Thursday, June 11, 2009

How to Play Texas Hold 'Em Poker

Texas Hold 'Em Poker is one of the most popular poker card games. It is the one card game you see on television quite often. It is a community type of poker and that is why it is so fun to play. Everyone gets involved.

There are three different variations of Texas Hold 'Em:

No Limit Texas Hold 'Em (a player can bet all of his/her chips whenever they want) (aka All-In)

Limit Texas Hold 'Em (there is a betting limit on each game and each round) (This is the safest one since there is a limit how much you can bet. Recommended for beginners.)

Pot Limit Texas Hold 'Em (the max betting for each round is set by the pot. For example, the pot is $20. You cannot bet higher than $20.)

A setup example will be used to explain how Texas Hold 'Em works.

Everyone starts with $1000 worth of chips. The blinds are $5/$10 and each round is 30 minutes.

Object of the Texas Hold 'Em Game

To make the best hand as possible when given two cards and five cards as the community. The best five card combination wins.

The Dealer

To start off we need to know who the dealer will be. So someone shuffles the cards and gives one card to each player. The person with the highest card will be the dealer. To signify he/she is the dealer, a small chip that has the word dealer will be placed next to them. After each hand is played the dealer chip will move clockwise to the next person.

Blinds for Texas Hold 'Em

The person left of the dealer has to put in the small blind. The small blind which was stated earlier is $5.

The person that is left of the small blind will post the big blind. The big blind is double the small blind which is $10.

The big blind will be the amount each player has to pay to play in the round.

The dealer shuffles.

After the blinds are posted each player will be dealt two cards face down. Do not show your hand to anyone else. The player left of the big blind starts the betting round.

Betting Round #1 of Texas Hold 'Em

The player left of the big blind has three options. The player can either bet (post $10), raise, or fold. Depending on the strength of their hand a player can bet to play in the round. If the player thinks the hand they were dealt is very strong then they can raise. The minimum raise is dependent on the big blind thus it would be $10. For example, the bet is $10 plus you raise $10 making it $20. If the player does not think they have a good hand they can fold. "Fold" is when a person does not bet and will be out of this round.

The next person can "call" if the person before them bets the minimum $10 or raises. To "call" is matching the bet of the previous person. The two other options are to re-raise or fold. Re-raise is calling the previous person and raising. For example, the raise previously was $20. You call the $20 and raise $10 more making it $30. If the player does not want to bet the $10 or raise they would fold. This continues on until it reaches the person that posted the big blind.

The person with the small blind would have to put in another $5 if no one else raised to stay in the round. If not the player can fold. If there was a raise the player can call or re-raise.

The person with the big blind has another option besides call, re-raise, or fold. And that is simply a "check". "Check" is basically staying with your bet. You don't fold or raise. This can only happen if no one else raises. So for intended purposes let's say that everyone bets the minimum amount which is $10. The person that posted the big blind will check. All the money that is bet in the rounds is called the "pot".

(In any betting round if all players fold except one that person gets the pot)

Betting Round #2 of Texas Hold 'Em

The dealer will "burn" one card. "Burning" is when you put a card face down into the junk pile. A junk pile is not used for anything. The dealer will then deal the flop (three cards face up onto the table). These cards are the community cards. Any player can use the community cards with the two cards in their hand to make the best five card combination possible. Betting Round #2 begins.

The person left of the dealer (the player that placed the small blind) gets to make the first decision. The player can either check, fold, or raise. If the player checks, then the next player can check as well. If the player raises the other players do not have an option to check. If the player checks and the next person raises, then the player that checked has to call, fold, or re-raise when it is their turn. Again the minimum bet this round is $10.

Betting Round #3 of Texas Hold 'Em

The dealer burns one card and places the "turn" down. "Turn" is the fourth card dealt face up. This card is for the community. Betting round #3 begins.

Just like round #2 the player left of the dealer makes the decision first. Everything is the same from round #2.

Betting Round #4 of Texas Hold 'Em

The dealer burns one card and deals the last card face up called the "river". Again this card is for the community. Betting round #4 begins.

Everything is exactly like round #2 and round #3.

The Showdown of Texas Hold 'Em

Whoever left is playing flips both cards over so everyone can see. The person with the best combination wins the pot. Players can use any combination from your hand and the community cards to make the best five hand possible (One card from hand and four cards from community, two cards from hand and three cards from community, or five cards from community).

If two players or more have the same hand, then the pot is split equally and given to the players.

Once the round is over the dealer chip moves clockwise to the next person. The next round begins.

Every 30 minutes or however minutes you set the blinds go up. For example, the blinds started at $5/$10. After 30 minutes the blinds will be $10/$20. This will keep the Texas Hold 'Em game from lasting forever.

Whoever has all the money by the end of the Texas Hold 'Em game wins.

Texas Hold 'Em can be played with a lot of people. However, it can get crowded so a table of 6-10 is preferable.

I will post up later on the best combinations in Texas Hold 'Em.