Texas Holdem teach yourself how to play
Texas Holdem is one of a group of so-called community card games. It’s origins go back to Robstown, Texas during the early 1900’s. Originally Aces were low but they were changed to high when the game was introduced to Las Vegas by a group of Texan gamblers in 1967.
During 1970 the World Series of Poker was born in Las Vegas but it flopped the first year. After that the game was introduced as the main event but it did not catch on fast. At the time the game was only legal in Nevada. It was not until 1988 that it was declared legal as a game of skill across the US. After that the popularity of the game grew across the US and Europe to be what is today.
The game was spread by media, in particular, TV coverage increased. World Series of Poker (WSOP) and the World Poker Tour (WPT) became televised from around the millennium. When no limit betting was introduced open poker series the excitement of the game increased dramatically.
Now many people have become professional players, especially due to the availability of poker on the internet in online casinos. The game is here to stay.
The Object of the Game
The game can be played with two to ten players.
Players compete for the pot to which all players contribute by way of betting. If playing in a casino the pot will be held in casino chips. The cards are dealt randomly and each player attempts to make the best hand to win the pot. It is not always the best hand which wins. The pot is awarded at the conclusion of each hand. The game is played hand by hand and players can join or leave the game between hands.
The pot can be divided in the case of equal scores but usually it is awarded outright. When a players folds their cards any claim on the pot is forfeited.
It is a psychological game. Players make decisions based on their prediction on events. The decisions are bet, raise, call or fold and it can be a game of bluff. Players can enhance their position by being deceitful because the primary cards dealt can be kept secret.
The object of the game is to make the best five-card hand.
It will help you to understand the terminology used:
Blinds: These are initial bets before any cards are dealt. Known as the “ante” in other poker games.
Button: A nickname for the dealing position.
Check: Similar to a call but no money bet. If there is no raise preflop, the big blind may check.
The River: Sometimes known as fifth street, the fifth community card is dealt
The Flop: The first three community cards are dealt.
The Turn: The fourth community card is dealt. Sometimes known as fourth street.
The Preflop: Anything which occurs before the flop.
Showdown: When players reveal their hands to discover the pot’s winner.
The Basic Rules
In each game play moves clockwise around the table commencing to the left of the dealer position.
To begin with each player is dealt two cards face down. Betting is initiated by the first player to the left of the dealer. When the first set of cards are dealt multiple actions can occur. The preflop, the flop, the turn and the river.
The structure of the game has three distinct divisions, setup, betting rounds and finally, showdown.
In order to play the dealer needs to be selected. When all the players have chips in front of them, each player chooses a spread face down card from the deck. The player with the highest card is selected as the dealer and receives the button. After each game the button is passed to the person to the left of the dealer.
Putting Out the Blinds
The first step is that the dealer puts out the blinds, there are two of them in Texas Holdem. The player directly to the left of the dealer places the small blind. The second player places a bet with double the value. They are known as the small and big blinds. The value of the blinds determines subsequent betting stakes in the game.
Once the blinds are out the first hand is dealt, two cards per player circuiting all the players. These cards are known as your hole cards. Betting begins.
Players can choose to fold, check or raise in turn.
When all the hole cards have been dealt the game enters the preflop betting round. It begins with the player to the left of the big blind.
Each player in turn can choose to either fold, call, raise.
Folding would indicate a poor chance of winning.
Calling would indicate a chance of winning, the amount of the big blind is matched.
Raising shows intent, the amount of the big blind is normally doubled, but there may be no limit betting.
The next player can re-raise thereby adding one stake.
Each game will run for a minimum of one betting round but can end with up to four betting rounds.
The game ends when all but one of the players have folded, or when the fourth and final betting round completes.
A betting round only ends when two conditions are met:
All players must act by either folding, calling or raising.
All players who have not folded have bet the same amount of money for the round.
The final act is called the showdown.
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