Play Ultimate Texas Hold’em Online in Indiana

When online casinos become legal in the state, Ultimate Texas Hold’em in Indiana should become one of the more popular games. Ultimate Texas Hold’em provides an entertaining way to enjoy America’s favorite poker variant in a unique player-versus-casino format.

Unlike regular No-Limit Hold’em where players compete against each other, Ultimate Texas Hold’em finds players competing against the “house” much like in other card-based table games. Here’s an overview of the game and what Indiana players can expect when online casinos arrive with Ultimate Texas Hold’em among their offerings.

Here’s what you’ll learn from the following guide:

Comparing online Ultimate Texas Hold’em to the live game

Playing Ultimate Texas Hold’em online is very much like playing the live version found in many Indiana casinos. However, there are a few differences worth noting.

  • One major difference is that when you play Ultimate Texas Hold’em in a casino, you sit at a table along with other players, all of whom are playing hands against the dealer at the same time. When you play online, you are the only player playing against a “dealer” (or, rather, the computer).
  • Betting limits online for Ultimate Texas Hold’em are often much lower than you find live. In many online games, the minimum bets are as low as $0.20, whereas when you play in a casino, the minimum bet can be $5 or $10.
  • You can play many more Ultimate Texas Hold’em hands per hour online than you can live. The live game is slower due to not only the dealer shuffling and handling bets but also the additional players present at the table.
  • When you play Ultimate Texas Hold’em for real money online, there is never any waiting for a table. Just click on the game icon and the game is ready. When playing in a casino, you may find no seats available, or you might find no tables are operational at that hour despite the game technically being offered.
  • Along the same lines, online Ultimate Texas Hold’em obviously does not have the social experience of in-person play. That said, there are live dealer versions of the game online that approximate the live casino experience.

Although both games use the same traditional poker hand rankings, there are more differences to consider. Read below for more about how to play Ultimate Texas Hold’em online.

Online casinos expected to have Ultimate Texas Hold’em in Indiana

When Indiana legalizes online casinos, expect to see many established sites from other states launch in the Hoosier State. Some of these same operators already have online sportsbooks up and running in Indiana. Thus, it stands to reason they’ll be interested in expanding to online games as well, including Ultimate Texas Hold’em.

Here is a rundown of many online casinos operating in the US, all of which currently offer Ultimate Texas Hold’em. The majority of these online casinos also offer free Ultimate Texas Hold’em games via demo versions on their site.

All of the above listed online casinos have Ultimate Texas Hold’em among their table games. Many feature the same Ultimate Texas Hold’em game powered by Scientific Games Digital. You may also find a variation called Texas Hold’em Plus that adds an extra “plus” side bet. BetMGM Casino, for example, has Texas Hold’em Plus.

All of these online casinos also offer live dealer versions of the game. Most have Ultimate Texas Hold’em, while a few instead offer a live dealer game called Casino Hold’em that is very similar.

How to play Ultimate Texas Hold’em online

If you’ve ever played Three Card Poker or Let It Ride, you’ll find Ultimate Texas Hold’em is a similar poker-based card game. It is kind of two games in one, as you are trying to make a better hand than the dealer (and win money that way), but you are also simply trying to make the strongest hand you can (and potentially win even more money with a straight or a flush).

Ultimate Texas Hold’em table layout from BetMGM Casino

You have multiple choices to make in a hand of Ultimate Texas Hold’em, but there is no bluffing or decisions about bet-sizing as in regular player-versus-player poker. Here is a step-by-step look at how a hand of Ultimate Texas Hold’em goes.

