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Texas Hold’em Poker: Everything you need to know!

Texas Hold’em poker; the most popular and player-friendly version of poker in the world. Like most of the poker variants, Hold’em is also a 5 card poker game of hole cards and community cards. The game is best played with 6 to 7 maximum players.

Before you invest your hard-earned money in poker casinos sites. It’s important to know the basics of Hold’em Poker. Have you wondered:

  • What is the goal of Hold’em? 
  • How to play and win Hold’em poker?
  • When is the right time to take actions?
  • What is the small blind and the big blind?
  • What are the different betting options?

On this page, we have got you covered with all of the basic and crucial facts about  Texas hold’em poker game that you must know before sitting on a poker table.

Let’s begin!

Texas Hold’em Poker

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Texas hold’em History

Hold’em is one of the popular casino game of the U.S. Its popularity even gained more momentum in the 2000s when it premiered on T.V and the Internet. And, slowly it replaced the other variants of poker in the U.S. Casinos.

Do you know different formats of Hold’em poker game are offered in the various poker tournaments like World Series of Poker (WSOP), the world poker tour (WPT) and EPT?

Texas Hold’em is said to be created by Robstown Texas in the 1900s. Initially, there were four betting rounds. It was after a certain period when the community cards concept was formulated. These cards removed the need for counting cards.

Amarillo Slim, Crandell Addington, Doyle Brunson and Roscoe Weiser are among the legendary poker players who introduced the hold’em poker variant in the Vegas’ casinos in 1967.

Know the Texas Hold’em Terms

All-in:When a player puts all his remaining chips into the pot.
Blinds:These are the forced bets as Small Blind and Large Blind bets.
Check:It’s quite similar to call the action with no money bet.
Fold:The player throws his card in the centre of the table to finish the game.
Call/ limping -in:The players have to match the size of the bet with the blinds.
Raise:It means the bet placed should be the double of the big blind.
Re-Raise:To make another raise in the same betting round.
Pot money:The chips or sum of money that players put into the pot during each betting round.
Pre- Flop:The first betting round.
The Flop:The first 3 community cards placed in the centre of the table.
Turn/ Fourth Street:It’s the fourth community card.
River/ Fifth Street:It’s the fifth and final community card.
Showdown:The final stages when players reveal their cards to win the game.

What’s the difference between Poker and Texas Hold’em?

A regular poker is played by a minimum of 2 players who compete with each other. The motive is to get the highest card combination. It is essential for all the players to learn the hand rankings system irrespective of a poker variant. The rules may differ but the hand ranking system remains the same.

3  basic variations of poker games are known as:

  • Stud Poker
  • Draw poker
  • Community cards

The next question may strike most of the players!

Is Texas Hold’em a type of Poker game?

Yes, Texas Hold’em is the game of 3 community cards whereas traditional poker doesn’t include community cards.  That’s the biggest difference between the two games. Texas hold’em is mere a variant among hundreds of variants available online. Community card poker games are among the most played and preferred 5 card poker games.

Despite these  differences, let us tell you the similarities between poker and texas hold’em:

  • Poker players have to place Ante Bets as an entry fee to start the game. Ante bets are known to be as Blind bets in Texas hold ’em game.
  • Betting rounds remains the same as to call/raise, bet or check.
  • The hand ranking system remains the same in all poker games from high to low.
  • Poker can be played with a minimum of 2 and a maximum of 9 to 10 players.

So now you know the difference and similarities. Let’s move to our main topic of discussion i.e. Hold’em Poker!

How to play Texas Hold’em?

Check the following details to know everything about Texas Hold’em.  We have explained step by step procedure from the objective, table layout, hand rankings to the texas hold’em rules. Let’s check them out!

