How to Play Texas Holdem Poker

Texas Holdem is a world-renowned format of poker that encompasses players of all levels and ages. The World Series of Poker has brought a mass amount of attention to the game by being televised on ESPN. The game offers three different formats in terms of betting limitations: Limit, Pot-Limit and No-Limit.

No-Limit Poker is said to be the test of a man as it puts a player to the edge with all their chips on the line for one hand. Texas Holdem is offered in many casinos around the world and has become more convenient for players through its massive online prevalence.

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Texas Holdem is like any other poker game – it is fairly simple to understand in terms of the rules and basic concepts, but it is very difficult to become a professional. In Texas Holdem blinds are used the same as in Omaha. For each hand, there will be two blinds: a small and a big. The small sits on the dealer’s left and the big sits on the small’s left.

Once the action (betting) starts, the person to the left of the big will be the first to act. This person is referred to as being under the gun. The dealer position is referred to as the button. These are terms you may run across from other players in the casino or in a chat box online.

The dealer will give each player two cards. These cards are hole cards (face down) and are not revealed to the other players until the end of the hand in the event of a showdown. The showdown determines who wins the hand in the event that a player is betting and is called. The other way for this is to happen is if each player in the hand checks it down, meaning there is no betting.

In Texas Holdem, there are five community cards in addition to the two hole cards. The community cards come in a series referred to as the flop, turn, and river. The flop is comprised of the first three community cards, which are revealed all at once. The turn and river are only one card each. In between each stage, there is a betting round. There are four betting rounds total. One round is before the flop, another round is in between the flop and turn, the third round is between the turn and river and the final round is after the river.

The action or betting functions give each player a few options. Each player has the option to check if there has not been a bet before them, call (matching a bet that was made), raise or fold.

The highest hand wins in Texas Holdem. The standard poker ranking structure applies in Texas Holdem. A Royal Flush is the highest hand and high card is the lowest.

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Texas Holdem demands a bit of poker strategy to be successful. Position and hand selection are crucial. There are hands that you may play on the button that you would never play in the blinds. The object in Texas Holdem is to have the highest hand. A combination of reading the other players and their betting patterns in accordance with analyzing the community cards and your position is important.

The player in the later position has a better position and can use the community cards to make a bluff bet. If you raise pre-flop from the button with AK (big slick) and the flop comes 5-5-9 with 2 or 3 players in the hand, you can bet significantly and most likely take the pot when everyone checks. The bet pre-flop and the position wins you this pot more times than not. This is an example of using the community cards in combination with your position to take down the pot.

Starting hands should be selected carefully in Texas Holdem. In Limit, the starting hands are looser than in No-Limit. This is due to the limitations on raises and the fact that players are willing to play questionable hands in earlier positions. Limit players feel secure that no one can go all-in for a massive amount behind them forcing them to fold.

Pot-Limit functions like a limit game pre-flop and often functions similarly after the flop. However, post turn and river, the pot is usually large and can reflect a No-Limit format. That being said, Pot-Limit functions like a blend of the other two formats.

No-Limit demands a much tighter hand selection due to the freedom given to players in their betting limitations. You may play Q-10 in Limit or Pot-Limit from an early-middle position but you would never play Q-10 from an early position in No-Limit. At least not at a full ring No-Limit game. The reasoning for this is that if someone raises significantly, you’re going to fold and you don’t want to constantly be giving away free chips.

Be aware of the players around you and watch their habits. Does a player make a move every hand? How many hands on average are they playing? Are they loose or tight? These are indicators that can help you make judgment calls when you’re to the grind deciding on whether to call or go over the top.

Texas Holdem takes patience and a lot of practice. If you’re new to the game, try playing Limit for a while and get used to the rules and basic strategies. Going to Pot-Limit and then to No-Limit should be your next steps. Learn hand selection and what hands coordinate with which position. Texas Holdem is a very exciting game that can be quite lucrative once you learn the rules and strategies.

Being able to implement strategy into your game play and keep from going on tilt is key. You should be practicing proper bankroll management and playing within your means. Don’t chase the big money if you don’t have the bankroll to support a loss.