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The Poker Texas holdem

10 Rules about starting with Texas Hold’Em

1. Don’t play too many hands.

A very common mistake that amateur players make is not being selective enough with their starting hands. Don’t fall into the common trap of thinking that ‘any hand can win’. Although this is true, some hands are more likely to win than others and will help you win more money, whilst others will help you in losing more money. So be selective about which hands you play.

 

2. Don’t bluff too much.

Another common misconception about poker is that you need to bluff to win. You may see spectacular bluffs on the WSOP shows, but these are edited to show the highlights of the tournaments and so give the wrong impression of the frequency that top players bluff. Bluffing in poker is not as essential as you think it is.

If you are a beginner online poker player, it is better to play your cards well rather than trying to bluff your opponents out of hands. It is good to try occasional bluffs here and there, but the real art of knowing when to bluff comes from knowledge and practice.

3. Think about your opponent’s cards.

It is vitally important in poker to think about the strength of your opponent’s hand, and not just your own. It is nice to have a big hand, but if you think that your opponent has a better hand than you, you should prepare to fold. For example a straight is a decent hand, but if there are four cards of the same suit on the board and your opponent pushes all in, do you still think you have the best hand?

 

4. Play against players worse than you.

This may seem obvious, but you will be surprised at the number of players who go against this simple principle. If you are better than the players who you are playing against, it makes sense that you will be a winner in the long run. If you were the 10th best player in the world, it would not be profitable to sit at a table with the top 9 players in the world.

5. Think about your position.

Table position is a very important factor in poker, especially in Texas Holdem. The best positions to be in are when you are last to act on the hand, for example, when you are on the button. This means that you gain knowledge about what kind of hand they may have before the action gets to you. Having good position in a hand can easily turn a losing hand into a winning one.

Position plays a much bigger role in no limit Texas Hold’em than you think. It can often be more important than the cards themselves, and make the difference between winning and losing a hand.

6. Pay attention to the game.

The best way to pick up tells is to watch your opponents and how they play in each pot. Even when you are not in the hand, you should still concentrate on the game to understand how your opponents play.

Hopefully you will see what moves the players make when they don’t have the best hand, and what moves they make when they do have the best hand. The more information you can get from your opponents, the better the opportunity you will have to beat them.

7. Don’t jump in at the high limits.

There are two reasons why you shouldn’t play for too much money as a beginner. Firstly, the players at the higher limits will be better than the players at the lower limits. There is less chance that you will be able to beat them and you will spend a lot of money trying to learn the game in the process.

Secondly, you only want to play at limits you can afford. You should not play at limits where you are going to drop money that you cannot afford to lose. The

Without bankroll management, you will never be able to become a winning player, even if you use perfect strategy.

8. Don’t pay too much for draws.

You will often find yourself holding half a hand that only needs one card to complete your flush or your straight. As a general rule, if you opponent is betting heavily, it is unlikely to be profitable to chase after these draws. However, if there is only a small amount of betting it may be wise to call in the hope of making your hand. If the amount your opponent bets seems too big to warrant a call to make your hand, then don’t.

9. Suited cards aren’t that great.

The ultimate beginner mistake (that even some intermediate players make) is over-valuing suited cards. Flushes are not as common as you think, and if you limp in with your two small suited cards, there is the chance that you will lose all your money to a higher flush if the flush does come.

Just because your cards are of the same suit, it only improves that hand by 2% compared to if your hand was not suited. This marginal improvement is too small to warrant calling pre-flop raises, so learn to fold the small suited cards. You will be saving yourself some money in the long run.

10. Know the rules.

As obvious as it seems, there is no substitute for knowing the rules of the game. You don’t want to find yourself calling a player all in, thinking that your straight beats his flush and losing all of your chips. There is no way you can be a winning poker player if you don’t know the fundamental rules of the game.

Furthermore, each card room and casino may have its own unique set of rules that you must abide by, so make sure you familiarize yourself with them before jumping into any game.

 

The Poker Cards

Texas Hold’em Basics

1. Stick to playing good cards.

As much as you might like to think that being a good poker player is playing any two cards and making money with them, it really isn’t. If you are playing bad cards, you are playing bad cards… there is no two ways about it, no matter how many fancy plays you think you know.

