9164
5 As, 9h 2.75 0.3274 0.0026 0.9075
6 6c, 4c 4.2 0.0741 0.1385 0.8929
 

The returns ranged from 88.32% to 91.92%, with an average of 90.58%.

Next, I looked at the odds after the flop, which were as follows.

Winning Hand Bet — Analysis after Flop — Bet Construct

Player Cards Pays Prob. Win Prob. Tie Return
1 Qh8c 5.9 0.1186 0.0330 0.8944
2 5s2s 4.11 0.1291 0.0901 0.9009
3 6d4s 2.2 0.0000 0.4099 0.9018
4 8h2d 7.65 0.0000 0.1171 0.8958
5 As9h 4.91 0.1772 0.0060 0.8995
6 6c4c 1.94 0.0541 0.4099 0.9002
 

The returns ranged from 89.44% to 90.18%, with an average of 89.88%.

Finally, I looked at the odds after the turn, which were as follows.

Winning Hand Bet — Analysis after Turn — Bet Construct

Player Cards Pays Prob. Win Prob. Tie Return
1 Qh8c 2.03 0.4444 0.0000 0.9021
2 5s2s 2.95 0.2500 0.0556 0.9015
3 6d4s 5.4 0.0000 0.1667 0.9002
4 8h2d 16 0.0000 0.0556 0.8896
5 As9h 10.5 0.0833 0.0000 0.8747
6 6c4c 5.4 0.0000 0.1667 0.9002
 

The returns ranged from 87.47% to 90.21%, with an average of 89.47%.

The average return after the initial cards were dealt on the example game above was 89.97%. I analyzed a second game which came in at an average return of 89.09%. Given the much higher returns of 95.72% at the initial state of the game, I would recommend sticking with that and then just enjoying the horse race.

High Hand Bet

The High Hand bet is actually ten different bets on the poker value of the winning hand. The following table shows the posted odds at the initial state of the game, before any cards are dealt. These pays are the same at all three known brands to offer Bet on Poker. The amounts in the "pays" column are on a "for one" basis. In other words, this is the total amount returned to the winners.

High Hand Bet

Hand Pays
Royal Flush 100
Straight Flush 100
Four of a kind 80
Full House 8.7
Flush 8.7
Straight 5.7
Three of a kind 6.8
Two pair 3.1
Pair 5.8
High card 100
 

I wrote a simulation to determine the probability of the final winning hand given six players. The following table shows those probabilities and the expected return to the player of each bet.

High Hand Bet — Analysis

Hand Pays Probability Return
Royal Flush 100 0.000186 0.018625
Straight Flush 100 0.001565 0.156451
Four of a kind 80 0.008874 0.709918
Full House 8.7 0.109234 0.950339
Flush 8.7 0.108291 0.942128
Straight 5.7 0.165917 0.945727
Three of a kind 6.8 0.139101 0.945884
Two pair 3.1 0.305116 0.945858
Pair 5.8 0.161189 0.934896
High card 100 0.000528 0.052818

The returns range from a high of 95.03% for a flush to a low of 1.86% for a royal flush. That is not a misprint. In other words, the house edge is 98.14% on a winning hand of a royal.

I had to pause for a moment when I saw that figure and make sure I wasn't dreaming. In my 19 years writing about casino gambling, this sets a new record for the worst bet I have ever seen. The previous record was held by Harrah's Las Vegas for their "Pick-10 Stimulus" ticket, with a house edge of 96.63%.

As mentioned in the rules, the odds are recalibrated as the cards are shown. However, I have noticed the odds never get better than 100 for 1. I did not analyze any mid-state probabilities for the High Hand bet. However, my advice, based on the table above, would be to avoid any long shot bets, especially when the win is capped at 100 to 1.

Bet Construct Images

 

Bet on Poker 1

 

 

Bet on Poker 2

 

 

Bet on Poker 3

 

 

Bet on Poker 4

 

 

Bet on Poker 5

 

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