Evolution Live 2 Hand Casino Hold’em Review

Evolution Gaming Live 2 Hand Casino Hold’em is a brand-new, unique online Hold’em variant that gives you double chances to win on two individual hands against the house, plus an optional, easy-to-play Bonus bet for poker lovers.

Live Casino Hold’em is one of the world’s most popular poker variants but now this 2 Hand edition of the game doubles the fun for poker enthusiasts and new players alike. Play with two hands to keep the decision making and suspense alive with more chances to win plus an optional, easy-to-play Bonus bet that can be played on either hand or both hands.

So without further ado, learn how to play, what it all looks like and if there’s a winning betting strategy in our Live 2 Hand Casino Hold’em review.

This casino game was initially reviewed in May 2019 and is set to go live late May 2019.

Image source: Evolution Gaming
Live 2 Hand Casino Hold’em facts
RTPMain Bet: 97.84%, Main Bet (based on total bet): 99.18%, Bonus Bet: 93.74%
ProviderEvolution Gaming
TypeLive dealer
EnvironmentStudio
Bespoke tableNo
Live dealersOne
Opening hours24/7
Minimum bet€1
Maximum betTBC
Special betsNo
StatisticsPayouts, Account history
Favourite betsNo
AutoplayNo
Instant chatYes
Camera anglesSingle
Video settingsMedium, High, HD
CompatibilityDesktop, Tablet, Mobile

What is Live 2 Hand Casino Hold’em?

Live 2 Hand Casino Hold’em by Evolution Gaming is an entertaining variant of five-card poker in which you play against the house, not other players. You are dealt two separate hands to bet on, with the option to bet on either hand or both hands. The aim is to beat the dealer’s hand by getting the best possible five-card hand, made up of the two cards dealt to you and the five community cards.

Additionally, you’re able to place an optional AA Bonus Bet that pays out if a Pair of Aces or higher is dealt in the first five cards (that is, your two cards plus the first three of the community cards, the ‘Flop’ cards).

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How to play Live 2 Hand Casino Hold’em

Given the nature of this table game, you can break down how to play Live 2 Hand Casino Hold’em in a few parts. We’ll go through each one separately.

1. The Ante Bet

The game commences when you make an Ante bet on either Hand 1 or Hand 2, or on both hands. The dealer deals the cards in a clockwise direction, starting with Hand 1 on the right and then Hand 2 further to the left.

2. The optional Live 2 Hand Casino Hold’em Bonus Bet

In this time, you’re also able to make an optional Bonus bet for whichever hand/s you placed an Ante bet on. This optional bet is based on the five cards only your hand/s and pays out regardless of whether you beat or lose to the dealer in the main game. You’ll win between 7:1 and 100:1 if you have a Pair of Aces or better for the hand you placed the Bonus bet on, otherwise the Bonus bet is lost.

Keep in mind that this side bet is evaluated separately at the end of each game and, thus provides an entirely separate opportunity to win.

You’re then dealt your hand/s in the Live 2 Hand Casino Hold’em main game. If you made an Ante bet on either/both Hand 1 and Hand 2, then you are dealt those hands. Your hand/s receive two cards face-up, the dealer’s hand is dealt two cards face-down while three community cards are dealt face up in the middle of the table. These three community cards are common for the use of both you and the dealer for making up their respective hands. Two more community cards are dealt later in the game. After the dealing of the initial cards, you can see the value of your card combination displayed on the screen.

3. Call, Fold or Automatic Fold

Now that all the cards are on the table, you must estimate your chances of winning and to decide whether to ‘Call’ (and continue playing your hand/s), or ‘Fold’ (and lose all bets made on the hand/s you fold).

If you choose to continue with the game, place the Call bet (always double the Ante bet on a given hand) on your hand/s. Alternatively, if you decide to ‘Fold’ on either hand, you’ll lose the Ante bet for that hand but still see the remainder of the round and be eligible to win the Bonus bet for that hand, if placed.

Keep your eyes on the game as should the decision time runs out before you make a ‘Call’ or ‘Fold’ decision on a given hand, that hand will automatically be ‘Folded’ such that you’ll lose all bets on that hand. The message Auto Folded will be displayed above the virtual cards for the folded hand/s.

When decision time concludes, the dealer deals two additional community cards (called ‘Turn’ and ‘River’) and then turns the dealer’s initial two cards face up.

Now, to determine the winner, the best-paying hands are formed and compared for your hand/s and for the dealer’s hand, using five out of the seven available cards for each hand. For example, your Hand 1 will be formed from the two cards dealt to that hand plus three of the five community cards.

