Texas Hold’em is the most popular variation of poker these days, without a doubt. However, it is a complex game that requires a lot of studying and practice to get good at.
If you feel more like gambling and don’t really want to learn how to play Texas Hold’em in detail or get stared down by other players, then Ultimate Texas Hold’em is the perfect game for you.
Based loosely on the rules of Texas Hold’em Poker, Ultimate Texas Hold’em is a casino game that is played between the player and the dealer, and it offers way fewer options than its older brother.
For that reason, Ultimate Texas Hold’em is the perfect game to play when you are not feeling completely focused and just want to unwind.
Let’s learn how to play Ultimate Texas Hold’em and take a look at all the possible betting options and strategies we can apply in this game to achieve the best possible results.
How to Play Ultimate Texas Hold’em
Ultimate Texas Hold’em casino game is fairly simple to learn to play. If you are playing in a live casino, the dealers there will be more than happy to explain how the game works.
When played online, the game will give you tips as to the mathematically best play to make, which you can deviate from if you are feeling particularly lucky or unlucky.
However, before you actually sit down at Ultimate Texas Hold’em table, you should know at least the basic rules of the game, so you can play faster and feel more comfortable.
Ultimate Texas Hold’em Rules: Why is it Called Hold’em?
The first thing to discuss is the obvious one. The game is called Ultimate Texas Hold’em, which means it must have something to do with the popular “Cadillac of Poker.”
The similarity between the two games comes from the way they are dealt out. The dealer and the player are both dealt two hole cards, just as they would in a classic heads-up match of Texas Hold’em.
From here, five community cards are dealt across the table, the flop, the turn, and the river. These cards are used by both players to make the best five-card poker hand.
That said, the dealing and the hand rankings are pretty much the only similarities between the two. Betting is done in a completely different way, and some of the most important parts of Texas Hold’em are stripped from the game.
For example, there is no opportunity to bluff, value bet, or hero call in Ultimate Texas Hold’em rules, as all bets and payouts are locked, and the showdown always decides the winner of the hand.
Starting the Hand: Antes and Blinds
The game starts with an empty table and several betting options. Whether you are playing online or live, there will be several circles on the Ultimate Texas Hold’em table in front of you, which are designated for your bets.
You will see three circles on the table, and these are:
The ante and the blind bet will have to be placed for the hand to be dealt. You will have to place the same amount of poker chips on both. If you are playing online, placing a chip on one of these will place an equal amount on the other as well.
The trips circle is designated for the special Trips bet, which you can place if you choose to, but this isn’t mandatory. If you do place this bet, you will get additional payouts for big poker hands you make.
Your ante and your blind bet will represent the basic bets that will be paid out based on the comparison of your hand to the dealer’s. You will never lose these two bets if you win the hand against the dealer in the end.
First Betting Round: Pre-Flop
Now that you have placed your ante and blind bet (and your trips bet if you want to), you will be dealt two hole cards, just as you would in Texas Hold’em.
Based on your hole cards, you will have the option to either check your option or raise. If you decide to check, your bets will stay in place, and the flop will be dealt out.
On the other hand, if you decide to raise, you will have to place a bet four times larger than your ante bet into the “play” circle.
If you choose to check, the flop will be dealt out, and you will have further options there. On the other hand, if you raise, all five community cards will be dealt out immediately, leading to a showdown.
Second Betting Round: Flop
Now that the flop has been dealt out, you have five cards at your disposal in total, with two more cards to come. Since you have checked before the flop, you will now again have the option to raise.
If you choose to check, the turn and river cards will be dealt out, and your hand will go to showdown.
On the other hand, if you raise, you will have to place a bet worth 2x your ante bet in the play circle before the turn, and the river is dealt out.
In either case, the hand will now go to showdown, which means the dealer will flip over their cards as well, and the two hands will be compared.
The Showdown and Hand Comparison
If you raised pre-flop or on the flop, the turn and river cards will now be dealt out, and the dealer will show their hand. The two hands will be compared according to regular poker hand rankings, and the winner will be decided.
On the other hand, if you decide to check your hand on the flop, you will now be asked to either fold your hand or make a call, which means putting a bet valued the same as your ante bet into the “play” circle.
If you fold your cards, your hand will immediately lose, although the dealer will also show their hand. If you choose to call, the hand will go to showdown.
At showdown, your ante and play bets will be paid at even money if you are a winner. On the other hand, the blind and trips bets will be paid out according to preset paytables, which I will show next in this guide.
Blind and Trips Payout Tables
If you really want to know how to play Ultimate Texas Hold’em, you should also know what you stand to win through the blind and trips bets in the game.
The blind bet is obligatory in every hand, and you will not have the option of not playing it. On the other hand, the trips bet is completely optional, and you should only play it if you want to be in play for additional prizes.
For that reason, let’s look at the blind bet payouts table first:
- 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
- Other Winning Hand: Push
Keep in mind that you will not lose your blind bet anytime you actually win a hand and are paid on your ante bet. The worst you can do in this case is get your blind bet back.
On the other hand, whenever you win a hand of Ultimate Texas Hold’em with a straight or better, you will get paid in accordance with the above paytable, and the money will go back to your poker bankroll.
If this is not enough action for you, Ultimate Texas Hold’em rules also include a bet called trips, which allows you to make a side bet on making big poker hands.
To win the trips bet, you don’t even need to have a winning hand in the end. Anytime you make three of a kind or better, you will be paid according to the paytable, regardless of the dealer’s final hand.
The paytable for the trips bet is as follows:
- Royal Flush: 50 to 1
- Straight Flush: 40 to 1
- Four of a Kind: 30 to 1
- Full House: 8 to 1
- Flush: 6 to 1
- Straight: 5 to 1
- Three of a Kind: 3 to 1
Keep in mind that the trips bet is not very favorable to the player in terms of winning odds and is a rather big gamble. Consider keeping your trips bet on the smaller side if you do decide to go with it.
Ultimate Texas Hold’em Conclusion
The game of Ultimate Texas Hold’em is a rather simple one that does not require too much strategic thinking, as it eliminates many elements of the game of poker from play.
That said, I do recommend learning all the Ultimate Texas Hold’em rules and the basic strategy for the game first, as it will allow you to make more profitable decisions, especially at the live table.
Online Ultimate Texas Hold’em casino game will give you tips on how to play properly and will suggest whenever you are making the mathematically wrong play, although you will still have the option to make it.
At the end of the day, learning the Ultimate Texas Hold’em rules well and sticking to the right mathematical calls will give you the best option to win in this game and have a lot of fun while doing it.