Poker – How to play Texas Hold’em

Texas Hold’em

ONLINE HOLD’EM, A BRIEF INTRODUCTION

Poker has made its way from the back rooms of rusty steamships to the heart of modern internet culture. From side arms of the Mississippi stream to the core of the data stream that feeds our entertainment society. At the centre stage of the poker hype is, of course, the undisputed king of card games: Texas Hold’em Poker. So what’s all the buzz about? How is the game played and what are the differences between the most-popular variants No Limit, Fixed Limit, and Pot Limit? Stay with us to find out more.

No Limit Texas Hold’em

By far the most-popular poker game of today is played by millions, online and offline, everywhere around the world. The greatest players compete in TV formats and even the unofficial world championship of poker, the main event of the WSOP, is decided by No Limit Hold’em. It’s fast, it’s highly entertaining yet it’s brilliantly simple. There is a famous saying that really sums it up perfectly: “It takes a minute to learn. And a lifetime to master”. You too can learn and master to play No Limit Hold’em poker at bwin.be. Check out the rules and how to play box below to find a detailed explanation or jump right in to the action.

Fixed Limit Texas Hold’em

The name says it all. As the only difference to No Limit games, where players may bet as many of their chips as they want, in Fixed Limit Hold’em the bet size is set in advance. While the bet size equals one big blind pre-flop and on the flop, it doubles to two big blinds on the turn and the river. Also the number of bets is limited to a maximum of four per round: bet, raise, re-raise, and final raise. In Fixed Limit games, it’s predictably cheaper to see flops, therefore it’s likely you will often face more than one opponent post flop. You will have to play a lot of your hands very differently than in a No Limit game. For example, it’s often unprofitable to play draws, since you will have difficulties getting the right value once you hit. Also, bear in mind that a chain of small bets can add up pretty quickly, so always try to plan your hands. While overall Fixed Limit Hold’em involves more strategy and mathematics, it’s still a very beginner-friendly, easy to learn alternative.

Pot Limit Texas Hold’em

A bit of both worlds and a great challenge on its own – Pot Limit Hold’em combines the adrenalin aspect of No Limit with the strategy component of a Fixed Limit game. The rules are all the same as in No Limit, except for the betting structure. The active player is allowed to bet or raise a maximum amount equal to the current pot size but also less. For example: in a game of $1/$2, one player calls and we have a pot of $5. The next player may now put in up to $9, (since after his call of $2, the pot size is $7, he can now raise another $7). Early on in a hand, it’s fairly standard to see pot raises in order to build nice pots and to allow bigger value bets on later streets. Other than in Limit Hold’em, players can raise and re-raise as often as they wish. Bluffing as a tool to win plays a smaller role at earlier points in a hand. You will find it harder to push opponents out pre-flop since the pot limit restricts the pressure you can put on them. However small in the beginning, pots develop exponentially, and so does the drama in this great, often underestimated game.

RULES AND HOW TO PLAY

If you want to learn to play Texas Hold’em with a more direct approach, the bwin.be client offers you the ideal options to jump into a game in play for free and play for real.

You are new to the game and/or want to get accustomed to Hold’em poker before you start playing? Then you will find it very helpful to read through the following section.

  • Dealer Button

The dealer button is a marker that is placed in front of the player who is last to act in that round. It’s moved clockwise from player to player after every hand.

  • Small Blind / Big Blind

Before the cards are dealt, the first and second player to the left of the dealer button post the small blind and big blind respectively. The big blind usually doubles the amount of a small blind and indicates the minimum bet size for this table. Once the blinds are on the table, the following players can either call, raise, or fold.

  • Hole Cards

At the heart of the game are naturally the cards. In Texas Hold’em, every player gets dealt two hole cards, which means these cards are visible only to them. After the hole cards are dealt, a betting round begins and the community cards come off the deck.

  • Community Cards

The five community cards are dealt face up in the middle of the table, visible to everybody. The community cards (also called the board) are not dealt at once but in three separate phases: the flop, the turn, and the river. The flop consists of three cards, with the turn and the river bringing one new card each. Between these phases, players get the chance to bet.

  • Hand Buildup

With the two personal hole cards and the five community cards, every player has a total of seven cards available to them (after the river has been dealt). Out of the seven cards, every player puts together the best-possible hand consisting of five cards. Visit our poker school to find a complete list of possible hands and their values.

  • Bets

Before and after the flop, after the turn and after the river, players get the chance to bet. They can bet as much as they like in No Limit and according to the table limits in Limit Hold’em and Pot Limit Hold’em. If a player has raised, the following players can either call, re-raise or fold.

  • Ways to win

Every pot can be won in one of two ways: A) a player wins by betting and getting no call by other players or B) a player wins by showing the best hand when it comes to a showdown.