The objective of Hold’em poker:

To win, of course! You need to make the best five card poker hand. Each player is dealt with two hole cards and any of the 3 community cards on the table. Hole cards are always dealt face down and are not revealed till the end of the game. Whereas community cards are dealt face up on poker table

The Table Layout of Texas Hold’em

It’s important to know the table layout of Texas Hold’em Poker if you want to know how to play this popular variant of poker? you must be aware of the position of each player on the poker table and about the cards dealt face up and face down. A play section is marked to make it easier for the players to place the bets at a distance from the stakes. Rest, the table includes:

  • 3 flop boxes
  • Button
  • 1 turn card box
  • 1 river card box
Texas Hold’em Poker

What is the purpose of Button in the Texas Hold’em?

You’ll find a button on every poker table that reveals the player acting as the dealer. The player with the highest card combination usually acts as the dealer. and, has the additive advantage being last in the game. as the player in this position usually have more information and thus can make better decisions. 

This button shift to the one position left after each betting round.

So, each player gets a fair chance to act as a dealer. While playing online, this button automatically gets shifted.

The Rankings of the Hands ( from Strongest to Weakest)

TermsImagesDescription
Royal FlushRoyal FlushA combination of Ace-King-Queen-Jack-10.
Straight FlushStraight Flush5 cards in sequence from the same suit.
Four of a KindFour of a KindFour cards of the same rank.
Full houseFull houseThree cards of the same rank and a pair.
FlushFlushAny Five card poker hand of the same suit. (no sequence required)
StraightStraightFive card poker hand in a sequence. cards of the same suit and rank are not required.
Three of a KindThree of a KindThree cards of the same rank.
Two pairsTwo pairsA hand with two pairs.
One PairOne PairTwo cards of the same rank. Eg: A pair of aces, kings etc.
High CardsHigh CardsIf none of the players has a pair, the player with the highest hand wins.

What are the rules for Texas Hold’em?

To make it easier for our Poker players in India, we have divided the Texas Hold’em Rules into 5 different phases. So, you can thoroughly understand and enjoy the game step by step.

How to play hold’em poker becomes easier once you have acquainted with the rules. You can easily switch to playing online poker for real money. Let’s get started!

Phase 1: When the game begins!

  • The game is played in a clockwise direction from the dealer button. This button moves to the next player with each hand.
  • Two players sitting to the left of the dealer button are forced to place the SMALL BLIND (SB) bet and BIG BLIND (BB) bet before the betting round begins and cards are dealt.

What are the Small Blind and Big Blind bets?

The small blind is placed by a player sitting to the leftmost of the dealer. The Small Blind is the minimum bet of the game and is usually 1/100th of the original bet. Let us tell you what’s the purpose of the small blind bets? 

A player raising the small blind bet is sure to lose the chips or staked money. So it encourages them to participate in the game.

 The big blind is the bet placed by the player who is sitting 2nd to the left of the dealer. It is usually double the small blind bet. Let’s learn how to play the big blind?

The player sitting in the big blind position has to pay a full refixed blind without even looking at the cards. That is a huge disadvantage of the big blind bets.

Do you know the big blind is the most annoying position with many chances of making mistakes? it is next to impossible to win the game sitting at the big blind spot. But the big blind strategies can defend you.

The Big Blind Defense 101:

To make this work, you have to work on 3 important factors. The first is to recognize the pot odds to play in a long run and avoid mistakes. The second is to identify the opponent player’s range of raising bets. and, the last is to know your hand cards are worth winning or not.

  •  After the blinds are posted, all the players are dealt with two cards each one after another; Known as the HOLE CARDS.
  • Every participant can subtly look into their cards hiding from others.

 

Phase 2: PRE-FLOP Betting Round!

  • The first action/move is taken by the player sitting to the left of the Big Blind; called ‘Under the gun’.
  • The Player has the 3 choices for the next move; Raise/Bet, Call and Fold. Also, you can opt for all in one -go.
PRE-FLOP Betting
THE FLOP Round!

Phase 3: THE FLOP Round!

