Did you know that signing up to Betfair Poker gives you access to Betfair’s entire suite of gaming products? Your poker account details can be used for the sportsbook, the famous betting exchange, casino, and the awesome exchange games.
The Betfair Exchange Games combine poker and the site’s betting exchange. You can bet on a hand winning the pot, or bet against a hand winning. It’s even possible to make specific bets that results in you winning regardless of the outcome of the hand. These games are a great way to have a flutter when you fancy taking a break from playing actual poker.
We recently wrote about the Omaha Hi edition of Exchange Games, now it’s time for the Cadillac of Poker, Texas Hold’em.
How Do Hold’em Exchange Games Work?
Each game features four random hold’em hands. You can make a wager before the hole cards are revealed, then preflop, on the flop, and finally on the turn. They play like a typical hand of hold’em except there are four active players in the hand.
It’s possible to Back a hand or Lay a hand. Backing is betting that something will happen. Laying is the opposite; it’s betting on something not happening.
For example, you may Back pocket aces preflop with them being the best starting hand in hold’em. Conversely, you may wish to Lay seven-deuce offsuit because it’s the weakest. Laying a bet essentially makes you the bookmaker.
All winning bets have a 2.5% commission charged, losing bets do not command a commission.
Let’s take a look at a real-life example of a recent Hold’em Exchange Game so you can see a game in action.
Learn how to play the Omaha Hi Exchange Games
Hold’em Exchange Games: The Deal
Every Hold’em Exchange Game starts with the deal. As you can see from the image, the four players’ hole cards are hidden and all the back and lay odds are exactly the same.
Some players like to place a wager at this stage, although doing so is pure gambling as you have a 25% chance of guessing correctly.
Hold’em Exchange Games: Preflop
The game progresses to the preflop stage where the hole cards are revealed. Betfair’s software changes both the back and lay odds to reflect the equity each holding has. Here’s a tip for you, fire up the PokerNews Odds Calculator, input all the hands and see how much of a favorite or underdog each hand is!
You can see here that Hand 1 is the favorite. Ace-high is the best hand right now but it is still quite vulnerable. Backing Hand 1 for £10 would result in a £25.20 win if Hand 1 remains best.
Laying the underdog, Hand 4, has odds of 6.1. Laying £10 would see you win £10 if Hand 4 doesn’t win, but you’d be on the hook for £61.00 if it did come from behind and win. This is called your liability. It’s usually a good idea to Lay lesser amounts to keep your liability low when the odds are relatively high.
Hold’em Exchange: The Flop
The flop is now dealt and you have the opportunity to place more back or lay bets. You can see that Hand 4 is now the clear favorite thanks to pairing its six. In fact, it’s a slightly better than an odds on favorite. Hand 3 has slipped to the underdog and the previous favorite, Hand 1, is now very second best.
You don’t have to place a bet here but you can if you wish. Use the available time to look at the odds calculator and to consider what may happen next. Hand 4 is best but it is still vulnerable. Any seven, eight, king or ace puts it way behind. Likewise, the odds will change if a draw becomes possible on the turn.
The flop is the defining street in any hold’em game and it’s no different here. If you laid Hand 4 preflop, consider backing it here to reduce your potential losses. Likewise, if you backed Hand 1 preflop, consider laying it to win that bet.
Hold’em Exchange Games: The Turn
Things have dramatically altered on the turn because Hand 1 has improved to top pair and it is now a huge favorite with one hand to come.
Hand 3 can no longer win regardless of the river card so is, therefore, eliminated. Let’s hope you placed a lay bet on earlier streets! Hand 2 and Hand 4 have the exact same odds because they need a minor miracle to win. Hand 2 needs a queen and only a queen while Hand 4 needs one of the remaining two sixes or the two fours still in the deck.
Hold’em Exchange Games: The River
The deuce on the river means Hand 1 is the victor.
10 Hold’em Tips: Pot Odds Basics
Decimal Odds and Implied Probability
As a poker player, you’ve learned all about odds and probability. We know pocket aces are approximately 82% to beat a random hand, for example. The decimal odds give you an insight into the implied probability that a hand will win. The table below has some common decimal odds and what that equates to in chances of winning, it will come in handy!