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Live Dealer Poker Guide: All 6 Live Casino Poker Games Explained

If you’re looking for exploitable casino games with a low house edge where your decisions matter, look no further than live dealer poker.

You probably came to this page wondering what live casino poker is in the first place, what games are available, and which is the best one.

Live dealer casino poker, or simply live casino poker, is not a specific game. It’s an umbrella term for any poker-style card game you play online with a live human dealer. It includes games such as Casino Hold’em, 3 Card Poker and Caribbean Stud Poker.

You’ve probably seen these games in online casino lobbies in their automated RNG form, but here we’ll discuss the real deal, the casino poker games hosted by a live dealer that use real decks of cards.

If you’re considering playing casino poker, you should only be playing the live dealer versions of these games.

On this page, I’ll review every live dealer poker game individually and explain the differences between them so you can find the one that suits you the most.

There are between 6 and 11 games to play, depending on whether you count individual games or game types.

At any rate, there are some exploitable ones where your strategy will make the difference!

Live Casino poker - live casino holdem logo

2 hand casino holdem

Texas Hold'em Bonus Poker

Ultimate Texas Hold'em

three card poker

live caribbean stud poker

live 3 card brag

side bet city poker logo

RNG Casino Poker

In almost all online casinos, you will see many casino poker table games such as Caribbean Stud Poker, 3 Card Brag, and Casino listed in the games lobbies, including the games mentioned on this page and a few that are not.

Despite sharing the same names, these games are not live dealer poker games. The outcomes of these games are determined by a random number generator (RNG), which means you’re playing against a calculator and not against a live human dealer who shuffles a real deck of cards.

While these games emulate real card games, they are designed for quick play, where you control the pace of play, and you’re playing just on your own. The RTPs are similar to live dealer casino poker games, but the playing experience is completely different.

If you want to play casino poker, stick to the games mentioned on this page.

7 Things you should know before you start playing Live Casino poker

  1. All the games are based on Poker, and understanding Poker hand rankings will increase your enjoyment.
  2. Each game is played with a single deck of 52 Playing cards. This is shuffled after each game round, generally by a machine.
  3. All games are played against the house or Dealer. The player’s hand has to be better than the Dealer’s to win.
  4. In most poker games, only one hand is dealt to the player’s position. There are exceptions with Caribbean Stud Poker, and I’ll cover that later.
  5. Side Bets and Bonus Bets all have enhanced payout odds. These bets have a much lower RTP than the base game. If you’re looking for that big hit, then the side bets give you that. They can also eat away at your balance very quickly, so play them wisely if you play them!
  6. Progressive Jackpots are available on Evolution Gaming’s Casino Hold ’em, Texas Hold ’em Bonus Poker and Caribbean Stud Poker. You’ll find them at selected Evolution Casinos.
  7. Some payouts depend on the Dealer having a minimum value to their hand. It’s called “The Dealer Qualifying”. Watch out for this.

List Of All Live Dealer Poker Games

Evolution Casino Hold’em97.84% – 99.18%Two side bets; progressive jackpotPlay at Leo Vegas
Playtech Casino Hold’em97.84% – 99.18%Two table speeds to choose fromPlay at Bet Victor
Ezugi Casino Hold’em97.84% – 99.18%Play at VBet
OnAir Casino Hold’em97.83%Bonus, Red/Black & casino Razz Side betsPlay at Unibet
Ezugi Russian Poker98.23%Play at VBet
Evolution Ultimate Texas Hold’em97.82% – 99.47%Bet on Flop, Turn and River up to 4xPlay at PlayOjo
Playtech Heads Up Hold’em97.64%Bet on Flop, Turn and River up to 3xPlay at BetFred
Evolution Texas Hold’em Bonus Poker97.96% – 99.47%Win 1:1 on each of four betsPlay at Leo Vegas
Evolution Caribbean Stud Poker96.29% – 98.18%Simple and fast 5-card poker gamePlay at Bet Victor
Playtech Casino Stud Poker96.29% – 98.18%Identical to Evolution gamePlay at PlayOjo
Evolution Three Card Poker96.63%Fast game that uses only 3 cardsPlay at Leo Vegas
Playtech Three Card Brag98.00%Alternative to 3-card poker with better payoutsPlay at PlayOjo
Evolution Teen Patti96.63%Alternative to 3-card poker. Indian Dealers,Play at Leo Vegas
Evolution Video Poker99.54%5 Poker VariationsPlay at Leo Vegas
Playtech Millionaire Video Poker99.54%5 Poker VariationsPlay at PlayOjo

Live Dealer Poker in a Nutshell:All Games Compared

Live Casino Hold’em

ezugi casino holdem video

Casino Hold’em is a game in which you want to make a better 5-card poker hand than the dealer out of 7 cards dealt.

