How to Play Texas Holdem
It is easy to explain the basic rules of Texas Hold’em poker. All I need is a few minutes of your time after which you will be able to hop right into free poker games and real money texas hold’em poker games online and at land-based casinos.
Texas Hold‘em poker is by far the most popular form of poker played in casinos in Europe, the United States, and many other parts of the world. It is also known as Texas Hold’em or simply Hold‘em. Texas Hold‘em is a community card poker game that can be played by 2-10 players simultaneously, but 9-10 players at full ring tables are most common.
Just like many other poker variants, Texas Hold‘em can be played as a no-limit, pot-limit, or fixed-limit game. No-limit Texas Hold‘em is the most common form of Texas Hold ‘em that is played in tournaments and cash games on the internet, and is for instance the game of choice for the World Series of Poker (WSOP) and the World Poker Tour (WPT). In No Limit Hold’em games, the minimum bet must be at least equal to the big blind. For example, in a $2/$4 no limit hold’em game, the minimum bet would be $4. However, players can bet up to all their chips at any point in the hand, which makes for some thrilling action.
A round of Texas Hold‘em begins with each player being dealt two cards face down. These cards are referred to as “pocket cards” or “hole cards”. Unlike other poker games, the players will never exchange these cards or receive any additional pocket cards. Texas Hold‘em is a closed poker game and pocket cards can only be revealed at showdown.
The Pre-Flop Betting Round
When each player has been dealt two pocket cards, the game proceeds with a pre-flop betting round. Texas Hold‘em is one of the most positional poker games you can play, since the betting order is predetermined for all betting rounds. During the pre-flop betting round, the player sitting directly to the left of the big blind in the under the gun position will make the first betting decision. This player has the option to call, raise, or fold. The betting round will then proceed clockwise around the table until all bets and raise have been completed.
When the first betting round is finished, the dealer will burn one card and place three community cards on the table. These cards are placed face up and this is known as “the flop”. A new betting round will take place, and just like the pre-flop betting round it will start with the player left of the dealer’s button, or left of the big blind, and proceed clockwise. The betting options are the same as the previous round and will remain the same for all subsequent betting rounds.
When the second betting round is over, the dealer will burn a card and place one community card face up on the table in addition to the other three cards. This community card is called “the turn”. A third betting round is carried out, following the same rules as the first and second betting rounds.
After the third round, the dealer will burn one card and place the fifth and last community card face up on the table. This card is called “the river”. A fourth betting round will follow.
If there are more than one player left after the final betting round in Texas Hold‘em, the hand will end in a showdown in order to determine which player has the best poker hand as per standard poker hand ranking rules.
Similar to most other poker games, the aim for each player when playing Texas Hold‘em is to win the pot. The pot consists of money betted by oneself and the other players. You can win a game of Texas hold‘em by being the last player left when all the other players have folded by the completion of the river betting round, or by having the best cards in a final showdown.
Texas Hold’em Poker, which is a game of misinformation, makes it incredibly important to play position well. When you are last to act in the round of betting, you will gain a lot more information about the strength of your opponents. Hence, the button in Hold’em is a very advantageous position to be in, as this player gets to always act last after the pre-flop betting round. The dealer’s button is moved to the next player in a clockwise motion after the completion of every hand to ensure a fair game.