Ultimate Texas Hold’em, available via 888 casinos, is one of the most in-demand and recently devised novelty poker games around. It’s essentially a reinvented version of classic Texas Hold’em. The thing to bear in mind is that you’re not competing with other players, but against the dealer.
It’s particularly popular in the US, and with a Royal Flush paying out at 500/1, it also has the potential to be nicely lucrative.
How to play
The format of Ultimate Texas Hold’em stays pretty close to other variants, and it’s played with a standard 52-card deck.
Initially, you’ll have to make a couple of equal bets – the Ante and the Blind, both of which are obligatory and need to be made for an identical stake. There’s also the option to include a ‘trips’ side bet, discussed below.
How to play Ultimate Texas Hold’em
Once bets are placed, you and the dealer receive a pair of cards each, before five community cards are placed between you and them. Study them before deciding whether to check or play.
Before seeing the flop (the first three cards), you can bet either three or four times the size of your Ante bet, or check. (But if you’ve bet, all decisions end and you can’t make any more bets.)
When these first three community cards are revealed, if you’ve not previously done so, now’s your chance to place a bet at 2x the ante, or check.
Finally, the remaining two community cards are uncovered and you can then decide whether to bet again, but this time you can only do it at 1x Ante. Should you choose not to bet at this stage, this is counted as a fold, which will cost you both your Ante and Blind bets.
Now it’s time for the dealer to turn over their two cards. As with other Texas Hold’em variants, a hand consists of the best five cards from a combo of the player’s two-plus the five community cards. Unfortunately, should the dealer have the better hand, you lose the Ante and Blind along with all other bets.
However, if you have the better hand, Blind and Ante bets are looked at differently. While the Ante and any played bets are paid out at evens, the Blind has a larger payout based on the hand’s strength.
Trips side bet
This can be of a different size, and it pays out whether or not your hand is better than the dealer’s, albeit with a less favourable house edge than the main game
- Royal Flush: 500/1
- Straight Flush: 50/1
- Four of a Kind: 10/1
- Full House:3/1
- Straight: Even
Finally, any hand below a straight is treated as a push, so that you’ll only get your Blind bet back.
Return to Player (RTP)
This is a high-volatility game, so you’ll need enough chips to take you through the rocky times. (But you get to stick around through bad hands and good to the end.) But the Return to Player or RTP is healthy enough at 97.3%, fairly standard for a game of this nature.
Ultimate Texas Hold’em is hugely fun and eminently playable, with some fast gameplay and the chance to win big. You should especially enjoy it if you previously liked Casino Hold’em, and, of course, regular Texas Hold’em. And 888 also runs a live-dealer version of this game.
With that one, you can chat to the dealer and your fellow players, while the ‘one too many’ format means every player at the table takes their decisions based on the same hand.
Finally, you’ll have the peace of mind of knowing you’re playing with a highly reputable operator.