Texas Hold’em 101: How to Play Texas Holdem at a Casino
When we watch Texas hold ’em tournaments on television, the game looks easy. However, if you are a beginner and do not know how to play Texas hold ’em, then before rushing to the casino, it is better to learn the basics and rules of the game. In addition to this, you also need to get some experience in playing low-limit games. You can learn the rules and play Texas hold ’em online in order to attain understanding and experience.
The matches that you watch on television are No-Limit Texas hold ’em games, which means that in these games, the players are allowed to bet all their chips at any time. It is an amazing format. However, as a beginner, you need to understand the game properly. Here is an article including information about Texas hold ’em for beginners. The article includes everything you need to know about this amazing game.
What is Texas Hold ’em?
Texas hold ’em is one of the most popular variations of poker. Most of the marquee tournaments that are organized across the globe, including the ones that are played at the European Poker Tour, or at the World Series of Poker, and elsewhere feature no-limit Texas hold ’em games.
Learning how to play no-limit Texas hold ’em poker is not tough, but you should not let the simplicity of this amazing poker game mislead you. There is a wide range of game situations possible in this game, which makes it complex when you play it at a high level. The game is easy to learn, but efforts and practice are required to become a master in this game.
Texas hold ’em is one of the most popular poker variants that is played across the US. The popularity and simplicity of the game have inspired a wide range of strategy books that render recommendations for proper play. The popularity of this game increased in the 2000s when it got exposure on TV, popular literature, and the internet. During this time, most of the poker games were replaced by Texas hold ’em as a common game in most of the casinos in the US. The no-limit Texas hold ’em is the most popular variant of this game.
Texas Hold ’em Rules
- One player becomes the dealer. This position in the game is known as the button, and after every hand, it rotates in the clockwise direction.
- The two players sitting to the left side of the dealer are respectively known as the small blind and big blind.
- These two positions in the game need forced bets. The amount in these bets is pre-determined. The players on these two positions have to put money before the cards are dealt.
- After this, every player involved in the game gets two faces down cards. These cards are known as hole cards.
- After dealing with the hole cards, the betting round begins. The betting is started by the players sitting to the left side of the big blind. The players are allowed to fold, match, or raise.
- After this, betting continues in the clockwise direction. Each player gets the option to fold, bet, or raise.
- After completion of the first betting round, three faces up community cards are flipped on the table. It is known as the flop.
- The betting continues in the clockwise direction. Each player gets the option to check, bet, call, or fold.
- After finishing the second round, the fourth community card is flipped, keeping the face-up and it is known as the turn.
- The third betting round begins with the first player who is remaining and sitting to the left side of the button.
- After completing the third round, the fifth card is flipped, keeping the face-up and it is called the river.
- The fourth round commences with the first player sitting to the left side of the button. The betting moves in the clockwise direction.
Key Positions at the Table in Texas Hold ’em
After reading the rules, you might have got a basic understanding of the game. Here is a proper explanation of the game, its positions, and the betting order of Texas hold ’em for beginners.
Here are some of the key positions of the game.
The game is initiated by action by the player sitting on the left side of the dealer button, and then the game continues in the clockwise direction. The button refers to a round disc that is placed in front of a player. Every hand, the button is rotated one seat towards the left. IN casinos, the player with the button does not deal with the cards. However, while playing with friends, the button does the deal.
The first two players sitting next to the button need to post a small blind and big blind to begin the game. From there, the game starts on multiple streets, including preflop, flop, turn, and the river.
The button determines the dealer in the game. The player sitting left to the button at a small blind gets the first card, and then the dealer pitches cards to others in a clockwise motion until each player receives two cards.
In the game, before every two, two players are designated small blind and big blind. The players need forced bets that start formal betting. The game will be boring without these blinds as no one would put money in the pot. The players can wait until they are handed out aces, and then only they can play. However, the blind assure that there is action on every hand.
During tournaments, the blinds increase at regular intervals, with the increase in the number of stacks and a decrease in the number of players. It is essential that the blind increase continuously throughout the tournament
The blind next to the button has to post a small blond, and the immediate next player to him or her has to pose big blind. The amount of big blind is usually double the big blind.
How to Play Texas Hold ’em?
