All About Ultimate Texas Hold’em with Gambling Expert Michael “Wizard of Odds” Shackleford

All About Ultimate Texas Hold’em with Gambling Expert Michael “Wizard of Odds” Shackleford

Hi, and welcome to our instructional video
that is designed to make you a smarter
my name is steve bourie and I’m the author
of the american casino guide
which is the number one best-selling
book in the US on the subject of
casino gambling and travel and the only
book that comes with more than one
thousand dollars in casino coupons
if you want to know more about the book
be sure to visit our website at
and if you have an iphone or ipad download our free app
just go to the app store and search for
american casino guide
In this video michael shackelford who is
also known as the wizard of odds
and the author of gambling 102
explains all about ultimate texas
hold em
he tells you how the game is played, the
various bet you can make, the casino
advantage on those bets and the
best strategy for playing the game
before the flop. And now, here’s michael
Let’s talk about Ultimate Texas Hold ’em
this is a poker based game based on
texas hold ’em poker
but the player plays only against the
The game starts where the player makes
an ante bet
and a blind bet, they must be exactly
and the player may also make an optional
side bet called the trips bet.
after the players have made their wagers
the dealer will give
each player two cards, two hole cards and
deal five community cards
face down just like in
texas hold ’em
the player will check his own two cards
and at this point
either make
a raise bet equal to four times his
ante wager
or he may check
If the player does make the raise wager
he’s done he can’t do anymore raising
and the dealer will turn over
the flop, the first three community cards.
At this point if the player has not
already made
a raise bet he may do one at this
point but he can only do it for two
his ante bet.
Then the dealer will turn over the turn
and the the river cards the fourth and the
fifth community cards
And at this point any player who has not
already made either raise
may either raise
one-time his ante bet or he may fold.
Then the dealer will turn over his two
hole cards and both the player in the
dealer will make their best five
card poker hand out of the seven cards
and the higher hand will win.
The dealer needs to have at least
a pair to open, if the dealer does not
make at least a pair
the dealer will push back the players
ante bets which will automatically push
Then if the dealer
does open
or whether or not he opens
the dealer will compare
his poker hand
to the player’s poker hand, the higher
one wins.
If the player has the higher poker hand
then the raise bet will pay even money
if the dealer has the better hand
the raise will lose
and if the dealer has
if it’s a tie, then it will be a push
same thing
for the ante bet
assuming that the dealer opened. It pays
even money if the player wins
Now the blind bet is a different story
it goes by a pay table
if the player has at least a straight
and beats the dealer
the blind bet will pay according to the
pay table posted on the table
if the player does not have at least a
straight which is most of the time
then if the player wins the blind bet will
only push, if the dealer wins
the line bet will lose
So the blind bet obviously is where the
dealer’s house advantage comes in.
Where the player’s power comes in
is the player has
the ability to make a big raise bet
early on if he gets a good hand.
The house advantage
in ultimate texas hold ’em which
probably nobody knows perfectly
that means that for every dollar the
player bets on the ante
he can expect to lose 2.18 cents
The trips bet
pay is based only on the poker value of
the player’s hand
and to win on the trips bet the player
needs to get at least a three of a
The usual pay table
on the trips bet goes three, four, seven,
eight, thirty, forty, fifty
If you see that pay table which you
probably will in a live game
the house advantage on that bet is
On some
of the
units that don’t have a live dealer but
have a big video screen and you play
against a computer monitor
then they have a stingier pay table that
goes three, five, six, seven, twenty, forty,
That pay table has a house advantage of
6.18 percent.
Next let’s talk about the strategy for
ultimate texas hold ’em
I’m only gonna talk about
the strategy for the first decision
point because it gets really complicated
at the second and the third decision points
at the first decision point, the player
is allowed to raise three times or four
his ante bet
but the player should never make the
small three x
raise because
if he gets
really good
hole cards to begin with
he should always make the full
four x raise much like if you double
down in blackjack
you should never double for less if
you’ve got a good hand
put out all the money you can out there
here are the hands for you should make
raise bet after you see your two
hole cards and before the flop
if you have any pair
except duces
if you have
an ace high
if you have unsuited king
five or better
unsuited queen eight or better
or unsuited jack ten
if you have a suited king high
if you have to be suited queen six or
or a suited jack
eight or better
if you don’t have any of those hands
that i just said
then you should check
and the dealer will turn over the flop
and then eventually the river and turn so
you may be making one of the
smaller raise bets later
the strategy
for the second and third decision points
are pretty complicated
i have some really complicated
strategies on my website
that advise on when to do it
through the las vegas advisor
they sell strategy cards for ultimate
texas holdem
is a very concise and powerful strategy
which i highly recommend i regret i
didn’t think
of this strategy myself
but this is a great strategy available
through the las vegas advisor
If you want to know more about me or
hundreds of different casino games it’s
all on my website
and my book gambling 102
has strategies for the most popular casino
Don’t forget that you can see more of
our educational gambling videos on our
youtube channel
just go to

