Live Casino Poker strategies

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Live casino poker is a relatively new addition to the Online Casino world despite having similarities with other game variants. Two of the most popular are Casino Hold’em and Ultimate Texas Hold’em. These two games and their environment closely resemble the action of a land-based casino.

Although our focus is Casino Hold’em and Ultimate Hold’em, be aware of other live poker variants like Live Caribbean Stud and Live Three Card Poker. The games share commonalities that diverge somewhat when it comes to making a bet. You participate in the betting in Ultimate Texas Hold’em up until the end. The choice of game is ultimately up to you but remember that here at Mr Green Live Casino, we have them both.

poker mechanics

A How-To Guide on Live Poker

Live casino poker represents one of the most exciting variants of all Poker games, taking the game to an entirely new level. As in the case of classic Texas Hold’em, the goal is to assemble the best five-card hand that you can with the help of community and hole cards.

The game commences by making a starting bet that is called the ‘ante’ bet, which is not unlike the blind in Texas Hold’em. You can make a side bet if you choose, which we’ll tell you about soon.

Next, the dealer will deal out two cards each to you and him/herself in addition to three ‘community’ cards (the flop) on the table. These cards are shared by both you and the dealer, and you must assemble the highest-value hand of five cards that you can. You’ll need to evaluate your hand to see if you like it or not. If it’s the latter, remember that when the dealer has added two community cards on the table, your opinion may change. You must ‘call’ to continue playing, which is another way of saying that you must make another bet. If you don’t see any potential value in the hand you’ve got, then you can ‘fold’, forfeiting your ante.

By calling, you effectively double the ante value. After the dealer has placed the final two cards down (called ‘turn’ and ‘river’), you both reveal your cards. The hands are then compared to see who is holding the better one.

Table: Ranking Card Handss

Rank Hand Description
A Royal Flush Straight flush from 10-Ace
A Straight Flush Straight, but with each card from one suit
4 of a Kind Hand includes 4 of the same value cards
A Full House Hand combines 3 of a kind and a pair
A Flush Hand includes 5 cards from the same suit
A Straight Hand with 5 cards in sequence, but not from the same suit
3 of a Kind Hand includes 3 of the same value cards
Two pairs Hand includes 2 sets of 2 cards of the same value
One pair Hand includes 2 of the same value cards
A High card A high-value card without forming any of the above hands

Side bets

Arguably, there is no side bet as familiar as the ‘Pair Plus’ bet, where you make an additional wager that your hand will at least form a pair. Some variants will require two aces, called an AA bet. Later on, we discuss the merits of making side bets.

Ultimate Texas Hold ’em offers exclusive side bets, which includes Trips Bonus Bet. It has a house edge equal to 1.9% and pays out regardless of whether you have a winning hand. This side bet is one of the more popular features with payouts as follows:

Poker Hand Payout
Royal Flush 50-1
Straight Flush 40-1
Four of a Kind 30-1
Three of a Kind 8-1
Full House 8-1
Flush 6-1
Straight 5-1

Alternatively, the progressive jackpot is another Ultimate Texas Hold’em exclusive, which adds a whole level of excitement. You’ll typically find two tiers of progressive Jackpots, one of which is small and the other is big.

Small Progressive Jackpot

You need at least a hole card to make a qualifying hand to take the small progressive Jackpot. As is always the case, a Royal Flush hand has the highest payout, which would reward you with the whole jackpot. If your hand forms a straight flush or a four of a kind, you can also be eligible to win a small progressive Jackpot.

Big progressive Jackpot

Winning a big progressive jackpot can be done with the same hands as in a small progressive Jackpot. Only this time, you cannot use hole cards. A qualifying hand must appear on the flop. As you’d expect, the chances of hitting the big jackpot are much lower relative to a small progressive jackpot.

The odds on Live Casino Poker

Although the house edge of just over 2% is better than the bulk of casino table games, it does not assure you of winning. Still, knowing the odds allows you to choose a game that can maximize your chances to win.

While it is in your interest to familiarize yourself with Plus Bets, the fact that they come with a higher house edge would, in theory, suggest that they are best avoided. Recall that the house edge of live casino poker is a tad over 2%, but can rise considerably, for example, with a Pair Plus bet of 6.26%/6.40%. The precise odds are dependent on the paytable.

