Casino Hold'em Guide

Casino Hold'em, also known as Caribbean Hold'em, is not one of the best known casino games. This is at least partly because it is reasonably new, having only been invented in 2000. The game was first introduced to casinos in Egypt, South Africa, and Russia, by its inventor Stephen Au-Yeung, and soon began to spread to other regions. It can now be found in casinos in most parts of the world.

The majority of online casinos offer Casino Hold'em too, which has helped its popularity to increase in recent years. It's got some way to go to be as popular as traditional casino games such as blackjack and roulette, but more and more players are trying (and enjoying) the game.

Below you will find some more information about this game. We've covered the basics, the hand rankings, and the rules. We've also briefly touched on some of the strategy involved.

Game Basics

Casino Hold'em is essentially based on the popular poker variant Texas Hold'em. The goal is to create the best possible five card poker hand, using a combination of two cards that are dealt to you (your hole cards) and five community cards. The fundamental difference is that you are not playing against other players, but are playing against the house instead.

The game is played with a standard deck of 52 cards, and the rules are easy enough to learn. We'll explain those in more detail later. As with any casino game, this is ultimately a game of a chance where you need luck on your side to win. There is, however, some strategy involved as you do have to make decisions which can affect the outcome of your hands.

Hand Rankings

The hand rankings used in Casino Hold'em are the standard five card poker hand rankings. If you are not familiar with these, please refer to the following.

Rules For Playing

The rules for playing Casino Hold'em are really quite straightforward. Before a hand can start, you must place your initial stake. This is known as your ante bet. The dealer will then deal two cards to you (your hole cards), and two cards to himself. Your cards will be face up, while the dealer's will be face down. There will also be three further cards dealt face up to the table. These are the community cards.

At this point you must decide whether you want to call or fold. It is important to note that there are still two more community cards to be dealt. If you choose to fold, then you basically forfeit the hand and your initial ante bet. Your hand is then finished. If you choose to call, then you must place an additional call bet. Your call bet must be twice the size of your initial bet. For example, if you placed an ante bet of $10 and wanted to call, you would have to stake a further $20.

Once you have placed your call bet, a further two community cards are dealt face up to the table. You must now make the best five card poker hand you can, using any combination of your hole cards and the community cards. The dealer will do the same, and the two hands are compared. The dealer must have at least a pair of fours in order to qualify.

The following rules apply once the hands are compared.

Pay tables will vary from one casino to another. The following is an example of a typical one.



Royal Flush 100:1
Straight Flush 20:1
For of a Kind 10:1
Full House 3:1
Flush 2:1
Straight or Lower 1:1

Side Bets

There is usually an optional side bet you can make at Casino Hold'em. This is generally known as the "AA Bonus Bet". Typically you will be able to stake as much as you want on this (within the table limits), although at some places you will be limited to however much is staked on your initial ante bet.

The side bet is based on your five card poker hand after the initial deal, when you have your two hole cards and three community cards have been dealt. If you can make a pair of aces, or better, you win the bet. Payouts for this also vary at different casinos. 7:1 is fairly standard for a pair of aces up to a straight, with higher payouts for the stronger hands. Some casinos may pay a jackpot for a royal flush.

Casino Hold'em Strategy

Casino Hold'em strategy is basically about knowing when to fold and when to call. That is the only decision you have to make which can affect the outcome of the hand. There are a few things you need to consider when making this decision, such as how strong your hand is and the potential for the remaining community cards to improve it when they are dealt.

Please see our Casino Hold'em strategy page for more information.