Poker Initial Bet

Poker Starting Hands - Comprehensive guide to which poker hands you should play, including a 2020 Texas Hold'em poker starting hands chart. Poker Starting Hands - Comprehensive guide to which poker hands you should play, including a 2020 Texas Hold'em poker starting hands chart. Bet, call, or raise after each round is dealt if you want to. Every time the dealer puts out new cards, you’ll make a bet, with the first bet being made solely based on the two cards the players have in their hands. Betting happens in a circle when it’s your turn to bet, you have a few options. Place an initial bet.

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With the launch of iGaming on the horizon in Michigan, we take a look at which online poker rooms are expected to launch once the market goes live later this year.

In July, the Michigan Gaming Control Board (MGCB) issued a notice to potential applicants interested in participating in internet gaming to submit their applications to the board with a deadline of August 14.

Close to 50 applications were sent to the the MGCB, a majority of them showing interest in both internet gaming (poker and casino) and internet sports betting.

While submitting an application on time does not guarantee a timeline for launch, it does increase the likelihood that the applicant will be a part of the coordinated initial launch.

PokerStars MI and partypoker MI are the Main Contenders for the First Wave of Online Poker in Michigan

Not surprisingly, TSG Interactive US Services Limited, the arm of the The Stars Group that manages the PokerStars US operations, and BetMGM LLC, in conjunction with Roar Digital, the company that operates the partypoker US Network, are the standouts as the highest-profile online poker providers on the list of those suppliers that have submitted their pplication to the MGCB.

Both of these operators have already formed partnerships with the state’s land-based casinos and tribal casinos as required by the laws just like in other states.

Poker Initial Bet

The Stars Group secured a partnership with the Little Traverse Bay Bands of Odawa Indians Gaming Authority, gaining first skin market access for real-money online poker, casino games and sports betting in Michigan.

As stated earlier, partypoker’s parent company (GVC) has a partnership with MGM Resorts which owns the MGM Grand Detroit.

When online poker goes live in Michigan, expect both PokerStars MI and partypoker MI as the prime candidates for online poker rooms in the state.

WSOP and 888 Missing from the Suppliers License List

A notable omission from that list is WSOP, whose parent company Caesars Interactive Entertainment (CIE) has yet to apply for a Supplier License in Michigan. currently operates in New Jersey and Nevada where it is the largest network operating on the All American Poker NetworkAAPN and sharing its player pool with 888.

So, the decision by 888 to not submit a application as an online poker supplier in Michigan combined with CIE not aggressively moving to have WSOP MI included as part of the initial launch is surprising, to say the least.

888 was recently approved by the Pennsylvania Gaming Control Board (PGCB) as an Interactive Gaming Manufacturer during the most recent meeting of the board, so it does show that the operator is committed to expanding in the US but just like the WSOP it is playing the waiting game.

It is possible that the companies may be waiting for cross-border liquidity sharing to be permitted once the Wire Act case is settled, and they may eventually go live in 2021.

Other Operators that Could Launch Online Poker in Michigan

Apart from TSG and BetMGM, the only other supplier on that list that has an online poker platform up and running in the US is Pala Interactive Inc. Although Pala is mostly known for its online casino, it does offer a small online poker room (Pala Poker) in New Jersey.

However, it is unlikely to launch an online poker room in Michigan any time soon unless the state allows shared liquidity which might make it lucrative as it already operates in New Jersey.

Other suppliers that have submitted their applications include Rush Street Interactive which has reportedly shown some interest in launching online poker in Pennsylvania. Betfair Interactive US LLC, Parx Interactive Inc , and IGT are also among the list of those that has submitted a Supplier License Application for Interactive Gaming.

Michigan Notable iGaming Supplier License Applicants

Notable Supplier License ApplicantsOnline OperatorType of LicenseExpected to Launch Online Poker in MI?
TSG Interactive US Services LimitedPokerStarsInternet Gaming and Internet Sports BettingYes
BETMGM, LLC (Roar Digital)PartypokerInternet Gaming and Internet Sports BettingYes
American Wagering Inc.William HillInternet Gaming and Internet Sports BettingNo
Betfair Interactive US LLC (FanDuel)BetfairInternet Gaming and Internet Sports BettingNo
Crown MI Gaming, LLCDraftKingsInternet Gaming and Internet Sports BettingNo
GAN Nevada Inc.B2BInternet Gaming and Internet Sports BettingNo
IGTB2BInternet Gaming and Internet Sports BettingNo
Pala Interactive LLCPala PokerInternet Gaming and Internet Sports BettingMaybe
Parx Interactive IncInternet Gaming and Internet Sports BettingNo
Rush Street Interactive MI, LLCPlay Sugar HouseInternet Gaming and Internet Sports BettingMaybe

Notable Supplier Applicants Missing

888 Atlantic USA888poker
Caesars Interactive Entertainment (CIE)

When is Online Poker Expected to go Live in Michigan?

While the MGCB is hopeful that online gaming will be live in the state “by late fall,” online poker is likely to take a back seat to the other gaming verticals such as online sports betting and online casino.

Pennsylvania, which was the latest US state to launch igaming, rolled out online sports betting and online casino first, and online poker lagged by more than three months. Compared with other gaming verticals, online poker software is more complex and requires additional testing and regulatory oversight. Also, the fact, that online casino games generally produce more revenue than online poker likely makes it a priority for both operators and state regulators.


However, it is still possible that online poker could be up and running in Michigan before the end of this year, but early 2021 looks more realistic.

