Evolution Gaming introduced Live Texas Hold’em Bonus Poker in December 2018.
Of course Live Texas Hold’em Bonus Poker is a house game…you’re playing against the dealer/house, rather than other players, but it moves a little closer to regular Texas Hold’em by offering players multiple fold/check/raise opportunities throughout the deal.
How to play
An ANTE bet gets you in the main game. It also affords the opportunity to place one of 2 optional side bets…the BONUS or FIRST 5 JACKPOT bets, but more in these below.
The game then begins with the dealer dealing the pocket (or hole) cards. Players get 2 face-up. The dealer gets 2 face-down.
You then have the option to FOLD (forfeiting your ANTE…any side bets placed remain alive), or PLAY.
If you choose to play, a FLOP bet (2x ANTE) is automatically placed. The dealer then deals the 3 card Flop.
Before the Turn (4th community card) comes out you have an opportunity to CHECK (no bet but remain in the game), or BET (total stake is raised by 1x ANTE). They call this the TURN bet.
Before the River (5th community card) comes out you have another opportunity to CHECK or BET (again 1x ANTE).
They call this one the RIVER bet. This is you final chance to raise your bet (ie you can’t bet after the River).
After the River (final community card) is dealt, the dealer reveals their hole cards and the winning hand is determined comparing the player’s and dealer’s best 5 card poker hand out of the 7 dealt cards (players’ 2 cards, the dealer’s 2 cards and the 5 community cards).
Win/loss conditions and payouts
The higher hand wins, applying conventional poker hand ranks (see house rules link below for details). Payouts on players’ ANTE, FOLD, TURN and RIVER bets are determined as follows:
- If the dealer has a higher hand the player will lose all bets (except side bets…evaluated separately).
- If the player has a higher hand the FLOP, TURN, and RIVER bets will pay even money.
- If the player has a Straight or higher, the ANTE bet will also pay even money, otherwise it will push.
- If the player and the dealer have hands of equal value the ANTE, FLOP, TURN and RIVER bets will all push.
Side bets and side bet pay tables
The BONUS and FIRST 5 JACKPOT side bets are considered separately to the main game. That is, they can still payout irrespective of whether you PLAY or FOLD or win or lose the main game.
The BONUS side bet, pays out based on player and dealer hole cards in accordance with the below pay table.
The FIRST 5 JACKPOT bet pays out according to the quality of the players’ poker hand in accordance with the below pay table.
A Royal Flush wins the progressive jackpot, or a share thereof (shared between all players who placed the FIRST 5 JACKPOT bet when a player Royal Flush is dealt). The progressive jackpot grows over time, funded by all FIRST 5 JACKPOT bets that are placed.
Return to player
It’s not often you find games offering a higher theoretical return to player rate than blackjack or baccarat. Texas Hold’em Bonus Poker does; for the main game anyway. The conventional wisdom of avoiding side bets definitely applies here, as highlighted below.
Theoretical RTP rates:
- Main game: 97.96% based on ANTE bet and 99.47% based on total bet.
- Bonus bet: 91.46%
- FIRST 5 JACKPOT bet: 81.84%