It is a simplified version of the multiplayer Texas Hold’em poker. You’ll see this in all online casinos in its RNG form and live dealer form in casinos with Evolution, Playtech or Ezugi live games, such as Leo Vegas. The game also exists in a two-hand version by Evolution, where you play two hands simultaneously.

The RTP is 97.84% in all four live dealer games available: Evolution, Playtech, On Air, and Ezugi. The payouts and rules are the same. With the correct strategy, the RTP can go up to 99.18%. Playtech has two different table speeds. Evolution has two optional side bets, one of which can award a progressive jackpot, which has a total for May 21, 2024 of £.

Ultimate Texas Hold’em

ultimate texas holdem video

Evolution Ultimate Texas Hold’em is more elaborate as you’re involved with the betting until the last card is dealt.

You can Check or Bet after each card is dealt, the same as in Texas Hold’em poker, which we all know and love.

Evolution is the only one to produce Ultimate Texas Hold’em. In this version, the Ante Bet pays 1:1, but the payouts for the Blind bet are more dependent on the value of the winning hand. The dealer must have a pair or better for you to win any money on the Ante or Blind bets.

The RTP for the Ante Bet is 97.82%, but it rises to 99.47% overall if you continue betting.

There is a Trips side bet that has a poor RTP of 96.50% and, while not a good value option, is exciting to play.

Follow my Ultimate Texas Hold’em Strategy to learn how to play this game optimally to win more often.

Texas Hold’em Bonus Poker

texas holdem bonus poker video

Evolution Texas Hold’em Bonus Poker is more similar to Blackjack in payouts than poker, as all you can ever win if you beat the dealer during the main hand is 1:1.

Four opportunities exist to win through the Ante, Flop, Turn and River bets.

The RTP is 97.96% based on the Ante bet and rises to 99.47% if you continue betting.

The optional Bonus side bet pays regardless of the dealer’s hand outcome.

While it has a poor RTP of 91.46%, this is where all the big payouts can be found and is the main reason why you play this game.

An optional progressive jackpot is available with a total for May 21, 2024 of £.

Caribbean Stud Poker

Caribbean stud poker video

Caribbean Stud Poker is perhaps the simplest form of casino poker, and you can play it against a live dealer at Evolution or Playtech.

Their games are identical. XPRO Gaming and Vivo Gaming have games that differ as they offer five-player hands.

The game is very simple. After you place the Ante Bet, you see all your five cards and one of the dealer’s five cards.

You either Call or Fold. The Ante Bet pays 1:1, and the Call Bet pays according to the paytable, up to 1000:1 for the Royal Flush.

The RTP for the Ante Bet is 96.29%, rising to 98.18% overall.

There’s an additional 5+1 side bet at Evolution casinos and an optional Progressive Jackpot with a total for May 21, 2024 of £

3 Card Poker

three card poker video

Three Card Poker is a hugely popular game that reduces the number of cards a player is given from seven to three.

The objective is for the player’s hand to beat the dealer’s hand with a better three-card poker hand.

Evolution currently has the only live dealer version available to play online.

The RTP is 96.63%.

Two side bets, Pairs Plus and 6 Card Bonus, are fun to play and have enhanced payouts.

If you want a simple introduction to live dealer poker, Three-card poker is the one to try.

3 Card Brag

three card brag video

Three Card Brag technically isn’t poker. It’s brag, an 18th-century British card game that is one of the ancestors of poker.

What this means to you as a player is that the best possible hand isn’t a Royal Flush but three of a kind called a Prial.

The best Prial you can get is 3-3-3, followed by A-A-A, K-K-K, etc. The RTP of this game is 98.00%.