  • Step 1: Place the Ante and Blind bets: These are the bets you make before the cards are dealt. Your Ante and Blind bets can be any amount (within the table limits), but they have to be the same amount. Whatever size bet you choose for these bets will be relevant for later bets in the hand.
  • Step 2: Decide whether to place a Trips bet: The Trips bet is an optional side bet on whether you’ll make at least three of a kind. Your Trips bet can be for a different amount than your Ante and Blind bets. (More about Trips bets below.)
  • Step 3: Receive your two hole cards and make a 3x or 4x Play bet, or just check: You and the dealer are each dealt two hole cards as in traditional Texas hold’em. Depending on how you like your starting hand, you can then make a Play bet of either three or four times the amount you bet for the ante and the blind, or you can just check and not add to your wager. Think of this like a preflop “raise” of the stakes based on your starting hand strength… although the dealer won’t be folding!
  • Step 4: Watch the flop, and if you checked before, decide whether to add a 2x Play bet: If you make a 3x or 4x Play bet preflop, all five cards are dealt at once and the hand immediately moves to showdown. If you checked, though, after the first three community cards come (aka “the flop”), you can either add a 2x Play bet or check again.
  • Step 5: Watch the turn and river, and if you checked before, decide whether to add a 1x Play bet or fold: In Ultimate Texas Hold’em, the last two community cards (a.k.a. the “turn” and “river”) are dealt at the same time with no betting in between. If you have been checking up to this point, you get one last chance to add a 1x Play bet to your initial wager. If you don’t make that 1x Play bet, you have to fold your hand and lose whatever you wagered at the start.
  • Note: In order to get to showdown and have a chance of winning anything, you have to make a Play bet. You make only one Play bet in a hand, either for 3x or 4x preflop, 2x on the flop, or 1x after the turn and river.
  • Step 6: Showdown of hands and settling of bets: If you didn’t fold (and lose), it’s showdown time. The dealer’s cards are turned over, the hands are compared, and all bets are settled. See Ultimate Texas Hold’em payouts below for information about how much you can win.

Here’s a table summarizing the different betting rounds in a hand of Ultimate Texas Hold’em:

Stage of HandBetting Options
Before the DealPlace Ante and Blind bets (mandatory); place Trips bet (optional)
After Initial Deal of 2 Hole CardsPlace 3x or 4x Play bet or check
After Flop (first 3 community cards)If previously checked, place 2x Play bet or check again
After Turn and River (last 2 community cards)If previously checked, place 1x Play bet of fold

Ultimate Texas Hold’em hand rankings

The Ultimate Texas Hold’em table game uses traditional poker hand rankings. That means when it comes time to compare your hand to the dealer’s, hands are valued as followed (from best to worst):

  • Royal Flush — ace through ten of same suit
  • Straight Flush — any five consecutive cards of same suit
  • Four of a Kind — four cards of same rank
  • Full House — three of a kind plus a pair
  • Flush — five cards of same suit
  • Straight — five consecutive cards
  • Three of a Kind — three cards of same rank
  • Two Pair — two sets of two cards of same rank
  • One Pair — two cards of same rank
  • High Card — five unmatched cards of two or more suits, ranked highest-to-lowest (e.g., Ad-Jc-9c-5h-2s is “ace-high”)

Be aware that when it comes time to compare the dealer’s hand with yours, the dealer must have at least one pair to have what is called a qualifying hand with regard to the Ante bet. If the dealer does not make at least one pair, the Ante bet is ruled a “push” and you get the bet back.

That said, if the dealer has no pair (just a high-card hand) and you have something better, the Blind and Play bets are still in play, as is the Trips bet if you’ve placed it.

Payouts in Ultimate Texas Hold’em

Here’s how Ultimate Texas Hold’em odds and payouts work for all of these different bets:

Payouts for the Ante bet

As explained above, the dealer has to make at least a pair to have a qualifying hand for the Ante bet. If the dealer has less than a pair, the Ante bet is a push and you get your wager back. If the dealer does make a pair and you have a better hand, you double your money (a 1-to-1 payout), but if the dealer’s hand is better than yours, you lose the Ante bet.

Payouts for the Blind bet

For the Blind bet, the dealer doesn’t need to have at least a pair. Only the Ante bet requires that. If the dealer’s hand is better than yours, you lose your Blind bet. However, if your hand is best, the hand is a push if you make anything less than a straight (you get your bet back). If you make a straight or better, here’s how the Blind bet typically pays out:

  • Royal Flush — 500-to-1
  • Straight Flush — 50-to-1
  • Four of a Kind — 10-to-1
  • Full House — 3-to-1
  • Flush — 3-to-2
  • Straight — 1-to-1

Payouts for the Play bet

Remember the Play bets are made after the deal — either 3x or 4x your Ante and Blind bet preflop, 2x on the flop, or 1x after the river. The settling of Play bets is simple. If your hand is best, you double your money (a 1-to-1 payout), and if the dealer’s hand is best you lose. The dealer doesn’t have to make at least a pair to win the Play bets.

