Without any doubt, Texas Holdem is the most widespread and famous variation of poker. The rules of this game are quite simplistic, but at the same time it has a deep potential for learning and mastering due to various strategies, tactics and nuances. Texas Holdem Poker has gained immense popularity in the world, becoming the number one game both in live establishments and in online casinos. Sounds exciting, isn’t it? To look deeper in this game, it’s not difficult to understand why gamblers are keen on Holdem. But one question remains: how to play it and which type to choose? If you hesitate to answer, feel free to discover needed info further.
Types of Texas Holdem Poker
The three types of Texas Holdem are distinguished according to whether or not there is a limit on the size of the bets:
- Limit poker.
In this version of Texas Holdem Poker you will meet a lot of limits. It’s related to the maximum bet and the number of raises that can be made on a single street. Thus, in Limit Holdem, you can make up to 4 raises in one round. Limit Holdem is especially suitable for beginners as they do not lose all their money very fast.
- Pot Limit Poker
This alternative is very similar to No Limit Holdem, but with one specific difference: the size of the raise is always limited to the size of the pot that has already been formed in the hand.
- No Limit Poker
This variation enjoys huge popularity among poker lovers. Without any limit on the size or number of bets, the distinction here is the size of the raises which is limited only by the number of chips in your stack.
In the beginning of your way, pay attention to the first type – Limit Poker. And after learning rules and tactics, trying new types can diversify your gambling process.
Types of poker tables
In Texas Holdem can play from two to ten people. At the same time, depending on the number of the maximum number of participants, playing tables can be:
– Long (9-10 players – 9-max or 10-max). In fact, this is a terrific bargain if you’re looking for a sturdy table with decent cloth and rails. The only drawback to this table is that it can be a challenge to play with players sitting at one end of the table if you are sitting at the opposite end.
– Short (6 players – 6-max). Such a table is lightweight and shorter, and therefore easier to communicate here than at a full-size table. It’s better to play with no more than 6 people at this table because there won’t be enough room for a convenient process.
– Ultra-short (4 players – 4-max). At this table, you should expect higher stakes, because the number of players is smaller, but the process remains full of entertainment.
– Heads-up table (2 players). Certainly, you can play Texas Holdem even with 2 players, but there are some distinctions in the rules. The dealer has the small blind and the other player has the big blind. The players take turns as dealers. The first card is dealt to the player in the big blind. The dealer goes first before the flop, and the big blind goes first after the flop.
Basic Terms of Texas Holdem Poker
In order to understand the rules of Texas Holdem, it’s a must to be familiar with basic terms which will be used there. The list of them is introduced here:
Call – means to equalize the bet set in the game and thereby enter the auction.
Fold – to discard the cards and not to participate further in this deal.
Raise – to increase the amount of your bet.
All in – to play with all the chips you have in your hand.
Check – to skip your turn. Maybe only if you have already entered the game and the player in front of you missed his turn. Or, if you are in the big blind and there are no raises in front of you.
The Small Blind is the first player to the left of the Dealer. Bets half of the bet set in the game.
The Big Blind is the 2nd player to the left of the dealer. Bets the full bet set in this game.
Dealer – the special position of the person who conditionally deals the cards.
Flop – a common three open cards laid out on the table (board).
Turn – the fourth Community Card.
River – the last Community Card dealt on the Table.
Kicker – the highest card which determines the winner if the players have the same combination.
The Rules of Texas Holdem Poker
For the game to bring satisfaction and big winnings, you need to learn the rules. Understand the gameplay, only after that you can win. Let’s look at the basic rules of Texas Holdem:
- Game starts. Holdem is usually played by nine or ten players. Each player receives two cards face up at random. These are the so-called hole cards or pocket cards, received individually. These cards will make up his combination or “hand” with five common cards that will be dealt in the next rounds of the game.
- The dealer’s chip, labeled “Dealer” or “D,” is a critical piece of the game, as it displays who deals the cards and occupies the “button” position. Each player is required to be the dealer one time per round, except the case when you’re playing in a casino with a professional dealer. Even in this case, though, the dealer’s chip goes around from player to player. The dealer’s position is the most advantaged position in the game, because the player there is the last one to bet with the possibility to see what decisions the others have made. The exception is the first round of bidding, as the blinds come into play immediately after the dealer.
