Texas Hold’em has become a very popular game since there have been so many televised tournaments and the many celebrities who play it. This is probably one of the most challenging poker games to play, but also gives you the most bragging rights if you win. This is because when you play Texas Hold’em, you have a lot of strategies to use if you want to win a hand. As well, if you play Texas Hold’em, you can play in online tournaments and tournaments at casinos for fun or profits.
The Way Texas Hold’em Works
Whether you play online or sit down at a real table, the way Texas Hold’em is played is the same. The dealer, also known as the button, deals two cards face down to each player in a clockwise order around the table. The first player that is dealt the first cards must place a small blind, and the player to their left must place the big blind, these are initial “forced” bets to ensure the players have a stake in the game. The “big” blind is usually the same as the tables minimum bet, while the “small” blind is usually half of the tables minimum bet.
Once the initial two cards, also called pocket cards, have been dealt to all the players, the player that placed the small blind opens the betting based on their two cards and the person that places the big blind bets next. The hand can actually end right there, if everyone folds and no one bets against the player seated in the small or big blind position, but that is a somewhat rare event.
Once the initial bets are placed around the table, the action begins. If everyone places the minimum bet and decides to stay in the game, the dealer will lay out three cards face up in the center of the playing surface. These three cards are community cards that are dealt in addition to the two original cards that each player has, and can be used by each player to create a five card poker hand. These first three community cards are known as “the flop”.
At this point, the betting goes around the table again in a clockwise fashion, with the players placing or checking their bets based on the hand they think they can make to win the pot. Checking is when a player does not up their bet but signals that they still want to stay in the game. If each player in the hand after them also checks the game moves on. If a player after places a bet than the checked players must either match the bet or fold.
After this round of betting, if there are still players that have not folded, the dealer will deal another community card, which is known as either “4th street” or the “turn” card. If everyone is up for another round of betting, the dealer will put out the final community card which is known as “5th street” or “the river” card. Then the final round of betting occurs and the players that remain show their cards. The player that has the best five card hand with the combination of their pocket cards and the community cards, wins the pot.
Because there are four ways to win – pre-flop, post-flop, at the turn, and on the river, there are many strategies that go into winning a hand of Texas Hold’em. The biggest strategy, of course, is bluffing. You have to be confident when you are sitting at the table in a brick and mortar casino and you bluff. Betting aggressively is the best way to do so and the goal of this is to scare your opponents away so the game does not get past where your cards could lose for you. So getting this done early is best, either before or just after the flop. This is especially true with online gambling.
Another strategy involves using your position at the table to win the hand. If you are the small blind or the big blind, you will use much different strategy than if you are in the final betting position. You can use all positions to your advantage when you are playing Texas Hold’em.
Texas Hold’em is a great game of skill and can be played well enough to have an edge over the house which is not easy to find in casino games. Start playing today at free online poker tables today to start perfecting your skills.