Texas Holdem

Texas Holdem, sometimes referred to simply as Holdem, is a community card poker betting game with multiple betting rounds leading up to a showdown, in which the player with the best 5-card poker hand is awarded the pot. Websites with Texas Holdem poker games usually offer different tables for different betting structures, such as Pot Limit, Fixed Limit and No Limit.

Betting on Texas Holdem games at online poker sites involves several different stake levels to accommodate different playing styles and bankrolls, with micro-stakes as low as $0.05 / $0.10 up to high stakes exceeding $500 / $1,000.

Texas Holdem is largely a game of skill, with significant elements of luck mixed in. Players can demonstrate their Texas Holdem skill at poker betting sites by strategically betting, reading opponent tells, bluffing and quickly calculating odds and probabilities. In order to get started with Texas Holdem betting, it’s important to understand the basic rules and strategies involved.

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How To Bet On Texas Holdem Poker Games

In order to bet on Texas Holdem games, you’ll need to follow some simple poker betting rules designed to maximize fairness and competition among players. The following is a list of steps used to play Texas Holdem at an online Texas Holdem betting site. The rules will be nearly identical for Texas Holdem games hosted at live casinos or home games.

  • The two players to the left of the dealer begin the hand by paying the blinds. The dealer immediately to the left of the dealer pays the small blind, while the next adjacent player posts the big blind. In a $2 / $4 game, for example, the small blind is $2 while the big blind is $4. Players will take turns acting from the dealer’s position, as a dealer button will travel around the table in a clockwise fashion with each hand.
  • Each player receives two cards facedown, starting with the player who posted the small blind. These cards are known as hole cards.
  • Players look at their own hole cards, and the first round of betting begins with the player to left of the big blind. Players can fold, call or raise, and each player gets a chance to make a betting decision in clockwise order.
  • After the first betting round, the dealer places a burn card facedown on the table. This card is effectively discarded. Next, the dealer delivers the flop face-up on the table. The flop contains 3 community cards which are visible to all players.
  • Another betting round occurs, followed by another burn card and the turn. The turn consists of 1 community card placed face-up.
  • A third betting round occurs, followed by a burn card and the river. The river is the final community card.
  • A final round of betting occurs.
  • All remaining players take part in the showdown, in which the pot is awarded to the player with the best hand.

Texas Holdem Rules

Players can make a few different betting decisions in a game of Texas Holdem, including check, call, raise and fold.

When you fold, you discard your hole cards and eliminate yourself from the hand. At this point, you’ll lose all of the money that you’ve contributed to the pot so far, including the blinds (if you posted them). However, you won’t be required to pay any additional money into the pot. Folding is essentially cutting your losses, preserving your bankroll and waiting for the next hand.

When you raise, you’re matching the previous player’s wager and adding a wager of your own. For example, if the previous player wagered $5 and you raise by $10, you’ll place $15 in the pot and the next player will be required to do the same to stay in the hand.

When you call, you match the previous player’s wager, but you don’t raise. For example, the previous player might put $7 into the pot. You could call by also placing $7 in the pot. A check is similar to a call, except that it doesn’t require you to bet any money at all. You can only check when there hasn’t already been a raise or a bet. A “bet” is simply the first raise of the hand.

Hand Rankings

In Texas Holdem, the goal is to create the best possible five card poker hand using some combination of your two hole cards and the five available community cards. Since this adds up to a total of seven cards, two of the cards will not be used.

Texas Holdem hands are ranked as follows, from best to worst:

  • Royal Flush (Ace, King, Queen, Jack, 10 suited)
  • Straight Flush (five sequential suited cards)
  • Four of a Kind (such as four Aces or four 5s)
  • Full House (Three of a Kind plus a pair, such as three Kings and two 10s)
  • Flush (five suited cards of any value, such as all Spades)
  • Straight (five sequential cards of any suit)
  • Three of a Kind (such as three Queens)
  • Two Pair (such as two 6s and two 9s)
  • One Pair (such as two Aces)
  • High Card (such as an Ace or King)

Game Variations

Within the game of Texas Holdem, there are three different betting structures, including No Limit, Pot Limit and Fixed Limit.

In a No Limit Texas Holdem game, there are few restrictions on how much you can bet when it’s your turn to make a betting decision. The smallest bet you can make is the value of the big blind. For example, in a $3 / $6 No Limit Holdem game, the lowest possible bet would be $6. The maximum bet is simply the number of chips you possess. When a player declares he’s going “all-in,” it means he’s wagering the maximum value – his whole stack of chips. After the initial bet, the lowest possible raise is the value of the bet.

Although No Limit Texas Holdem is the most popular betting structure used for this game type, Fixed Limit Texas Holdem is quite popular as well. With this Texas Holdem variation, players are not allowed to bet whatever value they wish. Instead, they must wager in increments according to predetermined rules. For example, in a $6 / $12 game, the blind would be $3 and $6. The large bet would be $12, while the small bet is $6. Fixed Limit Holdem games usually have a betting cap, meaning that only a certain number of raises will be allowed per betting round.

Pot Limit Texas Holdem is actually quite similar to No Limit. The minimum bet is equal to the value of the big blind. The maximum bet is the amount currently in the pot. In this way, the pot can’t grow by more than 100% of its current size from one bet to the next.

Texas Holdem games are also divided into two main categories: cash games and tournaments. A cash game, also known as a ring game, consists of a table with 2 to 10 seats. Players can enter and leave the table at will, buying into the game for a predetermined fee which equals the chips they’ll start with. The game progresses indefinitely, and players who lose their chips can buy more chips to re-enter the game.

Texas Holdem tournaments can involve several tables playing simultaneously. In a tournament, the winner of each table (the person who wins all of the chips) moves on to a new table to compete against the winners of other Round 1 tables. In most tournaments, a player who loses all of his chips is eliminated permanently from the tournament. Play continues until only one player remains. The top players are usually paid according to a predetermined prize schedule.

Basic Strategy

Texas Holdem betting strategy can become very complicated very quickly, with several influential factors such as odds, tells, player emotions, bluffing, bankroll management and more. However, successful, long-term Texas Holdem play largely comes down to one key concept: tight-aggressive play.

In essence, tight-aggressive play means folding your weak hands and waiting for premium hands. When a premium set of hole cards does come your way, you must pursue it aggressively and raise heavily. This will allow you to maximize your profits by seizing a rare opportunity, while minimizing your losses from unlucky hole cards. Tight aggressive play allows for quick poker decisions and minimal emotional effect, also known as tilt.

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