Live Dealer Poker

Written by: Sadonna Price, Content Writer, Casino Games and Poker Expert
Last updated:
14 minute read
Live Dealer Poker

Live Dealer Poker is a new trend in live casino sections, and players can find various versions of the same poker games they would find at land-based casinos.

Online gambling sites are expanding their live dealer game selections reflecting the popularity among players who enjoy the casino floor atmosphere from home.

That’s why on this page, we’ll explore the live poker setting and the types of variants available. It’s high-tech streaming TV that you will want to binge on.

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What Is Live Dealer Poker?

Question mark icon

Live dealer poker online covers a range of casino games you play against the house rather than against other players.

They are the same types of games you can find at any land-based casino, but these games come to you from a studio set with an in-person dealer.

These are player-vs.-dealer poker games that require an ante and the possibility of subsequent bets to build a better poker hand than the dealer.

Winning hands are paid according to conditions, and a paytable is scaled to reward you for high-ranking hands. Played correctly, these poker games yield good returns, one reason players like them.

How Does Online Live Dealer Poker Work?

Live dealer poker is an interesting and exciting experience. You can find these games through the Live sections at some live dealer online casinos.

Gameplay Example Live Dealer Poker

A few clicks will take you to a screen with a real dealer you can interact with. The uniformed, experienced croupier deals cards with oversized numbers and symbols to be easily read.

You see the dealer, but the dealer only sees your screen name, a chat area, and bet choices.

You will see all the chip amounts, buttons, and settings you would find in conventional online poker games, along with your updated balance after each hand.

The table layout looks the same as in a land-based casino. You can see cards on the table, but a graphical side display of cards is also in play.

When the game begins, you are given a reasonable amount of time to ante and decide on bets. The options buttons pop up on your screen as they become available. We will cover the various games further down.

Live Dealer Online Poker Games

There is a variety of live dealer poker games online, some more complex than others. They all require strategies that vary in complexity, too.

Here are versions of live dealer online poker you will find:

Live Dealer Casino Holdem

Live Casino Holdem Poker

Live dealer Casino Holdem plays like the Texas Holdem we all know. Only you are playing against the house/dealer rather than a ring of players.

The object of the game is to build a five-card poker hand that beats the dealer’s.

You place an Ante bet to start the game. Most tables offer a bonus bet that rewards you if two aces come out in the first five cards, and some tables provide a progressive jackpot you win with a Royal Flush.

After the ante, you get two cards, and the dealer gives themself two down cards and three side up community cards, cards you use to build your hand.

How Live Dealer Casino Holdem Works?

Live Dealer Casino Holdem Gameplay

From the initial five cards you see, you must decide whether to Call to continue playing or Fold to surrender your bet.

A Call bet is double the ante amount and is automatically placed on a designated spot. When you call, the dealer deals the fourth and final community cards (Turn and River) for five community cards.

Then the dealer reveals their two down cards. You compare your best five-card poker hands using your hole cards and the five community cards.

The dealer must have a pair of 4s or better to qualify. You win if the dealer does not qualify; your Ante bet is paid according to the paytable, and your Call bet is returned to you.

If the dealer qualifies and you win, the ante pays according to the paytable, and the Call bet pays 1:1. If the dealer qualifies and you lose, you lose the Ante and Call bets.

Strategy For Live Dealer Casino Holdem

There is no optimal method for this game. But a good rule of thumb is to fold with any hole cards lower than the Flop.
Call when you have:

  • Any pair
  • Open-ended straight draw
  • An Ace or King higher than the three community cards in the Flop
  • A flush draw
  • Two cards higher than any cards in Flop

Typical casino Hold ’em Paytable

Royal Flush100:1
Straight Flush20:1
Four of a Kind10:1
Full House3:1
Two Pairs2:1

AA Bonus Paytable

Royal Flush100:1
Straight Flush50:1
Four of a Kind40:1
Full House30:1
Two Pairs7:1

House Edges:

  • Standard Game 2%
  • AA Bonus 6%
  • Jackpot 18%

Live 2 Hand Casino Hold ’em Poker

Live Dealer Casino Holdem

This game is the same as Casino Hold ’em poker, but the player can play two hands against the dealer’s one hand. You play the hands independently, and the rules are the same as for regular Casino Hold ’em.

To begin the game, you first choose to play one or both hands by placing the ante in the designated spot for the hands.

