Ultimate Texas Hold ’Em is one of the newest forms of poker that has become widely available in many U.S. casinos. Today it is one of the most popular niche table games in Las Vegas and several other cities.
When it first started out, Ultimate Texas Hold ‘Em was only available on multiplayer electronic machines but its popularity quickly exploded. Since then it has expanded into a table game which is the most common variety played in casinos today. It is now a registered trademark of Bally Gaming.
Currently Ultimate Texas Hold ‘Em is available at most Las Vegas casinos and many others throughout the country. Like most other forms of poker, Ultimate Texas Hold ’Em is played with a single 52-card standard deck of cards. Players start off by making a blind and ante bet. Unlike traditional Texas Hold ‘Em variations, however, these two wagers must be equal. There is also an optional Trips side bet which pays regardless of whether your hand wins or loses. Read on to learn more about Ultimate Texas Hold ‘Em payouts, rules and how to play.
The format used in Ultimate Texas Hold ‘Em is similar to other versions of Texas Hold ‘Em that are spread in poker rooms. The biggest draws are that unlike other poker varieties, Ultimate Hold ‘Em is played against the dealer and there is an optional trips bet (which we go over below). Another draw comes from the raise format, which offers the player an opportunity to raise as a multiple of of ante. These factors help add a higher level of excitement to the game. Below we’ll outline the rules and payouts associated with Ultimate Texas Hold ‘Em.
1. To start off, players receive two cards and so does the dealer. The players look at their cards and decide whether to check or to raise. If they opt to raise, it must amount to four times the ante. There is also an option to raise only three times – however, there is never a hand where basic strategy calls for this move. A raise at any point in the hand ends any player action.
2. After this decision, three cards (known as the flop) are shown. Players that did not raise before the flop now have the option of raising two times the ante. Checking is also an option here.
3. After the post-flop betting has been resolved, the last two cards are shown. At this point, players must either match their ante or fold.
4. The dealer then exposes his two cards and grades the hand. The dealer must have at least one pair to qualify. A paired board is considered a qualifier, even if the dealer did not match it.
5. If the dealer does not qualify, then the ante pushes; even if the player’s hand loses to the dealer. If the dealer’s hand qualifies, the best hand wins the ante bet. This is the same whether playing in a casino or online at top poker sites for real money.
Additional notes: Regardless of whether the dealer qualifies, the blind and raises are in play. If the dealer beats the player then the blind bet and raise lose. If the player beats the dealer, the raise is matched. Ties push the raise and blind bet.
The blind, ante and play bets are each scored slightly differently depending on the outcome of the hand. The blind bet has its own special pay table, according to the strength of the overall hand. For the blind, winning hands of a straight or better have special payouts. Winning ante and play bets are paid out at 1:1. Below we have put together a basic chart outlining each of these:
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The Trips side bet is optional and pays regardless of whether the hand wins or not. It even wins if the board makes the hand, making it one of the most popular features of Ultimate Texas Hold ‘Em. It is also worth noting that players may fold and still win the Trips bet. Below we have outlined payouts based on the winning hand:
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When it comes to the excitement level of Ultimate Texas Hold ‘Em, the possibility of hitting a progressive certainly adds to the game. There are generally two types of progressive available at a table. This includes a “small” and “big” progressive. Obviously, this will vary from casino to casino, and sometimes even state to state. Most commonly, to qualify for the progressive requires the player to place a $1 side bet.
A “small progressive” refers to a player making certain hands by using at least 1 hole card. The highest payout comes from hitting a Royal Flush. Doing so will mean you get paid out the entire small progressive jackpot. Other hands qualifying for the progressive are community royals, straight flushes, four of a kinds and full houses.
A “big progressive” refers to when a player makes the same hands listed above without using any hole cards. Instead, the player must flop a Royal Flush to win the jackpot. The jackpot for big progressives are generally much higher than the small progressive, since the odds are much lower on hitting one. You can still, however, win by using hole cards. For example, making a royal with a hole card still pays 5% of the jackpot, while a community royal will generally pay $3,000.