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OnAir Live Casino Hold’em Review

on air entertainment live casino holdem

Introduction to On Air Entertainment Casino Hold’em

OnAir Live Casino Holdem is a single-hand, multi-player game of poker played against the dealer.

Most Live Casino Providers have at least one poker game in their live games catalogue, usually Casino Holdem.

On Air Entertainment is no different, and added Casino Holdem in 2023.

In this review, I’ll briefly explain how to play Casino Holdem, show you how On Air Casino Holdem stacks up against its competitors and give you my view on what I think of this version of the game.

For those who like something a little more visual, you can watch my video review instead.

Neil’s Recommendations For OnAir Live Casino Holdem


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onair live casino holdem

What is Live Casino Hold’em?

Casino Hold ’em was originally developed by Stephen Au Yeung as a teaching aid for his wife, who wanted to learn how to play poker.

It’s a clever creation as you don’t play against other players as you do in regular poker; you play against the dealer. All you have to do is get a better 5 card poker hand to win.

The player and dealer receive two cards and share five community cards to make the best 5 card poker hand. No bluffing or complicated betting is needed to win. Players have a simple choice: play the hand to see if it beats the dealer or fold it if they think the dealer will beat them.

To add some spice to the game, three optional side bets can be played, which do not require you to keep playing the main hand to benefit from a payout.

Casino Holdem is a scalable game, which means multiple players play the same hand. Each player makes their betting decisions independently, so it feels like you’re the only one playing against the dealer.

Understanding the ranking value of poker hands helps make decisions about playing hands much easier, so you should probably familiarise yourself with those before playing this game.

Facts About OnAir Live Casino Holdem

On Air Casino Hold’em is played with one deck of cards, which is changed for a freshly shuffled deck every game round. Play alternates between the two decks; one is shuffled while the other is used for the next game, and so on.

Both decks are regularly changed, following the same change routine used in land-based casinos. The new decks are fanned across the table so players and the security cameras can see all the cards, confirming that a complete deck is put into play.

The game requires the dealer to qualify with a hand value of a pair of fours or more. If his hand value is less than a pair of fours, he is unable to play against you, and you win the hand regardless of what hand value you have.

OnAir Casino Hold’em has three optional side bets:

  1. Bonus
  2. Red/Black – which OnAir created.
  3. Casino Razz – which Stephen Au Yeung created.

How To Play OnAir Casino Hold’em

The game starts with Betting Time, which lasts for about fifteen seconds.

You’ve got Four bet choices.

  1. Ante – This is a compulsory bet you must place at the game’s start.

Optional Side Bets

  1. Bonus—This is an optional side bet that pays if your hand contains a Pair of Aces or more.
  2. Red/Black – If your final hand is all the same colour, you win.
  3. Casino Razz – This is a bet on low-value hands and pays from 6 high to Jack high!

Playing the game

Initial Deal

Following the shuffle, the dealer deals two cards face up to the Player position and two cards face down to the Dealer position.

Then, three cards are placed face up in the middle of the table.

At this point, the player has to decide whether to play the hand by paying a call bet (equal to 2x the amount of the Ante) or choose not to play the hand and fold.

onair live casino holdem initial deal

Turn & River Cards are Dealt

Once players have made their decisions, the dealer places an additional two cards, known as the Turn and River cards, into the middle of the table, making five community cards.

After waiting a few moments, the dealer reveals his two cards for the showdown, where both hands are compared.

onair live casino holdem turn river

The Result

The result of the hand is as follows.

The overriding rule is that the dealer must have a hand containing a Pair of Fours or something better to qualify to play.

If he doesn’t, then all players will win their hand.

  • The Ante pays even money, and the Call bet is returned to the player as a Push.

If the dealer has a Pair of Fours or better, his hand is said to have qualified, and a different set of rules applies.

His hand is compared with the players.

  • If his hand is better, the player loses, and all bets are lost.
  • If the dealer’s hand is weaker, the player wins.

Game Round ResultAnte BetCall Bet
The Dealer Doesn’t QualifyWinPush
The Dealer Qualifies and the Player WinsWin1:1
The Dealer Qualifies and the Player TiesPushPush
The Dealer Qualifies and the Player LosesLoseLose
The Player FoldsLosen/a

Payout Structure

Ante Bet Payout

Payouts for the Ante bet are determined by the value of the winning Player’s hand.

