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Texas Hold'em Poker

Texas Holdem Basics

Texas Holdem is a community card game, meaning that some cards are dealt face up in the middle of the table and shared by all players. Each player is dealt two pocket or hole cards which they consider with the five community cards to make the best possible five-card hand.

The person who is dealt last is regarded as the dealer and as such is marked with a dealer button. At the end of the hand the button is passed clockwise to the next player.

Blinds Placement

Most hands of poker begin by some form of forced betting. This is to ensure that there is action with every hand. Hold'em is played with two blinds (a bet before the pocket cards are received). The two players to the left of the dealer start with placing blind bets. The small blind is posted by the first player and the big blind by the second. The big blind is always the minimum bet at the table and the small blind is half. During a betting round, each player in turn takes one of the following actions:

Bet

Put money in the pot

Call

To match/equal another player's bet

Fold

Forfeit cards and your chance of winning the pot

Check

Passing on making an action(if no bet is in play)

Raise

To increase another player's bet

Re-Raise

To increase another player's raise

First Round - The Pre Flop, Dealing The Cards

When the blind bets are placed, the dealer gives out two cards to each player. The dealer deals clockwise. The two cards are called "hole cards" or "pocket cards".

After this the players choose if they would like to make a bet. The person after the big blind starts. In the first round you cannot "Check", but you can do any of the following: Bet, Call, Raise or Fold. All players shall put the same amount in for the game in order to continue. So if one player raises, the other players must either call or re-raise, or fold (drop out of the round).

Second Round - The Flop

Dealer turns three cards on the table - the Flop. These three cards are community cards and can be used in combination with the two hidden cards each player has in his/her hand.

The remaining players now start the second round of bidding. The first player to the left of the dealer starts the bidding round. The following actions can now be taken: Check, Bet/Raise, Call or Fold.

All players must put the same amount into the pot, or fold before the round has ended.

The same rules apply for both the bidding and the raising in each round from now on.

Third Round - The Turn

The dealer now displays the fourth community card on the table, so all players have six cards to play with. A round of betting now takes place.

Fourth and Final Round - The River

The fifth and last community card on the table is displayed. A round of betting now takes place.

The Showdown

In all, five of the seven cards can be used. This means that each player can form the best possible five-card hand from their two hole cards and the five community cards on the table. You don't even have to use any of your own cards if you don't want to. You can "play the board" if the best hand is shown there. The remaining players now show their cards, and the winner is found. If a player shows his/her cards and you are not able to beat these cards, you choose yourself if you want to show your cards or not.

Texas Hold 'em Odds

Flush (all cards in the same suit):
If you hold a four to a flush, the chance of making the flush, either on the turn or the river, is 35.0%.

Open-ended Straight (e.g. 5678 where you need a 4 or a 9):
The chance of making a straight, either on the turn or the river, is 31.5%.

Inside Straight (e.g. 4578 where you need a 6):
The chance of making an inside straight, either on the turn or the river, is 16.5%.

Trips (three of a kind):
The chance of making trips with a flopped pair, either on the turn or the river, is 8.4%.

Starting Hand Value

Your two pocket cards, or hole cards, are the only factors that separate your hand from the other players' hands. So learning how to play them is vital. An AA (ace-ace) combo simply has a much greater chance of winning than say a 7-3 combo. Play the good starting hands. Fold the bad. Combinations can however change between good and bad (and back) according to your position in the game. See "Position Play" below.

Top 20 Best Starting Hands

1. AA

11. ATs

2. KK

12. KJs

3. QQ

13. AQ

4. JJ

14. 99

5. AKs

15. QJs

6. TT

16. KTs

7. AQs

17. 88

8. AJs

18. QTs

9. AK

19. A9s

10. KQs

20. AJ

The "s" means suited, both cards in the same suit, always better than unsuited.

Position Play

In a poker game being seated in "late position" is a huge advantage. In this position you get to see your opponents make their moves before you make yours. To become a good player one must learn to take full advantage of playing in late position.

Fold

No matter the betting round, if you have nothing and can't draw to anything, fold faster than Superman on laundry day, if you don't feel like bluffing of course!

 

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