You can also set a Bonus bet on either or both hands.

How 2-Hand Casino Hold ’em Poker Works

Live 2 Hand Casino Holdem Poker Gameplay

The dealer deals two pocket cards face up to each of your hands and face down to the dealer. The procedure is the same as with the original game.

Once the Flop comes out, you can choose to Call to see the final two cards of Fold to forfeit your ante.

The dealer then reveals their cards and compares the five-card poker hands.

The dealer must have a pair of 4s or better to qualify, and the winning conditions are the same for rewarding payouts.

See the paytable above for examples of how the various hand ranks pay. Use a similar strategy, and the house edge is the same.

Live Dealer Texas Holdem Poker

Live Dealer Texas Holdem Poker

This game is closer to Texas Holdem because you have multiple check/raise opportunities as the game advances.

All options are marked on the table and with indicators on your screen.

But you are still playing one-on-one against the dealer, and since the croupier has a set process and doesn’t bet back, bluffing is out of the picture.

How Live Dealer Texas Holdem Poker Works

Live Dealer Texas Holdem Poker Gameplay

You get in the game with an Ante. This poker variant also gives a player the option of a Bonus side bet. Games with a progressive jackpot allow a Jackpot bet, too.

Then the two-hole cards are dealt to you and the dealer.

After that, you get your first choice of whether to Fold or Play. If you fold, you lose your Ante bet, but your Bonus and Jackpot bets stay alive.

If you choose to Play, a bet two times your ante is automatically placed, and the three-card Flop comes out.

With the Flop of Community cards, you have another choice: check and bet nothing, or bet the amount of the ante.

Then the fourth community card is revealed, and you have a final chance to check or bet the Ante amount.

The last (River) shared card is shown, but you can’t bet on this one. After it hits the table, the dealer reveals their hole cards, and the five-card poker hands are compared.

Basic Strategy For Live Dealer Texas Holdem Poker

Before the Flop, the only hands to fold are unsuited 2-3 to 2-7; Play anything else.

After the Flop:

  • Bet a pair or better unless the pair is of the lowest ranking card on the table OR if all community cards are suited
  • Bet combo draws to a possible straight and flush
  • Bet a flush draw
  • Bet an open-ended straight draw if both of your hole cards are higher than 7
  • Check with all other hands

After the Turn:

  • Bet all two-pairs or better hands
  • Bet any pair if there is not four to a straight or flush on the board

Payout Conditions

There’s no paytable payout for the basic game; instead, the following winning conditions apply:

  • If the dealer has a higher hand, the player loses all bets. The side bets are the exception.
  • The Flop and Turn bets pay even money if the player’s hand is higher.
  • If the player has a Straight or better, they also get an even money payout for the ante.
    Lower than a Straight means a push or tie with no money exchange on the ante.
  • All bets push if the player and dealer tie with hands of equal value.

Bonus Bet Paytable

If you make the bonus bet, you are betting on the following hole cards and are paid accordingly:

AA (Player & Dealer)1000:1
AA (Player only)30:1
AK suited25:1
AQ or AJ suited20:1
AK unsuited15:1
KK, QQ, or JJ10:1
AQ or AJ unsuited5:1
Two 10-10 through 2-2 pairs3:1

Some games offer a First 5 Jackpot chance, and if you get three of a kind or better, you are paid a bonus with a Royal Flush winning the Jackpot amount.

House Edges:

  • Basic Game: 1%
  • Bonus Bet: 8%
  • Jackpot: 18%

Live Dealer Caribbean Stud Poker

Live Dealer Caribbean Stud Poker

Caribbean Stud Poker is also known as Casino Stud Poker at some sites.

They have the same rules. It is one of the most simple online poker live games because it is a stud game that involves only a few options.

The first bet is the ante, which gets you in the game. There is also a 5+1 optional bonus bet.

Then five face-up cards are dealt to you and five to the dealer with only one card face-up.

How Live Dealer Caribbean Stud Poker Works

Live Dealer Caribbean Stud Poker Gameplay

Then you decide whether to Fold or Call 2X the ante. After you Call, the dealer reveals their hand, and you compare the hands.

The higher-ranking hand wins, but the dealer needs an Ace and King or better to qualify. If the dealer’s hand does not qualify, you win 1:1 on your Ante bet, and the call bet is a push.

That applies even if the dealer’s hand is better but not qualified.