34 thoughts on “All About Ultimate Texas Hold’em with Gambling Expert Michael “Wizard of Odds” Shackleford”

  1. Very informative. This completely changed the way I view this game, I never expected raise on the hands that were mentioned, people always told me they only raised with JJ or better or only when they hit a pair on the flop. Do you have an guide on Bonus Texas Hold'em?

  2. Michael has a guide for Bonus Texas Hold'em at: wizardofodds(dot)com/games/texas-hold-em-bonus/

  3. People generally play this game extremely poorly. The sole redeeming quality for the player is to jack out those 4x wagers.

  4. the 3 biggest mistakes I see players making while playing this game is 1) betting more on the Trips than on the Ante/Blind. 2) not making the preflop play bet at 4x when they have a good starting hand. 3) betting 1x after the river instead of folding when they have a lousy hand. I see people making all 3 of these major mistakes while playing this game, all the time!

  5. Interesting. And the casino floors really do need more game varieties. But the high house-advantages are such a put-off. Why can't we have more games with fair house-advantages like craps or bj.

  6. This was actually to distract you from your video, so it takes more time for you to get good information out AND I CAN MAKE MORE MONEY!!!!

  7. Are you able to give me another example of outs when it comes to this game?

    I am sorry to day but the example the wizard gives is still confusing me?

    For each rank on the board there are three more that can beat you. For example, if the dealer has the jack of hearts, diamonds, or spades he will pair up and beat you. So, 5×3=15 cards will give the dealer a hidden pair. Also, all four queens and aces will beat you. So, 15+8=23 cards will beat you. You need to have less than 21 outs to stay in, so fold.

  8. 3:40 Now that you're confused by this game because we went so fast, we're gonna flip the image to further disorient you.

  9. Here's the problem I see with the basic strategy.  It doesn't take into account "pot odds".  Instead it goes by expected value.  If positive bet 4X.  However, if you win 51% of the time but lay 2:1 odds (4 X ante, which is =blind, or 2:1), you will lose long term (besides the house edge).  In order to raise 4X you should only play hands >.67 probability of winning against unknown cards.  I used win percentages from  For hands between .6 and .67, one should bet 3X, or 3:2 odds.  This will maximize wins while minimizing variances.  AK can be beat by a pair of 2s, so why lay 2:1 odds when only 64% chance of winning.  If you play 3X you are getting better than pot odds for winning that hand.  In other words instead of laying an extra 2.5% to the house edge, you reduce it by more than 4% on this one hand.  In other words by using this strategy, one could theoretically shift house edge to player edge when playing hands from .51-.667 expected value.  Raise 4X for all pairs >8s; 3X for pocket 6s, 7s, >A9s, >KQ.  All other hands have less than .60 probability of winning, so should not raise before flop.  Heads up Pocket 4s win 56% so raising 2X after flop creates positive pot odds that again erode some of the house edge.  One can even wait until after river to call.  One loses value in winning, but decreases variances of losses.  True, for the most part, one may win less, there will be less variance (for smaller bankrolls).  The value of a hand changes greatly after the flop.  A flop of overs with possible flush/straight draws (i.e. 7/8/10 flop while holding pocket 5s)loses value quickly and may even prevent a 2X bet on the flop.