Playtech is the only provider that offers a live Three Card Brag game.

Side Bet City

side bet city video

Side Bet City isn’t strictly a poker card game, because no cards are dealt to the player or dealer.

However, I’ve included it because the results of the game are all Poker ranked hands.

The dealer deals 7 cards face-up on the table. You have the option to bet on the first 3 cards, the first 5, or all 7.

If you’ve bet on the first three your results are limited to 3 card poker hands. The 5 and 7 cards are used to make the best 5 card poker hand.

Payouts on the hands depend on which option you’ve bet on. There’s also the option to bet on All lose, where you receive a 0.70:1 payout if there are no winning hands.

Teen Patti

playtech teen patti video review

Teen Patti is an Asian version of Three Card Poker.

The game rules are the same, even the side bets you can play.

I’ve no idea why the game is named differently; perhaps it has to do with Copyright or something?

So, if you’re looking for an alternative to the Western-presented Three Card Poker, Teen Patti, with its Indian dealers and authentic-looking studios, is a great alternative.

Video Poker Live

live video poker video review

Video Poker Live is five games of poker in one. You can play Jacks or Better, Tens or Better, Deuces Wild, Bonus Poker, and Double Double Bonus Poker.

Evolution created the first version of this game, bringing the popular RNG video game to live dealers. It plays much slower but is an excellent alternative to the other live dealer poker games, with an RTP of 99.54%!

Playtech Millionaire Video Poker is essentially the same game but with a Bonus round triggered by certain hand combinations.

RTP for Live Casino Poker Games Compared

Every poker game has a different Return to Player (RTP). This is the expected return you’d get on your bets, and it’s worked out over millions of hands. In general, you want to play games with a high RTP. I’ve gone through all the games and listed the published RTPs. I’ve included the bonus and side bet RTPs for completeness.

Live Poker GameOverall RTPAces or Better BonusTripsBonusPairs Plus5+1 Bonus
Casino Hold’em97.84%93.74%n/an/an/an/a
Ultimate Texas Hold’em99.47%n/a96.50%n/an/an/a
Texas Hold’em Bonus Poker99.47%n/an/a91.46%n/an/a
3 Card Poker96.63%n/an/an/a95.51%n/a
3 Card Brag98%n/an/an/a97.86%n/a
Caribbean Stud Poker98.19%n/an/an/an/a91.44%
Teen Patti96.63%n/an/an/a95.51%n/a
Video Poker – Jacks or Better99.54%n/an/an/an/an/a
Video Poker – Tens or Better97.96%n/an/an/an/an/a
Video Poker – Deuces Wild98.91%n/an/an/an/an/a
Video Poker – Bonus Poker99.17%n/an/an/an/an/a
Video Poker – Doubel Double Bonus98.98%n/an/an/an/an/a

Live Dealer Casino Poker Game Payouts Compared

Casino Hold’em Payouts

Casino Hold’em pays according to the hand rank. You place an Ante bet and, after that, a Call bet that is 2x your original bet when you see three of the five community cards.

Payouts for all three Casino Hold’em games and 2 Hand Casino Hold’em by Evolution, Playtech and Ezugi are the same.

Below are the payouts for the Ante Bet (RTP 97.84%) and the optional side bet called Bonus Bet, Aces or Better, or simply AA bet (RTP 93.74%).

Evolution also has a Jumbo 7 Jackpot side bet that will pay millions when a 7-card straight flush is dealt. The 2-Hand Casino Hold’em by Evolution pays the same.

Here, I will also include Caribbean Stud Poker – available in Evolution and Playtech versions – a simple casino poker game that pays according to hand rank. That paytable has a worse RTP of 96.29%.

HandAnte BetBonus BetCaribbean
Royal Flush100:1100:1100:1
Straight Flush20:150:150:1
Four of A Kind10:140:125:1
Full House3:130:110:1
Three of A Kind1:17:13:1
Two Pairs1:17:12:1
One Pair1:17:1 (must be AA)1:1
….or less1:11:1

Ultimate Texas Hold’em / Heads Up Hold’em Payouts

Two games let you bet all the way, from Ante to River.

The Evolution game is Ultimate Texas Hold’em, and the Playtech version is Heads Up Hold’em.

