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Triple Action Hold ‘Em

Introduction

Triple Action Hold ‘Em is a casino poker game, meaning that it’s derived from classic player vs player poker, but instead the player plays against the house. Specifically Triple Action Hold ‘Em is a derivative of the Texas Hold ‘Em game. Triple Action Hold ‘Em is played with a 28 card deck that only includes cards of rank 8 through Ace.

We are only aware of this game being available at Microgaming and Amaya online casinos.

Play Structure

Initially the player places an ‘Ante’ wager and the dealer will deal out 2 cards face up to the player, 2 cards, one face up and one face down to themselves and 3 face down community cards. The player is then given the option to ‘Bet’ or ‘Fold’. If the player chooses to Fold they lose their Ante bet. If the player chooses to Bet they have to place a second bet equal to their Ante bet. The three community cards and the dealer’s face down card are then revealed and the player and dealer 5 card hands are compared to decide the winner.

Hand Comparison

Triple Action Hold ‘Em ranks hands according to a hierarchy common to poker games which is explained below (strongest to weakest);

* Royal Flush – The Ace, King, Queen, Jack and Ten cards all of the same suit.

* Straight Flush – five numerically adjacent cards of the same suit (Example – 8, 9, 10, J and Q of Diamonds). Where both the player and dealer hold a Straight Flush the hand with the highest card is considered the winner.

* 4 of a Kind – four cards of matching rank (Example – 9 of Hearts, Clubs, Diamonds and Spades). Where both the player and the dealer hold 4 of a Kind the hand with the higher rank is considered the winner.

* Full House – three cards of the same rank and two cards of a different but matching rank (Example – 8 of Hearts, Clubs and Diamonds and Jack of Spades and Hearts). Where both the player and dealer hold a Full House, the hand with the higher rank 3 of a Kind is considered the winner.

* Flush – five cards of the same suit (Example – Ace, 8, 10, J and Queen of Spades). Where both the player and dealer hold a Flush the hand with the highest card is considered the winner. Where the highest card is matched the second highest is consider and so on.

* Straight – five numerically adjacent cards ignoring suit (Example – 8 of Spades, 9 of Spades, 10 of Clubs, Jack of Diamonds and Queen of Diamonds). Where both the player and dealer hold a Straight the hand with the highest card is considered the winner.

* 3 of a Kind – three cards of the same rank with 2 unmatched cards (Example – 9 of Spades, Clubs and Hearts with any two other cards that are not the 9 of Diamonds or a matching pair). Where both the player and dealer hold a 3 of a Kind, the hand with the higher ranked 3 of a Kind is considered the winner.

* Two Pairs – two sets of two cards of matching rank with one unmatched card (Example – 8 of Clubs and Hearts, King of Clubs and Spades and a fifth unmatched card). Where the player and dealer both have two pairs, the hand with the highest pair is considered the winner. If both hands have matching top pair, the higher of the two lower pairs is considered the winner. Where both pairs are matched, the hand with the higher ‘Kicker’ (final unmatched card) is considered the winner.

* Pair – two cards of matching rank with three unmatched card (Example – 9 of Clubs and Hearts and any three other cards that are not the 9 of Spades or Diamonds and are not of matching rank). Where the player and the dealer hold a matching pair, the hand with the highest Kicker card wins. If the Kicker also matches, the hand is decided by the second Kicker then the third if the second Kickers also match.
In the instance where both the dealer and player have hands of matching value by the above table the hand is considered a push and the player’s bets are returned.

Payouts

As with many other poker based casino games, there is a qualification hand for the dealer to play. As such payouts vary depending on whether the dealer qualifies or not. The dealer qualifies if their hand is a pair of 9s or better.

If the player loses all bets placed are lost. If the player Folds they lose their Ante bet. If the player wins payouts are decided as follows;

* If the player wins and the dealer does not qualify the Ante bet is paid out at 1 to 1 while the Bet bet pushes.

* If the player wins and the dealer does qualify the Bet bet is paid at 1 to 1 and the Ante bets is paid according to the following paytable;

HandPayout
Royal Flush50 to 1
Straight Flush20 to 1
Flush6 to 1
4 of a Kind4 to 1
Full House2 to 1
Any Other1 to 1
House Edge1.82%

Flop Bet

The first of two possible side bets when playing Triple Action Hold ‘Em, players can place a ‘Flop’ bet. This wager is determined by the 3 community cards. If the 3 community cards form one of the following hands the player is paid out as detailed;

 Payout
Straight Flush10 to 1
3 of a Kind10 to 1
Flush4 to 1
Straight2 to 1
Pair of Jacks or Better1 to 1
House Edge2.93%

There is no restriction (other than table limits) to how much the player can wager on the Flop bet, regardless of the wager placed on the Ante bet.

Bonus Bet

The second side bet offered when playing Triple Action Hold ‘Em is the ‘Bonus’ bet. This wager is determined by the 3 community cards and the player’s cards. If these 5 cards form one of the following hands the player is paid out as detailed;

 Payout
Royal Flush100 to 1
Straight Flush50 to 1
Flush25 to 1
4 of a Kind15 to 1
Straight6 to 1
3 of a Kind3 to 1
2 Pairs1 to 1
House Edge5.39%

There is no restriction (other than table limits) to how much the player can wager on the Bonus bet, regardless of the wager placed on the Ante bet.

House Edge*

The House Edge of Triple Action Hold ‘Em across the full round of wagering (Ante and Bet bet) and assuming that the player plays using the optimal strategy discussed below is 1.82%. If the player does not play optimally this figure will rise.

The House Edge of the Flop bet is 2.93%.

The House Edge of the Bonus be is 5.39%.

We have never encountered any other paytables, but if the paytables differ from those in this article the House Edge figures will change.

For further information regarding the house edge for both the main game and the side bets see Beating Bonuses (http://www.beatingbonuses.com/tripleactionholdem.htm).

Optimal Strategy

The Optimal Strategy for Triple Action Hold ‘Em is very straight forward. Never play the side bets and always place the Bet bet.

Fairness Calculator

Below you can find a calculator to allow you to check the fairness of your wins/losses when playing Triple Action Hold ‘Em.

*This fairness calculator will assume that you’ve been playing with the optimal strategy detailed above. If you have not then the calculator will NOT return accurate results.

Winning Strategies

Offline

Hole Carding, Steering, Sorting or Knowledge of Additional Cards

If Triple Action Hold ‘Em is available offline, its availability is likely to be very limited. It may be possible to gain an advantage over this game with advanced knowledge of the dealer’s down card or any of the 3 community cards (be this via tracking, steering, edge sorting or hole carding). It may also be possible to use knowledge of additional player hands to alter the Bet/Fold strategy enough to gain an advantage, but given that we’re not aware of any offline games we have not put together figures or strategies for these situations.

Online

There are several methods of legitimately gaining an advantage playing online Triple Action Hold ‘Em games. By and large these involve the use of promotions, bonuses and comp point systems as the games by themselves – assuming the game is functioning in a correct fashion and there are no errors in the paytable – will not provide any additional information about the cards and shuffles after every hand.

It should be noted that online advantage play is not specific to Triple Action Hold ‘Em and in recent years the wagering requirements for player’s choosing to play any table game has inflated to the point that Triple Action Hold ‘Em is now often a sub-optimal choice for the player. For more information on beating online casinos see BeatingBonuses.com.

* All ‘House Edge’ figures in this article are based on the ‘loss per unit wagered’ rather than ‘loss per initial bet’.