Remember, the dealer must have a Pair of Fours or higher to qualify. You’ll be faced with the following scenarios:

  • You win if the dealer doesn’t qualify: The Ante bet is paid out according to the payout table (shown below) while the Call bet is returned to you. The best five cards for each hand and the name of the winning combination is displayed on screen with small card icons.
  • You win if the dealer’s hand qualifies and the dealer’s hand is lower than yours: The Ante bet is paid out according to the payout table while the Call bet pays 1:1.
  • You lose if the dealer’s hand qualifies and is higher than yours: You lose both your Ante bet and Call bet.
  • A push: A Push means nobody wins or loses as you and dealer have identical hands. You’ll receive your Ante bet and Call bet back. If you and the dealer have hands of the same type, the one that includes the card of highest value wins. For example, three Kings beats three Queens while a Flush of Q, J, 10, 9, 8 beats a Flush of 10, 9, 8, 7, 6. When you and dealer tie, the next highest card that is not part of the paying hand (known as the ‘Kicker’) determines the winner.

Live 2 Hand Casino Hold’em Game Rules

We touched on most Live 2 Hand Casino Hold’em game rules so far but as they’re an essential part of the game, take your time going through this dedicated section.

  • This game is played with a standard 52 card deck which is shuffled after each game.
  • You’re required to make Ante bet on at least one hand to participate and may make an optional AA Bonus side bet.
  • You and the dealer are both dealt two cards.
  • Three cards are then dealt to the table which will eventually contain five cards.
  • After checking your cards, you must decide to (a) to fold with no further play losing the Ante bet or (b) to make a Call bet of double the Ante bet.
  • The hands are analysed and paid out according to the scenarios explained above.

If you’re familiar with Casino Hold’em, you’ll see that these rules are universal to the game. The only distinction with this variant is that you play with two hands and not just one.

Live 2 Hand Casino Hold’em RTP and Payouts

Live 2 Hand Casino Hold’em payouts and RTP is up next. As you saw above, there are two bets you can make in this game – the Ante Bet and the AA Bonus Bet. Naturally, this implies that there is variation in the payouts and theoretical return to player (RTP) for the two wagers you can place. Let’s start with the former.

The theoretical payout percentage for the main bet is 97.84% while the theoretical payout (based on total bet) is 99.18%. Conversely, the theoretical payout percentage for the bonus bet is 93.74%.

The respective payout for each poker bet is listed in the tables below, first the main bet followed by the bonus one. You needn’t memorise these but in order to play Live 2 Hand Casino Hold’em optimally, we recommend that you keep this page open so that you can make the most worthwhile decision on your hand.

Now, here are the Live 2 Hand Casino Hold’em payout tables.

Ante BetPayout
Royal Flush100:1
Straight Flush20:1
Four of a Kind10:1
Full House3:1
Flush2:1
Straight1:1
Three of a Kind1:1
Two Pairs1:1
One Pair1:1
High Card1:1
AA Bonus BetPayout
Royal Flush100:1
Straight Flush50:1
Four of a Kind40:1
Full House30:1
Flush20:1
Straight7:1
Three of a Kind7:1
Two Pairs7:1
One Pair7:1
High Card7:1

Remember that any malfunction whilst you’re playing will void the round in question including all its eventual payouts.

Can you play Live 2 Hand Casino Hold’em for free?

In short, no it’s not possible to play Live 2 Hand Casino Hold’em for free. As disappointing as this may be, it’s not without good reason. It’s without a doubt that Evolution spends a pretty penny on R&D to create the kinds of never-before-seen titles it does and once that’s done and dusted, there’s the day-to-day running costs that need to be accounted for too. This is why you’re unable to place free bets on live dealer tables. You are, however, able to take a virtual seat at the table, watch run-throughs of the game rounds and navigate the interface for as long as you wish to. We do recommend setting some time aside to become accustomed to this game before laying your chips.

Live 2 Hand Casino Hold’em Strategy & Tips

Has the thought What’s the Live 2 Hand Casino Hold’em winning strategy?” crossed your mind yet? When a new casino game is released, it’s only natural to want to master it.

The thing with Casino Hold’em in general is that there’s no simple way to quantify an optimal strategy, as the best decision for each hand is based on the combination of all seven cards dealt, which differs every round.

While there may not be one best Live 2 Hand Casino Hold’em strategy, there are some strategy tips you can keep in mind:

  • Always call with a pair or better.
  • Always call when you have an Ace high or a King high with your hole cards.
  • Call when you have a Queen high or Jack high unless the community cards are suited and you don’t have a card of that suit.
  • Call if you only need one card to complete a straight or flush.
  • Call with two over cards.
  • Fold if you have no cards that match the board and no cards over 10, unless you have a straight draw or a flush draw.
  • Fold if you hold unpaired low cards that don’t match the board and don’t provide you with a flush or straight draw.

