Knowing how to play Texas holdem in a casino can make your gambling experience much more profitable. With a little skill and practice, you can manipulate the odds in a Texas holdem game so that they’re actually in your favor. And since Texas holdem is so popular, you’ll always be able to find a game in which you can play.
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How Texas Holdem Works
Most people grow up playing poker games where each player has their own set of cards, or their own hand. Texas holdem is a poker game that uses “community cards,” which are cards that all the players at the table share. Multiple poker games use community cards, but Texas holdem is the most popular of these kinds of games in the United States.
In Texas holdem, each player receives two cards in their hand. They then combine the two cards in their hand with the five community cards on the “board” in order to determine whether or not they have the best hand.
Texas holdem uses standard poker hand rankings.
In Texas holdem, a player can use any combination of the two cards in their hand and the five community cards on the board to make the best possible five card hand. If all players use the five community cards to create the best hand, they all split the pot.
And, like in any other poker game, if you fold, you forfeit your right to the pot.
How Texas Holdem Is Dealt
The game of Texas holdem has multiple rounds of dealing, each of which is followed by a round of betting. The deal happens in the following order:
The hole cards.
The hole cards are dealt first. Those are the two face down cards that each player gets to start their hand with. A round of betting follows the deal of the hole cards.
After that round of betting, the flop is dealt. The flop consists of three card dealt face up on the board. When the flop is dealt, most of the information that can be known about the hand is out there. There are only seven cards in a game of holdem, and five of them are known after the flop is dealt.
The flop is also followed by a round of betting.
The turn is a single card dealt after the betting on the flop. It’s followed by another round of betting, but the limits on the bets go up on the last two rounds of betting in a Texas holdem game.
The river is the fifth community card that’s dealt. It’s followed by a final round of betting, and the winner is determined by the best hand.
If at any point in a hand there’s only one player left–in other words, if everyone folds, the player still in the hand wins the pot by default.
Limit Holdem, Pot Limit Holdem, and No Limit Holdem
Texas holdem is played with table limits. In limit holdem, the amounts of the bets are set. For example, if you’re playing in a $3/$6 Texas holdem game, the bets during the first two betting rounds are in amounts of $3, while the bets in the final two rounds are in amounts of $6.
In a pot limit holdem game, the player can bet as much money as the pot contains. So if there’s $100 in the pot, a player can bet $100.
In a no limit holdem game, a player can bet as much money as They has in front of their at the table.
If a player can’t cover a raise, they don’t automatically lose. They’re only able to win the amount that they can cover, and a side pot is created for the differences. In real life, people don’t usually lose their wives or houses just because they don’t have enough money on the table to call a bet.
A Simple Texas Holdem Strategy Tutorial for Beginners
If you’re just getting started at Texas holdem, you can use the following strategy to keep yourself afloat and avoid losing crazy amounts of money really quickly.
First of all, you need to have starting hand requirements. The strength of the two hole cards you’re dealt should determine whether or not you even play a hand. The best possible hole cards you can have are a pair of aces, while the worst is a deuce seven offsuit.
Pairs in the hole are often playable. Suited connectors, which are two cards that can potentially generate a straight, a flush, or a straight flush, are also sometimes playable, but they’re speculative. Having an ace with another lower ranked card can sometimes be playable, but usually only if they’re of the same suit. (You’re hoping for an ace high flush.)
But the strength of your hole cards aren’t the only thing to consider when deciding whether or not to fold before the flop. Your position matters too. If you’re acting early in the betting round, and you have a marginal hand, you’re better off folding, because someone behind you might hold strong cards and raise your bet, forcing you to fold.
If you’re acting late in the betting round, and you have a speculative hand, then calling can be a good strategy if you can get into the pot cheap, especially if there are a lot of players in the pot. You won’t win very often with speculative hands, but if you’re in late position, and a lot of players are in the pot with you, you’ll get a big payoff when you do win.
Then once the flop hits, you have to decide again whether or not to continue to play your hand. Look at how well the flop complements the hole cards you have. If you have a pair of aces, and the flop comes KK8, and the 8 matches the suit of one of the kings, you’ve got a lot of potential things to worry about. Anyone holding an ace probably has you beat. Anyone with two suited cards that match the two suits on the board has a strong flush draw. You’re better off folding.
On the other hand, if you have pocket aces, and an ace hits the flop, you’re in good shape. Or if you have an ace and a king of the same suit, and the flop comes up with two more cards of that suit–you’ve got a good chance at drawing to a flush.
Your betting strategy as a Texas holdem beginner should be pretty simple. Bet, raise, or fold. Calling and checking is for suckers. If your hand is strong enough to play, then it’s strong enough to bet or raise with. If it’s not strong enough to play, save your money and fold.
Most beginners will be able to hold their own with just that little bit of Texas holdem strategy advice, but there’s a lot more to the game’s strategy than just that. Even understanding starting hands can take quite a bit of study and practice to figure out.
I’ll add more Texas holdem strategy articles to the site as it grows.