Progressive Texas Hold’em Poker (also known as Bonus Poker) is one of my favorite casino games. It is a strategy game and is more exciting than Blackjack, though its winning odds for the player are lower as compared to Blackjack if played as per Basic Strategy. What makes Progressive Texas so exciting is the ability of the player to raise the stake in the game as the cards are opened and also the element of additional Bonus and Jackpot Bets. This game is also perfect for the players who like the regular Texas Hold’em Poker but are scared of playing against other players due to the fear of bluffing by others. In Progressive Texas, however, all the players are betting against the dealer and hence no one will bluff to try and make you lose.
You may also like to read my Genting Highlands Casino Guide.
How Progressive Texas Hold’em Poker Is Played In Genting Highlands Casino in Malaysia
There are several versions of this game and in different casinos you may come across this game played differently. For example, in NagaWorld Casino in Phnom Penh they have a version of this game that is called ‘Ultimate Texas Hold’em.’ In some casinos, even when the game is exactly the same as Progressive Texas, the bet level and payouts on the additional Bonus and/or Jackpot Bets may differ. Some casinos pay 1000x the Bonus Bet if both the player and the dealer come up with two aces. But some casinos do not have this payout. In Genting Highlands, luckily, the 1000x payout does exist. To my knowledge, the Progressive Texas rules in Genting Highlands are the most player-friendly except for the amount of the Bonus Bet. Let us now see the rules in detail:
In Genting Highlands, both Sky Casino and Genting Casino have this game. However, the number of tables open in Genting Casino may change depending on the day of the week. Minimum Ante Bet is the same in both the casinos, and that is 25 MYR. There are some 50 MYR tables too for this game.
How To Play
The objective of the game is to make the best Poker hand of five cards by using the 2 cards dealt to the player and the five cards opened on the table as community cards. The dealer will also get two cards. Both the player and the dealer will use their own two cards and the five community cards to make their best hands.
- Make the initial main bet of 25 MYR or more
- Make the optional Bonus Bet and/or Jackpot Bet, if you desire
- Two cards are dealt to the player, face down
- Player will see own cards and decide if they want to play or fold
- If not folding, the player has to place double the amount of Ante Bet to see the Flop, that is the first three community cards
- After you bet 2x of the Ante Bet on Flop, the dealer will open the three Flop cards
- After seeing the Flop cards, the player can optionally place the Turn Bet that is equal to the Ante Bet. Otherwise the player can “Check”, that is, tap the table gently with your hand and say “Check”. This means you continue in the game without any additional bet.
- The dealer will then open the fourth card, that is called the Turn card
- After seeing the Turn Card, the player can optionally place the River Bet that is equal to the Ante Bet. Otherwise the player can “Check”, that is, tap the table gently with your hand and say “Check”. This means you continue in the game without any additional bet.
- The dealer will now open the last community card, that is called the River Card. No additional bet is allowed after the River card is opened.
- The dealer will take his/her two cards.
- The players are not allowed to touch their cards at this stage and the dealer will pull the player cards closer to him/her.
- The dealer’s cards will be opened first and the then all the players’ cards will be opened by the dealer one by one. If the player’s 5-card hand by using all the seven cards is better than the dealer’s hand, the player wins. Bonus and/or Jackpot Bets are also paid or taken by the dealer.
When To Fold
Those who calculate the odds of the game would recommend that you should fold the hand after seeing your own two cards if you have anything up to 2,7 Unsuited. If you have 3,4 Unsuited or better, or 2,8 Unsuited or better, you can play the 2x bet to see the three Flop Cards. The concept that is used to determine this is called “Expected Value” (EV). If the EV is worse than -1, you should fold and if it is better than -1, you can place the 2x bet. EV for hands up to 2,7 Unsuited is worse than -1. The EV of 3,4 Unsuited is -0.95 and for 2,8 Unsuited it is -0.89. I have not myself calculated these numbers, but instead these are taken from reliable online sources.
It has to be your decision. I like to play every hand in this game because I feel that no first two cards are bad. Once I had 2,7 Unsuited and ended up with a 2,2,2,2 winning a Jackpot in a casino in Goa (India). After placing the 2x bet for Flop, you can continue in the game till the end without placing any additional bet.
The Bonus Bet Problem
Minimum Bonus Bet in Genting Highlands Casino is 25 MYR and that is a bit of a problem. My experience has been that due to the Bonus Bet being high, my winnings in the game suffer because I do not win the Bonus bet so often. Actually no one will win the bonus bet so often, except on some lucky days. The house edge on the bonus bet is very high at 8.54% whereas the main game gives the casino an edge of only 2.04%. Let us take a look at Bonus Bet payouts.
Bonus Bet Payouts
Bonus Bet pays on the two cards dealt to the player regardless of the outcome of the game provided the player has not folded.
|Two Cards||Bonus Payout|
|Player has AA + Dealer has AA||1000x|
|Player has AA||30x|
|Player has AK of Same Suite||25x|
|Player has AQ or AJ of Same Suite||20x|
|Player has AK Unsuited||15x|
|Player has KK or QQ or JJ||10x|
|Player has AQ, or AJ Unsuited||5x|
|Player has Pair 2,2 to 10,10||3x|
|All other hands||Lose|
Why People Play Bonus Bet
It is the lure of the high payout in case you end up getting a nice set of two cards. The 1000x payout when both the player and the dealer have AA, is also a good enough motivation. The problem, however, is that the odds are heavily in favor of the casino.
Jackpot bet is 2.50 MYR and one can bet on own hand and/or the dealer’s hand. Jackpot is paid on ‘4 of a Kind’ or higher. The payout on the jackpot depends on the chart on display at the gaming table. 100% of the Jackpot amount is paid if the hand is made using the player’s two cards and the first three cards opened on Flop. 25% of the jackpot amount is paid if the hand is formed using the Turn card, and 5% of the jackpot amount is paid if the hand is formed using the River card.
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