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Ultimate Texas Hold ’em: How to Play and Win
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Ultimate Texas Hold ’em adds bonuses and jackpots to the original five-card poker game. Learn how to play and win Ultimate Texas Hold ’em today.
Ultimate Texas Hold ’em is a variation of the popular Texas Hold ’em five-card poker game. It pits you against the dealer so you don’t have to worry about everyone else at the table. This poker game has similar rules to the original version but offers different betting scenarios and payouts. Explore our guide to learn how to play and win Ultimate Texas Hold ’em.
The Object of the Game
In Ultimate Texas Hold ’em, each player plays against the dealer, who represents the house. The object of the game is to use any combination of your two hole cards and the five community cards to make the best possible five-card poker hand. If you hold a higher winning hand than the dealer, you win the game and receive payouts according to your bets and the pay table.
Ultimate Texas Hold ’em Winning Poker Hands
Here’s a complete list of all possible winning poker hand combinations in Ultimate Texas Hold ’em. They’re ranked from highest to lowest or, in other words, from best to worst. Memorizing this list can help you understand the strength of your hand and make decisions about betting, raising, checking, and folding during the game.
- Royal flush: Ace, king, queen, jack, 10 all the same suit
- Straight flush: Five consecutive cards of the same suit up to king
- Four of a kind: Any four cards of the same rank, also known as a quad
- Full house: Any three of a kind plus any one matching pair
- Flush: Any nonconsecutive five cards of the same suit
- Straight: Any five consecutive cards of any combination of suits
- Three of a kind: Any three cards of the same rank, also known as trips or triples
- Two pairs: Any two cards of the same rank paired with any other two cards of the same rank, with the highest pair determining the rank of the two-pair hand
- One pair: Any two cards of the same rank
- High card: Any hand not mentioned above
If your hand doesn’t hold one pair of cards or better, it’s ranked according to its highest value card. The remaining four cards in your hand are ranked below the high card in descending value order. If your hand is the same as the dealer’s hand, a kicker card comes into play to break the tie and decide the winner. Kickers are any other cards in your hand that are outside of your winning hand combination or high card.
How to Play Ultimate Texas Hold ’em
A special poker table, standard poker chips, and a regular 52-card deck are used to play Ultimate Texas Hold ’em. Each table usually holds up to six players plus the dealer. The game can be played in person or online with a computer or live dealer. Here’s how to play:
- Each player makes an ante and a blind bet. Place your chips on the table in the corresponding circles labeled “ante” and “blind.”
- Players may now make a trips bet. Place your chips in the diamond on the table labeled “trips.”
- The dealer begins the game by dealing cards. Cards are dealt face down one at a time to each player and the dealer until everyone has two. These are called hole cards. Players can look at them at any time, but the dealer’s cards remain hidden at this point.
- Players can bet or check. Based on the two cards you were dealt, you’ll choose to raise your ante bet or check, which means you don’t add any chips to your bet.
- The dealer deals three community cards face up.These cards are placed in the middle of the table and shared between the dealer and the players. Anyone can use these cards to make a winning hand.
- Players can bet or check again. Depending on what is dealt, you may want to ante up.
- The dealer deals two more community cards face up. A total of five shared cards are now visible to all. You can use any of these cards plus any of your two hole cards to make the best possible five-card hand.
- Players now have to bet or fold. If you think you have a good chance of winning, stay in the game by upping your ante bet. If you think you have a losing hand, now is the time to fold your hand and stop playing.
- The dealer reveals their two hole cards. Then, they announce their best five-card hand and compare it to each player’s hand to see who wins between them.
- Each player wins or loses according to their hand. Payouts are made by the dealer to each winning hand, depending on bet amounts and pay tables. Losses are collected by the dealer, and the game is over.
How to Bet in Ultimate Texas Hold ’em
There are five opportunities to place bets when playing Ultimate Texas Hold ’em. To play the game with optimal strategy, it’s important to understand when and how to bet. Here’s a closer look at the four types of bets you can make and how to place them.
- Ante: This is a mandatory bet that must be placed at the start of the game before cards are dealt. You must place the minimum ante bet amount to play. It has its own pay table.
- Blind: This is a mandatory bet that’s placed at the same time as the ante bet. It must be equal to the ante as shown on the poker table by an equal sign. It has its own pay table, and you must hold at least a straight to win a payout.
- Trips: This is an optional bet that can be placed after your ante and blind bets. It’s short for triples, which means three of a kind. The trips bet has its own pay table, and you must hold at least three of a kind in your hand to win a payout.
Play: Players have three chances to place play bets during the course of the game.
- Before the flop: After you’ve seen your two hole cards, you can bet three or four times your ante bet or check.
- After the flop: After the dealer flips over three community cards, you can bet two times your ante bet or check.
- On the river: After the dealer flips over the final two community cards, you must place a bet equal to your original ante amount if you haven’t raised yet in the game. If you don’t want to raise, you must fold your hand to bow out of the game.
If you don’t win a payout on your hand, all bets are forfeited to the house. The only bet that may be saved is the ante bet. This exception occurs when the dealer doesn’t hold a qualifying hand. A dealer must have at least two pairs of cards in their hand to qualify. Otherwise, the ante is a “push.” This means the house has lost, and your ante bet is returned to you.
How to Win Ultimate Texas Hold ’em
The key to winning Ultimate Texas Hold ’em is knowing when to bet on the cards. As the game progresses, the amount a player can bet decreases, lowering the amount you can possibly win. Knowing when to check or fold also helps to minimize losses and hold onto gains over time.
Before the Flop Strategy
Players use different strategies to win at Ultimate Texas Hold ’em, but most agree that to win big, you need to know when to place the max play bet. This bet can be made after your two hole cards are revealed but before the “flop” (the reveal of the first three community cards). The max play bet that a player can place is four times the original ante bet.
It’s advised to only place a max 4X bet when you’ve been dealt premium hole cards, such as:
- Any ace
- Any king plus a 5 or higher of any suit
- Any king plus a 2, 3, or 4 of the same suit
- Any queen plus an 8 or higher of any suit
- Any queen plus a 6 or 7 of the same suit
- Any jack plus a 10 of any suit
- Any jack plus and 8 or 9 of the same suit
For all other combinations of two hole cards, don’t place the max bet and check at this point in the game. You’ll have two other opportunities to place a bet later if your hand improves when the community cards are flipped.
After the Flop Strategy
The general strategy for betting after the first three community cards are flipped is to only raise if you hold one of the following:
- Two pair or better
- A hidden pair (one hole card plus one community card)
- Four cards to a flush
On the River Strategy
On the river refers to the point in the game when the last two community cards have been flipped. With all five cards revealed, this is your final chance to bet one time your ante. It’s recommended to make this bet only if you have a hidden pair or better. If you don’t have at least a pair, it’s time to fold.
Figuring out the optimal betting strategy for each hand can involve rather complex mathematical equations. If you’re playing online, take advantage of poker calculators to see how good your odds are of achieving a high winning hand and place your bets or check accordingly.
Play Ultimate Texas Hold ’em Online Today
Are you ready to put your knowledge to the test and try your luck with Ultimate Texas Hold ’em? GamblersPick collects reviews of online casinos and poker games from our community members so players can make informed and responsible gaming decisions. Find games, guides, and more on GamblersPick today.
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