The stronger the value of the poker hand, the higher the payout.

The Ante bet is paid if the dealer doesn’t qualify or when the Player wins.

The Ante Bet is the only compulsory bet in the game.

The call-or-play bet, which doesn’t have a paytable, is always paid at 1:1, even money, but only for winning hands, not for pushes or when the dealer hasn’t qualified.

Royal Flush100:1
Straight Flush20:1
4 of a Kind10:1
Full House3:1
Straight or Less1:1

The RTP for the Ante Bet is 97.83%.

On Air Casino Hold’em Side Bets and Payouts

There are three optional side bets: Bonus, Red/Black, and Casino Razz, which can be played alongside the main hand. You must have an Ante Bet before playing a side bet; it’s impossible to play just the side bets.

The side bets remain in play regardless of what happens with the main hand. So, if you choose to fold, the side bets remain active for the rest of the game round.

All Casino Hold’em games have the first side bet – Bonus, but only the On Air version has the Red/Black, while one other Operator, Playtech, uses the Razz side bet.

onair live casino holdem side bets

Bonus Side Bet

The Bonus side bet starts paying when the player’s first five cards contain a Pair of Aces or more. The minimum payout is 7:1 for Aces or a Straight, while the maximum is 100:1 for a royal flush.

Royal Flush100:1
Straight Flush50:1
4 of a Kind40:1
Full House30:1
Pair of Aces to Straight7:1

The RTP for the Bonus Side Bet is 93.74%.

Red or Black Side Bet

OnAir created the red/Black side bet. It pays when the player’s first hand contains all Red or Black cards.

It’s similar to the Prime side bet in Three-Card Poker, but this one covers five cards, not three.

The payout is 35:1 for both combinations.

Note: No other version of Casino Hold’em has this version.

The RTP for Red/Black is 93.65%.

Casino Razz Side Bet

This side bet looks a bit complicated on the surface. It’s not. It flips convention on its head and is designed to pay on low-value hands. The Ace is counted as low.

You’ll get paid for any hand between 6 high and Jack high and two straight hands Ace to Five, suited and unsuited. The max payout is 200:1 for a suited straight and 2:1 for Jack High.

First HandPayout
(5-4-3-2-A Suited)

The RTP for Casino Razz is 95.02%, making it the best value side bet of all three.

Casino Hold’em Playing Strategy.

It’s helpful to know the ranking of poker hands, and if you’re one of these people who can calculate the odds in real-time as the cards are being dealt, you may stand a better chance of winning than a regular player, like me.

Notwithstanding that, I’ve honed down all the advice on the Internet and come to the following strategy.

In the most simplistic terms, you should fold your two-hole cards if they are both below Ten, and the flop doesn’t give you a chance for a Straight or Flush draw.

Play everything else.

The side bets are designed for fun and to help the casino make more money. If you want to play one, I’d choose Casino Razz, as it pays when you have low-value hands. It’s almost like an insurance bet for when you don’t win. The RTP is the best of the three side bets, so over the long term, you’ll get a better return than the others. However, the House always wins, so think carefully before playing any of them.

Video Review

Watch my video review for a practical demonstration of how to play, where I cover the side bets and demonstrate my playing strategy.

on air entertainment live casino holdem video review


On Air has produced a good version of Casino Hold’em. The main game is the same as that found at Evolution, Playtech, and Ezugi.

However, the game is different because it offers a range of side bets that are not seen elsewhere. Casino Razz is unavailable at Evolution or Ezugi, while the Red/Black is only available at On Air. So, if side bets are your thing, you might want to add OnAir’s version to your playing list.

The game’s presentation is acceptable. However, there is a distinct lack of colour in the studio and on the table. Everything is muted and dull. On Air has chosen an older-style dark theme, which I find odd, given how the rest of their games are presented.

I don’t know how this will affect visitor numbers, but when you look at the table in the lobby, you’re not enticed to click it to see what the game is about.

I’d say this is a functionally good game that plays nice and quickly, but the studio theme needs some work to make it a happier environment to visit.