Live Dealer Ultimate Texas Hold’em
Live Ultimate Hold’em
What You Need to Know
Live Dealer Ultimate Texas Hold’em is the live-streamed version of the world’s most popular banked version of Texas Hold’em Poker. It is a table game which bases the size of the player’s wager on the timing of their bet. The game’s basic rules are based on the most popular form of poker, Texas Hold’em. Unlike that game, Texas Hold’em Ultimate pits a gambler against the dealer, instead of other gamblers. The decision making process is compacted, allowing for the quick play of hands.
Find below the advantages to playing Live Ultimate Texas Hold’em instead of its online casino version. You can also find a basic guide to finding the game online and a run-down of the rules, as well as the steps to playing a typical hand. Strategy and playing advice are also provided to give you a better chance of winning. Finally, a list of the best live dealer casinos that offer Ultimate Texas Holdem.
Betting Couldn’t Be Easier
The earlier in the hand the bet is made, the higher their wager can be. This creates a single pivot point in a hand of Texas Hold’em Ultimate online which adds strategy and excitement. If a bet is made early in the hand, then the player’s wager can be as much as 3x or 4x the ante bet, depending on the casino’s house rules. If the player waits until community cards are showing, then the wager is limited to 1x the ante bet. In the course of this article, I’ll provide information on the size bets allowed by various live dealer providers, when available.
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Live Dealer Ultimate Texas Hold’em Poker
Live Ultimate Texas Hold’em was created by Roger Snow of Shuffle Master (SHFL Entertainment). In November 2013, SHFL was acquired by Bally Technologies, which in turn was acquired by Scientific Games in August 2014. Thus Scientific Games owns the trademark to Ultimate Texas Hold’em®.
Not as many live dealer online casinos offer Ultimate Texas Hold’em as they offer games like live roulette, live dealer blackjack, and live baccarat. Because it is a registered trademark of Scientific Games, only casino sites which have the permission of that multinational lottery company are allowed to offer the game. Online and mobile casinos might offer a similar game under another name, but this article focuses on the game marketed by Shuffle Master all these years.
Starting a Live Ultimate Texas Hold’em Session
At the moment, the only way to play Live Ultimate Texas Hold’em is to use a site which uses Evolution Gaming software. Evolution has an exclusive deal with Scientific Games for a trademarked version of the game. Other operators might offer a non-official version of the game with slightly different rules, but I don’t know of any operator who does so at this instant.
US Licensed Casinos and Providers
Luckily, Evolution Gaming has a list of major clients as impressive as any provider: 888 Casino Live, William Hill Live, PokerStars Live, and Unibet are only a few options. In fact, players in the New Jersey licensed online gambling market have their option of Borgata Online (powered by Bwin.Party software), Caesars Online (888), and Resorts (PokerStars).
888/Caesars also has a presence in the Delaware and Nevada online poker markets, but their sites are not allowed to offer casino table games, so Live Ultimate Texas Hold’em is not available on the sites for Dover Downs, Delaware Park, and Harrington Racecourse.
Non-US Licensed Casinos and Providers
Many of the most respected international online casinos provide Live Ultimate Texas Hold’em. Don’t shop for big bonuses, but instead play at the best online casinos with a reputation for fairness, safety, and reliable payouts. We recommend the following non-US licensed casinos and providers.
888 Casino supplies Live Ultimate Texas Hold’em using Evolution Gaming software. 888 Casino has a $200 welcome bonus and professional live dealers who treat players like VIPs. US players in the New Jersey gaming market can play 888’s Live Ultimate Texas Hold’em through the Harrah’s Online Casino or WSOP.com.
William Hill Casino and 32Red Casino each have Live Ultimate Texas Holdem with stakes ranging from £0.05 to £500. William Hill and 32Red are two of the most respected brand names in international online casino gaming, so these are our recommended sites for Ultimate Texas Hold’em Live.
Steps to Starting a Game Session
Find a Casino
Look at the list of Evolution Gaming casinos at the bottom of this page. Select one of the brand name, trustworthy sites.
Register an Account
Sign up using your full name, email address, and email address. You’ll need a unique username. Be prepared to include security questions.
