How to Get Started
To start a round, you must place two bets, the Ante bet and the Blind. The two bets are always of equal value, so if you set the Blind at €2 then the Ante bet will also be €2, bringing the total bet up to €4. After seeing your cards, you also have the chance to bet 3x or 4x the Ante. This will skip the following rounds where you can Check or raise your bet and directly reveal all 5 community cards and then reveal the dealer’s cards.
If you choose to Check, the dealer will deal two cards to you and two face down cards to themselves. The dealer then proceeds to deal the Flop (the first three community cards) face up, and you have a chance to raise the Ante by 2x. You can also choose to Check (in which case you do not raise the bet). Once that round is finished, the dealer deals the Turn (the fourth community card) and the River (the fifth community card), if you Checked in the previous round, then you will have one final chance to raise your Ante bet by 1x or you can choose to Check. When you Check or raise the Ante, then the dealer's cards are revealed, and if they qualify, then the strongest hand wins.
The dealer can qualify if they hold at least a pair, if they do not qualify, then the ante bets are returned to you without a profit.
If the dealer qualifies and you beat their hand, the additional "Play" bets and the Ante bet are paid at 1:1. The Blind bet pays if you have beat the dealer's hand with a Straight or better. The Blind will pay 1:1 for a Straight, 3:2 for a Flush, 3:1 for a Full House, 10:1 for Four of a Kind, 50:1 for a Straight Flush and 500:1 for a Royal Flush. If you beat the dealer but had none of these hands, the Blind is returned with no payout.
Ultimate Texas Hold 'Em Poker Hands
If you have played any variant of poker before you will be familiar with the poker hands mentioned above, but if there are some you are unsure of then here is a brief explanation of each hand, from strongest to weakest:
This is the strongest hand you can have in the game, it contains the 10, J, Q, K and A all from the same suit.
A Straight Flush hand will have sequential cards that are all from the same suit, this can be 5, 6, 7, 8 and 9 of Hearts.
Four of a Kind
As suggested by the name, Four of a Kind is when you have 4 matching cards; for example, 6 of Diamonds, Hearts, Spades and Clubs.
This is a hand where you have three of a kind as well as a pair. An example of this is three 2s and two 10s.
A Flush is when you have a total of five cards from the same suit. This can be 2, 5, 6, J and K all of Diamonds.
If you have five sequential cards then you have made a Straight, the suit does not matter. For example, 4, 5, 6, 7 and 8 of different suits.
Three of a Kind
If you have three matching cards, then your hand is Three of a Kind. This can be K of Hearts, K of Diamonds and K of Spades.
Two Pair is when you have two pairs of matching cards, for example a J of Hearts and Diamonds and a 5 of Hearts and Spades.
When you have a single pair of matching cards you have One Pair, this can be 10 of Diamonds and 10 of Spades.
If your hand has none of the above and neither does the dealer, then the round will be decided by the highest card.
If the dealer and you both form the same hand, the winner will be decided by the highest card. For example, you both make a Flush: your hand is 10 and A of Hearts, the dealer has 2 and Q of Hearts, and the community cards are 5, 6 and 7 of Hearts, 3 of Spades and 6 of Diamonds, then you will win the round with the A.
There are a number of side bets you can use to raise the stakes even higher. These bets are popular among players who do not mind putting in some extra money into each round, especially with the high payouts that they can give if the hands meet certain criteria.
Trips are the most common side bet in Ultimate Texas Hold 'Em, these bets can be made at the beginning of a round and the bet you set is completely independent of the Ante bet and Blind. The exact amount of the payouts vary from game to game, so make sure you read the instructions of the specific game you want to play, but generally the payouts are 3:1 for Three of a Kind, 4:1 for a Straight, 7:1 for a Flush, 9:1 for a Full House, 30:1 for Four of a Kind, 40:1 for a Straight Flush and 50:1 for a Royal Flush.
Progressive jackpots have become massively popular in recent years, the way they work is that you make a separate bet, often of €1, which is then put straight into a pot. The pot grows every time you, and all of the other people who play the game, play a round. This can result in huge jackpots, potentially over €1 million, and it can be won by anyone. The exact amount of the jackpots will vary from game to game, but you will easily be able to find out how much they are, as it will be advertised. Usually to win the whole jackpot, you will need to have a Royal Flush, with both your dealt cards along with three from the community cards. There will also be sizable smaller jackpots that you can win if you have certain strong hands, but these will be fixed amounts that are only small portions of the jackpot.
If you think that the expert strategy for Ultimate Texas Hold 'Em poker will be extensive and require quick arithmetic skills, you are in for a great surprise.
The expert strategy is pretty simple and straightforward to use, it is split into two sections; the Pre-Flop strategy and the Post-Flop strategy, and there are only a handful of rules between them that you need to learn to increase your chances to win.
Raise to 4x with any hand that contains an Ace
Raise to 4x with K5+ or with K2s-4s
Raise to 4x with Q8+ or Q6s or Q7s
Raise to 4x with J10+ or J8s or J9s
Raise to 4x with all pairs of 3 or better
In these rules, when there is an "s" it means that the cards belong to the same suit. In K2s-4s this means a K with a 2, 3 or 4 that are of the same suit.
If you do not have any of the hands above, then you must Check and proceed to the following round. Note that nowhere in the rules does it mention that you should use the 3x raise, so make sure you avoid using it.
Post Flop strategy
Once the Flop is revealed, you can choose to either Check or bet 2x, there are only two rules in this round
Bet 2x with two pair or anything better, or if you have a hidden pair (a pair between one of your cards and one of the community cards)
Check, and then Bet 1x at the River if you have a hidden pair or if the dealer has no more than 21 outs that can beat your hand
In poker there are odds and outs, the outs are the number of remaining cards in the deck that could potentially beat your hand. To learn how to count these will take some practice, but once you pick it up you can use the expert strategy to reduce the house edge from 2% to 1%.