Texas Holdem – How to Play

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Texas Holdem is the most popular game of poker in the world. Poker is one of the most popular games found in any casino guide. The game`s birthplace (early 1990s)  is Robstown, a small town from Texas, United States. After its invention and spread throughout Texas, Holdem was introduced to Las Vegas in 1967 by a group of Texan gamblers and card players. Texas Holdem’s popularity exploded in the 2000s due to exposure on television and the Internet. During this time Holdem replaced Seven Card Stud as the most popular game in U.S. casinos.

How to play

Every player is dealt two face down cards. Two players (the ones on the left of the dealer) pay the blind bets (small blind and big blind). The first player after the dealer is the small blind (it is equal to half of the big blind). The second one is the big blind, this being the minimum bet that the other players must pay if they want to play the hand. Here begins a betting round where players can check, raise, re-raise, go all-in or fold.

 Now the dealer dealt the community cards starting with:

The Flop is a series of three community cards that are being placed face up on the table.

After the flop the second betting round starts.

The Turn is the fourth community card placed face up on the table.

This brings us to another betting round.

The fifth and the last community card placed face up on the table is the River.

Here begins the last betting round which leads us to the Showdown.

In a Showdown, the remaining players reveal their face down cards to determine the winner or winners.

Ring games in Texas Hold’em

The players from a usual ring game table have chips that can be cashed out for money. The big blind and small blind never rise (as they do in tournaments). A ring game does not have a start or an end. A player can enter and leave the room whenever he wants to.

Online poker sites provide different types of ring games. Usually you can find tables for two players (these are called heads-up), 4 players, 6 players, or 9 players. A ring game can have different betting structures (for example Pot Limit and No Limit). In a No Limit game players can raise, re-raise with any amount or even go all in at any time they want to. In a Pot Limit game players cannot raise more than the size of the total pot.

Tournaments in Texas Holdem

To enter a tournament the players must first pay a buy-in for which they receive at the beginning of the game an equal value of chips. These chips are used only during the tournament (they have no value outside the game). Mainly these chips are used to determine the players placing. 

Some tournaments have the option to Re-buy or Add-on, by this allowing the players to buy more chips (usually the add-on option is available to all players and the rebuy can be done if a player is low or out of chips). A tournament usually has a predetermined start time and lasts till only one player remains. The number of players in a tournament may reach thousands. During the game blinds rise and sometimes an Ante is introduced.

Online poker sites have different types of tournaments. There are Freerolls (the registration is for free but they have a prizepool in real money), Sit & Go`s (this one is a smaller type of tournament were the game begins when all the seats have been occupied), Guaranteed (the minimum prizepool is well determined before the tournament starts), Freezeout (this kind of tournaments have most of the times only one winner and the prizepool is determined by the sum of total buy-ins made), etc..