If you want to learn how to play Texas Holdem Poker and the Texas Holdem Poker rules, you are in the right place! Real money Texas Hold’em Poker is a betting game beloved by many Americans due to its capitalistic nature. You need luck, skill, and risk-taking abilities in order to be a good player. Of course, you can also play Texas Hold’em for free, but it is not the same as playing for real cash. Continue reading our guide to learn how to play the game of Texas Holdem Poker and the Texas Holdem Poker rules.
How to Play Texas Holdem Poker
In this game, there are community cards which are shared by all players. These cards are placed on the table, and everyone can see them. Each player receives two hole cards at the beginning. Then, all players make their bets. Afterward, the flop which consists of three community cards is shown in the middle of the table. Then, all players place wagers once again. After another card is shown, the players bet again. Then comes the final community card, and the last bets are made.
In poker you can call, check, bet, raise, or fold. If you choose to fold, you do not get any money from the pot at the end, but you do not have to give any more money to it. After all of the betting rounds have ended, players show their cards, and the one with the best hand wins the pot. If there is a tie, the players split the winnings among themselves.
Forced bets are one area where Texas Hold’em differentiates with other poker games. Usually, all poker games have a forced bet because it would be boring if you could always drop out when your hand is bad.
The forced bet is usually known as ante, but in Texas Hold’em it is called a blind. There is a small and big blind each hand and they rotate after the end of the play. The big blind is around two times larger than the small blind and two times smaller than the maximum bet.
We should also mention the betting limits. In the first two betting rounds, the betting limit is two times smaller than the one in the next two betting rounds.
Most of the times, there are not any wildcards in Texas Hold’em, so regular poker hand combinations are used. Continue reading our guide to learn how to play Texas Holdem Poker and the Texas Holdem Poker rules.
Texas Hold’em Poker VariationsHere are some gaming variations for those who want to know how to play Texas Holdem Poker.
If you choose to play a limit Texas Hold’em Poker, there are fixed betting limits. So, if you play a $2/$5 game, then you cannot just raise to 100$. That way the game becomes predictable and you can calculate the costs of each hand. Then you decide if it is worth it to play or not by comparing the odds on the table with the odds of you winning.
As you probably guessed by the name, pot limit means that the bet is decided by the amount currently in the pot. So, if the pot has 50$ in it, then the maximum bet can be the same amount.
Here, you can bet whatever amount you like because there are no limits. If you wager 150$ and the pot is 50$, then you have good chances of winning due to the other players folding, but the amount that you are going to win is not huge. Also, if the opponent cannot match your bet, he can make a side pot with the amount of money they can afford to risk, and that way they cannot win anything else on the table.
If you know how to play texas holdem poker, then you know that ring games do not have an end. Well, they do, but that is because there is no interest, not because someone won or lost. People rotate endlessly – some come in, others come out. The limit is always consistent, so some players can make a profit by using math and folding a lot of hands.
With tournaments, you have the concept of winning and losing. A player has to buy in before he can start playing. The chips do not have a set value but are only used so that you can keep track of how good you are doing. Their value depends on the number of players left, the prize pot, and the blinds. That is not the case with ring games where the chips correspond to a dollar value.
Another thing which is different with tournaments is that the blinds change so that the game can eventually end. They grow at a pre-determined rate after a particular number of hands or after a period. When the blinds get large enough, players cannot fold because they do not like their hand, so the game comes to an end.
There is a difference between many of the tournaments due to the variety of formats. The World Series of Poker is the most popular Texas Hold’em poker tournament. There are many tables, and the buy-in is 10000$. A person plays until he has lost his chips or won.
You have probably heard of sit and go tournaments. The buy-in is a small amount, and the game starts when there are enough players, so there is no schedule.
The prize pot consists of the buy-ins made by players. The money is redistributed differently – some places offer cash for places, others have a “winner takes all” policy. For sit and go tables the reward is split between the last 3 players and each one receives a different percentage.
Some players prefer to play in tournaments due to the attractive prizes, so their strategy is different when compared to ring game players. Continue reading our guide to learn how to play Texas Holdem Poker and the Texas Holdem Poker rules.
Even though the concept of how to play texas holdem poker is having two hole cards, there are some variations which are exceptions to this rule. It is not clear if they are different games, but we will mention them anyway.
In Omaha Poker you have four hole cards, but otherwise, the rules are similar to Texas Hold’em. However, the players need to use two cards from the hole cards and three from the community cards when creating the final hand. Another thing worth mentioning is that low ranked hands also receive a part of the pot, which makes the strategy for this game completely different.
In Pineapple hold’em poker there are three hole cards, and the game has two variations – you either remove one of the three cards before the betting rounds, or you play by the “Crazy Pineapple” rules and keep the three cards until the betting after the first three community cards are shown. Then you need to remove one card.
There is another version named “Lazy Pineapple” or “Tahoe Pineapple”. There you do not have to remove any cards from your hand.
“Super Hold’em” is almost the same as Pineapple, but you can keep the three cards in your hand and make a hand from six cards at the end.
“Doble Flop Hold’em” has two flops, so you can choose one of them when building your hand.
Free vs. Real Money Texas Hold’em Poker
Some people buy poker chips and play the game without betting anything. Now, you can do that online as well. That way it is easier to learn how to play texas holdem poker without losing money in the beginning.
However, some people do not see the point in playing gambling games when real money is not involved. Poker experts state that the game is fun only if you play for a significant amount of money. Otherwise, you would not make the same decisions.
