The basic strategy for ultimate texas hold'em can seem a little complex, but the hardest and most important decision lies on whether to bet 4x pre-flop. This is where the player can take the most advantage of a good hand and get the most money out of it.
After the flop, the decision of whether to bet gets much easier. Basically, if you get at least a pair, you should bet 2x. The same goes for the 1x bet after the turn and river.
Many beginning players rarely bet 4x pre-flop because they are afraid to put in that much money without even seeing the flop and will most likely only go in with a royal pocket pair. This is fine because you should never bet something if you feel uncomfortable, but you will be leaving money on the table by not playing this basic strategy and taking advantage of odds that are in your favor.
To beginners, the game seems expensive since you have to bet the 3x the minimum bet just to see what the dealer has (BLIND, ANTE, and PLAY), but with this strategy, the odds are almost 50/50 with a casino edge of just 2.19%.
Without playing this optimal strategy and betting 4x pre-flop, players reduce their odds to a casino edge of about 9%. I have even read some articles that say that playing this strategy actually takes the players winning percentage above 50%, but due to the complexity of the game, this has yet to be proven. By playing the basic strategy, you give yourself the best chance against the casino.
This my favorite table game at casinos, and I have spent hours playing it. I love texas hold’em, and I love the chance of hitting it big with a straight flush or royal flush.
The basic strategy allows you to sit at the table for a long time by keeping the odds close to even and allowing you to accumulate casino comps and plenty of free drinks, which can make up for the slight disadvantage the players have.
Now let’s get into the basic strategy, which has been calculated using a program that takes tens of thousands of trial hands played out in full and shows the winning percentage of each opening hand.
The opening hands (the two cards dealt face-down to the player) that win more than 50% of the time are hands that should be bet 4x pre-flop, since the expected value of these bets is greater than zero. For the strategy:
1. NEVER PLAY TRIPS- all the other players at the table will be playing it, and many will be betting more on that than on the ANTE and BLIND.
This is just like playing the slots. If you are a slots player, then go for it. It can certainly provide some excitement if you hit a big hand, but if you are playing to try to beat the casino, then stay away from TRIPS. The odds are 43.82%.
This is where the casino makes all of its money because of the odds heavily favoring the casino. Every player at the table will look at you funny and tell you that TRIPS is where the money is.
Even the dealer will try to persuade you to play it because the casino tells them to encourage people to play it. Just remember the odds, and don’t give in.
These same players will most likely not be playing basic strategy for the rest of the game either. They may laugh at you when you hit a flush since you didn’t play TRIPS, but you still get paid of the BLIND bet.
The best part is that these players who laugh at you will most likely not last long and will lose all their money, while you are still sitting there either up or just slightly down.
I cannot tell you how many times this has happened to me, where I’ve even be made fun of, but an hour later, these players have already gone home disappointed after losing money.
2. Never use the 3x bet. If the odds are in your favor to bet pre-flop, then you want to bet as much as you can, which is 4x.
3. Bring enough money to withstand a cold streak. I recommend at a minimum bringing 100x the minimum bet.
4. Strategy Charts for when to bet 4x pre-flop, 2x post-flop, and 1x post-river. The first table (4x Bet) shows all the combinations of 2 cards a player can be dealt initially and whether to bet 4x with that combination.
All pocket pairs except 2's and any combination with an Ace should bet 4x. The rest of the combinations can be found below. For the 2x bet and 1x bet tables, the possible player's hands are in the top row.
Any hand better than a pair of 5's (alone to the player and not just a table pair) should bet 2x, and almost every hand that pairs up should bet 1x. The exact circumstances of when to bet are below.
4x Pre-Flop Ultimate Hold'em Bet:
2x Post-Flop Ultimate Hold'em Bet:
Player's Hand (In Addition to Any Table Pair)
1x Post-River Ultimate Hold'em Bet:
Player's Hand (In Addition to Any Table Pair)