  • The three community cards ( face-up) are revealed by the dealer at the centre of the table after the pre-flop betting round.
  • All the players are allowed to use these cards in combination with hole cards to make a better hand value.

Phase 4: Post FLOP; Betting!

  • It’s almost similar to the first betting round except for a change in player’s choices.
  • In round 2 of betting, the player has 3 choices as Raise/Bet, Fold and Check.
  • The dealer here reveals the fourth community card known as ‘THE TURN’.

An interesting round with more betting/raising, checking and folding. When everyone is trying to grab this community card to make the best hand combination worth of winning.

  • Now, the dealer reveals the fifth and final community card; referred to as ‘THE RIVER.
Post FLOP
The Showdown

Phase 5: The Showdown

Now, the betting has been done and players will be asked to reveal their final cards in turn.

Showdown begins with the player who placed the first bet after the river.

Who is the Winner? The one with the best & strongest combination of five card poker hand.

How to form a hand using five community cards?

As you know a total of five community cards and hole cards are dealt face up and face down with players on a poker table. There are 3 possible combinations to form the best five card poker hand using 2 pocket or hole cards and 3 community or board cards.

  1. Two-hole cards & Three community cards
  2. One hole card & Four community cards
  3. No hole card & Five community cards

But keep in mind, you have to announce if you are playing with all of the board cards. otherwise, you may lose all the amount of the pot even if you win.

Other Important Texas Hold’em Rules: 

When Raising a bet:

Once the player has opted to raise the bet, they can’t place more chips and return to the stakes. Also referred to as String bet.

When Buying Chips:

  • A player can buy minimum chips of 50-100 times the value of the big blind bet. But, it has to be bought before the first hand is dealt face up with all other players.
  • Players are allowed to buy the maximum number of chips at any time.
  • Players can reload stack, and add more chips at any point of the game.
  • The players are allowed to move the chips they had at the beginning of the game round.

Texas Hold’em Variants

Do you know? After Texas Hold’em hit the gambling industry Seven Card Stud poker was badly affected. The reason was missing community cards. It was the 7 stud card game that earlier ruled the poker industry. But it is still played in both online and traditional casino games. 

All the Hold’em Variants at our suggested poker sites are powered by top casino providers like Evolution Gaming, Microgaming and Netent

About hundreds of variants are available online at GG poker, 888 Poker and other poker sites. Let’s take a look at some of the most popular and played Texas Hold’em Variants

Limit Hold’em

Also known as the risk-free poker. The size of the bet is already fixed before the hole cards are dealt with all the participants. There are a total of 4 round of betting. The size of the bet in the first two betting round is usually half the size of the bet in the final two round of betting. Limit Hold’em players are sometimes referred to as ‘Grinders’; as they are grinding small money bets.

Limit Hold’em
No-Limit Hold’em

No Limit Hold’em

As the name indicates, players can raise, bet or call as per their bankroll. There is no limit to the bets. This variant is usually played by high rollers. But not to forget the size of the lower and the higher stakes is fixed. The betting amount should be at least equal to the previous bet. Players can also use the option of All-in.

The Pot Limit Hold’em

Clearly, the size of the bet can’t exceed the pot amount. The best combination of limit and no limit Hold’em game. Pot limit is the best game for the players who love to apply strategies. The chances of hitting your hand are pretty fair. For an instance, if the pot value is $20; you can’t raise a bet beyond $20 but you have the option to call the bet i,e, usually of small value. The pot limit strategy can also be used to know the pot odds.

Pot-Limit Hold’em
Omaha Hold’em

Omaha Hold’em

Another popular variant of Texas Hold’em. Some professionals say Omaha is not a variant of hold’em. But that’s what people love to call this game. Omaha poker is also available in multiple formats and most popular of them are:

  • Omaha
  • Omaha Hi/lo or Omaha 8

This poker variant is pretty similar to the Texas Hold’em except there are 4 hole cards instead of two hole cards in Hold’em. Also, the players need to create the best 5 card poker combination using 2 cards from hand and 3 from the table.