Till now you might have understood the position in the game. Here is Texas hold ’em betting order that will help you in understanding betting.
Texas Hold ’em Betting Order
First Round – Pre-flop
The first betting round is known as the pre-flop, and it begins after all the players have been handed out two whole cards. The player sitting immediately next to the big blind has to start the betting. Since the player has to take the action first, this position is known as “under the gun.” Below mentioned are three options that the player has.
- Call – In this, the player has to put an amount similar to the big blind.
- Raise – The player can raise the best according to the limitations.
- Fold – In this, the player can throw away the hand.
In the case of the fold, the player loses the eligibility to win the hand.
In case of raise, the player can increase the amount according to the limitations of the current game. Usually, in no-limit Texas hold ’em, the minimum amount of opening raise should be at least double of the big blind. In this game, the highest raise can include all the chips that are peasant in the player’s stack. In fixed-limit Texas hold ’em, the raise should be exactly double of the big blind.
In pot-limit hold’em, players are allowed to bet anywhere from big blind to the total amount present in the current pot.
After the action of the first player, the game continues in the clockwise direction. Each player gets the same options. After calling the last bet, the action is closed. It is the end of the pre-flop round, and then the second round “flop” begins.
Second Round – The Flop
After completing the first pre-flop round and after dealing with the initial three community cards, the second round begins. This round includes the individuals who have not folded.
In this round of betting, the action is started by the first active individual sitting on the left side of the button. With options to call, bet, raise, or fold, the player also gets the choice to “check” in the case if there has been no betting action beforehand. This option allows the player to pass the action; however, it can only be passed to the next player in hand.
The betting continues until the raise or last bet. It can also happen if all the players choose to check around the table.
Third Round – The Turn
In this round, the fourth community card known as the turn is dealt with. The card is dealt with keeping the face-up and following all the batting actions on the flop. Once this round is completed, another round begins, and it is the same as the previous round. Again the players get the option to check, raise, fold, call, or bet.
Final Round – The River
The final round of betting is known as the river. This round includes dealing face up, and all the action of betting on the turn are followed in this round. After completing the round, another betting round begins, similar to the previous betting rounds. The remaining individuals again get the option to check, fold, call, or raise.
After the competition of the betting action, the remaining players having hole cards finally expose their cards in order to decide the winner. It is known as the showdown.
In this round, the remaining individuals display the hole cards they have, and with the help of the dealer, the winner is decided. The pot is won by the winner having the best five cards combination. The best combination is decided according to the conventional poker hand rankings. This ranking is not specifically part of this game; however, it applies to a wide range of poker games.
- Royal Flush – It comprises five cards belonging to the same suit. It involves ranking ace through ten.
- Straight Flush – It comprises five cards belonging to the same suit, and the cards are ranked consecutively.
- Four of a Kind – It comprises four cards belonging to the same rank and one card of another rank.
- Full House – It involves three cards belonging to the same rank and other two more cards belonging to other same ranks.
- Flush – It includes any five cards belonging to the same suit.
- Straight – It includes any five cards that are consecutively ranked.
- Three of a Kind – It includes three cards belonging to the same rank and two different cards.
- Two Pair – It comprises two cards belonging to same rank and other other two cards of the same rank and one card of a different rank.
- One Pair – It comprises two cards belonging to the same rank.
- High Card – It includes five unmatched cards, and it is known as “ace high.”
Keep in mind that the player has to create the hands by selecting the five superior cards that are available from the seven cards in hand. Seven cards include five community cards and two hole cards.
In order to learn to hold ’em poker, you need to first understand how to deal the hands, and you also need to learn the order of the play. Obviously, learning the rules is only the starting; the other steps comprise understanding different strategies that include learning what forms an adequate starting hand. It also includes understanding the importance of the position, probabilities, and odds of the game, and other facets of the game.
It is difficult to understand poker by reading the articles about how to play Texas hold ’em for beginners. These short articles can help you in learning the rules and basics. However, in order to attain a complete understanding of the game, you need to play it. Nevertheless, before rushing to the casinos and start betting, you can opt for playing Texas hold ’em online games in order to practice. Once you attain proper understanding, you can use your knowledge at the poker table in a live game.