Texas Holdem Poker - Rules, resources and strategy
Welcome to texas-holdem-poker.me.uk. This is a free online resource to improve your poker skills and help you learn how to play texas holdem poker, whether online or offline.
There are many advantages to playing online - you can start with a small stake whilst you are learning - and you don't have to worry about winning all your friends' money once you have learnt. Going into a bricks and mortar casino can be quite daunting, especially if you are on your own. It can be much more convenient to play online at a time and place convenient to yourself.Serious poker is not a game where luck predominates.
Texas Holdem Rules
- The dealing
Every player is dealt two cards face down. In subsequent rounds, community cards are dealt which can be used by all the players. Three community cards are dealt in round two (known as the "flop", and one each in rounds three and four.
- The objective
To make the best five card hand possible using your own and the community cards.
- The Dealer
The dealer deals the cards in a clockwise direction to the players. He shuffles the cards, supervises the betting and keeps the game running smoothly. In a home game, the dealer changes after each game, moving around the table in a clockwise manner. In a professional game in a casino, the dealer deals as though the dealer had changed. The first card is dealt to the person sitting after the pseudo "dealer" - in this way the "dealer" has an advantage because he is the last person playing to act in each game, having watched what each of the other players do first. In professional casinos, a plastic dealer button is used to indicate who the pseudo dealer is - the real dealer moves the button one player to the left each time.
- Two blinds to the left of the button
The rules dictate that there are two forced bets every hand , called the big blind and the small blind. The small blind is half of the low limit betting size and the big blind is the low limit bet size. The small blind is posted by the player sitting directly to the left of the dealer button, and the big blind is posted by the player to the left of him. For example, if you were playing a £5-£10 game the small blind would be £2.50 and the big blind would be £5. In limit hold 'em poker, all bets and raises in the first two rounds are made in increments of £5, all bets in the final round are made in £10 increments.
- Number of cards
Each player is dealt two cards face down by the dealer, one at a time. These are your own private cards, sometimes referred to as "hole" cards. It is important not to let the other players see the cards that you possess.
The first player to act is the player to the left of the player who posted the big blind. He has three options dependent upon the cards he sees in front of him. He can either:
- Call the bet - ie, match the big blind
- Raise the bet - by doubling the big blind
- Fold - which is stating that you do not wish to proceed further in this round and returning your cards face down to the centre of the table.
- Subsequent play in the first round
Subsequent players get the same set of choices. The first two players, who placed the blinds, may also raise their bets. The small blind better can up his bet to that of the big blind (in our scenario by increasing his bet by £2.50 - this would mean that he calls) or raise the bet by increasing his bet by £7.50 to a total of £10. The big blind can also raise his bet too (by £5 in the example quoted), or he can check.
- The second round
After the first round is complete, the dealer deals three "community cards" face up for us by all the players. The first remaining player who is left of the button commences play in the second round. The players have the same options as before, plus another one - "check". When a player checks he does not make a bet, but retains the option to call bets or raise later in the game. Note that in the second round, bets and raises are equal to the lower limit betting size - in our example, £5.
- The third round
At the start of the third round, the dealer deals a fourth community card. Sometimes this card can be referred to as the turn or the fourth street. Now the third round of betting begins, starting with the player who is closest to the left of the button who has not already folded. At the stage, the stakes double. So in our example, the stakes become £10. A maximum of three raises are allowed in each betting round.
- The fourth and final round
The fifth community card is dealt. Bets and raises in our example would be £10.
- The showdown
At this stage, anyone remaining in the game has the option of showing their hand and winning the pot. The person who bet last is the first to show their hand, and it continues round in a clockwise manner. Each player can choose to either show their cards, or "muck" them, so their opponents cannot see what they played. The majority of online poker rooms let you automatically muck a losing hand - it is usually a good idea to take this option.
Texas Holdem is one of the most spectacular and appealing variants of Poker in the world. It has its popularity spread out in the world and can be played and enjoyed online through many sites.
Tip: in online poker, tick the box that allows you to automatically muck a losing hand.