    For example, let's use  44 (which has roughly a 6/11 chance of winning).  First the basic strategy:  Over 11 hands, you will win  6 hands at 5 units and lose 6 units 5 times, and break even with -30/+30.  Now using my strategy for the same; (assuming I only raise 2X with favorable flop), I will lose 3 units 5 times and win 3 units 6 times.  As long as I win and dealer qualifies >3 times, I will come out ahead.  I admit, I know I think more as I am a poker player and know the probability of wining various hands.  For those plying for fun, my play may not be for them.  

  10. this is not good advice. betting 4x the ante with the above listed hands will send you home in less than an hour. even with A-Q in this game, i wait to see a flop. seeing a flop and then betting 2x or betting 1x after seeing the turn and river is wayyyy safer and smarter. it takes a little longer to win but it is worth it in my many, many hours playing this game over the years. and as for the trips bet, i don't prefer it, but everyone is different.

  11. man! I love hold em! but, this looks HHHHAAAAARRRD!!! (btw…nice little plug for Mr. Curtis's site there! lol… I also recommend it)

  12. I've been playing ultimate lately at the casino and I have noticed that every time they change cards the dealer keeps on winning every hand. Is there a way the pit boss can set the shuffling machine up to give the house an advantage.

  13. Is there any way to determine if your odds are better or worse depending on the number of players at the table?

  14. I play this game religiously and to the key mathematical strategy. Trust me…or dont trust me, but this is the best way to play. You MUST 4x these bets. You can and I HAVE and still do sometimes check such things as j, 10 and things like that its okay! I think the biggest key to this game is to always 4x that ACE and I play pocket pairs 4s and up.

  15. u r better off playing against players at a table game becuz there will be people who just play randomly and give u the advantage

  16. I've been playing this game for 10 years. Those house odds are bullshit if you play in an Indian casino. People say these shuffling machines can't cheat. But when the machine has the ability to take a shuffled deck of cards and put them back in order from A to King and do it by suit, then something is up. With wi-fi capabilities and the eye in the sky watching, there is absolutely no reason why they could not manipulate the shuffle. These casinos make a shit ton of money, and we all know how honest making a shit ton of money makes people.

  17. honestly this game has no edge for the house. the house edge doesnt account for the fact if a person knows the right move, its 50 50, the betting amounts determine the house advantage . the times when you will mostlikely win is when you have your big bet. the trips bet will crush you. you still get a bonus no matter what if you get a big hand, the house doesent win 500x your bet. if you are running good, and winning even 48 percent, you should still be winning. you are only losing when your big bet is losing, which isnt likely. its like playing heads up against a drunk idiot that calls everything.

  18. this guy is showing you how to lose your money. people that play poker know the percentage of bull shit that is coming out of his mouth. you have a higher chance of flopping/turn/river a set with pocket deuces than with pocket aces. suited cards only give a small percentage more about 10% of getting a flush. do your research before donating your money to the super rich.

  19. My final answer.
    All Casinos have the computer pick there best hands against urs.
    They just let you win small hand.
    Just notice in Real Casino's they gave always straights, flushes, 3 of a kind.
    So don't go to Casino's thinking u are going beat them, go for fun.

  20. There are no right way or wrong way of winning in ultimate. Just have to bet crazily and hope you hit some good hands and go home with 500 or more. Play long hours, you definitely will lose.

  21. Excellent video. The wizard always tells the truth. It's up to you what you do with it. I tell people about wizard of odds they never listen.

    The house edge is not too bad but doesn't seem worth the effort.
    Blackjack is far better and I find three card poker more fun.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *