Jackpot Hold’Em is a proprietary casino table game, with licenses provided to casinos by the game’s distributor, American Gaming Systems. The game is partly based on the more popular Ultimate Texas Hold’em rules.
Playable by 2-8 Players, Jackpot Hold’em involves a compulsory bonus that Players must participate in, as well as an optional side bonus.
How to Play Jackpot Hold’Em?
Jackpot Hold’Em Poker is played using a single copy of the Anglo-American Standard 52-card deck.
Ante and Initial Bets
As with most Table games offered by casinos, players must make an Ante wager before the game can begin.
In front of each Player’s seat will be four betting boxes:
- Player Bonus
Players must also make an additional wager, equal to their Ante wager, on a betting box labeled as the “X-TRA Bonus.” In addition to these compulsory wagers, players are free to place an additional wager on the “Player Bonus”.
A Player must have already placed a wager on the Ante and the X-TRA in order to participate in the Player Bonus side bet.
Once all of the Player’s wagers have been settled, the Deal begins. Each Player, including the Dealer, will be given two face-down hole cards from the deck. Players may look at their own cards.
After each Player has received their two hole cards, a single card from the Flop will be dealt.
Players will be given two possible positions: Check, or Raise.
- Checking Players simply “Pass” their chance to Raise, and continue on to the next deal.
- Players that choose to raise at this stage, in the pre-flop, must place a wager equal to 3x their Ante.
After each Player has checked, or raised and placed the appropriate wager, the Flop begins, and the final two community cards of the Flop are dealt.
Players are given the same option to Raise or Check, but Players that Raise during the Flop may only wager 2x their Ante.
Turn and River
The next phase will deal the final two community cards, in a combined Turn/River. Players at this stage are no longer permitted to Check. Instead, Players must either Raise, or fold.
- Folding Players surrender any Ante and X-TRA wager (though they can still win the Player Bonus after folding), and forfeit any money they may have won in the Showdown. However, they are not required to make a Raise wager.
- Players that wish to participate in the Showdown, but have not yet raised, must place a wager equal to their Ante in the Raise box.
The Showdown begins once all Players have either folded or raised at some point in the game. Players and the Dealer will reveal their hole cards, and form the best possible five-card Poker hand according to the traditional Poker hierarchy.
Dealer Qualification and Payouts
Dealers must have at least a pair of any rank in order to qualify. Qualification can alter the payouts made to a Player in the case of a win or loss.
- If the Player wins the hand, and the Dealer qualifies, then the Player will win 1:1 on their Ante and Raise bets, while the X-TRA pays out based on the quality of their Poker hand.
- If the Dealer did not qualify, the Player will be paid for the X-TRA bonus, and the Raise, but the Ante will push.
- If the Player loses the hand, and the Dealer qualifies, then the Player will lose all three of their mainline bets. The Player Bonus may still pay out.
- If the Player loses the hand, but the Dealer does not qualify, then the Player will lose their X-TRA and Raise wagers but will have their Ante pushed.
In the case of a tie, in which the Player and Dealer both have the same meld, containing cards of the same rank, then all three of a Player’s mainline bets will push.
Continuation of Play
After the Showdown ends for each Player, the cards are collected and reshuffled. New Antes and X-TRA wagers are made.
Payouts and Bonuses
Although the Ante and Raise payout on a 1:1 basis, the X-TRA bonus pays out based on the quality of meld a Player was able to form in order to beat the Dealer. The payout table for the X-TRA bonus is below:
All other melds (Three-Kinds, Two-Pair, and Pairs) will simply cause the X-TRA wager to push if the Player is able to beat the Dealer.
Although the X-TRA bonus is a required wager in order to participate in the game, Jackpot Hold’Em also offers an optional side bet that Players may participate in if they so wish.
Like the X-TRA Bonus, the Player Bonus simply offers payouts based on the melds Players were able to form with their five-card Poker hand. The paytable is shown below:
If a Player is unable to form a meld better than a Two-Pair, then their Player Bonus is lost to the House.
Jackpot Hold’em Rules
You can find a summary of the game rules below.
- The Dealer must qualify in order to receive the full payout one is entitled to on a victory.
- Players must make a wager on the Ante, X-TRA, and Raise positions during a game if they wish to win a payout. Players may choose to wager on the Player Bonus if they so wish.
- Players may Raise 3x the Ante on the Pre-Flop, 2x the Ante on the Flop, and 1x the Ante on the Turn/River.
Suppose that you have the following hole cards:
Now suppose the Pre-Flop is:
This is a set of cards with very strong potential but has great risk. There is no guarantee that the necessary 8♣ 9♣ for a Straight Flush will materialize.
While betting 3x the Ante on the Preflop provides the highest potential for a large payout, this would be a very risky move. You cannot undo a Raise.
Instead, it would be better to wait for the Flop to complete:
Now you are guaranteed the Straight Flush, and can still Raise 2x the value of the Ante. A Straight Flush is highly likely to beat the Dealer. Although you could have won a little extra money, waiting for the flop was the far safer option.
If the Straight Flush did not materialize, you would be out a total of 5x your initial Ante. (1 for the Ante, 1 for the X-TRA, and 3 for the Raise).
Strategy and Tips
Check until you have at least one completed hand
Betting a mere 1x Raise on the Turn/River with a guaranteed Three-of-a-Kind is statistically much safer than placing a 3x Raise on a Pre-Flop with the potential to form a straight, as shown in the example above.
Players should avoid the Player Bonus
Although the House Edge is not terrible on the Player Bonus, at about 3.3%, Players are more likely to lose money than they are to win it on the Player Bonus.
Furthermore, the X-TRA wager is mandatory and pays out in the same circumstances as the Player Bonus.
Normally, when a Player does not participate in the side wager, they are potentially missing out on a high payout if they achieve a high-ranking meld. This is not the case in Jackpot Hold’Em, making the Player Bonus almost entirely superfluous.