Ultimate Texas Hold'em Online

Ultimate Texas Hold'em table

The premise of Ultimate Texas Hold’em is simple:

  • Beat the dealer in a standard hand of Texas Hold’em

All of the standard hand rankings of Texas Hold'em poker apply although the betting works slightly different than a normal player vs. player round of Hold’em.

Once all the betting is done, the player and dealer compare hands and the best 5-card poker hand wins. The Ultimate Texas Hold’em player is then paid out according to the bets they made along the way and their final hand.

Ultimate Texas Hold’em Rules and How to Play

On the table in front of you (either live or online) you will see different betting circles:

  • Ante
  • Blinds
  • Play
  • Trips

To play a hand of Ultimate Texas Hold'em you need to make at least 2 bets - the Ante and Blinds bet. The Trips bet is an optional bet you can make which pays out only if you hit certain hands.

The Play bet you can make in different multiples of your original bets at various points in the hand. Here’s how a hand of Ultimate Texas Hold’em works:

  • Each player makes the two mandatory opening bets - an "ante" bet and a "blinds" bet
  • There is also an optional "Trips" bet players can choose before the deal
  • Two cards are then dealt face down to the players and the dealer
  • Once players have checked their cards they can choose to add on a "Play" bet at a value of 3x or 4x the ante bet
  • Players can also check and wait for the next betting round
  • Dealer then deals 3 community cards face up on the table. These are shared between players and dealer
  • If the player checked in the first betting round they can now make a Play bet worth 2x ante or can check again
  • Once you've made the Play bet you can’t bet again
  • After players have again bet or checked the dealer deals two more shared community cards in the middle of the table
  • If player has yet to make a Play bet (checked twice) they must now either fold (lose both their ante and blinds bets) or bet 1x ante

Once all the cards have been dealt and all Play bets made the dealer will reveal their hole cards and declare their best 5-card hand.

Ultimate Texas Holdem poker

Dealer Qualifying Hand

Note: The dealer must have at least a pair to have a qualifying hand. if the dealer does not have a qualifying hand your Ante bet is returned to you. All other bets receive action.

Ultimate Texas Hold'em Bets and Payouts

After all the cards have been distributed and all extra Play bets made, hands are then evaluated based on the standard poker hand rankings. If you need a reminder, it would be smart to check out how the official poker hand rankings work.

Ultimate Texas Holdem casino poker

Play, Blind & Ante Bets

  • If your hand beats the dealer’s hand: Play and Ante bets pay 1:1; Blinds bet pays according to scale
  • If the Dealer hand beats your hand: Play, Ante and Blind bets all lose
  • If Dealer fails to open: Ante bet returned to player
  • If the final hands are tied: All bets are a push

Blind Bet Payouts

Your Blinds bet from the beginning of the hand will pay you out according to the strength of your hand. This is regardless of whether it beats the dealer hand or not.

The minimum hand you need to get paid is a Straight. If you beat the dealer with less than a Straight, though, your bet is a push. Here is a standard payout chart for Ultimate Texas Hold'em Blinds bets:

 Hand Payout
Royal Flush 500 to 1
Straight Flush 50 to 1
Four of a Kind 10 to 1
Full House 3 to 1
Flush 3 to 2
Straight 1 to 1

Trips Bet Payouts

The Trips bet has a slightly more complex payout structure than the other bets. Bets are won according to the value of your hand regardless of whether your hand beats the dealer's.

Each Trips pay table will likely be slightly different but a common one looks like this:

  • Royal Flush 50:1
  • Straight Flush: 40:1
  • Four of a Kind 30:1
  • Full House 9:1
  • Flush 7:1
  • Straight 4:1
  • Three of a Kind 3:1
  • All Other -1

Again, this is an optional bet you do not have to make before the hand starts to pay but can pay out an extra bonus, if you will, should you hit a big hand. The house edge for the Trips bet is usually around 1.9%.

Other Bets

Depending on the casino you're in or the online casino you're playing it you may find some other optional bets at your Ultimate Texas Hold'em table.

Progressive Jackpot

At some Ultimate Texas Hold'em tables you can find an optional Progressive Jackpot bet you can make. This is usually either $1 or $5. A portion of each bet is contributed to a growing progressive jackpot that pays out should a big hand hit.

The cards used to make up your Progressive Jackpot hand are your two hole cards and the first three community cards only. A Royal Flush pays out 100% of the progressive jackpot and a Straight Flush 10%. Lower ranked hands are paid out on a sliding scale.

Hole Card Bonus

The Hole Card bonus can be found in Vegas and elsewhere and pays out based on hole cards alone, both yours and the dealers. Common hole card bonus bets include, for example:

  • Both you and dealer have aces: 1000-1
  • You have aces: 30-1
  • AK Suited: 25-1
  • AQ Suites: 20-1

Basic Ultimate Texas Hold'em Strategy

Ultimate Texas Holdem poker hand

While players who have a lot of experience playing Texas Holdem will immediately feel comfortable playing Ultimate Texas Hold'em as a casino game, the optimal strategy is slightly different given a few obvious factors:

  • You are only playing against the dealer, not any other players
  • There is no fold equity or making the dealer fold when you have a bad hand
  • There is no bluffing
  • Position makes no difference
  • There is no rake

An understanding of the basic Texas Hold'em odds of hitting certain hands on the flop, turn and river come in handy but how much and when to bet is slightly different.