  • Split pots

Whenever two or more players have the same five card hand, the pot is split evenly between the players involved. If the pot can not be split perfectly, the odd extra amount will be awarded to the player nearest to the Small Blind position from a clockwise view.

  • Differences between Fixed Limit and Pot Limit

The only difference between No Limit, Limit, and Pot Limit is the betting structure. While in No Limit you are allowed to go all-in whenever it’s your turn, Limit and Pot Limit games only allow you to bet a certain amount. Bear in mind that though this is only a small adjustment, it changes the character of the game significantly.

Cards dealt to each player 2 concealed
Community cards dealt 5
Number of betting rounds 4
Limits Fixed limit
Pot limit
No limit
Blinds or antes Blinds

GAME ADVICE FOR TEXAS HOLD’EM

  • Play good starting hands

Do not enter the betting with any two cards! With ten players around the table, someone will have a better starting hand most of the time. When you enter the game with the second-best hand, your opponent is a favourite to win the pot.

  • The importance of position

In Texas Hold’em, your position remains the same throughout the entire hand. A player that acts after you will act after you all the way to the river. This is a great disadvantage for you. As a rule, play only very strong hands in early position. On the other hand, when you are in a late position, the advantage is yours to exploit.

 

Texas hold’em casino

There are 9 so-called A-plus licenses issued by the Belgian Gaming Commission, which make it possible to offer casino or poker via the internet:

 

 

 

These providers have obtained an official license with one of the real casinos in Belgium for offering online games of chance. They pay federal tax on the income from the games of chance and ensure the protection of (possibly) addicted players.

Poker Hand Rankings Texas Hold’em

Royal Straight Flush

Ten, Jack, Queen, King, Ace of the same suit.

poker - Texas Hold'em

Straight Flush

Straight with all five cards in the same suit.

poker - Texas Hold'em

Four of a kind

Four of a kind is next highest. It consists of the four cards of any one rank together with any fifth card; for example constitute four sevens.

poker - Texas Hold'em

Full House

A full house ranks next; it consists of any three of one kind and any pair of another kind, such as

poker - Texas Hold'em

It is referred to by the three-of-a-kind it contains; the example shown would be “sixes full.”

Flush

A flush, ranking next; it consists of any five cards of the same suit, but not in sequence, as

poker - Texas Hold'em

referred to as a “Queen high Flush”.

Straight

A straight consists of any five cards of two or more suits in sequence of rank, with the ace ranking either high in sequence

poker - Texas Hold'em

or low in the sequence. One does not need to have an ace to have a straight, of course:

poker - Texas Hold'em

any five cards in a row will do.

Three of a Kind

Three of a kind are any three cards of the same rank plus two other cards which do not constitute a pair and do not include the fourth card of the same rank;

poker - Texas Hold'em

would be referred to as “three nines.” Or “trip nines.”

Two Pair

Two pair, which ranks next under three of a kind, consists of two cards of one rank, two cards of another rank, and any fifth card which is neither of those ranks; it is referred to by the higher of the two pairs. Thus,

poker - Texas Hold'em

would be “Queens up.”

One Pair

One pair – any two cards of the same rank, together with three other cards which do not combine with the other two to form any of the higher-ranking hands above:

poker - Texas Hold'em

is a pair of kings.

Ties and kickers

Poker is all about making the best five-card hand from the seven or nine available (five community cards and your own two hole cards in Texas Hold’em, five community cards and your own four hole cards in Omaha and Omaha Hi/Lo). That means in the event of a tie with four of a kind, three of a kind, two pair one pair or high card, a side card or ‘kicker’ comes into play to decide who wins the pot.

Example

Player A has two pair with 10s and 6s and a Queen as the fifth card. Player B has also two pair with 10s and 6s but a 4 as the fifth card. In this case, player A wins with a Queen “kicker”.

With a three of a kind, one pair or high card tie, a second, third or even fourth kicker could come into play to decide the pot. If the kickers can’t decide one overall winner, those players involved will have to share the pot.

Texas hold’em casino

There are 9 so-called A-plus licenses issued by the Belgian Gaming Commission, which make it possible to offer casino or poker via the internet:

 

 

 

These providers have obtained an official license with one of the real casinos in Belgium for offering online games of chance. They pay federal tax on the income from the games of chance and ensure the protection of (possibly) addicted players.

 

Betting Basics Texas Hold’em

All variations of poker include some form of betting. This means that before a player can show down a hand and win the pot (if holding the best hand), the player must match the bets of the other players. The number of betting rounds in each hand differs between the different poker variations. But regardless of the variation, individual betting rounds follow more or less the same pattern.

A typical betting round

In a typical betting round, there is already a pot of a certain size from earlier betting rounds. The player that should start betting is decided by the rules of the variation being played. The betting turn then moves to the player on the left and so on around the table.

