Casino Poker Games

Casino games differ from home varieties in two major ways. The first is simply the amount of money involved. Casino players are generally willing to put down a far greater amount of money on a more diverse range of game-tables than any home player ever would. As well, in a casino, the players are pitted against the dealer who represents the ‘House.’ The dealer plays against each player individually; the player is not concerned with beating the table, only the House. Casino games are often adapted for home-table play but must usually change rule-schemes somewhat drastically in order to maintain integrity.

Some Popular Casino Games

Let It Ride:

To play this game the players place three antes, the amount of which has been pre-designate, in front of them in order to receive three face-down cards. The dealer also provides two community cards. At this point the players are allowed – depending on their evaluations of the three card hands – to either remove one of the three antes or not (a.k.a ‘Let It Ride). The dealer follows up by turning over one of the community cards. Again, players may choose to remove one (only) of their antes or let it ride. The game finishes when the dealer flips the second community card and each player has a hand composed of three cards in the hole and the two community cards. At this point, any player with a hand equal to or weaker than a pair of nines loses all antes still in play. Players with a pair of tens or better are paid according to the strength of their hand (for example, a pair of tens alone gets a 1-1 pay-off ratio while, at the other end of the scale, a Royal Flush pays off at 1000-1).

The payout is applied to all winning antes still on the table so, if a player let it ride for the whole game, they will receive three payouts.

Pai Gow:

This casino game was adapted directly from a collection of ancient Asian domino games. Its rules vary wildly from dealer to dealer. The following is one common variant.

After designating betting limits, the dealer deals seven cards to each player and him/herself. All hands are then divided by their respective owners into one five card hand and one hand of two cards. The five card hand will be played as a typical poker hand governed by standard poker rankings. The two card hand will be played as a Guts poker hand for high cards or pairs. The only stipulation in the division of these two hands is that the five card hand must be equal to or stronger than the two card hand (i.e.: if the two hand is a pair of nines, the five hand must be a pair of nines or better).

The players each place a bet (only one bet is allowed and it covers both hands) at their respective seats and then expose their two card hands to the table after which the dealer shows his two hand; every player who has a weaker two hand than the dealer’s must lay the two cards face down at their respective place. The stronger hands are left face up. The five card hand is played out the same way leaving each player with both hands face-down, one of the two original hands face-up, or both hands face up.

The payoff is as follows: Players who lose to the dealer with both the two card and the five card hands forfeit their bets. Players who win one hand but lose the other win nothing but keep the original bet (this is known as getting or taking a ‘Push’). Players who win on both hands are paid off at even odds, that is they keep the original bet money and receive the same amount again from the dealer.

Caribbean Stud:

In this game, players must place a bet before any cards are dealt. The bet is limited according to individual House or dealer’s rules. The deal commences and each player is given five face-down cards while the dealer gives him or herself four face-down and one face-up. Players must then declare status (in or out), which they do sequentially beginning to the left of the dealer. To stay in the game, a player must double their original bet. Those that fold lose their bet to the dealer. At this juncture, the dealer’s hand is revealed. If the dealer does not have a pair of twos or better, all bets are paid even money and the game ends. If the dealers hand is equal to or stronger than a pair of twos the showdown works as follows:

All players with weaker hands than the dealer’s forfeit their bets while those with stronger hands are paid even money (depending upon the game venue, the players may receive a premium based on their hand ranks i.e.: a Royal Flush might pay out 50-1 while 2-pairs pays out 2-1).