Fund Your Account
To play for real money, you’ll need to make a deposit. Most sites accept VISA, MasterCard, and their debit card counterparts. Web wallets like Neteller and Skrill are options. E-vouchers like Ukash are available at many sites. Bitcoin, wire transfers, and bank transfers are available at many sites. You can check out the different casino deposit options to get useful information.
Accept Bonus Offers
Most online casinos and mobile casinos offer welcome bonuses, whether it’s a deposit bonus or no-deposit bonus. Many require a coupon code to activate. Speak with customer support via Live Chat if you have questions.
Find the Live Casino
Though you’ll register with an online or mobile casino, you’ll want to use the live dealers to play. This option is available through a link on the casino site’s homepage.
Find Live Ultimate Texas Hold’em
Once you’re in the live casino lobby, a link for Ultimate Texas Hold’em should be visible. Click on that link. Select the table with the bet limits most comfortable to you.
Play with Live Dealers
Learn the bet controls and the chat function. Chat allows you to communicate with the live dealer, pit boss, and other players.
Use Proper Strategy
Read the strategy section below to make proper plays. Ultimate Texas Hold’em does have strategy elements. The dealer plays according to rules, so bluffing and reading tells are not part of the game.
End the Session
When you finish your session, sign off. The setting should save, allowing you to continue with a click or two when you want to gamble again. The casino’s icon should appear on your computer’s desktop.
Make a Withdrawal
Cash out your winnings with a Bank Wire Transfer, Check by Courier, or Check by Mail. Some sites allow cash-outs with VISA or Bitcoin. This will let you keep some money in your casino account, but also let you enjoy the profits.
Playing in a live casino is easy, especially once you’ve done it one time and set-up the cookies to remember your settings. Evolution Gaming has made it even easier, which I describe below.
Direct Game Launch Ultimate Texas Hold’em
Evolution Gaming created a live version of Ultimate Texas Hold’em in partnership with Scientific Games. Players receive the option to play using the “Direct Game Launch” feature by Evolution Gaming, which allows certain of the steps above to be bypassed. This allows the game to be accessed directly via web page, email, or text with one simple click or tap.
Due to the technology used for live streaming, this came can be scaled to any size group of players. Evolution Gaming claims it has “massive scalability” to allow an unlimited number of players to be serviced at one single table. I don’t like the sound of that, because it implies a certain automation which diverges from the live dealer model. This idea is explored further down the page, in the section on playing a single hand of the game.
Playing a Round of Live Ultimate Texas Hold’em
Where to Play Live Ultimate Texas Hold’em
As I’ve said, Evolution Gaming casinos are the only place Ultimate Texas Holdem is served by live dealers. That fact may not always apply, so I want to give gamblers a full directory of live casinos. Internet gambling is an ever-evolving industry, due to technological advances, player tastes, and competition. Check back for updates on Live Ultimate Texas Hold’em.
Other Casinos That Offer Ultimate Texas Hold’em
Below are other casinos that offer live Ultimate Texas Hold’em online. Some of these casinos accept US players, while others cater to international players. Be sure to read the reviews for the casinos. For those casinos that do not have a review, we have not verified their legitimacy. Proceed with caution if you decide to play at any of the casinos not reviewed.
- 32Red Casino
- Black Diamond
- Bodog Asia Live
- Box24 Casino
The Trips Bet from Evolution Gaming
Players in Ultimate Texas Hold’em receive the ability to make bets on Pre-Flop, on the Flop, and on the Turn/River. Evolution Gaming’s live version allows for wagers on an optional “Trips” bet. This does not pit the player versus the dealer, but instead against a pay table, like video poker would. If you receive a Three-of-a-Kind or better by combining your 2 hole cards and 3 of the 5 community cards, you win according to the paytable.
How to Play Live Ultimate Texas Hold’em
A hand of Ultimate Texas Holdem bears a resemblance to traditional Texas Hold’em, but the differences are stark. The space below includes how a typical hand is played in offline gambling. Below that is a small section on the Trips bet, which is allowed in the Evolution Gaming live casino studio. Since other live casinos might not offer that wager, I’ve kept the two discussions separate here.