FOLD, CHECK, BET OR RAISE

When it is your turn to bet, you have a number of choices. If you do not like your hand, you can always fold – that is, lay down your hand and leave the pot for the other players to contest. If no one has bet before you in this betting round, you may check.

Checking means betting nothing and passing the turn on to the player on your left.

However, if a player before you has bet in this betting round, you cannot check. You can always fold, but if you want to play, you have to either call that bet or raise. Call by putting in a bet of the same size as the last bet made before you. You raise by putting in a bigger bet than the last bet before you.

Example

If, for example, a player before you bet 1, you can call by betting 1 or raise by betting more than 1.

ENDING THE BETTING

When all players have either folded or put an equal amount of bets into the pot, the betting round is over. Now the next card is dealt. Or, if it was the last betting round, the remaining hands are compared to find out who wins the pot. This is called the showdown.

WINNING WITHOUT SHOWING YOUR HAND

If you put in a bet or a raise and all remaining players fold, you win the pot without showing your hand. This is a common event in poker, and it is the reason why it is possible to bluff in poker. You don’t have to show a winning hand to win the pot. Bluffing may not be as common as people think, but is still a typical characteristic of the game of poker.

The First Betting Round

The first betting round is a bit more complicated than the consecutive, typical, betting rounds described above.

BLINDS OR ANTES

Before even the cards are dealt, some or all of the players must put in a mandatory bet, either blinds or antes (see below). This is to create an initial pot to compete for. If no player was forced to bet, players could sit around waiting for the very best hands before playing, and it would cost them nothing. Like that, poker could really be like watching paint dry.

When the mandatory bets have been posted and the cards have been dealt, the first betting round starts. It looks a bit different depending on whether antes or blinds are being used as the mandatory bet.

PLAYING WITH ANTES

An ante is a forced bet that all players must put in before the cards are dealt. It is usually about 10% of the small bet.

When the cards have been dealt, the player to start betting is decided by the rules of the specific variant. When the first player has bet, the betting turn moves to the left around the table just like the typical betting round described above.

PLAYING WITH BLINDS

A blind is a forced bet that some but not all of the players have to put in before the cards are dealt. Usually, it is the two players to the left of the dealer who must each put in a blind. Usually, the first player must put in a smaller bet, called the small blind, while the second player must put in a bigger bet, called the big blind.

Blinds, as opposed to antes, are considered as being live. They count as valid bets in the first betting round.

When the cards have been dealt, the first betting round is initiated by the player to the left of the big blind. Since the big blind counts as a bet, this player may not check. He can always fold, but if he wants to play he must call or raise.

To call, he must put in a bet the size of the big blind. To raise, he must put in a bigger bet than this (at least twice the size of the big blind).

Then the betting moves to the left around the table, much like in the typical betting round described above.

Small blind

If you are in the small blind position when the betting comes around to you, you can either fold, call or raise. Since the small blind counts as a bet, it is a bit cheaper for you to call. If, for example, the small blind is 1, to call a bet of 4 you need to put in another 3. Calling means matching the last bet, and since the blinds are live, you can include your small blind when you calculate the amount needed to call.

Big blind

If you are in the big blind position, when the betting comes around to you, you can still fold, call or raise. Since the big blind also counts as a bet, now it is even cheaper for you to call. In order to call a certain bet, you need to put in an amount equal to that bet minus the size of the big blind.

If, for example, the big blind is 2 and a player has bet 4, you call by simply putting in another 2.

CHECKING IN THE BIG BLIND

If you are in the big blind, the first betting round is a bit special. When the betting turn comes around to you, if no player has raised your big blind, you have the right to either check or bet.

This is a bit different from the typical betting round, and can be a bit confusing for the starting poker player. Not to worry, you will get the hang of it in no time!

Showdown

If more than one player remain in the hand when the last betting round is completed, there is a showdown. This means that the remaining players show their cards to decide who has the best hand.

The showdown starts with the player who was first to put in the last bet. That is, the player who made the bet that the other players called.

Examples

If one player bets 5, another player folds and a third calls the bet, the first player must show his cards first.

If one player bets 10, a second player raises to 20 and the first player calls the raise, it is the second player who must show his cards first, since he was the first player to bet 20.

NOT SHOWING WHEN YOU LOST

In a showdown, when a player before you has shown a hand that beats yours, you do not have to show your hand.

WINNING WITHOUT SHOWING YOUR HAND

If you put in a bet or a raise and all remaining players fold, you win the pot without showing your hand. This is a common event in poker, and it is the reason why it is possible to bluff in this game. You don’t have to show a winning hand to win the pot. Bluffing may not be as common as people think, but is still typical for the game of poker.

 

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March 29, 2020 by : posted in Casino Info, News, Poker No Comments

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