Games like poker, blackjack, roulette, and craps are so popular they are casino game categories all by themselves. However, land-based casinos all across Michigan also offer a variety of table games that don’t fit under these basic banners.
Games with names like Let It Ride, Casino Hold’em, Three-Card Poker, and Mississippi Stud aren’t the most widely known, but they are popular nonetheless.
There are online versions of most of these table games out there, and since players seem to flock to them in ever increasing numbers, most Michigan online casinos will likely end up running a few virtual versions.
The major difference between the table games at land-based casinos and the same titles at online casinos is traditional casino equipment is traded in for a digital interfaces and computerized random number generators.
Obviously, computer-based games don’t use physical cards, dice, chips or other equipment. Instead, the outcome of each hand, roll, or otherwise is determined by a computer, betting is electronic, and what you see on the screen is just a virtual representation of traditional casino gameplay.
Read on to find out everything you’ll ever need to know about playing online table games in Michigan.
A number of different online table games will be legal once the Michigan Gaming Control Board puts the final touches on the rules and regulations meant to govern online casino gaming. Each game, and its specific rules, will need to be approved by the board first.
The board started working on regulations in December 2019 after Gov. Gretchen Whitmer signed Michigan’s online gambling bill into law.
According to the board’s executive director Richard Kalm, a first draft has been sent to stakeholders and an online casino licensing application has been made available to the three commercial casinos in Detroit and 23 tribal casinos across Michigan.
He is hopeful parts of the rule-making process can be expedited, allowing first online casinos in the state to launch as early as November 2020. This would open legal online gambling to anyone 21 years and older who is inside state lines.
Since most of these land-based casino operators already offer a variety of live table games, it’s almost a sure thing they’ll run the games online too.
You can wait for the first legal and licensed online casinos to launch in Michigan. Or, you can legally play online casino games at sweepstakes-based online casinos like Chumba Casino right now.
Chumba hosts a slew of online slots and online table games you can play with its two virtual currencies: Gold Coins and Sweeps Coins. Sweeps Coins can be redeemed for real US dollars.
Chumba Casino is essentially a social casino, because players can play online slots and table games with Gold Coins and Sweeps Coins, neither of which are real money.
You can’t win any money playing with Gold Coins, and while you can redeem one Sweeps Coin for $1 cash, you can’t actually buy one. Chumba Casino gives away Sweeps Coins for free and does not sell this virtual currency. Therefore, playing slots and table games on Chumba for Sweeps Coins is not considered gambling.
In addition to getting Sweeps Coins as a free gift when you buy Gold Coins, you can also get free Sweeps Coins through the mail and various Facebook competitions. This further entrenches Chumba Casino as more of a sweepstakes than online casino, making it perfectly legal.
Here’s a look at the most popular table games and the ones most likely to make the jump online, including your chances of winning in each:
Criss Cross Poker is a card game where you try to make the best poker hand you can. You get two cards and five community cards are dealt face down in a criss-cross pattern.
You get paid based on the best five-card hand you can make, combining your cards and either the “across” or “down” community cards.
The payouts start with a push for pairs of sixes through 10, 1:1 on jacks or better and up to 500:1 for a Royal Flush.
You start with two equal bets, one each for the across and down hands. After the cards are dealt you can fold or make an across bet of up to three times your original wager. The dealer turns one across card up. The betting process is repeated for each down and across card.
The middle card is your last opportunity to bet and a single bet covers both hands.
The Return to Player (RTP) on Criss Cross Poker is a lowly 95.7%.
That’s also a reasonable guideline for the down bet, but you have the advantage there of having seen two across cards. That can influence borderline hands. If you have 6-2 leading to a 1x across bet, and the two exposed across cards are sixes, then there’s only one more six available. That limits the value of the down hand, making it one to skip.
Four-Card Poker is a lot like Three-Card Poker in that the objective is to try to make a better poker hand than the dealer. You bet and get five cards while the dealer gets five face down cards and one face up.
Once the cards are dealt, you can either fold and lose the initial bet, or bet up to three times that wager to continue. Tie or beat the dealer and you win. Plus there are bonuses paid based on the strength of your hand, starting with three of a kind.
There is also an optional Aces Up bet that pays based on the strength of your hand.
The base RTP on Four-Card Poker is great at 98.02%.