Strong Cards

As a potential winning poker player, you need to come to terms with the fact that you have to throw away the majority of the hands you are dealt. The ability to play the good cards and throw away the bad ones is the foundation of every winning poker player. You might see pro players on TV playing useless hands, but these shows do not truly reflect how these pros play normally (if they want to win money), so don’t get sidetracked.

 

2. Always think about your position.

Your position at the table can have a huge influence of the outcome of a hand. You will really be amazed at how much power you have when you are acting after your opponents rather than before. The longer you play poker, the more you will start to realize how almost every play you make will be influenced by your position at the table.

You see that white dealer button on the table? Make sure you get used to keeping track of it, because playing in position (when you are acting after your opponents) more often than you play out of position will have a dramatic effect on the number of pots that you drag home.

Hands in Texas Hold’em can be won on position alone. Honestly, position is awesome.

3.Don’t get addicted to bluffing.

Yes, bluffing can win you a few extra pots, but it is not the heart of winning poker strategy. First of all you need to work out how to play a hand properly, and then you can start thinking about adding extra elements to your game like the bluff. The chances are that if you are a new player, you are bluffing far too often and losing money because of it.

It is an awesome feeling to pull off a successful bluff, but as you start out learning the game and trying to make money from it, the bluff is something that is best set to the side for the time being. If a prime opportunity to bluff jumps right out at you, then by all means do what you need to take the pot. But in general, the bluff is something that should be used sparingly and only in the right situations when you are confident that it is going to work.

It’s better to save your money and check, rather than lose a lot by attempting to bluff. Read up on the bluffing tips article to help you pick the right spots.

4. Learn a little bit of the maths.

No, please, don’t run. The math in poker isn’t that hard at all. Okay, it might take 5 or 10 minutes to get your head around some of it, but it is incredibly handy and will help you to make the most profitable decisions possible at every opportunity and earn you a lot of money. Now that’s enough to get anyone wanting to learn some math!

5. Think about everything that is taking place at the poker table.

A thinking poker player is a winning poker player. The problem with poker is that if you win, it doesn’t necessarily mean that you made the right play. Similarly, if you lose, it does not mean that you made the wrong play. This can make it tricky to figure out what is wrong and right when it comes to playing a good poker game, but only if you let it.

Whenever you make a decision, think about why you are doing what you are doing and what you expect to accomplish by doing this. Similarly, think about why your opponents are making the moves they make and why they could be making them. This is a great way to develop your mind and help to start seeing poker from all the angles, which is key to developing a winning poker game.

The Texas Holdem Rules pic

How to Play Texas Hold’Em

 

  1. Introduction

    Texas hold’em is the most popular of all poker variations. All of the marquee tournaments around the world (WSOP, WPT, EPT, etc.) are played in a variation of this game.

    Don’t let the simplicity of the game mislead you. The number of possible game situations is so vast that, when playing at a high level, the game can be very complex. Thus the renowned expression: “It takes a moment to learn, but a lifetime to master.”

    When playing the game for the first time, you will be confronted with some of the basic rules which are explained below. For starters, each player is dealt two hole cards in Texas hold’em with the overall goal of making the best five-card hand. Play moves clockwise around the table, starting with action to the left of the dealer button. Generally, the first two players to the immediate left of the button are required to post a small blind and a large blind to initiate the betting. From there, action occurs on multiple streets: preflop, the flop, the turn and the river.

  2. Button

    The button determines which player at the table is the acting dealer. In Texas hold’em, the player on button, or last active player closest to the button, receives last action on all post-flop streets of play.

    When playing in casinos or online, you won’t have to worry about who the dealer is. When playing with friends, everyone usually takes a turn at dealing the cards. After each hand has been completed, the button rotates one position to the left. While staff dealers handle the duty of dealing out the cards in brick-and-mortar casinos, and the process is automated online, this isn’t the case in home games. A small tip is to find the most skillful dealer in the game, offer him or her a beer or a small tip and have them deal the game while the button keeps track of which player is the “dealer.”

