How to Play Poker – Win Against the Dealer

With a live video feed, you can play real poker hands against a real human dealer in real time. The main difference to standard poker is that you only compete against the dealer’s hand rather than other players at the table. Many poker purists enjoy the simplicity of going heads-up against the house. If you are new to casino poker variations, live dealer poker is a fun and fair game if you learn basic strategy. This guide covers everything you need to compete with the dealer and win.

how to play poker

Getting Started at the Table

getting started at the table

Arrive at the live dealer poker table with a set bankroll and buy-in amount in mind for your session. Common limits range from ₱5 to ₱500 per hand. The minimum and maximum wager are clearly displayed on the video feed. Once you take a virtual seat, the dealer will deal you two hole cards face down. You also get to view the dealer’s one card exposed. 

This is unlike blackjack, where all dealer cards are hidden until they are played out. Based on your hole cards and the value of the dealer’s upcard, you can choose to check, bet, raise, call, or fold each round. Checking passes the option but keeps you active.

How to Play Poker – Betting Rounds and Actions

betting rounds and actions

There are four critical betting rounds in live dealer poker, each after new cards are exposed:

Pre-Flop: After the initial two-card deal but before community cards come out.

Flop: After three community cards are dealt face up,

Turn: After the fourth community card is dealt.

River: After the fifth and final community card.

You can check, bet, raise, call, or fold each round. An advantage you have over the dealer is seeing all your cards first. If you believe your hand has a strong chance to beat the dealer, continue betting and adding money into the pot. If your hand is weak, minimal bets or folding is recommended.

Creating a Winning 5-Card Hand

create a winning 5 card hand

Like standard poker games, your aim is to make the best possible 5-card hand utilizing your 2-hole cards plus five community cards revealed. Common winning hand ranks are:

  • Royal Flush
  • Straight Flush
  • Four of a Kind
  • Full House
  • Flush
  • Straight
  • Three-of-a-Kind
  • Two Pairs
  • One Pair
  • High Card

For the trader to be good, they need at least a pair. If you have a better hand than the dealer, you win back your bet in full.

Top 6 Strategies to Beat the Dealer

top 6 strategies to beat the dealer

Here are some key strategies on how to win live poker games:

Know the Qualifying Rules

Unlike blackjack, the dealer does not necessarily need to qualify every hand in live poker. Oftentimes, they need at least a pair to play. Knowing these qualifying rules is key, as it gives you an added edge when the dealer misses this threshold.

Analyze Dealer Hole Card

Seeing one of the dealer’s hole cards exposed allows you to better determine the strength of their potential hand. If they show a weak low card, it’s less likely they will finish with strong pairs or high-value hands. This visibility helps guide your decisions.

Bet Big When You Are Strong

Having a strong starting hand yourself – like pairs, suited connectors, and big cards – allows you to comfortably bet bigger from the pre-flop stage. The goal is to build high-value pots when you likely have the best hand. Don’t slow-play big hands in position against the dealer.

Pay Attention to Position

Since it is headed up against the dealer, position plays less of an impact. However, acting after the dealer can provide subtle bits of information that may influence how aggressively or cautiously you bet any given hand based on their actions.

Review Past Hands

Gain intelligence by watching what kinds of finished hands the dealer shows down both in winning and losing scenarios. This will allow you to estimate their hand ranges to set expectations of what they may be playing.

Use Proper Bankroll Management

Have enough of a poker bankroll to implement proper bet sizing and withstand inevitable short-term variance. Betting too little or over your head limits optimal play. Make sure you can weather typical swings at your level.

By combining these tips on dealer patterns, qualifying rules, hand strength assessment, and smart bet sizing, you put yourself in the best position to beat live dealer poker games.


No, online card shuffling negates any card-counting advantage. Strict oversight prevents dealer manipulation.

No, a dealer needs at least a pair to qualify to make the game more favorable to you.

Yes, hand rankings, pot odds, implied odds, and position are all key concepts that crossover from poker.

Some casinos let you only preview real dealer poker hands without risking money.


Once you grasp the dynamics of competing solely against the house dealer, you can apply fundamental poker math and logic to make profitable betting decisions. It has lower variance than poker and better-expected value if you avoid playing poor hands or chasing draws. For practice, take advantage of free play modes before risking real cash. And implement strong bankroll discipline to weather short-term swings. By learning optimal live dealer poker strategy here at OKebet, you can compete with the dealer for fun, rewarding wins.

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