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Best Online Casino
Learn to Play Texas Holdem
Texas holdem, usually referred to as just holdem, is
the biggest poker game in the world. It is game of choice to decide the
world champion of poker, most of the money games played online are
holdem yet it is also the easiest game for beginners to learn to play.
Part of the appeal of holdem is that it is an easy game to learn how to
play but a very hard game to master. That is part of the profit,
beginners do not see the intricacies and nuances that make the game so
complicated to play and so long to learn to play at a top level.
Fortunately, you will find few very good players when you start out at
the lower levels, so do not be intimidated but do be careful of stepping
into a high stakes game that you are not ready to play.
In holdem, everyone is dealt 2 cards each. After
that, 5 more cards are dealt, face up, in the middle of the table.
Everyone now uses their 2 cards with the 5 on the board. The person with
the best hand at the end wins. It sounds very simple, and it is, but
there are a few more things to explain. You don't need to memorize any
of this because if you are learning on the internet, you are given the
choices to make when it is your turn and the rest is automatic. It is
good to have a basic understanding of what is going on though.
The betting goes around the table, starting with the
person to the left of the dealer. The first person is given the options
of checking, betting or folding. Once someone bets, the next person is
given the options of calling, raising or folding. Once everyone has
called or folded, or everyone has checked, the round of betting is over.
Note that there is a maximum of 4 raises per round.
The Betting Rounds
There are 4 rounds of betting in holdem. There is a
round after everyone is dealt their 2 cards, one after 3 cards are dealt
in the middle, another after the 4th card and one last round after the
5th card is dealt in the middle of the table. After the final round of
bidding, the winner is declared and they take the pot
The person to the left of the dealer puts in the
small blind and the next player puts in the big blind. These are similar
in a way to antes, which people are usually more familiar with.
Types of Betting Limits
There are 3 different types of betting in poker. Pot
limit, no limit and fixed limit. In pot limit, you can only bet as much
as is in the pot. In no limit, you can bet as much as you have and in
fixed limit, there are set amounts that you can bet each round. These
are extremely important factors when you are considering playing a game.
In no limit, your money can fluctuate wildly and you can lose all your
money on any hand. However, you can also double or triple your money in
one hand. It is much more of a mind game, with a lot of bluffing and big
betting. In fixed limit betting, there is much less bluffing and a
controlled, solid game is rewarded. Pot limit is very similar to no
limit but it is like a tamed version as you can win and lose very large
amounts but not as much as in no limit.
It sounds simple but it's easy to forget what beats
what when you first start. If you really have a hard time, make sure you
write it down and have it beside you. If you have a straight and think
the other guy has a flush, you better know if you have him beat before
you bet. The order is listed bellow:
1. Straight Flush - A run of five cards, all of the
2. Four of a Kind - Four cards of the same value
3. Full House - three of a kind with a pair
4. Flush - Five cards of the same suit
5. Straight - A run of five cards in a row (aces can be high or low)
6. Three of a Kind - Three cards of the same value
7. Two Pair - Two sets of pairs
8. One Pair - Two cards of the same value
9. High Card - No pairs, straights or flushes
Note: If there is a tie, for example two people both
have a pair, the person with the higher pair wins. If you both have the
same pair then the person with the next highest card wins and so on. It
is only a tie hand if both players have hands with the identical values.
The best way to learn is to make sure you know the
hand rankings, write them down if you have to, and then just play. Go
play some free tournaments, as listed here, or
play on the fun tables. You will quickly learn the basics of the game
and find out if it's for you.
by Stephen Erickson,