Texas Holdem Poker Sites
When it comes to poker games Texas Holdem is by far the most popular and widely played poker variant in the world. In it’s basic form Holdem is a game of skill, knowledge and psychological warfare that requires a vast knowledge of poker theory and strategy on the part of the player. Because of this, it’s often said that Holdem is an easy game to learn but a near impossible one to master. With so many elements going on in a single hand Texas Holdem is a true test of a players skills in all facets of the game. On this page we are going to teach you the rules of playing Texas Hold’em and take a look at how a typical game would run. If you are a new player this will give you a comprehensive insight into how to play the game as well as a thorough understanding of the rules.
How To Play Texas Hold’em – Texas Holdem Rules
Now that we’ve introduced the game, let’s dive in and learn how to play. To start, it’s important to understand that the objective of Hold’em isn’t necessarily to have the best hand, but to win the pot from your opponents which can be done in a variety of ways from betting to bluffing and having a higher hand. There are two main types of Hold’em, Limit which has fixed bets that players can make and No-Limit where players can bet all of their chips at any time. As you can imagine, No-Limit Texas Holdem is a much riskier and fast paced game which is why we strongly recommend that new players start with Limit until they have a strong grasp of playing the game.
The Setup: Texas Hold’em is played with up to 10 players at a table who each buy in according to the table limits which can range from a few dollars to thousands depending on where you are playing. The limits of a game are set by what is known as the blinds (small and big) which basically start the action for each hand. In Hold’em the dealer button rotates clockwise around the table and the 2 players left of the button must post a small and big blind in order to start that hand of play. So when it comes to limits, some examples would be $1/$2, $5/$10, $10/$20, $50/$100 and so on which represent the limits of play in the game. The blinds are important as they usually determine the minimum & maximum buy-ins for the game which are always posted at the table.
Buying In: Once you’ve chosen a table you’ll need to take an open seat and purchase chips to play in the game, this can be done at the table or from the cage if you are playing in a live casino. For online poker rooms, you can deposit via a number of different methods including Credit Card and Bank Transfer for example and will receive virtual chips in your account. After buying into the game, you will have the option to either post a big blind if you want to play immediately or you can wait until the regular big blind reaches you at which point you can join the game. At this point you are in the game and are able to play as long as you have chips in front of your position at the table, you can also rebuy throughout the game if you choose to top up your stack.
The Deal: When the deal commences, the dealer will begin dealing the cards clockwise until all players currently in the game have been dealt two cards known as their hole cards. These are the cards that you will use with the community cards in order to play Texas Holdem poker. After the cards have been dealt to the players the action is on the player immediately to the left of the big blind. After examining his or her cards, this player must make one of three decisions which are to raise, call or fold. If you raise you would need to bet at least double the big blind and in no-limit games the maximum raise would be the amount of your entire stack at the table. If you call, you just match the big blind and the action moves to the next player and if you fold you will have to wait until the next hand to start playing again. It’s important to note that even if you just call or raise, the players after you have the same options and can re-raise your bet so there is a strategy involved and your position relative to the blinds is a strong factor in decision making when determining what to do with your hand.
The Flop: Once all the action has moved around the table back to the big blind, the flop will be dealt which is the first three of five cards that you will use in conjunction with your hole cards to form a 5 card poker hand. After the flop is dealt, the player immediately left of the button is first to act and may check or raise, a check signals that they do not wish to bet on the hand. After their decision all the players still in hand will also get to make the same decisions with their hand depending on how the feel. If you were to raise on the flop and everyone else folded their hands you would immediately win the entire pot in play for that particular hand.
The Turn: After the flop has been played one single card known as the turn is dealt and now betting or checking commences again with all remaining players in the hand. The difference with the turn is that the board has changed significantly and there is now a wider range of hands available that can be made. Any players remaining after the turn will progress into the final stage of a Texas Holdem games known as the river.
The River: The river is the fifth and final card that is dealt into the community cards and you will now see 5 cards on the table plus your two secret hole cards that were dealt at the beginning of the hand. At this point you are figuring out the best 5 card poker hand that you can make using at least one of your hole cards. Once the river is dealt players have the option to check, bet or fold and the players that remain after river betting will progress to the showdown. It’s important to note that especially in No-Limit games most hands don’t reach the river since aggressive betting usually ends the hand earlier due to the psychological nature of the variation.
The Showdown: If after the river their has been a bet and a call or checks between the remaining players, this is when a showdown occurs which means that all remaining players must expose and turn over their hole cards to be compared by the dealer. The dealer will examine the hands and determine the winner using the standard poker hand rankings and the person who has the highest hand wins the pot in the middle of the table.