Live Dealer Casino Poker Variants Worth Exploring
Last Updated: June 21, 2023
If you're a poker enthusiast looking for a refreshing twist, live dealer casino poker variants are the perfect choice.
Combining the thrill of a land-based casino with the convenience of online play, these games offer an immersive and interactive experience like no other.
Whether you're a seasoned poker player or new to the game, these variants provide an excellent opportunity to challenge your skills and experience the thrill of live casino action from the comfort of your own home.
So grab your virtual seat at the table, and let the games begin!
Casino Hold’em was introduced by advantage player turned casino game developer Stephen Au-Yeung in 2000.
He built it in the 1990s as a training tool to teach a friend Texas Hold’em and later turned it into a casino game with pay tables, side bets, and everything else such a game may need.
In a live dealer setting, it has a totally different atmosphere, it slows down a bit, offering an almost cozy and personal experience.
Casino Hold’em has several variants, most of them with extra side bets or jackpots. Evolution, one of the leading providers of live dealer games, offers several versions, including a two-hand variant, and one with a progressive jackpot.
Side Bet City (Evolution)
An Evolution Gaming exclusive, Side Bet City combines casino poker with the side bets you typically see in live blackjack games, all this in a retro setting.
Here, you can bet on a three-card, a five-card, or a seven-card hand, with winning combinations based on standard poker hand rankings.
Each one has its own paytable and minimum qualifying hand: the three-card hand pays for any pair or above, the five-card hand will only pay for a pair of Jacks or better, while the seven-card hand needs at least three of a kind to qualify.
Of course, you can bet on “all of them will lose” as well.
Caribbean Stud (Evolution)
Evolution’s Caribbean Stud is pretty much the same as the other live dealer casino stud games out there, with something extra: it comes with a 5 to 1 Bonus side bet and a progressive jackpot.
Otherwise, it’s the same game that’s played in real-life and online casinos around the world.
After the mandatory Ante bet, the hands are dealt, and the player decides whether to play (in which case they place a Call bet) or fold.
If they fold, the Ante bet is lost, but the two side bets remain live.
If the player qualifies (has at least an Ace-King hand), the hands are compared. When the player’s hand wins, the Call bet pays according to the paytable. If the hands are tied, all bets are pushed.
The 5+1 side bet wins if the dealer’s upcard forms a 5-card poker hand with the player’s cards.
The Progressive Jackpot bet pays if the player has three of a kind or better, according to a different paytable. To win the actual jackpot, though, the player needs a Royal Flush.
Royal Poker (Ezugi)
Ezugi’s Royal Poker is a live-dealer five-card casino poker variant reminiscent of Caribbean Stud. It’s loosely based on Five Card Draw with a series of major differences, of course.
Both the dealer and the player are dealt a five-card poker hand. The dealer needs to qualify with at least A+K, otherwise, they fold automatically.
Only one of the dealer’s cards is initially visible to the player. Players can decide whether to bet, fold, swap cards, or buy one more card.
Next, the dealer places five community cards on the table, which represent the swap cards and/or extra cards, if any. Here, players will get the chance to take insurance, which pays even money.
At this point, the players can decide whether they want to fold or play (which will cost the value of the Ante bet), then the dealer reveals their cards. The hands are compared, and the stronger hand wins.
Live dealer casino poker opens up a world of endless entertainment and unique experiences for poker enthusiasts.
With its blend of familiar gameplay and live interaction, these variants provide a refreshing alternative to traditional poker.
Whether you're enticed by the allure of side bets, the potential for massive jackpots, or simply crave a more immersive gaming atmosphere, live dealer casino poker delivers on all fronts.
So why not step into the virtual casino, engage with live dealers, and embark on an unforgettable poker journey unlike any other?