Introduction to Texas Holdem Poker
Among the poker variants commonly played in India, it’s safe to say Texas Holdem Poker is the most
popular. The world stages also host marquee events that are played in this variation of the game.
Without further adieu, let’s look at Texas Holdem rules and how the game is played.
Each player is dealt two hole cards in a game of Texas Holdem poker. Gameplay always moves clockwise on a table beginning with action starting to the left of the dealer button. The first two players to the left of the button have to contribute a small amount to the pot at the beginning of the game; commonly known as small and big bling. The action then begins on multiple streets.
How to play Texas Holdem Poker
The button position is an indication of who the acting dealer is. According to Texas Holdem poker rules the player on the button will be the last to act on all post-flop streets. On completion of a hand, the button position always moves one position to the left. The position of the dealer button indicates the first players to act with the small and big blind, but it also tells us from where the dealing of the cards begin. The small blind, who is to the left of the dealer button, will receive the first card and the rest of the cards are dealt in a clockwise motion until all players receive both their hole cards.
Before every hand, the first two players to the left of the dealer are obliged to post blinds or
a forced wager. The first player to the left of the dealer posts the small blind, the player to
the left of the small blind posts the big blind. The big blind is mostly double of the small
Before every new round, two players at the table are obligated to post blinds or forced bets. Blinds are an essential part of texas Holdem poker tournaments. As the number of players decreases and the stack of the remaining players increase, blinds keep increasing to ensure smooth texas Holdem poker gameplay. However, in Texas Holdem poker cash games, the blinds remain the same for a given limit of which the game is being played.
The objective of texas Holdem poker
The objective of texas Holdem poker is to form the best five-card texas Holdem poker sequence with a combination of the two
hole cards and five community cards.
In texas Holdem poker every player receives two cards face down known as hole cards. The hole cards remain concealed through all the rounds of wagering and are revealed only at the end, known as a showdown. Texas Holdem poker rules further dictate that five cards known as the community cards be displayed in the middle of the table for the players to use in conjunction with their two hole cards, to make the best possible five-card texas Holdem poker sequence.
The community cards are displayed in the middle of the poker table in three phases; namely the flop, the turn and the river. The flop consists of three community cards that are revealed in one go after the first round of wagering. The turn adds the fourth card after the second round of wagering and the river the fifth and final card after the third and final round of wagering. Once all community cards are revealed players must make their best possible five-card texas Holdem poker sequence. The possibilities are:
- 2 hole cards + 3 community cards.
- 2 hole card + 4 community cards.
- No hole card + 5 community cards.
The player with the best texas Holdem poker sequence wins the pot which is a sum of all the wagers placed during the hand.
What are the Texas Holdem poker rules?
First round of wager
- The round commences once all the hole cards are dealt to all the players.
- The first player to act is the player will always be the player left of the big blind. The player also known as Under the Gun has three action options:
- Call: match the amount of the big blind.
- Raise: increase the wager within the limits of the texas Holdem poker game.
- Fold: discard hands and are no longer eligible to play the round.
- The remaining players have the same three actions: call, raise or fold.
- This round occurs before the flop is revealed amongst the community cards and is also known as ‘pre-flop’ wager.
Second round of wager
- After the first preflop wager, the first three community cards are revealed on the table.
- The second wager round and all subsequent rounds commence with the first active player to the left of the dealer button.
- The actions remain the same. However, in this round, the player also receives an additional action of ‘check’ that can be used only if no wager action has occurred prior.
Third round of wager
- At the end of the second round of wager, the turn card is revealed amongst the five community
- The third round of wager commences with the player to the left of the dealer button.
- Wager actions remain the same as the previous street.
Final round of wager
- After the third round of wager, the river, the final community card is revealed.
- The final round of wager begins with the same actions exercisable.
- Once the wagering action is complete, the remaining players in the hand reveal their hold cards to determine who has the best texas Holdem poker sequence.
All players in the hand reveal their hole cards and with the assistance of a dealer, the winning hand is determined.
What is a Texas Holdem poker sequence?
The below texas Holdem hand ranking is the guide to form your best five-card texas Holdem poker sequence.