In Live Casino Poker, the best strategy is an aggressive one where you’re raising your bet 80% of the time. Treat the game as you would in heads-up in Texas Hold’em, playing further hands than usual against several players.

The following hole cards dictate that you should raise:

  • A hand containing an Ace
  • Five or higher and an unsuited King
  • Eight or higher and an unsuited Queen
  • Suited King with any other card
  • Six or higher with a suited Queen
  • Eight or higher with a suited Jack
  • Pair of threes or higher

live poker games

Elementary Live Poker Tips

The strategy used in Texas Hold’em is the same one that you would use in Live Poker. Strategies that you won’t be able to use in live poker is the bluff or reading other players. Effectively, you’ll have to rely on alternatives, so we’ve got some elementary tips to get you going.

Understand the Basics of Poker

Ensure that you understand the basics of standard poker before attempting Live Casino Poker, including the basic strategy of the classic game. Live Poker is not as challenging a game as some other variants since it eliminates the need to bluff or read players. Still, you don’t want to go into a game unprepared.

Know when to Fold’em

You don’t play poker to fold, but there are times in Live Poker where it’s advisable to do so. Take a look at your hole cards, and if they’re weak, then it’s probably time to cut your losses and wait for a better hand.

Know when to Hold’em

After the flop’s dealt and you have a hand that you can at least work with, keep betting and playing out your hand. A scenario like this does not call for you to fold. In a game played only against the dealer, the odds of winning are better than they would be in standard poker, particularly with a good flop and decent hold cards.

Always Call if you can Pair with the Flop

If you can form a pair by combining a hold card with a flop card, then the correct course of action is to call. The same is true when your cards make a flush draw or inside straight draw.

Focus on your Strategy

The pattern of the dealer’s play is pre-determined so that there is a prescribed course of action for each hand that they’re holding. Since no bluffing is involved, focus on your strategy instead, and making the most out of the cards.

Limit Setting

Always control your betting since the last thing you want to happen is to go overboard and end up draining your player account quickly. While it’s true that Live Poker is easier than the standard variant, don’t underestimate how quickly you can lose your money, particularly if you lose control. Establish a hard limit on what you can afford to lose. Also, keep your winnings separate from your bankroll.

Playing a Flush Draw

Always raise the bet in a flush draw even when holding low-card singles. There’s a chance of hitting a flush, and the dealer may fail to qualify even if the cards don’t progress as hoped.

Playing a Straight Draw

We give the same advice here where you should raise the bet despite holding low-card singles that promise a chance to form a straight. Call the bet, as the dealer might bust even if you don’t hit the straight.

Playing with Jack High

You should rarely ever fold Jack high, even more rarely should you fold Queen high, and never the equivalent or higher of a King high.

Playing Slow

If you want to cut the house edge, then you should slow down your game, which will not only allow you to enjoy every moment but reduce the chance of making a mistake.

Practice makes Perfect

Although the expression of practice and perfection has been beaten to death, it does not make it any less accurate. Here at Mr Green Online Casino, you can find online poker that allows you to play in practice mode. These risk-free versions will let you refine your game and work on your strategy without putting any cash on the line.

Accepting Bonuses

New players to Mr Green will find a generous welcome bonus of up to $100 to greet them. We don’t believe in looking a gift horse in the mouth, and we don’t think you should either. Consider this bonus money to be the land-based casino equivalent of comps. Aside from this, we’ve also offer regular promotions to existing players, so keep your eyes peeled.

Play via the Mr Green Live Casino App

Aside from instant play on desktop, you can also play Mr Green Live Casino in a web browser or on our mobile casino app powered by Android, iPhone and iPads. Regardless of the platform, there are no differences in rules, so deciding where to play lies solely on you.

The Optimal Strategy in Live Poker

If you’ve ever played Texas Hold ’em, you’ll find the strategy in Live Casino Poker similar but without having to read your opponent or bluff.

You can, however, cut down on the house edge by applying an optimal strategy with our tips and tricks located in this informative guide.