    While the dealer button often dictates who the first players are to begin the wagering with the small blind and big blind, it also determines where the dealing of the cards begin. The player to the immediate left of the dealer button in the small blind, receives the first card and then the dealer pitches cards around the table in a clockwise motion from player to player until each has received two starting cards.

  3. The Blinds

    Before every new round, two players at the table are obligated to post blinds, or forced bets that begin the wagering. Without these blinds, the game would be very boring because no one would be required to put any money into the pot. In tournaments, the blinds are raised at regular intervals. As the number of players keeps decreasing and the stacks of the remaining players keep getting bigger, it is a necessity that the blinds keep increasing throughout a tournament. In cash games, the blinds will always stay the same for a given limit of which the game is being played.

    The player directly to the left of the button posts the small blind, and the player to his or her direct left posts the big blind. The small blind is generally half the amount of the big blind, although this stipulation varies from room to room and can also be dependent of the game being played.

  4. The Aim of the Game

    Winning, of course! But in order to achieve this, you need to be holding the best combination of cards.

    In Texas hold’em, every player receives two cards face down, called hole cards. Every player keeps these cards to concealed until the end of all of the betting rounds, which is called the showdown. Texas hold’em is a game of community cards, where five cards are displayed in the middle of the table to be used in conjunction with a player’s two hole cards in order to make the best five-card holding.

    The five community cards are displayed in the middle of the table on the flop, the turn and the river. The flop consists of the first three community cards, the turn adds another and the river completes the board with one more. These five cards are visible for every player. Once all five cards are down, players have to make the best five-card combination from these seven cards. This can be done using both of your hole cards in combination with three community cards, one hole card in combination with four community cards or no hole cards and playing all five community cards as one’s hand. The player with the best combination of cards wins the pot, which is the sum of all bets that have been placed during that hand.

  5. First Betting Round

    The first round of betting takes place right after all hole cards have been dealt to each player. The first player to act is the player to the left of the big blind, and this player then has three options:

    Call: match the amount of the big blind
    Raise: increase the bet within the specific limits of the game
    Fold: throw one’s hand away

    If a player chooses to fold, he or she is no longer eligible to win the current hand.

    The amount a player can raise to depends on the game that is being played, but most commonly must be at least twice the big blind.

    Limit hold’em: you can only raise by the amount of the big blind
    Pot-limit hold’em: you can only raise a maximum of the pot size (the total bets that have been placed at that time)
    No-limit hold’em: you can raise by any amount you want up to the maximum that your chip stack allows, and betting all of your chips is deemed “all in”

    The players who follow have the same three options: call, raise or fold. In the case of raising, the minimum allotted amount for a raise must be equal to the original raise amount. For example, let’s say the big blind in a game is $10 and the first player to act raises to $40 in a game of no-limit hold’em. The second player to act has the option to call for $40, fold and no longer play the hand, or raise to $70 as the first raise amount of $30, the difference between the wager placed and the original big blind.

  6. Second Betting Round

    After the first preflop betting round has been completed, the second betting round takes place on the flop after the first three community cards have been dealt. In this betting round, and all that follow from now on, action starts with the first active player to the left of the button. Along with the options to bet, call, fold and raise, a player now has the option to check if no betting action has occurred prior. A check simply means to pass the action to the next player in the hand.

  7. Third Betting Round

    The fourth community card, called the turn, is dealt face-up following all betting action on the flop. Once this has been completed, another round of betting occurs, similar to that on the previous street of play. Again players have the option to options to bet, call, fold, raise and check.
  8. Final Betting Round

    The fifth community card, called the river, is dealt face-up following all betting action on the turn. Once this has been completed, another round of betting occurs, similar to that on the previous street of play. Again players have the option to options to bet, call, fold, raise and check. After all betting action has been completed, the remaining players in the hand with hole cards now expose their holdings to determine a winner. This is called the showdown.

  9. Showdown:

 

The remaining players open their hole cards, and with the assistance of the dealer, a winning hand is determined. The player with the best combination of five cards will win the pot.

 

PokerNight8

Basic Poker Hands

Poker Hands

(from Best to Worst)

Be sure to pay close attention and memorize the poker hand rankings. Let’s start with the best possible hand in poker….

