Online Casino Poker: A Guide to 3 card and 5 card Goodness
For some, a mention of poker triggers images of blokes sitting around slugging beer over a game of 5 card stud. Others find acknowledgement in the flashy Texas Hold’em TV tournaments that came about during the boom of the mid-00s. Few, however, think of traditional casino card rooms. But they’d be wrong to overlook casino poker variants. Allow us to walk you through some of the most interesting games available online today. We will also show you the best online casinos for taking down the house in these most unique of casino card games.
- Beat the House at Poker
- Choose Your Favourite Variant
These operators have been hand-selected for casino poker players to guarantee the best online experience. We have considered the number of variations available, table limits, software and the relative wagering requirements on any welcome or deposit bonuses these online casino offer.
The Best Casino Poker Online Games in the UK
Only online can you find the widest selection of online casino poker. These games are somewhat niche in land-based casinos. Playing second-fiddle to blackjack, it’s common to find only a handful of tables and little to no range in table limits. Online it’s a different story, with an array of options available to the casino enthusiast. The following variants provide subtle differences in the way the cards are dealt, the opportunities for betting and the qualifying requirements for a hand.
Three Card Casino Poker
When Derek Webb adapted traditional poker for casino card tables in 1994, casino poker was born. The game is now readily available at online casinos in the UK and remains the most common version on the game. Often referred to simply as ‘3 card poker’ the game is a streamlined version of its 5 card brother where players aim to build the best possible 3-card poker hand in a head to head with the dealer. Gameplay is simple. Players place an initial bet called an ante before receiving three cards. Those feeling confident of beating the dealer can lay an additional bet, otherwise folding is an option for those dealt an ugly set of cards. The house then receives three cards and the best hand wins. Hands are ranked per the same structure as the regular game with the only exception being that a three-card straight beats a three-card flush. Optional side bets for pairs are often also available. For more information on this variation, check out our dedicated 3 card poker page.
Caribbean Stud Poker
The origins of Caribbean Stud are strangely somewhat unknown. Claims to the game’s invention date back to the early 1980s, but all the truth is nobody really knows who created it. Nevertheless, the 5 card poker variation is widely popular today and is available at most of the best online casinos in the UK. In Caribbean stud poker, players receive five cards after placing an ante and decide on the strength of their hand versus the dealer’s single card. After opting to bet or fold, the dealer’s remaining four cards are dealt to reveal the winner. Odds of up to 100 to 1 are common in Caribbean stud for premium hands such as a Royal Flush or a Straight Flush. The dealer will qualify with anything better than ace king, so it’s important to have a good hand when the dealer is showing an ace or king in the hole. If the dealer does not qualify, antes are paid at evens but additional bets are pushed. Nowadays huge progressive jackpots are often packaged into to Caribbean stud as well.
Ultimate Texas Hold’em
The most modern variation of casino poker, Ultimate Texas Hold’em, was developed by Roger Snow of SHFL Entertainment, a Nevada-based manufacturer of card shuffling machines. Today, the game is a popular niche table in Las Vegas but is not widely available. Online though, Ultimate Texas Hold’em is enjoying a surge in popularity and Evolution Gaming now offers a live dealer version. The idea is to get as close to PvP Texas Hold’em as you can whilst playing against the house. The action is split into three rounds of betting; pre-flop, on the flop, and after the river. Both player and dealer receive two hole cards but the dealer’s hand is not revealed until the showdown. The house will qualify with any pair or better. Side bets for three-of-a-kind, also known as trips, are also available.
Oasis poker, similarly to Caribbean stud, is played with 5-card hands. A natural evolution from its tropical sibling, the big difference when playing Oasis is the option to discard cards in return for alternatives. Just like traditional 5 card poker, after receiving hole cards players are given the chance to discard any number of unfavourable cards to build a better hand. This luxury comes at a price. Each card discarded for a new one will cost the value of your ante. It’s a huge advantage over the dealer, albeit an expensive one. The dealer is not given the option to discard and qualifies with an ace king or better. Oasis is the perfect game for the players looking for a traditional 5 card poker experience but cannot gather a group of friends together to play live.