If the dealer’s hand qualifies, the higher-ranking hand wins. If it is your hand, you win even money on the ante, and the Call bet pays according to the paytable.

With the 5+1 Bonus Bet, you can use your five cards and the dealer’s one face-up card to form the best possible five-card poker hand.

With a Jackpot side bet, you win according to a paytable that rewards a Jackpot for a Royal Flush and multiples of your bet for hands as low as Three of a Kind.

Strategy For Live Dealer Caribbean Stud Poker

It’s simple; if you have an Ace & King or better, Play. That means from a pair of 2s on up. Otherwise, fold.

Caribbean Stud Poker Paytable

Royal Flush100:1
Straight Flush50:1
Four of a Kind25:1
Full House10:1
Two Pairs2:1

Bonus 5+1 Paytable

Royal Flush1000:1
Straight Flush200:1
Four of a Kind100:1
Full House20:1
Two Pairs0

House Edges:

  • Basic Game: 2%
  • 5+1 Bonus: 9%
  • Jackpot: 18%

Live Dealer 3-Card Poker

Live dealer 3-Card Poker

How often have you had three to a straight in a poker hand? In live dealer 3-card poker, that’s your hand, and it’s a winner – if it beats the dealer.

It’s not the only winner in this game, but the point is that you get just three cards, which makes this game different.

The game moves along quickly, a lot like blackjack, because of its simplicity.

Here’s how it works:

How Live 3-Card Poker Works

Live dealer 3-Card Poker Gameplay

You ante to get in the game and have the option of a Pair Plus side bet.

Then the dealer gives you three cards and themself three down cards. You decide whether to Play the hand or Fold.

If you fold, you surrender your Ante bet. If you play, you make another bet amount equal to the ante. Then the dealer reveals their hand and has to qualify with a Queen or better.

If the dealer does not qualify, you are paid 1:1 on your ante and push the Play bet.

If the dealer has Queen or better and you win, you receive even money on the ante and win according to the typical paytable below for the play.

Basic Strategy For Live 3-Card Poker

Play with a Queen or better. That’s it!

Note that a flush does not pay unless it is a straight flush. However, when you make the Pair Plus side bet, you are betting that you will get a pair or better, and you win if you get that, regardless of the dealer’s hand.

Here are the payables:

Basic 3-Card Poker Paytable

Straight Flush5:1
Straight Or Lower1:1

Pair Plus Bet Paytable

Straight Flush200:1

The Pair Plus bet has excellent payouts and may provide insurance against a bad beat, but the house edge is much higher.

House Edges:

  • Basic Game: 3%
  • Pair Plus: 7%

Live Royal/Russian Poker

Live Royal Russian Poker

Royal Poker, aka Russian Poker, is a stud game that plays much like the Caribbean.

The hitch here is that you can buy a card or exchange cards with the dealer after the initial deal.

Since the dealer must have a qualifying hand that pays you more if you beat it, there are instances in which you may want to give the dealer a card to help them qualify.

That gives live dealer Royal Poker a complex strategy.

There is a game called Royal Poker that plays more like Hold ’em, and Russian Poker rules vary from site to site. But the live dealer Royal Poker we found is the one we use as an example.

How Live Royal/Russian Poker Works

The game starts when you ante. Then the dealer deals five cards to you and five cards to themself with one show. At this point, you may:

Live Royal Russian Poker Gameplay
  • Fold and forfeit your Ante bet, OR
  • Call by betting 2X your Ante, OR
  • Buy 1 card and pay the amount of your ante. This option makes the first of the five community cards to be dealt your sixth card.
  • Swap cards, costing the amount of your ante. You can select any of your cards to be swapped out for the first of the community cards that come out.

For example, you may have a pair and want to swap three cards. You would get the first three community cards to come out.

Then the community cards come out, and you can choose to Call, Fold or take insurance.

After that, the dealer cards are revealed, and the highest-ranking poker hand wins. The dealer must qualify with an Ace, King, or better, and the win conditions favor the player if they qualify.

You get a win payout on your Call bet if the dealer qualifies and your hand is higher.

If the dealer does not qualify, your Call bet pushes, and you win 1:1 on the Ante bet. To cover yourself, you can buy insurance before the dealer’s hand is revealed. It pays even money if the dealer fails to qualify.

Strategy For Russian Poker

The rules vary at different Royal Poker tables, so make sure you know the rules of your particular game.

