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Basic Rules of Casino Poker

As in any other casino card game where the player plays against the dealer, like blackjack, the dealer plays according to the house rules. There’s no option for the dealers to choose how to play their hands since they simply play by the rules set down in the game and by the casino. This also means that many of the strategies you’ll normally use in “real” poker, such as bluffing and adjusting your bets based on the way you read other players, don’t apply here. In this sense, casino poker is much more a game of luck than a game of skill when compared to playing poker against other players.

Poker is one of the most popular casino games in both brick-and-mortar and online casinos, and there are now many versions of it. But, the number one online casino poker variant is undoubtedly Casino Hold'em. This is a fantastically designed game that ensures that you are on the edge of your seat. Nevertheless, it is also an easy game to learn and understand. You don’t need years of experience to learn how to play casino poker. Casino Hold’em can be compared to the most popular physical poker variant - Texas Hold'em. The main difference is that in Casino Hold'em you play against the house instead of the other players.

How to Play Casino Poker and Casino Hold’em

Casino Hold'em is played with a standard 52 card deck. To start the game, you may bet on the ante field and make an optional side bet on a double ace, for example. Then, the “face down” takes place. Both the player and the dealer are dealt two cards. Next, the three community cards are revealed for everyone to see.

After receiving the cards, as a player, you can choose to fold or call. In the event of a fold, you have lost the game, and you lose the Ante bet. You determine the Ante before the game itself. In the event of a call, you need to match your wager so that the Ante is doubled. If one or more players at the table make a call, the round continues. The dealer places two extra cards on the table so that there are five cards in total. You can form the best possible five-card poker hand by using any number of cards from your hand and the table.

Who Wins?

Your poker hand is compared to the dealer’s hand. The one with the best hand is ultimately the winner and takes the stake. Each player at the table plays separately against the dealer. The dealer must have at least a pair of 4s to qualify. If the dealer does not succeed, you win the Ante and any extra stake will be pushed to the next round. 

What Are the Card Combinations?

The most important thing you need to remember if you want to learn to play casino poker is the different card combinations. A poker combination always consists of five cards. Here are the best poker hands from strongest to weakest:

  • Royal Flush: A royal flush is formed with five cards from ten to Ace of the same suit
  • Straight Flush: A straight flush is formed with five cards consecutively as a straight and the same suit
  • Four of a Kind: Four cards of the same card value
  • Full House: A full house is formed with three cards of a kind and a pair
  • Flush: A flush is formed with five cards of the same suit
  • Straight: A straight is formed with five consecutive cards and not of the same suit
  • Three of a Kind: Three cards of the same value
  • Two Pair: Two cards of one rank, two cards of another 
  • One Pair: A pair is formed with two similar cards
  • High Card: The highest card without any other combination

How to Play Other Variations of the Game

You’ll be able to find countless variations of casino poker online, each with its own specific set of rules. However, most of them are based on the Texas Hold’em game and follow a similar structure as previously described. So, if you know how to play one version, you won’t have any troubles getting started on any other tables. If you want to find out more about a specific game you can find out more in our extensive game guides on GoodLuckMate. Good Luck at the table!

Difference Between Playing Against Real Players Vs Against a Banker

Newbies often get confused by the difference between online poker networks where they play against other people versus online casino poker. In the latter, players play against the banker or, more precisely, against the software. To make things clearer, we summarized the main differences.

The rules are fundamentally the same and the game follows a similar trajectory. One of the big differences is that in a regular round of poker there’s also a mandatory wager for two players on the table. The “Small Blind” and the “Big Blind”. The reason for this is to encourage players to take a risk and attack the “Blinds” with weaker hands to steal them away. Otherwise, you could just wait until you get the best hand possible without having to play any of your bad hands.

Another difference is that if a player makes a bet, the other players can decide to raise the bet when they think they have a stronger hand or if they simply try to bluff. It is even possible to re-raise the hand. This can go back and forth until a player is “All In”, which often results in an immediate showdown with their whole stake on the line.

Before we finish up, there's another note to make. Some online casino operators as well as game providers may have different rules for their casino poker games. Namely, the payout you get or the return to player may differ even if the game has the same name. So, always make sure to read the fine print before deciding what to play and where you'll play it.

Andreas Schmidt
Andreas Schmidt
Last Update: 13 Mar 2023
Andreas is our go-to guy for anything related to poker or in-depth guides. He's not only a former professional poker player, but he's also been working within the iGaming industry itself since 2014. Casino, Poker and Sports Betting are his main areas of expertise, in addition to anything and everything related to payment processes at online casinos.

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