The rules are not so straightforward when deciding when to fold or play since the optimal strategy relies on all five cards. Still, you can abide by a few rules of thumb to help that we’ve laid out for you in the following table:

Table: When to Fold/not to Fold:

Never Fold Very Rarely Fold Rarely Fold
Any pair Queen high* J high (on a monotone board, even with 2 overs)
A King high or Ace high Gutshot draw
A flush draw or open-end straight draw

*The only time to consider folding Q high is with no suit (i.e. monotone board)

You should be raising 80% of the time and folding the other 20%. The main reason for folding is when there are two differently-ranking hole cards once the initial three community cards are dealt, with limited potential.

Optimizing your strategy will cut down on the house edge, which, when compared to alternative table games, remains favourable.

A significant similarity between Texas Hold’em and Live Poker is when calculating the number of cards to hit and the chance that you’ll hit them.

Mistakes to Avoid in Live Poker

They say the best way to learn is from one’s mistakes, and so we’ve put together some of the worst mistakes made by Live Poker players. After all, it is very unusual for a dealer to make a mistake, so you don’t want to make any of your own. The house edge is ever-present and works against you, so you need to optimize your game if you’re going to win.

Playing for Real Money Too Soon

As we’ve previously recommended, there are free-play versions of Poker games, so you can practice without using any money. It would be a mistake to learn as you go along by playing for real money. Ensure that you’ve digested all rules beforehand, extending to the strategies and tips, and played the demo mode.

When you’re ready to play Live Poker for real money, follow the strategies that we’ve already covered, such as playing an aggressive strategy and avoiding the Pair Plus Bet. Remember to keep it simple.

Using a Strategy of Progressive Betting

A frequent mistake that players make when they are new to an Online Casino game is to do an internet search for strategies. Frequently turning up in search results are the progressive betting strategies. What players fail to grasp is that the house edge is derived mathematically, and no amount of variations to your bet will change that. Relying on progressive betting systems is not advisable, and we’d recommend avoiding them altogether.

Failing to Raise Often

As we previously discussed, it is an optimal strategy to raise in the neighbourhood of 80% of the time. If you find that you’re raising 70% of the time, then you’re folding too frequently.

Failing to Engage with the Dealer

Try to avoid seeing the dealer as an adversary, like you would view another player in Texas Hold’em. The dealers that you find at the live casino games we offer to represent the Mr Green brand and must follow our rules of conduct. So, if you’re stuck on a problem or want a tip, all you need to do is ask.

Resist Side Bet Temptations

We’ve already recommended that you avoid the temptation of playing the Pair Plus bet that increases the house edge to over 4%. Still, it’s worth repeating as part of you may feel tempted to play, particularly if you’re new. Remember that the side bet is optional, so you’re under no obligation to play it. We appreciate the temptation of the promise of a 100:1 payout. Still, a sobering thing to remember is that this happens once in about 40,000 hands. Phrased differently, you have better odds playing Video Poker Slots.

Application of a Live Poker Strategy

You’re now ready to apply all that you’ve learned. If you’re ready to go, then follow these simple instructions next.

Step 1: Register an account at Mr Green to play Live Casino Poker. After you’ve completed the process, which takes minutes, you can no play from any platform and virtually any location.

Step 2: You’ll need to deposit funds when you’re ready to play live casino poker for real money. We accept deposits via several payment options.

Step 3: Make your opening bet. Remember that Live Poker has an ante bet at the start of a hand and a call bet after the dealer has dealt the flop.

Step 4: Use an optimal strategy: By now, we’ve given you some useful tips that should come in handy in formulating the best strategy. Never underestimate the effectiveness of a good strategy. While the house will always have an edge, the best strategies reduce the edge down to the minimum. Don’t forget the practise mode until you’re comfortable playing for real money.

Step 5: Withdrawal of winnings: If you’ve had a few lucky rounds and stock-piled some extra cash, withdraw some of it to lock in profit. As with deposits, we also offer a few ways of making withdrawals.

Remembering everything that you’ve learned can be a little challenging, so feel free to check back with us for a crash refresher when you need it. We wish you the best of luck and hope that you’ve found our guide useful. Don’t forget practice makes perfect, and you can do it for free without risking any money in your player account. Take your time, digest the information at your own pace, and we’re confident that you’ll be on the path to becoming a great poker player.

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