The goal in High Card Flush is to make the highest flush with the most of your seven cards included.
To begin, you make your wager and get seven cards, the same number as the dealer. At this point you can fold or continue by making another bet. The maximum wager is determined by the size of your flush. You can bet up to three times the original bet with six- or seven-card flushes, two times with five-card flushes and make an equal-sized bet with two-, three-, or flour-card flushes.
You win if you can beat the dealer’s three-card flush at nine-high or better. You push on the second bet and get paid on the first if the dealer does not qualify.
You can also place Flush Bonus and Straight Flush Bonus side bets at the start of the hand that payout based on how many cards are in your flush and straight flushes.
Playing optimally, the games RTP is 97.36%.
Let it Ride is a card game where your goal is to make the best five-card poker hand using your three cards and two community cards.
You make three equal-sized bets. The dealer then places two community cards down in the middle of the table and deals out three cards to each player at the table.
You then get two chances to take back one or two of the bets. You can fold and take two of the three back after looking at your cards. If you wait, you can fold and take back just the final bet after the first community card is revealed.
If you continue, the dealer turns the second community card face up and hands are paid according to a specific payout based on the strength of the hand, which start with a pair of 10s.
There is also an optional three-card bonus side bet. It pays based on the strength of your three cards alone.
The RTP on Let It Ride is 96.49%.
Mississippi Stud requires you to try to make the best five-card poker hand using your two cards and three community cards.
You make your wager and the cards are dealt with two to each player and three in the middle. Once you’ve seen your cards you must bet at least one to three times your original wager to continue, or fold. Following the players’ decision, the dealer turns over one of the community cards and there’s another similar betting round.
The dealer then turns over the second community card, followed by a final betting round before the final community card is revealed and all bets are paid according to the strength of your hand. Payouts begin with a push for pairs of sixes through 10s and 1:1 for jacks or better and up to 500:1 for a Royal Flush.
The RTP on Mississippi Stud is 97.86%.
Pai Gow Poker is played with a full 53-card deck, including a joker. You get seven cards and the object is to make the best five-card and two-card poker hands. You can use the joker as an ace or to complete straights and flushes.
To win, you have to beat both the dealer’s five-card and two-card hands. Win just one and you push.
Progressive versions of the game offer an optional side bet that pays out of a progressive jackpot based on the strength of your hand.
The RTP on Pai Gow is 97.15%.
The name says it all. Three-Card Poker requires you to try to make a better three-card poker hand than the dealer. You place a bet and the dealer passes out three cards to each player and themselves.
You choose whether to fold or continue based on the strength of your hand. Continuing requires you to make another equal-sized bet. After that, it’s showtime. You win if the dealer has less than queen-high or you have the better hand.
Two optional side bets are also available: Pairs Plus pays out various bonuses for pairs or better, while Six-Card Bonus pays out based on the strength of the best five-card hand you can using dealer and player cards.
The RTP on Three-Card Poker is decent at 96.93%.
Known by such names as Ultimate Texas Hold ‘Em and Texas Hold’em Bonus, Casino Hold’em is a table game version of the popular Texas Hold’em. The difference is players go up against the dealer instead of each other.
In addition to your typical beginning wager, you can add bonus side bets that pay off when you make a big hand. You and the dealer get two cards each and the dealer spreads out three community cards face down.
Players can fold, or continue by betting again. The betting process is repeated as each community card is revealed.Th object is to make a better five-card poker hand than the dealer.
The dealer must have a pair of fours or better to qualify. If the dealer does not qualify the first bet pays and all others are a push.
Casino Hold’em comes with an RTP of 97.87%.
Michigan gaming laws don’t dictate the rules for table games. Instead, Detroit casinos submit the rules for the games they wish to host to the Michigan Gaming Control Board for approval. The games are then tested for fairness.
Those laws also do not dictate the minimum and maximum bets allowed on these games. Instead, the board allows Detroit casinos to set minimum and maximum bets and the casinos can change these at any time simply by posting a sign and advising players.
Before you play table games you should learn the rules and some basic strategy. This goes for both live and online table games.
Here’s one strategy tip for each of the table games listed above to get you started:
All of the Detroit casinos and most of the 23 tribal casinos across the state host at least some table game action. This includes the following list of gaming operators that are also planning to host Michigan online casinos: