Texas Hold’em Basics
Of all the different versions of poker in the world no deposit mobile casino is probably the most popular version being played today. This game is familiar to many non-poker players, some of who have stumbled upon it on television as it is the game played on televised events such as the World Series of Poker and Celebrity Poker Showdown. Poker players are also very familiar with the game with tens of thousands of players playing hold’em online, at casinos, and in home games at any given moment.
Texas Hold’em poker is played at tables with as few as two to ten people. When larger numbers of players wish to play at a new slot sites then more than one table plays at one time. In tournaments two methods are used to determine the winner: 1) players are moved from table to table to balance the tables as players are eliminated or 2) each table plays until a table champion emerges and then the table champions sit at a final table until only one player remains.
Texas Hold’em is, like most great games, easy to learn, but very difficult to master. Let’s look at the basics of how to play the game.
First the dealer deals each player two cards face down these are the players “hole” cards. Players’ hole cards are not shown to the other players; they belong to the player they were dealt to and that player alone.
There is a round of betting based on the strength of the two hole cards making a good hand later.
Then the dealer deals “the flop”. The flop is three “community cards” dealt face up in the middle of the table. Community cards are seen by all players and can be used by anyone to make the best hand they can. At this point the players hand consists of the two hole cards and the three shared cards on the table.
Now that all the players have a five card hand there is another round of betting.
The dealer then turns over a single card “the turn” (sometimes called the fourth street). The players now have six cards available to them to make their hand with, the two hole cards and four community cards.
Again a round of betting takes place.
Now the dealer turns over the last card “the river” (or fifth street). All the players now make the best five card hand they can by combining their hole cards with the community cards. A player may use both, one, or none of their hole cards to make the best hand they can.
The final round of betting takes place. The remaining players show their cards, and the best hand wins the pot.
The Betting Rounds
Texas Hold’em is a poker game, and in poker the skill is in the betting. So, let’s look at the betting that takes place in a Hold’em game.
During a round of betting each player is asked, in turn, what action they would like to take. There are four choices that can be made.
Fold – if they don’t like their cards a player can fold (simply give your cards to the dealer) and sit out the remainder of the hand.
Check – meaning, “I’d like to stay in the hand, but I don’t want to put any money in the pot”. This option can only be exercised if no-one has bet in this round.
Call – match the bet(s) that were made before it was your turn to act but not increase the bet, since all players must contribute to the pot equally.
Raise – increase the bet by more than matching the bet(s) that were made before.
Betting continues until all but one of the players have folded or until all have contributed equally to the pot and no-one wants to increase the bet. With the betting round over the next sequence in the hand takes place.
All poker games offer three basic forms of betting that the players must choose between. The three types of betting are (from least risky to most risky) fixed limit betting, pot limit betting, and the famous no-limit betting.
Fixed (Table) Limit Poker
In a fixed limit poker game the amount that a player is allowed to bet is set ahead of time. The table is often referred to by this amount, thus a $2/$4 hold’em game tells players the amount of the bets at that table ($2 for the first two rounds and $4 for the last two rounds). Online poker rooms offer Texas Hold’em games with limits as low as $.01/$.02. In a $2/$4 hold’em game players receive their cards, then during the first and second rounds of betting a bet is $2. No more, no less. If you choose to raise the bet you can raise by $2. If someone chooses to re-raise, they may re-raise by $2. Most poker rooms stop, or cap, the betting at three or four bets. Then they deal the next card(s).
On the third and fourth round of betting the bets are doubled. In our example, they would be fixed at $4.
In pot limit games a player may only raise as much as is currently in the pot at the time of the bet. This means there are lower betting maximums in the earlier rounds which progressively get higher with each betting round as the pot grows. The pot size in pot limit poker includes the pot on the table plus the all bets on the table plus the amount a player must call before raising.
No-limit poker is the type normally seen on televised poker tournaments such as the World Series of Poker Tournament. In a poker game with no-limit betting there is basically no limit on the amount of money players can bet when it’s their turn. Many players feel that no-limit poker is the ultimate poker game as a player can bet all of his/her chips on a hand. To level the playing field a little, poker tables usually have table maximums, the maximum amount of chips that a player can bring to the table to play with.
Pot limit and no limit poker are versions of the game that are suited for the advanced hold’em player and players learning the basics should spend their time playing fixed limit hold’em. If keeping track of the betting seems confusing, do not worry. If you are playing at a poker room, either online or in a casino, they will keep track of it for you. You will be prompted to bet when it is your turn to act, and they will gently remind you of the amount of the bet.