The table

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Image source: Evolution Gaming

As with other card game titles from this provider, the Live 2 Hand Casino Hold’em table takes centre stage. It’s quite traditional in appearance with a dark grey felt covering and lighter grey border, with the dealing shoe to the right and the discard rack to the left. Emblazoned across the middle you’ll see the dealer betting rule we mentioned earlier. These are the only physical elements to it.

The two betting areas where you’re to place your chips are digital overlays on the felt. As the round progresses, you’ll see various close-ups on the physical cards on the table to aid their visibility (See the images further down).

The environment

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Evolution Live 2 Hand Casino Hold’em Review - 20

Image source: Evolution Gaming

While the majority of this title is reminiscent of a traditional game, its environment is 100% modern. To complement the grey hues on the table and reflect light in the studio, the surroundings are made up of various bright silver, mirrored triangular and rectangular panels, divided by thick black panels. As there’s only one straight-on view of the dealer, this is all you’ll see. It’s interesting enough to make you look twice but won’t distract you from the game.

The dealer

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Image source: Evolution Gaming

Unlike recent releases Deal or No Deal Live and Monopoly Live, the dealer who guides your game here is much more reserved. They’re polite in welcoming you to the table and make all the necessary hand gestures required by the game. He/she keeps the conversation to a minimum but will be more than willing to answer any questions you may pose via chat.

What it looks like and how it works

Now that how to play Live 2 Hand Casino Hold’em is crystal clear and you’re familiar with what it all looks like, let’s see how it’s delivered to your smartphone and PC. For transparency’s sake, our testing devices were an HP laptop and a OnePlus 6T, both using a 1GB download-speed Internet connection. Keep that in mind as you read through our thoughts and opinions. Your experience may differ on your own personal devices. That being said, let’s get into it.

Interface

Much like the Evolution poker variants before it, the Live 2 Hand Casino Hold’em interface fits the requirements of the game such that the majority of the functions discreetly frame the four corners of the stream.

Starting at the bottom right, you’ll find access to the lobby and the possibility of adding three other Evolution titles to bet on simultaneously. It’s in the bottom centre that you’ll see the digital depictions for the two hands you’ll bet on. There are Bonus, Ante and Play areas for Hand 1 and Hand 2 respectively. Then, to the bottom left, there’s a snapshot of your current casino balance next to your total bet.

The game’s payout table can be found to the top left and it can be pinned in place for your convenience. Beneath this, there’s also direct access to the instant chat system. On the opposite side, you’ll see the majority of the controls including an overview of your account history, game information via the ? icon, audio and visual settings we’ll touch on shortly and the ability to play in full screen by pressing the last button in that row.

Functionality

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Evolution Live 2 Hand Casino Hold’em Review - 2

Image source: Evolution Gaming

When the 15 second or so second betting window begins, the two betting areas where you can place your chips become highlighted. First the areas for Hand 1 and 2 are highlighted, and once you’ve placed an Ante bet on either one, or both, of those positions, the respective Bonus bet area becomes highlighted too. There’s the option to undo, double or repeat you’re last bet if you’d like to do so too.

Once the cards are dealt to the table, you’ll see digital overlays of them either side of the table, underneath which Play 2x and Fold buttons appear for you to act as you wish on your hand/s.

Audio and Visuals

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Evolution Live 2 Hand Casino Hold’em Review - 4

Image source: Evolution Gaming

To complement the classic style of this game, the audio element is stripped back. There’s no actual music to be heard, only the sound of the cards grazing the felt and dealer shuffling the cards at the conclusion of each round. Other studio noises are also audible, but nothing that detracts from the game. Similarly, the dealer’s voice can be heard clearly but as there’s not much to keep track from the dealer’s verbal cues, you can choose to mute the table altogether if you prefer. Do this from the speaker and cog icons on the interface.

Evolution Gaming Live 2 Hand Casino Hold’em is set in a splendid studio with a state-of-the-art camera rig that captures the dealer straight on. You’re only given a straight-on view of the dealer and table but you can choose to switch your interface view between the view we described above and what is called the Classic View which makes the stream smaller and suits poorer bandwidth. Similarly, video quality can be set to auto-adjust or low, medium, high and HD as suits your device.

Mobile and Desktop

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Image source: Evolution Gaming

This new title was developed specifically for each device type with a UI that perfectly adapts to take advantage of each handset’s capabilities. On mobile the game plays in both a landscape and portrait orientation, switching automatically between the two to suit the user’s needs when the Player Orientation Lock is turned off on the phone. Alternatively, the game is optimised for landscape orientation on tablet. Consider how you prefer to play and what device(s) you have on hand, but know that no matter which you choose, you’ll benefit from all the same game features and a consistent look-and-feel.

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