- Blind Bets. These are mandatory bets that are placed by default in every hand. Before cards are dealt, the rules require the two players to the left of the dealer to make what are known as blinds. The player to the left of the blind bets half of the mandatory bet – the small blind. The next player bets the full bet, the big blind.
- Handing out. Once the small and big blinds are set, each player is dealt two cards face down and face up. These are the pocket cards. The first round of bidding begins on the preflop.
- Preliminary Round or Preflop. As soon as the poker blinds have been placed and the pocket cards have been dealt, the trade is initiated. This round is called the pre-flop. The first player to the left of the big blind is the first to enter the trade. He can bet the amount of the big blind, raise or fold. If the player chooses to fold, he flips his cards face down in the center of the table and waits for the next hand. The turn moves clockwise to the next player until each player has had an opportunity to bet, raise, or discard.
- Flop. After the first round of dealing is over, the dealer lays out three common cards in the center of the table. All remaining players use these three cards, along with their two initial cards, to put together the best combination. These three cards are called the flop.
- Turn. After the second round of trade is completed, another card is placed on the table, it is called “turn”.
- River. When the third round of bets is completed, the fifth and last card called the River is laid out on the table.
- Showdown. After that, the remaining players open the cards and find out who won. The player with the strongest combination of cards takes the whole pot.
Extraordinary Cases in Texas Holdem Poker
If you are starting Texas Holdem Poker for the first time, you should be ready for non-standard situations in advance. Gamblers can make non-standard decisions, making the gameplay more enjoyable. Below we will consider the main non-standard situations that are most common in Texas Holdem.
All In. If you think about choosing the All In option, you must be absolutely sure of your hand, because if you lose, you will lose everything. You have to bet all your chips. If other participants want to continue the game, they have to equalize the bet or pass. This is a big risk that not many people take, as there is no guarantee that the participant who made All-In has the highest hand, it can be a bluff. In the case you’re confident in your combination, you can repeat this action. As a plus, the pot becomes bigger, many players will leave the game, and the winner can win a lot of money.
Side Pots. When one of the participants makes an All In bet and sends all chips to the pot, the others aren’t obliged to bet everything. Other players at the table may have more money, so they cover the All In bet and continue to increase their bets among themselves. These are the third-party pots.
Game 1 on 1 or “Heads Up”
Playing head-to-head, you change the order of bets. The participant with the dealer button bets first, the amount must be equal to the small blind. The second player bets the amount of the big blind. The betting order remains until the winner is determined.
Mastering the Strategy
Texas Holdem is that exact place where you can try different tactics and techniques, creating your personal strategy with which you will move through the game. These tricks might help you diversify the gaming process and make it even more thrilling:
Bluff. Everything that happens at the table should not be taken literally. Bluffing is an attempt to deceive other players, a way to make your opponent doubt and quit the game. Not all players get good cards, not all of them can collect a strong combination to win. It may happen that for all the games you will not collect any combination that would guarantee you a victory. But if other players leave the game at a certain stage and you are the only one left, the whole pot will also be given to you. You have to bluff to make your opponent doubt or even panic.
Squeeze money out of your opponents. If you’re confident of winning a hand, try to win more. Make bets and raises, but in a way that doesn’t scare off victims early.
Count. Poker is a mathematical game. Learn to calculate the probability of cards that strengthen your hand. It might aid in creating a really strong hand.
Fold more often. Most starting hands shouldn’t be played at all if you’re a beginner, stick to strict criteria for choosing starting hands. The more players at the table, the fewer hands are worth playing. The earlier the position (closer to the blinds), the fewer hands are worth playing.
Bankroll. Manage your bankroll wisely by having money to play with to protect yourself from fluctuations and reduce the chances of losing in the moment. Determine how much you’re willing to lose and when you’ll walk away before you sit down at the table. And don’t try to spend more with the desire to win. Unfortunately, more commonly it doesn’t work in such a way.
From the first sight, Texas Holdem might appear a complicated game with many things to keep in mind. It’s partly true, but having played just a few times, you will definitely realize how everything works here. With an abundance of various types, strategies and techniques, it’s almost impossible to be bored here. Thus, Texas Holdem is absolutely worth trying due to fantastic emotions it presents and, of course, impressive sums in the pot which you can take with you after the game.