- Royal Flush — five cards of the same suit, ranked ace through ten; A♥K♥Q♥J♥10♥
- Straight Flush — five cards of the same suit and consecutively ranked; 9♣8♣7♣6♣5♣
- Four of a Kind — four cards of the same rank; Q♣Q♥Q♦Q♠4♦
- Full House — three cards of the same rank and two more cards of the same rank; J♣J♥J♠8♦8♥
- Flush — any five cards of the same suit; A♠J♠8♠5♠2♠
- Straight — any five cards consecutively ranked; Q♣J♦10♥9♠8♦
- Three of a Kind — three cards of the same rank; 8♣8♠8♦K♣4♥
- Two Pair — two cards of the same rank and two more cards of the same rank; A♠A♣J♦J♣7♠
- One Pair — two cards of the same rank; 10♥10♣9♥4♦2♦
- High Card — five unmatched cards; A♣J♦10♠5♣2♥ would be called "ace-high"
Players make their best possible five-card texas Holdem poker sequence from the available seven cards. For example, if the community cards have run 9♣5♠K♦3♠A♥, a player was dealt to hole cards, let's say A♦9. The best possible texas Holdem poker sequence here is a two pair, a pair of aces and a pair of nine. Even if another player is dealt let's say 9♦9♥ and hits a set on the flop, this player will win the pot since the texas Holdem hand ranking indicates he made a stronger combination.
How to play texas Holdem poker online?
The rules, strategies, hand ranking and sequences remain the same for a game of online texas Holdem poker. Choose a trusted poker website and select from a range of texas Holdem poker games. Most poker sites have a separate tab for this poker variant. Enjoy the comfort of a texas Holdem online poker game by downloading the app and enjoy the game on the go!
How to calculate the odds in Texas Holdem poker?
A game of texas Holdem poker is all about playing the odds. The following calculations give you the odds of achieving a specific texas Holdem poker sequence. As the odds of achieving your ideal texas Holdem hand increases, you might want to rethink your action. Use these texas Holdem poker odds to your advantage:
- 1 per cent (1-in-100): Percentage of time that no player holds an Ace or a King at a table in a 10-handed game
- 1 per cent (1-in-100): Percentage of time that two-hole suited cards flop a flush
- 6 per cent (about 1-in-20): Percentage of time that five community cards will give pocket suited hole cards a flush
- 6 per cent (about 1-in-20): Percentage of time that you’ll be dealt a pocket pair
- 8 per cent (about 1-in-12): Percentage of time that you’ll hit a set after having a pair on the flop
- 12 per cent (about 1-in-8): Percentage of time that you’ll hit a set if your hole cards are a pocket pair
- 12 per cent (about 1-in-8): Percentage of time that two more cards will flop in the same suit as a suited pocket pair
- 19 per cent (about 1-in-5): Percentage of time that the five community cards will at least trip your pocket pair
- 32 per cent (about 1-in-3): Percentage of time that you’ll pair one of your cards on the flop (with no pocket pair)
- 33 per cent (about 1-in-3): Percentage of time that you’ll make a full house or better after having trips on the flop
- 35 per cent (about 1-in-3): Percentage of time that you’ll make a flush on the turn or river if you have four cards to a flush after the flop
Basic Texas Holdem Poker Strategy
- Playing and learning a game of texas Holdem poker is one thing, but winning consistently is another thing. This when you need to have a basic understanding of texas Holdem poker strategy. Here are a few to get you started:
- Begin with a game of texas Holdem poker that has the smallest limits. It would also be ideal to look for texas Holdem online free games. This way you keep your initial investment as low and your mistakes while learning will not cost you much.
- Start with a limit texas Holdem poker table instead of the no-limit tables. This way a single mistake won’t cost you your entire stack.
- Study Texas Holdem poker pot odds and use them effectively to make decisions.
- Learn to focus on playing only your best starting texas Holdem poker hand Most players play too many hands and lose focus and get impatient.
- While you learn the ropes of texas Holdem rules, don’t bluff. When you have a good hand wager and raise and when you have a mediocre hand check and fold. Keep the bluffing for a later stage.
- These are texas Holdem poker thumb rules you should take to the grave:
- A full house is a monster sequence and rarely loses in a Texas Holdem poker game.
- Flushes follow suit
- Followed by three of a kind or a set
- These are three great texas Holdem poker sequences with favourable odds.
- Practice your money’s worth with all the texas Holdem free online games. Gradually raise in stakes cause there’s only that much texas Holdem poker strategy you can learn at zero stake.
- Move to micro limit texas Holdem poker tables. The stakes are as low as .05 /.10. With some real money at stake, your texas Holdem poker strategy improves.
- Always focus on playing the best possible texas Holdem poker game. Whether you play a texas Holdem free online game or a micro stakes game, treat each game like it’s all-in or nothing.
- The best position in a texas Holdem poker table is the dealer button. The player gets to view how the other players play their hands before they decide to play their hand. The blinds and under the gun are the weakest positions. The idea is to play fewer texas Holdem hands from the weak positions and more poker hands from the best positions.
- Focus on the game all the time. Observe what your opponents are folding. Note down patterns and playing style as your progress in a game of texas Holdem poker.