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Last Updated: February 23, 2019

Hold 'em 88

Introduction

Hold 'em 88 is the same game as Ultimate Texas Hold 'Em with a new side bet, the 88 Bonus. The game began a field trial at the Lake Tahoe Hard Rock on February 8, 2019.

Rules

As mentioned in the introduction, the only difference between Hold 'Em 88 and Ultimate Texas Hold 'Em is the former adds a side bet called the 88 Bonus. It also changes the name of the Trips bet to the Seven Card Bonus and the Play bet to the "Bet" bet. Otherwise, the rest is the same. The following rules are mostly a copy and paste from my Ultimate Texas Hold 'Em page.

  1. The game is played with a single ordinary 52-card deck.
  2. The player must make an equal bet on both the Ante and Blind, and can also make an optional Seven Card Bonus and 88 Bonus side bets at this time.
  3. Two cards are dealt face down to the player and dealer. The player may look at his own cards.
  4. The player can check or make a Bet wager equal to three or four times the Ante.
  5. The dealer turns over three community cards.
  6. If the player previously checked, then he may make a Bet wager equal to two times his Ante. If the player already made a Play bet, then he may not bet further.
  7. Two final community cards are turned over.
  8. If the player previously checked twice, then he must either make a Bet wager equal to exactly his Ante, or fold, losing both his Ante and Blind bets. If the player already raised he may not bet further.
  9. The player and dealer will both make the best possible hand using any combination of their own two cards and the five community cards.
  10. The dealer will need at least a pair to open.
  11. The following table shows how the Blind, Ante, and Bet wagers are scored, according to who wins, and whether the dealer opens.

    Scoring Rules

    Winner Dealer Opens Blind Ante Bet
    Player Yes Win Win Win
    Player No Win Push Win
    Dealer Yes Lose Lose Lose
    Dealer No Lose Push Lose
    Tie Yes or No Push Push Push

  12. Winning Ante and Play bets pay 1 to 1. Winning Blind bets pay according to the following pay table.

    Blind Bet Pay Table

    Player Hand Pays
    Royal flush 500 to 1
    Straight flush 50 to 1
    Four of a kind 10 to 1
    Full house 3 to 1
    Flush 3 to 2
    Straight 1 to 1
    All other Push

  13. The Seven Card Bonus and 88 Bonus side bets will pay according to the poker value of the player's hand regardless of the value of the dealer's hand, according to one of the pay tables below.

Analysis

For the analysis of the base game, I will refer you to my Ultimate Texas Hold 'Em page. The bottom line is the house edge, as measure as the ratio of the expected loss to the Ante bet, is 2.185%. The element of risk, as measured by the ratio of the expected loss to the total amount bet, is 0.526%, making it one of the best bets you can make in the casino.

Seven Card Bonus

According to the math report by Aces Up Gaming, there are two pay tables available for the Seven Card Bonus. The following two tables show my analysis of each.

Seven Card Bonus Pay Table 1

Event Pays Combinations Probability Return
Royal flush 50 4,324 0.000032 0.001616
Straight flush 40 37,260 0.000279 0.011140
Four of a kind 30 224,848 0.001681 0.050420
Full house 8 3,473,184 0.025961 0.207688
Flush 7 4,047,644 0.030255 0.211785
Straight 4 6,180,020 0.046194 0.184775
Three of a kind 3 6,461,620 0.048299 0.144896
All other -1 113,355,660 0.847300 -0.847300
Total 133,784,560 1.000000 -0.034979

Seven Card Bonus Pay Table 2

Event Pays Combinations Probability Return
Royal flush 50 4,324 0.000032 0.001616
Straight flush 40 37,260 0.000279 0.011140
Four of a kind 20 224,848 0.001681 0.033613
Full house 7 3,473,184 0.025961 0.181727
Flush 6 4,047,644 0.030255 0.181530
Straight 5 6,180,020 0.046194 0.230969
Three of a kind 3 6,461,620 0.048299 0.144896
All other -1 113,355,660 0.847300 -0.847300
Total 133,784,560 1.000000 -0.061808

Here is a summary of the house edge of each pay table:

  • 50-40-30-8-7-4-3 — 3.50%
  • 50-40-20-7-6-5-3 — 6.18%

88 Bonus

According to the math report by Aces Up Gaming, there are two pay tables available for the Seven Card Bonus. The following two tables show my analysis of each.

88 Bonus Pay Table 1

Event Pays Combinations Probability Return
Four 8's with pocket 8's 200 103,776 0.000037 0.007388
Any other four 8's 100 259,440 0.000092 0.009234
Pocket 8's 30 12,608,784 0.004488 0.134638
Three 8's 20 14,009,760 0.004987 0.099732
Two 8's 4 205,476,480 0.073137 0.292548
One 8 in the hole 2 294,516,288 0.104830 0.209659
All other -1 2,282,501,232 0.812430 -0.812430
Total 2,809,475,760 1.000000 -0.059230

88 Bonus Pay Table 2

Event Pays Combinations Probability Return
Four 8's with pocket 8's 200 103,776 0.000037 0.007388
Any other four 8's 100 259,440 0.000092 0.009234
Pocket 8's 30 12,608,784 0.004488 0.134638
Three 8's 20 14,009,760 0.004987 0.099732
Two 8's 5 205,476,480 0.073137 0.365685
One 8 in the hole 1 294,516,288 0.104830 0.104830
All other -1 2,282,501,232 0.812430 -0.812430
Total 2,809,475,760 1.000000 -0.090923

Here is a summary of the house edge of each pay table:

  • 200-100-30-20-4-2 — 5.92%
  • 200-100-30-20-5-1 — 9.09%

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External LinksDiscussion about Hold 'Em 88 in my forum at Wizard of Vegas.


Written by: Michael Shackleford

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