The First Bets
The player is required to make an Ante bet and a Blind bet. The Ante bet is made before the cards are dealt.
Two Cards are Dealt
The dealer deals 2 hole cards to every player at the table from an ordinary 52-card deck.
Players Look at Cards
The player looks at their own two hole cards, to determine whether to keep playing.
The Play Bet
The player either makes the Play bet or checks. When making the Play bet at this point, the bet can be 3x or 4x the Ante bet, depending on the operator.
The dealer turns over 3 community cards. These are shared among all gamblers at the table, as well as the dealer.
Second Round of Betting
If the player checked before, then he or she can make a Play bet now. In this round of betting, the Play bet maxes out at 2x the Ante bet. Players who made a Play bet already simply check.
The Turn and River
The two final community cards are revealed. Notice that the Turn (4th community card) and the River (5th card) are revealed at the same time.
Final Round of Betting
If the player checked on the first two rounds of betting, then he or she can make a Play bet of 1x the Ante bet. Those who’ve already wagered simply check.
Hands are Revealed
The dealer and the players must make the best 5-card hand, using any combination of their two cards and the 5 community cards.
Dealer Must Qualify
To “open” or qualify for the hand, the dealer must have a pair or better. If not, the player wins the Blind and Play bets, but the Ante bet is a push.
If the dealer opens, then the Play, Ante, and Blind bets are determined by the best hand.
Again, hands at individual sites might differ slightly. To prove my point, let’s take a look at betting in the popular Evolution Gaming live studio.
Strategy to Use for the Trips Bet
The Trips bet is an exciting option for players who like to bet on propositions with high payouts. Because the Trips bet requires a minimum of a three-of-a-kind for a payout, this is a high-risk wager. Players need to know their relative odds of hitting such a wager. When you’re holding a pair, the odds of flopping a set are 7.5-to-1. Keep that in mind while betting.
Players should notice that Evolution Gaming’s rule stipulates you must build your 5-card hand using your 2 hole cards. That’s different than brick-and-mortar Ultimate Texas Hold’em. The rule limits your chances of building a high-ranking hand. In standard Texas Hold’em, a player builds their best 5-card hand from any combination of their 2 hole cards and the 5 community cards. You can use 2 cards, 1 card, or 0 cards from among those dealt to you, depending on the deal.
The Trips bet has hand-building rules more akin to Omaha Hold’em, usually simply known as Omaha. Always keep in mind this limitation when making betting decisions on this side bet.
Basic Ultimate Texas Hold’em Strategy
Let’s take a look at the optimal guide for those wanting more general strategy advice. Making the 4x wager is somewhat more complicated than the other bets. For that reason, I place those instructions in a small table. If the casino only allows a 3x bet, use the same strategy.
4X Raise Strategy – Large Raise
|Holding an Ace||Always make a 4x raise when holding an Ace. Any aces-high hand works.|
|Holding a King||Make the 4x wager when you holding a King and your lower card is 5 through Queen. Also, make the 4x wager with a suited K-4, K-3, or K-2.|
|Holding a Queen||Make the 4x raise when you hold Q-J, Q-10, Q-9, or Q-8. Also make the bet when holding suited Q-7 or Q-6.|
|Holding a Jack||Make the 4x raise when you hold any J-10, or suited J-9 or J-8.|
|Ten or Lower||Never make the 4x wager when your unmatched high card is 10 or lower.|
2x Raise Strategy – Medium Raise
After the Flop, a different set of strategies apply. The medium raise has a certain level of crunch to it. Three different points should be remembered when deciding on this play.
- When holding 2 pairs or better.
- Any hidden pair besides pocket 2’s. A hidden pair means at least one card (of the pair) in your hole cards.
- Four to a flush. When holding 4/5ths of a flush, making the 2x raise.
1x Raise Strategy – Small Raise
After, the Turn/River, yet another set of factors apply. Use the following tips when it’s time to make the small raise or not.
- When you have a hidden pair or better.
- When the dealer has less than 21 “outs” which would beat you.
This last suggestion might be hard to apply for beginning players. “Outs” are cards in the deck which might beat your hand. To determine this, you have to see what the dealer is showing and determine how many cards would beat you. Beginners and even intermediate players might not be able to count how many outs exist.
