Texas Holdem is currently one of the most popular poker games being played. The game is easy to learn and makes for some good times and great memories to share with your mates. Or possibly even a good bit of cash on the side, if you are so inclined.
To start playing at Texas Holdem poker, you’ll need a few basic necessities:
– 52-Card Deck
– 2-20 players
– A dealer
Playing the Game
The monetary value of the blinds (bets placed without viewing the cards dealt) are decided prior to starting the game. The big blind is equal to the minimum bet allowed, and the small blind is about half or a third of that amount.
The player to the left of the dealer places the small blind, while the player sitting on his left places the big blind.
After this, each player is dealt two cards, face down, known as hole or pocket cards.
The player to the left of the one that placed the big blind gets to make the first move, which could be to call the bet, raise, or fold. Betting then continues to the rest of the players in a clockwise fashion.
Once betting has been completed, three cards (known as the flop) are dealt face up in the middle of the table. These are “community cards” that can be used by all the players in combination with their own hands to form the best possible hand.
The player on the dealer’s left can then begin the betting sequence, where he can either bet or check. Once this is over, a fourth card (known as a turn card) is dealt to the middle of the table, and this is followed by another round of betting. A fifth card (known as the river) is then dealt, which kicks off the final round of betting.
Those players who have not folded and remain in the game display their cards. The winnings (known as the pot) go to the player with the best five card hand, combining his pocket cards with those on the table.
There are instances where the best hand played is the one made by the dealer in the middle of the table (the combination of the flop, turn, and river). In this case, the pot is divided between the remaining players.
A few words about the Strategies
As with all poker games, there are numerous tips and strategies involved in figuring the odds, placing bets, and winning Texas Holdem.
For instance, your position at the table can affect your odds tremendously. If you’re among the first three to play (positioned to the left of the dealer), you don’t get the advantage of watching the other players’ moves or bets, making you unaware of your odds against them.
It’s best to only play the very best hands when placed in this position. Those in the middle position may be able to play higher risk hands but with caution.
The dealer generally holds the best position since he is always the last to bet. This would be the late position. The dealer and those immediately to his right have the ability to place any bet at all and win the pot if no other bets have been placed.
These bets can be “called” for a possible bluff by the other players, of course, keeping those in the late position from taking the pot in this way too often.