They are identical except for the larger 100:1 payout for Royal Flush in the Evolution Trips Plus side bet and that you can bet 4x in the Evolution game if you want to.

After you make your Ante bet and see your two cards, you will be given a choice to Check or Call 3x, in which case betting for you will end. After the Flop, you will Check or Call 2x. Turn and River are dealt together, and you can Call 1x or Fold.

Here are the payouts for the main game and the side bets.

HandBase PayoutTrips/Trips Plus
Royal Flush500:150:1 / 100:1
Straight Flush50:140:1
Four Of A Kind10:130:1
Full House3:18:1
Three Of A KindPush3:1
All OthersPush

Casino Poker Games With a 1:1 Payout

Evolution Live Texas Hold’em Bonus Poker pays 1:1 if you win, but you can place from 2x to 4x your Ante bet as the cards are revealed, which lets you affect how many times you win the 1:1.

A complex optional side bet pays according to dealer/player hand rank.

Which is the Best Game to play?

There are two ways to judge this:

  • Firstly, the game you enjoy playing the most should be on your list. If you don’t have a favourite, jump to my previews of all Live Dealer Poker Games to see what suits you best.
  • Secondly, the RTP of the game makes a huge difference. Choose a poker game that has a higher RTP. You’ll find you get to play for longer, and your bankroll will turn over many times. Bailing out at the right point could mean you leave with a profit. This is gambling. After all, nothing is guaranteed, lol.

If played to optimal strategy, Ultimate Texas Hold’em and Texas Hold’em Bonus Poker have the best RTPs for the Total Bet at 99.47%.

These are also my favourites, as you’re involved in each hand until the last card is dealt.

Which Live Casino Poker Game Pays the Best?

Of the three live 3-card poker games, 3-card Brag is the better choice.

If we look at the paytables of all five-card poker games and their bonus bets, we can quickly eliminate Caribbean Poker, as it has a poor paytable and doesn’t let you make any decisions. Its paytable, however, is weighted a bit towards the low-hand ranks, which is a good thing.

All Casino Hold’em games are decent choices, and with a correct strategy, you can do well, but you only win 1:1 unless you get a Flush or better.

Evolution Ultimate Texas Hold’em, Playtech Heads Up Hold’em and Evolution Live Texas Hold’em Bonus Poker all let you exploit the game with your betting strategy regardless of your hand. You can win big with a Straight.

I’d search for my candidate between these three exploitable games.

Since Playtech is difficult to find in the UK, that leaves us with two Evolution games, and I think Ultimate Texas Hold’em is slightly better. I have a significant page with the correct strategy for playing this game.

Now, let’s continue with more elaborate individual casino poker game reviews.

Live Casino Poker games

6 Live Casino Software Providers offer Live Poker games, but not all of them can offer all of the games. This is due to licensing restrictions.

  • Evolution Gaming has the most comprehensive coverage of games and holds exclusive rights for 3 Card Poker, Ultimate Texas Hold’em, and Texas Hold’em Bonus Poker. They also offer Casino Hold’em, Side Bet City, Teen Patti, Video Poker, and Caribbean Stud Poker. They are also the only supplier that offers Progressive Poker Jackpots.
  • Playtech – has Casino Hold’em, Teen Patti and 3 Card Brag.
  • Ezugi – has Casino Hold’em, Russian Poker & Teen Patti.
  • Vivo Gaming has a 5-seat Caribbean Stud Poker.
  • Xpro Gaming has 5 Seat Caribbean Stud Poker & Casino Hold’em.
  • OnAir Entertainment has Casino Hold’em.

Progressive Jackpots on Live Casino Poker Games

Evolution Gaming has been leading the way in introducing progressive jackpots on Live Poker games.

There are currently three jackpots running.

Casino Hold’em Jackpot

Jumbo 7 Jackpot for Casino Hold'em

The Jackpot total for May 21, 2024 is £.

Play this for £/€ 1 at Leo Vegas

Texas Hold’em Bonus Jackpot

First 5 Jackpot for Texas Holdem Bonus Poker

The Jackpot total for May 21, 2024 is £.

