How to Play Texas Hold’em Poker?

Texas Hold’em is considered the most popular variation of poker. No wonder why it is most often chosen by professional poker players who regularly make a profit playing for real money. Let’s take a closer look at how to play this promising and interesting game.

History of Texas Hold’em

It is believed that at the beginning of the 20th century, this modification of the usual poker was created by the traveling poker player Blondie, or rather T. Forbes. The main difference between Texas Hold’em and classic poker is the presence of shared cards. This is when this concept appeared. Robstown, Texas, is considered the official place of the game’s beginning. It is not surprising that the name of the state appeared in the name of the game. However, what is the word “Hold’em”? This word comes from the Hold Me Darling poker variant, which was especially popular in the middle of the last century.

Bets in the game

Although Texas Hold’em is a poker variant, it is also divided into several variants. Their difference is insignificant and mainly lies in the maximum available bet size. They are of the following types.

  1. No-Limit. This format is the most popular. There are no restrictions on the size of the maximum bet. The player can play with all their chips on any chosen trading street. This makes it possible to form quite large banks.
  2. Limit bets. No more than four raises are allowed on one trading street.
  3. Pot Limit. Their size depends on the bank at a particular moment of the hand.

Let’s consider the first and most common option. The bets of all players form the pot. They can be voluntary or compulsory. The latter option implies that two players to the dealer’s left have to make “blind bets” called the small and big blind. In most cases, the second option is twice as large as the first. After these bets, players receive pocket cards.

Number of players

Texas Hold’em has a limit on the number of players. Thus, there are different tables in the game:

  • Full Ring — the maximum number of participants, i.e. 10 players;
  • 9-max — 9 participants in the game;
  • 8-max — 8 players;
  • 6-max — 6 poker players;
  • 3-max — three participants;
  • Heads-up — only two players in the game.

The winner is the one who takes the bank formed during the hand and the maximum number of chips. Each player receives two face cards. They need to be matched with the board to make the best combination. It is quite rare to see five cards in common. It is possible to end the hand ahead of time with the help of bluffing or an aggressive style of play.

What are the stages of the game?

Texas Hold’em has four main rounds and a culmination of the game. Let’s take a closer look at these stages.

  1. Preflop. This is the first stage of bidding. After the small and big blinds have made their bets, the participants of the game receive two pocket cards and announce their decision. The small and big blind are the last to do so.
  2. The flop is the second street of the bidding. Three common cards are laid out on the table, which is called the flop. Players compare them with their pocket cards and analyze the chances of success. Moves are made clockwise. The first one belongs to the small blind, the second to the big blind, and so on.
  3. Turn. The bidding continues, but the fourth card on the board is placed on the table.
  4. The River is the stage of the game when the fifth common card appears. If there are at least two players left in the game by this time, the final and fifth stage of poker begins.
  5. Showdown. The player with the strongest combination of cards gets the pot.

What are the card combinations?

A combination of cards in poker is also called a hand. It indicates whether a player has won or lost. There are a lot of variants of card combinations, but you need to know how to use them. A hand in Texas Hold’em consists of two starting cards and three from the board. During the hand, a player can collect the following card combinations.

  1. Flush Royale. Five cards of the same suit in a row from 10 to ace. This is the rarest combination.
  2. High card. If no combination is made, the five highest cards are counted.
  3. Straight is the arrangement of five cards in a row in ascending order.
  4. Pair. Among the five cards of a player, there are two with the same rank.
  5. Two pairs. A hand consists of two pairs of cards with the same rank, for example, a pair of jacks and a pair of queens.
  6. Three-of-a-kind. A player has three cards of the same value, for example, three jacks.
  7. Full House is a rather rare hand that combines a pair and a three-of-a-kind, for example, three aces and two queens. If two players have this hand, the one with the highest rank of three wins.
  8. Flush is a combination of five different cards of the same suit.
  9. Straight Flush occurs when cards of the same suit are in ascending order.
  10. A Quad is a combination of cards when a player has four cards of the same rank in one hand, for example, four queens.

Knowledge of all the above combinations and the rules for their formation is a prerequisite for success.

Positions of players at the table

Seating has a significant impact on how a player acts. There are three options for seating. They can be early, middle, and late. Seating can give a lot of information both to the player and about the player. It depends on how they will act with their cards. The best position at the table is considered to be the dealer, because, in each round, they are the last to make a decision, having the maximum information about the course of the game. This player receives a special chip. It is marked with “Dealer” or just the letter “D.” With each round, this chip should move one position to the left. Thus, all players play the role of a dealer during the game. This system also works in land-based casinos, where players receive cards from a professional croupier.

What actions can game participants take?

Texas Hold’em has a rather interesting list of moves available to players. Each participant in the game should know them well.

  1. Bet is the first action that is placed within one round.
  2. The raise is a favorite technique of poker players when they raise the previous bet.
  3. The call is characterized by the equalization of the previous player’s bet.
  4. A check means skipping a move when a player does not deposit money into the bank. This action is possible only if the players do not raise their bets in the hand.
  5. Fold is a refusal to participate in the hand. That is, from further bidding. The player folds the cards and loses all the chips.
  6. All-in means putting all your chips into the pot. If a player loses, he loses everything he has bet, but if he wins, he takes the pot. This is the most risky and exciting move in the game.

Texas Hold’em requires both skill and talent from its players. No wonder, this game is the most popular variant of poker and the main format of WSOP tournaments. It is no longer just entertainment but rather a sport or even a lifestyle.