Pineapple Hold’em

In this variant of hold’em poker, 3 hole cards are used instead of 2 or 4 in other games. This game of poker is available in other variants as Crazy Pineapple and Lazy Pineapple. The difference lies in discarding the one hole card. A player needs the strongest hand to win the game; that means players with weak hand cards usually folds easily.

Pineapple Hold’em
3 Card Hold’em

3 Card Hold’em

The most played variant among hold’em poker games where you are playing against the dealer despite other players. This game only uses Straight flush, Straight, Flush, Three of a Kind, Pair and, High card hand rankings. All the participants have to pay an ante bet before the game begins. The motive is to make a better 3-card combination than the dealer.

Courchevel

Another popular community card game. The game is almost similar to the Omaha except for the two major differences. The first is every player gets five hole cards instead of 3 in Omaha. and, the second is; one of the flop card is dealt with players before the first round of betting begins.

Courchevel

Texas Hold’em Betting Rules

The betting limits in Hold’em poker are usually represented in three different formats as Limit, the Pot limit and No-Limit. Let’s quickly read out the betting rules!

  • The cards are dealt in a clockwise direction from the left of the dealer button.
  • All the players can only get two face-down hole cards.
  • A single game round in Texas hold’em game can have 1 to 4 round of betting.
  • If a player chooses to Fold, his game ends at the same moment.
  • The final betting round of Hold’em can also end with the multi-players using showdown.
  • The one with the highest card values wins the pot amount.
  • In case two of the players has the highest 5 card poker; the pot is equally shared between them.

How do you play Texas Hold’em for beginners?

After you have learned the rules and hand rankings of Texas Hold’em, the next step is to switch from theoretical to practical. So, let’s get started playing online hold’em poker.

The best way is to play the free poker games a few times. It’s important to acquire the game pattern, betting options and gambling environment of an online poker site before you play Texas hold ‘em for real money.

So, pick any of our listed free poker games available online and once you become confident about your actions you can easily move to real money hold’em poker.

As a beginner, it’s better to opt for risk-free games like play money games where you can play with the fake money.  

Another option is the Poker Freeroll tournaments. As the name reveals itself, you don’t have to pay any fee to participate in such tournaments. All you need is to register yourself on any of our shortlisted poker sites and participate for free. 

The winning chances are pretty better with the rewards such as free entries and free money to play expensive poker games.

Texas Hold’em Strategies: Which hands to play & Which hands to Fold?

The hands with winning potential or worth playing for must have 2 of the following 3 qualities:

  1. Big pair potential.
  2. Flush potential
  3. Straight Potential

Let’s discuss the first and most important quality!

  • Big pair potential: It’s a game of only 1 pair. It includes hand rankings such as a straight, full house, four of a kind and straight flush, cards of the same suit etc. Statically, it is proven that a player with the single pair in his card combination wins 45% of the time.  A top pair like A-A, K-K, Q-Q, J-J, 10-10 are excellent to play with. That means you have the best winning hand potential.
  • Flush Potential: A good flush potential= Two cards of the same suit; or called as suited hands.
  • Straight Potential: A good straight potential= Two cards close in rank. The closer the rank, the better our hands. For example 7 of spade, 8 of the diamond; Ace of heart and king of the club has straight potential.

All of the three qualities together are ideal for winning.  Even a big pair can stand alone and is worth playing. But you can’t win with :

  • Just flush or just straight card combinations.
  • Straight and Flush potential can together win.

Next in the queue is the Position Considerations on the poker table!

  • Bad position: requires very strong hands to win
  • Good Position: you can play with medium hands.
  • Under the gun/ Middle positions are not considered good positions. As you have to act first in pre-flop situations. The player must have a strong pair from Ace to 9 or A-K,K-Q, A-Q, A-J to be in the game.

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