For the game we described, here are some basics:

  • Additional bets increase the house edge, so use them sparingly.
  • Buy or Swap options should only be chosen to improve an already strong hand, not to make a weak hand better.
  • You should generally fold if you have a weak hand – no Ace-King, pair, or draw to a possible straight or flush.
  • If you have an Ace-King, exchange the remaining cards.
  • Only buy insurance if you have a huge hand, like four of a kind.

Typical Russian Poker Paytable

Royal Flush100:1
Straight Flush50:1
Four of a Kind20:1
Full House7:1
Two Pairs2:1

House Edge: 2%

real money poker online With live dealer Vs. Traditional Online Poker

When learning about live dealer poker online, you might want to know how it differs from traditional poker in most gambling sites.

Here are those key differences:

Live Dealer Poker Games

  • You interact with a televised setting
  • You try to beat the dealer
  • Wins are paid according to a paytable
  • Bluffing plays no part

Standard Online Poker

  • You interact with an animated graphic
  • You try to beat other players at a table
  • Wins are paid according to a pot
  • Bluffing is an essential element

Live Poker Bonuses and Promotions

live dealer bonus icon

Most bonuses are tailored to real money slots, but there are occasions when an online casino may want to promote live dealer online poker and offers a game-specific bonus.

These bonuses come with wagering rules that require you to bet multiples of your deposit plus the bonus. You look for a high match percentage and a low multiple.

It is worth a look if you find a bonus requirement that gives you more than 10% on live dealer casino poker. There are also bet amount limits, deposit limits, and cash-out limits.

You can find all of these stipulations in the rules that come with the bonus or in the casino’s Terms and Conditions. Make sure to know the rules of your bonus before you take advantage of it. And consider your budget and style of play.

Online Poker Live Dealer On Mobile

Live Dealer Poker Mobile

Software providers have been able to master the craft of presenting live dealer games for mobile devices over the years.

Nowadays, you can easily access live dealer poker online through the browser of your Android or iOS smartphone or e-tablet.

Playing games easily on your device depends on the device’s age, software updates, connection, and skill for playing on a smaller screen.

Try out a low-limit game before committing to playing on the go.

Resources and Tools For Live Poker Players

Tools For Live Poker

There is detailed poker tracking software that can make you a better player.

Most of these programs are designed for situational decision-making in ring games – they track opponents’ tendencies as you play.

However, there are also poker odds calculators that instantly give you your chances of winning according to the cards on the table.

You’ll find casino hold’em strategy calculators on the Internet that allow you to put in the cards you have and the community cards dealt, and it will calculate whether you should call or fold.

Start Playing Live Poker Games!

OnlineLive dealer poker has a lot to offer. The games are fun and involve strategy. There’s added excitement because the returns are some of the best in a casino, plus there are opportunities to score gigantic jackpots if you want to aim high.

Plus, of course, there is the nature of the live setting. It is as close to reaching out and touching the felt table without being there. You’ll be surprised at how easy it is to operate in one of these games, too.

If you like playing at a Vegas casino but can’t make the trip, the live dealer setup is just for you. If you’ve never visited a casino with poker, online live poker will certainly give you the feel. And there is no better place to start than Wild Casino.

They have excellent live poker games with a seat waiting for you. So, go live with your personal dealer and a game you can win!

FAQ Live Dealer Poker Online

Here are some common questions of players new to online live dealer casino poker.

Is live poker rigged?

Live dealer online poker is not rigged to cheat you. The set rules give the house a slight edge, just like other casino games.

Are live poker dealers real?

Live poker players are real and trained to do their craft, as well as dealers at brick-and-mortar casinos.

How does online real-money poker online with live dealer work?

Online live dealer poker is an interactive TV set streamed to your PC or mobile device.

What is the difference between standard online poker and live poker?

Standard online poker is considered poker at a table with players competing for a common pot, while live dealer online poker is competition between a player and the dealer or house.

Best sites to play live poker online?

The best websites to play live dealer poker online are reliable, trustworthy sites like those we recommend at SBS.

About the Author

Sadonna Price

Sadonna Price

Content Writer, Casino Games and Poker Expert

Sadonna is a former poker pro player who's all about infusing her writing with creativity to shed light on the exciting world of gambling. She writes or fact-checks most of our online poker content at SBS, but she's not stranger to other popular casino games.

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