The drunken love child of 5 card poker and blackjack, Tequila is a cocktail of table games shaken into one. After placing an ante, players receive four cards. From there, the option to place an additional bet on one of two ways to win is available, as is the opportunity to fold. The Tequila Poker route is like 5 card. Players must make a hand of a pair of aces or better to win. Pay-outs are determined by the pay table. The High Tequila option is more like blackjack. Card values must total 46 or more to win. After choosing a path, two additional cards are dealt to complete a 6-card hand. The dealer does not receive any cards in Tequila Poker. Odds of up to 200 to 1 are available for a Royal Flush or a hand totalling 54 or more.
Live Casino Poker: Hold’em and More
With most online casino poker games, any player laying a bet competes with the same hand. This is certainly true of the Live Dealer casino poker games that are available in the UK today. Add in the ability for players to chat to each other, and you’ve got a recipe for an electric atmosphere. Everyone wins together and loses together, and the camaraderie is always strong. Live gaming expert, Evolution Gaming, has added several online casino poker games to its live line-up recently including 3 card poker, Caribbean stud, Casino Hold’em and Ultimate Texas Hold’em.
The live casino experience has come on leaps and bounds in the last couple of years. Authentic live gaming that’s as good as the real thing is now a reality. It’s fantastic that these casino poker games are starting to hit the live market too. Live dealer games are certainly the future for online casinos, and the game selection and features will only advance from here.
Why Play Casino Poker Online?
Playing casino poker online comes with a significant advantage over playing at your local land-based casino. If you’ve never tried your luck in an online casino before, you’re missing out. Here’s our top five reasons why we prefer to play online.
- There’s no time pressure – you can take our time for big decisions.
- Variation – on land, you get one casino poker game if you’re lucky. Online there are lots.
- Flexibility – table limits can be anywhere from 10p to £10,000 online.
- Free practice – you can always play around with the demo mode first to learn the game.
- It’s mobile – the best operator apps have online casino poker games on the go.
Casino Poker is seeping into live casinos now and has been on mobile for quite a while. However, the mobile selection can still be limited depending on the operator. If you are looking to play casino poker on the move, you can learn more about mobile casinos on our dedicated page.
Casino Poker Rules: How to Rank Poker Hands
The rules of casino poker can vary from game to game. They way Caribbean poker is played is different to Ultimate Texas Hold’em, for example. But fundamental to all poker games, from casino tables games to PvP tournaments or even old-school 5 card stud home games, is the poker hand rankings. These rankings have been set in stone for a long time, and ultimately separate winners from losers in all forms of poker. Learning this league table of hands is essential to being successful at the poker table.
All 3 card poker variations will value a 3-card straight higher than a 3-card flush, but aside from this minor tweak, this list of poker hands is practically sacred. Other casino poker games may not pay out every hand on the list. Drawing the cut-off at one pair of kings or aces is common.
Casino Poker Strategy, Tips and Tricks
Effective strategies can be in casino poker games to tip the odds in favour of the player and maximise the chances of making a profit. Just like in blackjack or roulette, dealers are bound by very strict rules in casino poker, and intelligent decisions will seriously improve your chances. Here are our top tips to remember when playing.
- Always raise when holding a qualifying pair or better.
- If the dealer is already holding a qualifying hand, always fold unless you have a better hand already.
- Strongly consider folding if your starting hand is worse than king or ace high.
- If the dealer’s card is between 2 to Q and matches one of yours, then raise.
If you are looking for a game which can be exploited using carefully designed strategy, we suggest taking a look at sone of the most popular roulette games played over the years. For those of you who are up for some rounds of online casino poker for real money, head over to our recommended casino below or take a look at our curated selection of the best online casino operators in our review roundup!