Texas Hold'em Poker – A Novices Guide Part 1

Texas holdem is the poker player's game of choice and where the big prize money is to be made. Many players want to play Texas Holdem to win and win big.

Here we will cover the basics to get you started on your route to playing Texas Holdem and hopefully winning some big pots.

In its no limit form, it is now used in world class poker tournaments, and is the most popular of all poker games today by far.

The game is played from two to ten players usually, though it can accommodate up to 22.

Playing the Game

To begin, the dealer will deal 2 cards face down to each player (these are known as a players 'hole cards').

The first round of betting will then follow immediately.

As the initial round of betting completes, the dealer will deal the first 3 'community cards' face up (this is also called the 'flop'). The second round of betting then follows.

At this point, the dealer will deal the 4th community card, again face up (called the 'turn' or fourth street).
The third round of betting then follows.

The dealer will deal 5th community card face up (called the 'river' or fifth street), and the 4th and then the final round of betting begins.

All players use any combination of their 2 hole cards plus the 5 community cards to create the best possible 5 card poker hand.

The highest scoring hand then wins the pot and the hand is completed

Rules and Playing Etiquette

Although it's a relatively easy game to learn, there is still a great deal of strategy to follow if you aim to win. Let's start with the basics of the game and the order of play.

Where you happened to be sitting can be crucial in Texas Hold'em.

For example, if you are the last to act on a particular hand, it allows you to watch and react to what opponents are doing.

Keep in mind if your first you are at severe disadvantage as you do not know how to react as the players have given you no indication of how strong or weak their hands might be.

The rule is that the dealer is always the last to act in a given round of Texas Hold'em.

So, in order to keep the game fair, there is dealer rotation around the table.

The 'dealer' (or virtual dealer) has the advantage of acting last for any round. After the end of every round the operator button rotates one player clockwise.

In Texas Hold'em not every player will pay an ante.

Instead, the first 2 players to the left of the dealer must post 'blind bets' before the dealer deals the first 2 cards.

They are known as 'blind bets' as the player pays the bets before seeing their cards. They therefore enter the game 'blind' with no idea how strong or weak their hand is

Actually the first player to the left of the dealer makes a 'small blind' bet, and the second player to the left of the dealer makes a 'big blind' bet. This works in the following way

The 'big blind' bet will equal the small bet, and the 'small blind' bet will be about half of the small bet.

For example a $ 20 / $ 40 game would have a big blind of $ 20 and a small blind of $ 10.
The first round of betting use the blinds to begin

Therefore, the $ 20 big blind would be the starting amount players must call to remain in the hand.

Also if no players raise the starting bet, the blinds are not required to re-pay their bet to remain.

That is, if no player raises the starting bet the big blind would not need to pay anything more than to stay in, the small blind would have to pay the balance of the $ 20 bet, which in this case would be $ 10 to remain.

Also, it's crucial to remember that players 'hole cards' are only as good as the community cards.
What does this effect mean?

It means that having an AK in the hole is not very good odds for the player.

If the community cards are, say QQ-9-9-J. The cards do not match into any hand of value.

Furthermore, it can be assumed some other player could make a full house of queens or nines!

Finally, it's very useful to watch the flop.

You can gauge the quality of your hand as 5 of your 7 cards can tell you how good your hand is in relation to the others, by watching the way they bet or react.

The Best Hand Does Not Always Win!

This covers the basics of Texas Holdem; the rest is strategy and experience.

Texas Holdem is a game of psychology and not always the best hand wins.

The psychology of Texas Holdem is not learned over night. It takes a long time and you need practice on how to play your cards, or more importantly the players you are competitive with.

It is the psychological aspect that makes the game so exciting. In Texas Holdem it's a brutal battle where only the strong surv but but if you can the rewards can be immune.

Good Luck!