If you can’t do this in your head, the Wizard of Odds offers an Ultimate Texas Hold’em Calculator to help with practice or on-the-fly decisions. You’ll have to be quick at inputting the scenario if you want to use the tool for in-game decision making. Practice and learn and you should get a sense of the outs, after a while.
Tips to Play Live Texas Hold’em Ultimate Online
Ultimate Texas Hold’em is a game where skill and strategy increase your chances of winning. While Live Ultimate Texas Hold’em is a table game like blackjack and therefore has a house edge, bad play leads to a higher house edge (also like blackjack). Use the tips below to craft your Live Ultimate Texas Hold’em online strategy.
- Pre-Flop 4x Raise Strategy: Raise anytime you hold a pair of 3’s or higher. Whether the hand is suited or not, raise 4x when you hold an Ace, when you hold a K/5 thru K/Q, when you hold a Q/8 thru Q/J, or when you hold a Jack/10. When you have suited cards, raise with the following hole cards: K/4, K/3, K/2, Q/7, Q/6, J/9, or J/8. Check all other hands.
- 2x Strategy After the Flop: After the flop, raise 2x with two pair or better. Also raise any pair, as long as it contains at least one of your hole cards. Raise when holding 4 cards to a flush, as long as you are holding the 4th-best flush draw or better. Also raise 2x if you have a combination of a flush draw and an open-ended straight draw.
- Call Strategy: Once the turn/river cards are shown, make the call bet when you hold a pair or better, as long as the pair contains one of your hole cards. Call when the board is paired and you have at least the third best kicker. Also, call when the 5 community cards make a straight or better.
- Fold Strategy: If all 7 cards are revealed and you have a call-or-fold decision to make, if you cannot make any of the hands described in the “Call Strategy” section, then you should fold. For the most part, this includes high-card hands that do not make a flush or a straight.
- Don’t Bluff or Read: Unlike Texas Hold’em, bluffing or reading your opponent has no effect in Ultimate Texas Hold’em. You play against the dealer, who makes decisions based on rigid rules. You can’t bluff the dealer and the dealer isn’t trying to read your tells.
What Not to Do When Playing Live Texas Hold’em Ultimate Poker
Like in sports, eliminating mistakes is as important as making good plays. Avoid the following mistakes when playing Live Ultimate Texas Holdem Poker and you’ll enjoy your live casino sessions more. Gambling is more entertaining when you optimize your betting odds, so play optimal Live Ultimate Texas Hold’em by avoiding common mistakes.
- Avoid the Trips Bet: Many versions of Ultimate Texas Holdem have a trips bet. This pays 50x for a royal flush, which happens every 30,940 hands. The house edge on the Trips Bet ranges from 3.50% to 6.18%, depending on the pay table being used.
- Never Make the 3x Bet: Never wager 3x on the pre-flop bet. If you have the cards to make a bet, then you have the cards to make a 4x bet.
- Avoid Progressive Bets: As always, avoid progressive betting schemes like the Martingale technique, Fibonacci scheme, or D’Alembert technique. These create many small winning sessions but increase your risk of ruin and lose money over time.
- Don’t Ignore the House Edge: Many casual players confuse the Ultimate Texas Hold’em table game with traditional Texas Hold’em. The main bet in Ultimate Texas Hold’em has a 2.81% house edge. Texas Hold’em is a game where better players have a theoretical advantage. While optimal play in Ultimate Texas Hold’em, it means you can lower the house edge to 2.81%, it does not assure winning.
- Betting 4x When Holding 2-2: Many players make the 4x bet anytime they receive a pair. Most of the time, that’s the best bet. When holding a pair of 2’s, though, the hand isn’t good enough to justify betting 4x. Check when your hole cards are a pair of 2’s.
Advice for High Rollers
High rollers need to beware of the max payouts on this game. In many cases, if your ante bet is more than 1/500th of the max payout, then the Royal Flush jackpot actually shortchanges the high stakes player. This effectively lowers the house edge. Making higher bets is your decision, but gamblers should be aware they are getting shortchanged.