If you’re someone who enjoys playing casino games like online slots, and would like to try something with an element of skill but aren’t interested in online blackjack, you should take a look at Scientific Gaming’s video poker title, Ultimate Texas Hold’em. Find out what this game has to offer players that regular Texas Hold’em and other online casino games don’t!
Many people enjoy the exciting solo action of mobile slots but also like a game of poker from time to time. If you’re one of these people, Ultimate Texas Hold’Em (UTH) from Scientific Games offers an incredible head-to-head experience that’s made with you in mind. Unlike other poker games where you have to play against other people, UTH pits you against the dealer in games that are fast-paced and action-packed.
The RTP (return to player) for a standard UTH bet is 99.27%, while the special Trips wager (which we’ll cover in more detail later) has an RTP of 96.50%.
How to play
While the game largely follows the same rules as regular Texas Hold’em, there are a few differences. Let’s unpack the game-specific rules so you’ll know how to play this unique take on the poker experience.
Ultimate Texas Hold’em uses a 52-card deck that’s shuffled at the end of each hand. But, just like in other poker games, before a round begins in UTH, you must place an ante bet. This ante is doubled because it’s also used to cover your blinds. The game has a minimum bet of 0.20 (a combination of ante and blinds), all the way up to a maximum of 200 (again, a combination of ante and blinds). If you get the maximum win, you’ll walk away with 250,000!
Once you’ve decided how much you want to bet, you and the dealer each receive two cards (the dealer’s cards are face down so you cannot see them). You can then choose to “check”, or make a bet, which is 3x or 4x your ante. If you check, only three community cards are dealt and revealed. If you make a bet, all five cards are dealt and revealed. If the dealer reveals their cards and has the strongest hand when combined with the community cards, they win. If the player has the strongest hand with the community cards, then they win.
However, if you checked, you will now have the option to place a bet that is 2x your ante. If you make the bet, the final two community cards are dealt and revealed. Again, the strongest combined hand will be declared the winner.
If you’re not liking the look of your hand, you can again choose to check. The final two community cards are still dealt and revealed, but you can either: choose to fold (in which case you will lose your ante and your blind bets) and end the round, or you can place a bet worth 1x your ante. Again, the strongest combination of cards will decide who wins.
Poker hand hierarchy
If you’re not sure what the winning combinations are, here are the hand rankings, from strongest to weakest.
- Royal flush – An ace, king, queen, jack and 10 of the same suit.
- Straight flush – Sequential cards running in the same suit. For example, a queen, jack, 10, nine, and eight of hearts, or a seven, six, five, four, and three of diamonds.
- Four of a kind – Four of the same value card from each suit. For example, four aces, four 10s, or four fives.
- Full house – Three cards of the same value from different suits, combined with two cards (a pair) of the same value from different suits. For example, three queens, and two 10s, or three 10s and two nines.
- Flush – Cards whose values are non-sequential but all share the same suit. For example, a king, queen, 10, nine, and eight of spades.
- Straight – Cards whose values are sequential but don’t share the same suit. For example, a four of hearts, combined with a five, six, seven, and eight of clubs.
- Three of a kind – Three cards of the same value from different suits. For example, three queens.
- Two pair – Two cards of the same value from different suits (that is, “a pair”) combined with another pair. For example, a pair of jacks and a pair of eights.
- Pair – Two cards of the same value.
- High card – When no combination of cards is possible, the winner will be decided by the player holding the single highest-value card.
In the case of a tie of the same hand, the one with the higher values will always pip the other, so for example, three kings would beat three 10s.
However, playing a traditionally strong poker hand is not the only way to win in UTH. Another way players can win is with the optional Trips side bet. This side bet can be made independently of your ante and blinds bet. This side bet offers a lower payout than the blinds bet (with a max of 200 payout), but is only triggered if you fold a winning hand.
Interface and game features
When playing UTH for the first time, you’ll be presented with the main game area in the centre of your screen. This includes the bet you’ve made (covering the ante and blind), your Trips wager (if you’re making one), and space for your two cards. On the left, the trips payout table is displayed, while the blind payout table is displayed on the right. In the bottom centre of the screen are the casino chips that you can choose from when placing your bet, while the game settings are on the bottom left. Finally, the bottom right has buttons for four game actions: rebet, deal, clear, and undo.
On the toolbar at the very bottom of the screen you have the option to enable or disable sound, open the help files, review your balance and wins, and also check your total bet.
When it comes to the visuals themselves, Ultimate Texas Hold’em features well-crafted, high-resolution assets that are combined with a pleasing colour palette to bring the game to life. The blue poker table helps accentuate the careful use of primary colours for certain buttons and casino chips and really helps draw your eye to certain elements of the game.
If you’re a poker fan but are looking for something to play that’s a bit more skilful than mobile slots, but not as demanding as a fully-fledged game of poker, you’re bound to have a great time with Scientific Gaming’s Ultimate Texas Hold’em.
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