Play this for £/€ 1 at Royal Panda

Caribbean Stud Poker Jackpot

Jackpot for Caribbean Stud Poker

The Jackpot total for May 21, 2024 is £.

Play this for £/€ 1 at Mr Green

The jackpot is triggered when a Royal Flush has been dealt to the Players hand. All players playing the Jackpot bet at the time qualify for an equal share of the prize.

Other cash prizes can be won for smaller winning poker hands. These are fixed payments that are paid directly to the player.

The jackpots are not available at all Evolution live casinos, it all depends on whether they signed up for it.

The progressive Jackpot for Caribbean Stud Poker was last won in June 2018.

A bit about Poker hand ranks

At the heart of any poker game is the ranking of hands. The rankings remain the same for all games (Except 3 Card Brag, where 3 of a kind (Prial) beats a Straight Flush or Royal Flush.

High card


The lowest-ranked hand in poker is the High Card, with the Ace being the highest. If two people have equal high cards, the next highest card (kicker) in the hand determines the winner.

One Pair

9c-60x40 9s-60x40 kd-60x40 5h-60x40 2s-60x40

Two cards with the same value form a pair. A Pair of Aces is the top hand, followed by Kings, Queens, etc.

Two Pair

9c-60x40 9s-60x40 3c-60x40 3h-60x40 2s-60x40

Two sets of pairs in the same hand. If two people have the same first pair, the rank of the second pair decides who wins.

3 of a Kind

5h-60x40 5c-60x40 5d-60x40 qd-60x40 7c-60x40

Also known as Trips, this hand has 3 cards of the same value, e.g. 3 Kings, 3 Eights , 3 Fives etc.


2s-60x40 3h-60x40 4c-60x40 5h-60x40 6x-60x40

This is a sequence of cards from any suite, like 3, 4, 5, 6, 7, 8 or in 3 card poker 4,5,6.


ah-60x40 3h-60x40 5h-60x40 9h-60x40 10h-60x40

All cards are from the same suit. The kicker rule applies if there are two flushes. This is an Ace High Flush.

Full House

5h-60x40 5c-60x40 5d-60x40 9c-60x40 9h-60x40

A pair and a 3 of a kind make up a Full House. The higher 3 of a kind would win if there are two full houses.

4 of a Kind

9d-60x40 9c-60x40 9h-60x40 9s-60x40 ah-60x40

4 cards that are of the same value, one from each suit.

Straight Flush

3c-60x40 4c-60x40 5c-60x40 6x-60x40 7c-60x40

This is a straight and a flush all in one.

Royal Flush

aced-60x40 kd-60x40 qd-60x40 jd-60x40 10d-60x40

The best possible hand in poker. A straight flush of the highest value cards in a suit, A-10.

Its beatable by a Prial in 3 Card Brag.

Live Dealer Poker Strategy: Can Live Casino Poker Be Beaten?

Live Casino Poker is one of the most underrated casino games.

Many players flock to Blackjack as the exploitable game with the ‘lowest house edge’, but in reality, Live Dealer Poker is just as good in house edge, if not better.

In Blackjack, you only bet once and then make your decisions, but in some versions of Live Casino Poker, you can bet multiple times on Flop, Turn and River. That makes all the difference, as you can fine-tune your bet size and gain an advantage over the house.

I’d say the most exploitable live casino poker game is Ultimate Texas Hold’em by Evolution, and I have written an extensive strategy guide for it:

Live Ultimate Texas Hold’em Strategy

For strategy guides for other Live Casino Poker games, visit the respective game pages on this site.

Also, look into my post about gambling bankroll management.

About Live Casino Poker?

Live Casino poker is a general term for a range of online live dealer games based on traditional poker.

In traditional poker, players play against each other. While in Live Casino Poker, play is against the house/dealer.

In 2000, Stephen Au-Yeung developed a table game called Casino Hold’em while trying to teach his wife how to play Texas Hold’em Poker.

This live dealer poker game first made its way online for us all to enjoy.

Casino Hold ’em uniqueness lays in there being only one player hand. As it turns out was a revelation for online play, where an unlimited number of people could play the same hand at the same time. Talk about being lucky!

Casino Hold’em was probably responsible for helping develop other single-handed poker games and is still the most popular single-hand poker game to be played online.