Payouts for the Trips bet

If you placed the optional Trips side bet and did not make at least three of a kind, you lose that bet. However, if you made three of a kind or better, the payouts are usually as follows:

  • Royal Flush — 50-to-1
  • Straight Flush — 40-to-1
  • Four of a Kind — 30-to-1
  • Full House — 8-to-1
  • Flush — 7-to-1
  • Straight — 4-to-1
  • Three of a Kind — 3-to-1

You might notice how you win less for a Royal Flush or Straight Flush here with the Trips bet, but more for the lower-ranked hands. That’s because you can usually wager more on the Trips bet than you can on the Blind bet (the maximum allowed bet is often twice as big).

Note as well that you can win only the Ante, Blind and Play bets if your hand is better than the dealer’s. However, you can still win the Trips bet even if the dealer’s hand beats yours (e.g., you make a flush but the dealer makes a full house).

Keep in mind that payouts might vary a little from site to site, although most follow what is listed above. Some Ultimate Texas Hold’em games might also have progressive jackpot side bets (especially in-person games in a casino), but that’s not so common when playing online.

Ultimate Texas Hold’em strategy

When it comes to Ultimate Texas Hold’em strategy, here are answers to three main questions about how to play the game.

How much should you wager for the Ante and Blind bets?

This decision is entirely up to you and should be dictated by your bankroll and what you feel comfortable betting. Always practice responsible gambling and never bet money you cannot afford to lose.

Keep in mind, though, that the amount you wager on the Ante and Blind bets will impact how much you will potentially wager later in the hand for your Play bet. If you bet $10 each on the Ante or Blind bet (for a total of $120), you could potentially be betting as much as $40 more if you later make a 4x Play bet (for a total of $60 wagered on the hand). Don’t forget that when sizing your initial bets.

What is the best strategy for making the Play bet?

This is where you can employ a bit of poker knowledge and skill. Here’s our best advice for the Play bet:

  • Preflop — Bet the max (that is, bet 4x and not 3x) whenever your hole cards contain a pair, any ace, any suited king, K5o+ Q6s+, Q8o+, JTo, J9s, J8s; otherwise check.
  • Flop — If you haven’t made the Play bet yet, you can bet the flop (for 2x) with four to a flush (when one card is at least a 10), two pairs or better, or any pair 3-3 or better (as long as it uses one of your hole cards); otherwise check.
  • River — Bet 1x with any pair that uses one of your hole cards or any hand better than a pair; otherwise fold.

Should you make the Trips bet?

The house edge is greater for the Trips bet than for other bets in Ultimate Texas Hold’em. This means the return to player (RTP) percentage is less. When the game uses the standard payout table for Trips bets listed above, the RTP is 96.5%. Meanwhile, if you play a smart strategy (i.e., don’t always make a 4x Play bet regardless of your hand), you can push your RTP for the other bets up to around 98% or even higher.

That said, compared to other table games where side bets can be very bad for the player, the house edge for the Trips bet in Ultimate Texas Hold’em isn’t so bad. You can also keep the Trips bet small if you wish. It’s up to you whether to add this little gamble on the side when you play Ultimate Texas Hold’em. Just be aware of that larger house edge for the Trips bet.

Enjoy ultimate fun with Ultimate Texas Hold’em online

Ultimate Texas Hold’em neatly combines the fun of chance-based games while incorporating a bit of skill, too. This makes the game a favorite choice among Indiana online casino players. The strategy isn’t difficult to learn, either, and doing so can give you a better chance of doing well when playing the game at any of the online casinos listed above.

Indiana online Ultimate Texas Hold’em FAQ

No, at present Indiana allows only online sports betting and no online casino games for real money. However, lawmakers continue to debate potentially expanding legal online gambling.

Still, those in Indiana can play online Ultimate Texas Hold’em at some of the online casinos listed above via free demo versions of the game. For example, Caesars Casino, DraftKings Casino and Golden Nugget Casino all have demo versions available so long as you are at least 21 years old.

Yes, you’ll find Ultimate Texas Hold’em is offered at many of the retail casinos in Indiana. Ultimate Texas Hold’em is one of the most popular card-based table games, which is why the casinos almost always have at least one table available and often many more.

Not really. Ultimate Texas Hold’em is a game with fixed-limit betting, which means you cannot really announce “all in” and push all your chips in the middle. The game is also different from regular No-Limit Texas hold’em in which players play against each other and not versus a dealer (or the “house”). You still make hold’em hands the same way, but there are no big “all in” moments like you see when poker is played on television.

You might have heard about social and sweepstakes casinos that use virtual currencies rather than real money and how players in Indiana can legally enjoy their favorite casino games online via these sites. Alas, while some of these sites feature table games, none presently have Ultimate Texas Hold’em.