On This Page


Bet on Poker is a live-dealer game found at some Internet live dealer studios. It is a cross between Texas Hold 'Em and a horse race. There are six numbered players, and bettors may wager on who will win as well as the poker value of the winning hand. The game allows for in-progress betting as the cards are dealt.

This is a nice, slow, mindless way to gamble. The best part is the game is dealt by lovely live dealers via a webcam who keep the game entertaining and keep it moving.

Live dealer brands where I have seen Bet on Poker are Bet Construct, BetGames, and TvBet.


  1. The game is based on standard Texas Hold 'Em rules, which I assume the reader is already familiar with.
  2. There are six numbered positions the dealer delivers cards to. All six positions play until the end. In other words, there is no folding.
  3. Before the first card is dealt, the player may bet on the winning position as well as the poker value of the winning hand.
  4. After this initial round of betting, the dealer will deal each position two cards face up.
  5. The odds will be recalibrated and the players may bet again.
  6. After the second round of betting, the dealer will deal the flop.
  7. Again, the odds are recalibrated and there is another round of betting.
  8. After the third round of betting, the dealer will deal the turn.
  9. The odds are recalibrated a final time for the last round of betting.
  10. The river card is dealt, the winning player(s) and poker value of the winning hand(s) are identified, and winners are paid.
  11. In the event of two or more winning positions, it is my understanding that both are paid in full.

Winning Position Bets

There are six bets available on the winning position. As mentioned in the rules, if two or more players tie, then I believe that the odds are still paid in full. I welcome correction on this if I'm wrong.

Let's start by looking at the initial state of the game, before any cards are dealt. The odds offered on each position are 5.2 for 1 at all three Live Dealer brands. According to my analysis, the probability of a tie is 7.214% and the average number of players involved in a tie is 2.227. What is important is that the probability that any given position will win, or tie for the win, is 18.142%. At 5.2 odds, the return on this bet at this initial state is 94.34%. In other words, a house edge of 5.66%.

For betting after the flop, I show the return stays about the same at BetGames, but drops significantly at Bet Construct and TvBet. After a lot of number crunching, here is the overall return I get after the hole cards are dealt:

Poker Initial Bet
  • Bet Construct: 90.0%
  • BetGames: 94.4%
  • TvBet: 89.4%

Poker Initial Betting

These returns are consistent between all three rounds the hole cards are dealt — before flop, after flop, and after the turn.


Using my Texas Hold 'Em Calculator, I next did an analysis of a randomly selected games after the initial cards were dealt and before the flop. Here is an example from Bet Construct.


Winning Hand Bet — Analysis before Flop — Bet Construct

PlayerCardsPaysProb. WinProb. TieReturn
1Qh, 8c3.430.23540.02210.8832
25s, 2s5.40.14930.02020.9153
36d, 4s60.01470.13850.9192
48h, 2d14.50.02350.03970.9164
5As, 9h2.750.32740.00260.9075
66c, 4c4.20.07410.13850.8929

The returns ranged from 88.32% to 91.92%, with an average of 90.58%.

Next, I looked at the odds after the flop, which were as follows.

Winning Hand Bet — Analysis after Flop — Bet Construct

PlayerCardsPaysProb. WinProb. TieReturn

The returns ranged from 89.44% to 90.18%, with an average of 89.88%.


Finally, I looked at the odds after the turn, which were as follows.

Winning Hand Bet — Analysis after Turn — Bet Construct

PlayerCardsPaysProb. WinProb. TieReturn

The returns ranged from 87.47% to 90.21%, with an average of 89.47%.

The average return after the initial cards were dealt on the example game above was 89.97%. I analyzed a second game which came in at an average return of 89.09%. Given the much higher returns of 95.72% at the initial state of the game, I would recommend sticking with that and then just enjoying the horse race.

High Hand Bet

The High Hand bet is actually ten different bets on the poker value of the winning hand. The following table shows the posted odds at the initial state of the game, before any cards are dealt. These pays are the same at all three known brands to offer Bet on Poker. The amounts in the 'pays' column are on a 'for one' basis. In other words, this is the total amount returned to the winners.

High Hand Bet

Royal Flush100
Straight Flush100
Four of a kind80
Full House8.7
Three of a kind6.8
Two pair3.1
High card100

I wrote a simulation to determine the probability of the final winning hand given six players. The following table shows those probabilities and the expected return to the player of each bet.

High Hand Bet — Analysis

Royal Flush1000.0001860.018625
Straight Flush1000.0015650.156451
Four of a kind800.0088740.709918
Full House8.70.1092340.950339
Three of a kind6.80.1391010.945884
Two pair3.10.3051160.945858
High card1000.0005280.052818

The returns range from a high of 95.03% for a flush to a low of 1.86% for a royal flush. That is not a misprint. In other words, the house edge is 98.14% on a winning hand of a royal.

I had to pause for a moment when I saw that figure and make sure I wasn't dreaming. In my 19 years writing about casino gambling, this sets a new record for the worst bet I have ever seen. The previous record was held by Harrah's Las Vegas for their 'Pick-10 Stimulus' ticket, with a house edge of 96.63%.

As mentioned in the rules, the odds are recalibrated as the cards are shown. However, I have noticed the odds never get better than 100 for 1. I did not analyze any mid-state probabilities for the High Hand bet. However, my advice, based on the table above, would be to avoid any long shot bets, especially when the win is capped at 100 to 1.

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Written by:Michael Shackleford