How to Play (and Win) Ultimate Texas Hold'em

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Ultimate Texas Hold'em was designed by Roger Snow of ShuffleMaster. The game is played on a Blackjack-style table that can accommodate several players. The players do not compete against each other. Instead, they are playing heads up with the dealer. On the layout in front of each player is an area marked:


The Play

Players make equal bets in the Ante and Blind circle on the layout.

An additional side bet may be made by placing a bet in the area marked Trips. Each player and the dealer are dealt two cards face down. After these are dealt the player may check or bet three to four times the Ante Bet by placing the bet in the circle marked Play. The dealer then turns over the three card Flop. If the player has no bet he can again check or bet two times the Ante bet. The dealer then turns over the last two community cards and the player MUST make a bet equal to the Ante if he has not yet bet, or Fold and lose the Ante and Blind bets.


The earlier the player bets, the more total they can wager including both rounds.
Before the Flop, a player may bet three or four times the Ante wager.
After seeing the Flop the player may bet two times the Ante wager.
After the River if the player has not bet they may place a bet equal to the Ante wager.

Win or Lose

After the River card is dealt the dealer and players will turn over their hole cards and make the best five card hand.

If the player’s hand beats the dealer his Ante and Play bets win even money. If the dealer’s hand beats the player’s hand, the player will lose the Ante, Blind, and Play bets. If the player and dealer tie it is a push. The Blind bet is paid only if the player’s winning hand is a Straight or better and based on the odds posted on the layout.

These may vary from casino to casino. If the player beats the dealer with less than a Straight the Blind bet is a push. If the player makes a wager on the Trips bet and has Trips or better the bet is paid even if the dealer’s hand beats the player’s hand.

Dealer Qualification

The dealer must qualify by having a pair or better. If the dealer does not qualify the Ante bet is returned to the player. The Play bet and Trips bet (if there is one) are still live and will be paid accordingly.


Because you are playing heads-up with the dealer you will be playing differently than if you were playing a live game of Texas Hold’em. Remember, there is no bluffing in this game, you are simply trying to make a hand higher than the average dealer hand. And, you'll bet more when the odds are in your favor of doing so. The easiest and most effective strategy is to simply bet four-times your pre-flop wager when you hold a reasonable hand. These are listed below: 

  • Any hand with an ace.
  • Unsuited king and 5 or higher.
  • Unsuited queen and 8 or higher.
  • Suited king with any other card.
  • Suited queen with 6 or higher.
  • Suited jack with 8 or higher.
  • Any pair threes or higher.

Pay Table

Pay tables will vary from casino to casino, so the house edge will also vary.

Listed below is a sample pay table found at many of the casinos in Las Vegas where the game is offered.

Pay Table
HandBlind BetTrips Bet
Royal Flush500 to 150 to 1
Straight Flush50 to 140 to 1
Quads10 to 130 to 1
Full House3 to 18 to 1
Flush3 to 26 to 1
Straight1 to 15 to 1
TripsNA3 to 1