Knowing when to bet the max (4x) or 3x on the flop or waiting for later streets and smaller bets is a crucial part of making Ultimate Texas Hold'em profitable but they can be rather complex equations.

A general understanding of calculating how many outs you have and how likely they are to hit is very helpful though and can guide you in a general sense towards optimal strategy.

Best Payouts

The simplest and most effective Ultimate Texas Holdem strategy to remember is pre-flop, and that is:

  • Bet the max (4x your ante and not 3x) when you are dealt premium hole cards

What hands qualify as premium hole cards? Well, loosely:

  • Pairs - 33 or higher
  • Q6 suited or higher
  • J8 suited or higher
  • Any suited King
  • Q8 unsuited or higher
  • K5 unsuited or higher
  • Any Ace

If you have hole card combinations lower than these you can still proceed to make bets on later streets (they still might turn into quality hands) but it is better to check or fold right there than raise pre-flop.

Post-Flop Strategy

Once you've reached the flop the computations and decisions to play "perfect" Ultimate Texas Hold'em Strategy get far more complicated. If you've played a lot of hands of Texas Hold'em online you likely have a good feel for which hands will ultimately hit or not.

Otherwise, a Ultimate Texas Hold'em odds calculator is required to know what to do in each and every situation. As a few general rules though:

  • Raise 2x when you have two pair or better, a hidden pair (one hole card, one community card) above 22 and 4 cards to a flush
  • Raise 1x on the final bet if you have a hidden pair or better or under 21 dealer outs that can beat your hand

House Edge

As far as casino table games go, Ultimate Texas Hold'em has a fairly low house edge. Taken separately your ante and blinds bets lose about 2.2% of the time. Together, they drop down to about 1%.

So overall you have a fairly decent shot at breaking even. To really minimize the house edge you need to follow the optimal strategy as loosely outlined above or by pinpointing exact scenarios with an Ultimate Texas Hold'em calculator or chart.

We won't provide you with a full breakdown here but you can dig around and find them online easily. What we will say, though, that is you fold most of your trash hands and make sure you raise the maximum when you have the best hole cards as outlined above, you won't stray too far from optimal strategy.

Best of luck at the tables!

Practice For Free Online

As we always recommend, the best way to get your feet underneath you before plunging down any big bets is to try out the free "instant play" version of any casino game online. 

All of the best online casinos you'll find on our toplists will have free instant play (or "demo") versions of Ultimate Texas Hold'em you can launch right in your Internet browser and play away with free chips.

You won't win any real money, obviously, but it will give you a great sense for how the game play will flow online, where and how to place your bets and help you recognize hand scenarios where you're more or less likely to beat the dealer.

Ultimate Texas Holdem FAQs

  • What is Ultimate Texas Hold'em?

    Ultimate Texas Hold'em is a casino table game. It is a poker-based game where players are playing against the dealer in a very similar way to the player versus player version of Texas Hold'em. Ultimate Texas Hold'em was invented by Shufflemaster's Roger Snow.
  • How to Play Ultimate Texas Hold'em?

    The hand starts with a player making an ante and blind bet. After this every player, and the dealer, are dealt two cards face down. The player can look at their cards and decide to either check or raise three or four times their ante amount. At this stage the pre-flop action is complete and the dealer puts out three community cards and now the player has the option to either check, if they checked pre-flop, or bet two times their ante amount. For a player who raised pre-flop the rest of a hand is just a waiting game.

    After this round is done the dealer puts out two additional community cards and if the player has checked all the way they now need to either bet the same as the ante amount, or fold their hand. When this is done all remaining players show their hands and showdown against the dealer. Important to note is that if the dealer does not have at least a pair, there is no showdown and the players win on their blind and raise bet, but gets a push on their ante bet. However, if the dealer showdown and a player has a better hand, they get paid on all bet instances. That is how you Play a basic hand of Ultimate Texas Hold'em.

    You can also make a bet called trips bet. This is a separate bet where it does not matter what the dealer has since you are not competing against them in a showdown. Instead, the goal is to get three of a kind, or better to be paid out on a trips bet.
  • Is There an Ultimate Texas Hold'em Strategy?

    The short answer is yes. Since the decision making happens after the cards are dealt in Ultimate Texas Hold'em you can use basic strategy which can improve your chances of winning by lowering the house edge as much as you can. In general, the basic strategies will give instructions on knowing when and how much to raise given your hole cards.
  • Can you play Ultimate Texas Hold'em Online?

    Yes you can. You will be able to find many online casinos that offer Ultimate Texas Hold'em. Some of them even have live dealers. What this means is that even though you are playing online, you are connected to a real casino floor with a real dealer, as well as table and cards.