What will you play next?
Poker hand rankings are frequently used in popular casino table games. In many of them, the better your poker hand, the bigger your prize. Texas Hold’em Plus is a new variant, developed by Scientific Games. You can play it online – and will find this game rolled out to larger casinos across Canada soon.
Texas Hold’em Plus uses a similar structure to Casino Hold’em. The difference is that you have more opportunities to bet. You bet before the flop, then on the flop, turn and river. The ability to check on later streets adds an element of strategy to this game. Add in the ‘plus’ side bet, and you have a lot of different ways to win.
This page has all you need to know to get the best from Texas Hold’em Plus – whether you are enjoying it live or online. You will find out about Texas Hold’em Plus rules and how a hand works below, from pre-flop through to the river. The side bet, strategy and making the best use of bonuses to boost your bankroll are then covered.
How to play Texas Hold’em Plus
The betting layout is complex compared to other casino table games. With 5 spots to bet on, and spaces for player and house cards – plus the shared community cards.
To start the hand, you place an Ante Bet. If this is your first hand online, then you will need to drag and drop chips from the row underneath the cards. After that you can use a ‘rebet’ button. The minimum bet online is 50¢. In live casinos, table games have $5 minimums, outside of the smallest casinos in Northwest Territories or Saskatchewan, which often have smaller minimum bets.
You then click the ‘deal’ button and will receive 2 cards face-up. The dealer gets two face-down cards, which are revealed at the end of the hand.
This is the key decision point. You can either bet 2x the ante wager, or fold.
If you continue, then 3 community cards are dealt (the flop). You now have a second decision, bet 1x the ante – or check (bet nothing). The turn is dealt, with the same decision of bet 1x or fold on the river.
The dealer’s hand is then revealed. The best 5-card poker hands for both player and dealer will determine who wins. You will see this displayed on your screen online – meaning it is not possible to miss a winner.
Texas Hold’em Plus payouts
How much you win if your hand beats the dealer depends on its rank in the standard poker hand ranking charts. If you win with a straight or better (flush, quads, full house, straight flush, or royal flush), then you are paid 2x on your ante bet. If you win with less than a straight, then your ante bet is a push – it gets returned.
Your flop, turn and river bets are paid at 1:1 if your best hand beats the dealer – this applies to all winning hands. Bigger prizes for the best hands are available for the ‘Plus’ side bet (see below).
If the dealer beats our hand, then all your bets are removed.
Texas Hold’em Plus strategy guide
With perfect play, this game has a favourable house edge of just under 3%. Note that the side bet has a bigger edge of 8.9%.
Your key strategy decision is whether to play or fold after seeing your hole cards. The main criteria for folding is when you have low cards which are not connected or suited. You should call when you have queen-high or better, suited cards or connected cards above the lowest ranks (for example 9-10). Any pair should also be raised.
When you see the community cards you should continue betting when you make a hidden pair or better (using one of your own cards), 4 cards to a flush or outside straight. Checking to see the turn, then river is best if you do not have a made hand. If the turn or river complete your draws, then you should always bet.
Side bet in Texas Hold’em Plus
The side bet is optional, this does not involve the dealer’s hand. This is based only on your own 2 hole-cards – it can be a ‘saver’ for when you start with a strong hand, only to see the dealer win in the main game.
Here are the prizes for different starting hands:
- Pair of 2’s through 10’s: 3:1
- Ace-Jack or Ace-Queen off suit: 5:1
- Pair from Jacks to Kings: 10:1
- Ace-King off suit: 15:1
- Ace-Jack or Ace-Queen suited: 20:1
- Ace-King suited: 25-to-1
- Pair of Aces: 30:1
While the house edge is high for this bet (at 8.9%) it does add an element of excitement to the game – with big prizes possible on every hand.
Texas Hold’em Plus vs. other casino poker variants
The ability to ‘check’ is unusual in casino poker games. Only Ultimate Texas Hold’em has this option – together with different bet amounts on each street. The flop, turn and river have elements of Casino Hold’em. For that game there are only two decision points, with this game having four.
Most casino table games have side bets, though one which pays based on your hole cards is unusual. A pair of aces is always a good poker hand, with the ‘Plus’ side bet, it could be worth an extra 30x your bet.
Bonuses and promotions for Texas Hold’em Plus
Online casinos that offer Scientific Games slots and card games are among the most reputable brands. As a player, you can take advantage of bonuses, promotions, and loyalty rewards at most of them.
Look out for no-deposit bonuses, which give you a shot at winning cash without risking a cent of your own bankroll. These offers are best used for slots (with a smaller play-through to clear your bonus), though you can take any money won to enjoy the table games.
The biggest bonuses for casino table game fans are matched to your first deposit. You should also look out for casinos offering regular promotions, reload bonuses and free spins offers. Loyalty rewards will make a big difference to your bankroll. While these can seem less important to start with, over time those point-collection schemes and tiered rewards will add up.
Wrapping up: How does Texas Hold’em Plus compare?
Scientific Games are behind many of the most popular games spread on the green felt at Canadian casinos. Texas Hold’em Plus is the latest game to use poker game play and hand rankings. The flow of each hand will be familiar to Texas Hold’em players – with bets before the flop, then on the flop, turn and river.
An unusual part of the strategy for this game is the ability to check on later streets. This gives you a chance to hit a flush, straight (or better) without committing any more money.
Add in the ‘Plus’ side bet for prizes based only on your hole cards, and you have a game that compares well with many of the casino poker table game staples.