With five cards DRAW, Texas Hold’em Poker is one of the most popular Poker games.
In this variety of poker, each player is dealt with two down faced cards. They later match their hand cards (one, both or none) with five dealt community cards on the flop. Player can choose five of seven cards (five community cards plus two hand cards) to match the best hand. After all players get their hand cards, dealer pulls out three cards on the flop, then two times for one more card.
Game starts with forced bets, small and big blinds and sometimes with antes. After the cards are dealt to all players, the game begins.
Players can set their first bet before any flop card is dealt. They set the bets based on the strength of their hand cards. Actions available in Texas Hold’em are the common actions for each poker game. CHECK, BET, CALL, FOLD and RAISE (RE-RAISE) (read poker basics for detailed explanation for each action).
Betting before any community card is dealt is called PRE-FLOP BETTING. After all players declared their actions, dealer pulls out first three community cards on the flop and another round of betting can begin.
Players now have three community cards to match with their two hand cards. Now already some common Poker combinations can be paired. After all players declared, checked, called, betted or folded on hand, dealer pulls out another community card. Now we have four community cards at the table and the fourth card is called TURN. With each community card out number of possible combinations raises and players once again have a chance to place new bets.
When the circle is closed, and all players declared, dealer pulls out last, fifth community card out. This card is called RIVER and players once again, last time for the round, have a chance to bet. After the bets are over, remaining players at the table open their hand cards and the winner is the player with the strongest combination (check poker basics for details about hand strength).
Round can be over at any time, before all community cards are out if one player sets the BET that no one is willing to match.
Different variations and forms
There are several different variations of Texas Hold’em Poker as well. Rules are the same, and the only difference is in the way (amount and type) of betting.
Texas Hold’em can be:
- LIMIT, where bets are set before each round.
- NO LIMIT, where there is not betting limit and the only limit is the amount of player’s money or chips at the table.
- POT LIMIT, where players can bet any amount lower or up to the size of a current pot.
- And MIXED, where each round is played different, combining all of the above.
ALL IN – Most common in no limit poker
When a player is very confident in his cards, he can go ALL IN. This means that he will bet all of his chips or money at the table for the current hand. Other players can match or fold. If the player decides to match, he will pay only the amount of players ALL IN (in case if he has more chips or money at the table) or go ALL IN with his chips or money (if he has less than player who went ALL IN. In this case, the difference is given back to the player who went ALL IN, unless someone else matches the ALL IN. In a case where more players are all in with different amounts, there will be few pots to compete for. In this case one player can win only matching amount of his bet).
BLUFF – A common phrase in any poker game.
Bluff is when a player who has nothing, or has a very bad hand bets to scare other players pretending to have very good hand. This is not recommended to use often, but sometimes, it can be a good strategy and easy win. It is mostly used when other player is “busted” with low ranked hand to make him fold.
Also Texas Hold’em Poker can be played in different forms. Most common for online gaming is the form of a TOURNAMENT.
Texas Holdem Tournaments
Each player starts the tournament with the same amount of chips. After the player loses all the chips, tournament is over for that player. Winner is the last standing player. In some tournaments, there is a RE-BUY option. This is the second chance for the player to enter the tournament and compete.
TOURNAMENTS can be:
- FREEROLL TOURNAMENTS – Some Online Casinos offer free games to their players.
- SATELITE TOURNAMENTS – Also called qualification tournaments, in these tournaments players compete for the “ticket” to another tournament.
- TIME TOURNAMENTS – Time tournaments finish after pre-determined time or after several rounds. All of the remaining players share prize money accordingly to the amount of chips they have at the time when tournament ended.
- CASH TOURNAMENTS – Real money buy-in and depending on the number of participants, first few places are paid). Players cannot leave the tournament but they can sit out. Blinds will be taken automatically from the player, and as long as the player have chips in his stack, he can get back in the game.
There are some other forms of tournaments but they are not very popular and this time we will not talk about them.
CASH GAME is another popular form of a Texas Hold’em Poker.
In CASH GAME tables are usually for six, nine or ten players (minimum two at the table) and there is minimum and maximum buy in for the table. Blinds and antes are preset and usually fixed. In most of the CASH GAMES players can rebuy as many times as they want, as long as they can match the table minimum. Player can cash-out from the table at any moment, no matter if he is winning or losing.
FACE-UP or 1on1
This is also very popular Texas Hold’em Poker game. Rules and variations are the same as for all of the above with only one difference. Two players play against each other and the winner takes it all. No sit outs or cash outs are available for this type of poker.
Weather you decide to play CASH GAME, FACE-UP or to play at the TOURNAMENTS, the most important thing is to have fun and play for your pleasure. Even though some would say Poker is the gambling game, it is before anything a strategy and a good mind game.