Pair Potential and Backdoor Draws in Casino Hold'em

April 3, 2015


Casino Hold'em has a few key pieces of information you need to know about. The first is that the dealer needs a pair of fours or better to qualify. Second, your call size is twice that of your ante. Finally, you shouldn't be folding more than 20 percent of all total hands. Along these lines, many people fold entirely too much because they're used to playing Texas hold'em online where you'd only be playing about 20 percent of total hands in a lot of instances. Playing 80 percent is a big leap forward, and we're going to show you what to look for in a lot of seemingly marginal situations.

First off, consider the cards on the flop. If you see a two or three on the board, then with all else being equal, you should be more likely to call. This is because it makes it somewhat harder for the dealer to qualify. This is something that a lot of people don't really think about, but it does make a significant difference. We're basically looking for every excuse we can to call with marginal hands, and this is going to be a good example of doing that.

Overcards by themselves are a pretty significant hand in this game. What we mean by overcards is that you have two cards that are all higher than all of the cards on the flop. This makes it easier to catch a pair that beats the dealer in the case that he qualifies, and if you don't improve, then you can also win a small amount if the dealer doesn't qualify. The higher the cards the better, so you'd rather have AK on a board of something like 483 than T9.

Finally, you have to think about backdoor draws. If you have two spades, and there's only one spade on the flop, then you'll have a backdoor draw to a flush. You can also have a backdoor straight draw, and gutshot draws also sort of fall into this category of having just a few outs, but when you combine a backdoor draw like this with overcards (or an overcard and a two/three on the flop), then you have a good spot to call where most people would normally fold instead. This type of marginal hand play is one of the keys of doing well in Casino Hold'em.