1.Royal Flush

Royal Flush

A Royal flush consists of five cards of the same suit, in sequence from 10 through to Ace. Remember that all suits are equal in poker. If two or more players hold a royal flush (highly unlikely) then the pot is split, i.e. the players share the winnings.

2.Straight Flush

Straight Flush

Five cards of the same suit, in sequence. This example shows a Jack high straight flush. If two or more players hold a straight flush then it is the highest that wins. For example, a Queen high straight flush beats a Jack high straight flush. You will notice that this is very similar to a Royal flush, and that’s because a Royal flush is in fact an ace high straight flush – but it’s given its very own ranking.

3.Four of a Kind

Four of a Kind

This hand contains four cards of the same rank/value. This example shows four 8’s, plus a 5 (remember that all poker hands must have five cards). If two or more players have four of a kind, then the highest value wins (e.g. four 9’s beats four 8’s). If two or more players share the same four of a kind, which can happen when using community cards (more on that later) then the winner is decided by the fifth card. So a player with four 8’s and a 6 would beat a player with four 8’s and a 5.

4.Full House

Full House

A full house contains three cards of the same rank, plus a pair. In our example you can see three 10’s and a pair of 7’s. The value of the three matching cards determines the strength of a full house. So three Jack’s with a pair of 7’s would beat our example hand. If players share the same three cards, which is possible when using community cards, the strength of the pair is then taken into account. So, three 10’s and a pair of 8’s would beat our example hand.

5.Flush

Flush

Five cards of the same suit in any order. Our example shows a Queen high flush. If two or more players have a flush then the player with the highest ranked card wins. If the players share the same high card then it’s determined by the value of the 2nd, 3rd, 4th, and 5th card respectively.

6.Straight

Straight

This hand contains five unsuited cards in sequence. Our example shows a King high straight. In the event of a tie, the best straight is determined by the highest ranked card. A straight consisting of 8, 9, 10, J, Q, would lose to our example hand. But a straight consisting of 10, J, Q, K, A, would win. Also note that an Ace can be used as the low card for a straight of A, 2, 3, 4, 5. This would lose to a straight of 2, 3, 4, 5, 6.

7.Three of a Kind

Three of a Kind

Three cards of the same rank, and two unrelated cards. Our example shows three 4’s. Three 5’s would beat our example hand, three 6’s would beat three 5’s, and so on. If players share the same three cards, then the value of the highest unrelated card would count and if necessary, the value of the second unrelated card. So, three 4’s with Jack, 8, would beat our example hand. As would three 4’s and 10, 9 (because 9 is higher than 8).

8.Two Pair

Two Pairs

Two cards of matching rank, with another two cards of another rank, plus an additional card. In the event of a tie, the highest pair wins. If players share the same highest pair, then the value of the next pair wins. For example, a pair of Aces, and a pair of 6’s would beat our example hand, as would a pair of Kings and a pair of 7’s. If two or more players share the same two pair, then the value of the fifth card counts. So, a pair of Kings, a pair of 6’s, with a 4, would beat our example hand.

9.One Pair

One Pair

A paired hand contains two cards of matching rank, plus three additional cards. The value of the pair determines who wins in the event of a tie. For example a pair of 10’s beats our example hand. If players share the same pair then the best hand is determined by the value of the highest additional card. If this is the same then it goes to the second card, and if necessary the third. So, a pair of 9’s with an Ace, 2, and 10, would beat our example hand. As would a pair of 9’s, King, 10, and a 3.

10.High Card

High Card

If a hand doesn’t fall into any of the above categories, then it is judged on the value of the highest ranked card among the five. In this example we have a hand which is Queen high. If players share the same highest card, then it goes to the value of the 2nd, 3rd, 4th, and even 5th card if necessary. A hand of Queen, 10, 9, 5, 4, would beat our example hand.

and… Community Cards

As you already know, a poker hand consists of five cards. In many variations of poker, players receive or can choose from more than five cards. For example, in Texas Hold’em each player is dealt two private cards, but can also use the five community cards that are available for all the players to use. This makes a total of seven cards, but each player must choose their best five cards to make their best possible hand. Here’s an example:

Community Cards in Texas Hold'em

In the above example, the best five cards among total of seven (two private cards and five community cards) would be combined to make a flush.