TEXAS HOLD’EM POKER
Texas Holdem is perhaps the hardest variation of poker there is. It is a game that requires a great deal of psychology and an understanding of probability. It requires the two to nine players to use a great deal of brain power. After understanding the game, you will see that it is really not that difficult at all. In the end, it is worth the prize, be it money, chips, or anything of the sort.
Texas Holdem involves two or more players, seated in a circle and playing with a French deck of 52 cards. The typical number of players is nine. The game is played in a clockwise fashion.
As each hand changes, the dealer button—the marker that indicates who the dealer is—moves to the next player. As the dealer, you have a favored position; meaning you get to act last, having seen everyone else play. The only time this doesn’t apply is at the start of the game, where the rest will play after the Dealer.
The two players left of the dealer have to post forced bets before cards are dealt. These bets are called blinds. The first player to the dealer’s posts a small blind and the second puts in a big blind. The big blind is typically double the small blind. When there are two players left, the dealer posts the small blind. Blind bets are so named because you post them before seeing your cards.
After blinds are posted, hole cards are dealt to each player. Hole cards are two cards. They are dealt face down. Once this is done, the game can now start in earnest.
The first player to the left of the one who posted the big blind makes the first move. He can either call (betting money equal to the one bet before you), raise (placing a bigger bet) or he can fold (discarding your cards face down and waiting until the next hand is dealt). Assuming all the players call the big blind (e.g. $6), the action goes to the small-blind-player left of the dealer. He can call $3 more (considering his small blind was half the big blind) to make up for the missing $3. If he doesn’t raise the bet, the action now goes to the big-blind-player, who raises if he wants to.
This whole process is called the Pre-Flop.
If the big-blind-player doesn’t raise, then we flop (cards are dealt face up to form hands. These are called community cards).
If a player had raised the big blind, then the rest would either raise that new bet, or call, or fold.
The Flop refers to when the three community cards are dealt to the middle of the table, face up. The players can use these cards to add to their two hole cards. After the flop, a new round begins with the first player left of the dealer. There is no blind bet applied in this round, meaning the player can either check (not betting when no one in front of you has bet. This is not the same as folding) or he can bet.
If he checks, the next player can check, and so on. If he bets, no one else can check. It’s either call, raise or fold from here. When everyone has made a bet (or checked), another round begins.
The Turn is the round after the Flop. In this round, a fourth card is dealt face up to the community cards. Another betting round begins after the turn has been dealt, as always, starting with the first player left of the dealer. The same format as that of the Flop round is applied here. This leads to the next round.
This next round is called The River. It is in this round that the fifth (the final) community card is dealt face up. The River is the final betting round. If this round ends with multiple players, a Showdown is required.
The Showdown is when the winner of the round (and the money) is determined. With all five community cards dealt, the players can combine their hole cards with any one of them. This is so they can create the best possible five-card hand. In this round, players can now reveal their cards. The winner is determined by using the poker hand rankings system.
These are the simplest of basics but that is where understanding the game begins. There are other concepts to learn so as to gain a deeper knowledge and understanding of the game. Firstly, though, you will need to understand these few concepts before delving deeper into the wonderful game of ultimate deception that is Texas Holdem Poker.