A Guide to Ultimate Texas Hold'em

A Guide to Ultimate Texas Hold'em

Ultimate Texas Hold’em is an easy to play variant of the ever popular community card game, Texas Hold’em.  The game, which pits player vs. casino, has emerged as one of the most popular table games in live casinos over the past few years. It has also gained quite the following online and is offered by most major players in the market.

Ultimate Texas Hold’em was patented by renowned casino game inventor Roger Snow of Shuffle Master Inc. (now an Senior Vice President at Scientific Games) in 2009. The game has grown at a fierce rate ever since due to its entertaining nature, its simplicity, and because it offers favourable odds relative to other casino games.

The Basics of Ultimate Texas Hold’em

The basic premise and set up is the same as any other game of Texas Hold’em

  • Two cards are dealt to each player (hole cards) and five community cards (cards which can be used by all players in the hand) are dealt across the middle of the table.
  • Players then have 7 cards (their 2 individual hole cards + the 5 community cards) with which to construct the highest ranking 5 card Texas Hold’em hand. The highest hand is the winning hand.

For anyone who is unsure of the value of hands you can refer to our hand rankings table below:

HAND

DESCRIPTION

Royal Flush

 A K Q J 10 of the same suit

Straight Flush

Five consecutive cards of the same suit

Four of a Kind

Four cards of the same value (i.e. 9 9 9 9 A)

Full House

Three of a kind + one pair

Flush

Five cards in the same suit

Straight

Five consecutive cards of any suit

Three of a Kind

Three cards of the same value

Two Pair

Two pairs of the cards with the same value (i.e. 2 2 8 8 4)

One Pair

One pair of the same card (K K 7 9 2)

High Card

If two hands make it to showdown with either hand having a pair then the hand with the highest card wins

How to Play Ultimate Texas Hold’em

Before we get into the betting rules there are a few things worth noting. Firstly, players at the table are only competing against the dealer – not each other.

Also, there is no bluffing in Ultimate Texas Hold’em – your only decision is whether and when to bet, check or (at the end of the betting rounds) fold.

All other decisions are made for you depending on your dealt hand vs. the dealer’s hand and. This is one of the reasons for the popularity of the game – it requires relatively little skill and anyone can play with as good a chance of winning as anyone else.

As such things like table position, table image, bluffing tendencies, pot odds etc. become irrelevant.

Base Game Procedure

  • At the start of each game a player must place 2 bets of equal value; an ‘ante’ bet and a ‘blind’ bet. After laying their initial bets there are three further stages at which a player can bet or ‘raise’ their hand – these are known as ‘play bets’. However, players can only bet once during play – so choosing when to bet is probably the biggest skill in Ultimate Texas Hold’em
  • Players and the dealer are each dealt two cards face down after which the first betting round commences
  • Players choosing to bet must at this stage must wager an amount totalling either 3 or 4 times the size of their ante bet
  • Before the next round of betting the first three community cards are dealt, face up.
  • Players choosing to bet at this stage must wager an amount totalling 2 times the size of their ante bet
  • The final round of betting takes place after the final 2 community cards are dealt, face up
  • At this stage all players yet to bet must bet the same amount as their ante bet or fold their hand thus forfeiting their chance of winning the hand

Trips Bonus Bet

As well as bets made in the base game described above, players have the opportunity to place a ‘Trips Bonus Bet’ at the start of each game.

As the title of the bet suggests, in order to receive a payout the player MUST make a hand ranking higher than or equal to trips. Trips Bonus Bets are paid out even if the player loses the hand at final showdown.

Qualifying Hands & Winning Hands

To make a ‘qualifying hand’ the dealer must make at least one pair. In reality the consequences of the dealer failing to qualify are not too severe.

If the player’s hand beats the dealers then all bets will still be paid out other than ante bet which will be returned to the player. If the dealer qualifies then the ante bet will also be paid out.

Bet Pay Tables

All ante and play bets are paid out at 1:1 whereas blind bets and Trips bonus bets are paid according to hand strength. See the corresponding pay tables below:

Blind Bet Pay Table

Hand

Pays

Royal Flush

500:1

Straight Flush

50:1

Four of a Kind

10:1

Full House

3:1

Flush

1.5:1

Straight

1:1

All other

Bet pushes (returned to player)

Trips Bonus Bet Pay Table

HAND

PAYS

Royal Flush

50 to 1

Straight Flush

40 to 1

Four of a Kind

30 to 1

Full House

9 to 1

Flush

7 to 1

Straight

4 to 1

Three of a Kind

3 to 1

All Other

Loss

As you can see, once you have learned the hand rankings for Texas Hold’em, there really is very little to know about Ultimate Texas Hold’em before you can play.

The only other rule you need to remember is that during play you are only permitted to bet once, and if you’re aware of the hand rankings it should be fairly obvious when the best time to bet is.

Once you’ve bet all the decisions are made for you until showdown where you will either win, lose – or maybe even both.

Of course, as with all casino table games Ultimate Texas Hold’em provides the casino with a slight edge. However, the house edge is just 2.2% of your initial ante, or about 0.5% of your total bets, meaning that walking away a winner is very possible.

Looking for more casino game guides and articles? Click here to see them. 

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