The best amount of money to play with is the one which will affect you if you lose but not to the degree where you cannot pay your rent and bills. This concept can be applied to almost any betting game. If the amount of money you bet is not significant to you, then we suggest playing for free or choosing other games like solitaire.
For United States customers, playing online poker is a challenging task. Most poker websites do not accept US customers since the government took serious actions against Full Tilt Poker and PokerStars. Nowadays, most poker sites do not have a lot to offer, and it is difficult to deposit and withdraw money.
In some states like Delaware and New Jersey, online poker is legal, although the regulations are relatively strict. You can play for real money only if you are a resident of the state.
Before, PokerStars and Full Tilt Poker used to have free poker websites that served the purpose of attracting potential customers to the real money versions. Now, you can try playing at ClubWPT which is not free, because you have to pay a monthly subscription. However, the chips cannot be exchanged for real money.
You can also try and look for a bar which has Texas Hold’em Poker tournaments which are usually free and at the end; you can even win a small prize pot.
We suggest free poker if you want to learn how the game is played before diving deep into the real money version. Continue reading our guide to learn how to play Texas Holdem Poker and the Texas Holdem Poker rules.
Even though people from the United States cannot play at most of these websites, we will still mention them for our other readers. Some them offer mobile money betting.
This is the most popular online poker site where you can see how to play texas holdem poker, so if you are not living in the USA, we are firmly suggesting you give them a try. You will find the biggest number of poker players there – varying between 15000 and 30000.
The Merge Gaming Network
Web sites which are a part of this network accept US customers, so we decided to mention them. They are not very popular, but you can still use them as an alternative. The most famous website they have is CarbonPoker.
The Chico Poker Network
The Chico Poker Network is another place where players from the States are welcome. Their name underwent a lot of changes. They were previously known as the “Action Poker Network”, and “Tiger Gaming”.
Even though we are not impressed by 888Poker’s software, they still have a good number of players online at any time, but that number cannot be compared to PokerStars.
Even though Bodog focuses mostly on sports betting, the website still offers casino and poker games. Their popularity can be compared to 888Poker.
Winning Poker Network
Previously known as the Yatahay Network, the Winning Poker Network has some of the biggest websites which accept monetary transactions from the US. Their most popular site is True Poker.
Before, party poker was the biggest poker site out there, but Full Tilt Poker and PokerStars managed to overtake it. It is still a giant in the industry, and the traffic there is similar to the one at 888Poker and Bodog. Continue reading our guide to learn how to play Texas Holdem Poker and the Texas Holdem Poker rules.
Texas Hold’em Poker Strategy
If you are looking to play the game using real money, then you should spend some time learning about strategies.
How to overcome the rake
Poker rooms usually take around 5% of the pot, so the player needs to play above the average level just only to break even. If you play against equally-matched players and you win the same amount of money as them, you will break even. However, when the poker room takes 5% of the pot, then you lose the same amount. That is why you need to be 5% better than the average if you do not want to lose any money.
Starting hand requirements
The first thing poker players need to know is how to decide if they should enter a hand or not. Most beginners do not place huge importance on the two cards they have in their hands, because there are five more to be drawn, but that is not the right mindset if you want to have better odds of winning.
In a way, having a good hand will give you a head start over your opponents. You should divide the hands into playable and not playable.
- Pairs – Pairs are usually playable hands. The higher the pair, the bigger chance you have of winning. If you have a pair of aces or kings, you should consider playing preflop. Other pairs such as 10s, Queens, and Jacks are also playable. If you have a lower pair, then the decision becomes harder because you have to hope for a three of a kind.
- Suited connectors – By suited connectors, we mean cards which have the potential of giving you a straight or flush. There is a huge difference between a hand of suited ten and a queen, and between unsuited ones.
- Big little suited – If you have an ace or a king combined with a small card of the same suit, then you need to hope for a quick flush on the flop.
- Ace king/queen offsuit – These hands are still playable, although the potential is not that great. Continue reading our guide to learn how to play Texas Holdem Poker and the Texas Holdem Poker rules.
It is important to consider the position you are in when you are making a decision. If you have a 2 and an ace of the same suit, and you are the first one who bet, you can judge the strength of your opponents’ cards. If all of your opponents bet, it is very likely that one of them will have a better hand, so you should consider folding. However, if you were the last one to make a decision in that hand, then you would have saved some chips.
As you can see, positioning is crucial in poker and you need to master in order to to learn how to play texas holdem poker. The later you have to make a decision, the better your chances are. A good general recommendation is to play the best 20% of the hands you get before the flop.
Play after the flop
Beginners, that are making their first deposit, are advised to fold if the flop does not improve their current hand. For example, it they have a pair of 6s, and the flop is K63, you should play more aggressive. If someone had a pair of kings, they would have probably raised preflop.
If the flop does not improve your hand at all, your chances do not look good, so it is better to fold than to risk losing more chips.
Tight Aggressive Style
Your playing style is a combination of the hands you play, and how often you raise instead of checking or calling. Tight players usually only play good hands, which means they also fold a lot. The opposite can be said for loose players. Aggressive players bet and raise more cash than passive players, and we would suggest that you stick to the first group.
Being a tight and aggressive player is probably the most efficient playing style. You fold most of the hands, but when your hand is good, you are aggressive by raising often. That way your opponents are faced with a decision – if they fold, you win the money in the pot, and if they call, your cards are usually strong enough to win the play.
However, being a loose and aggressive player can also be beneficial. That way you win lots of small pots, and this can negate your losses.
If you are a tight passive player, you will lose your chips very slowly. When you make a bet or raise, your opponents probably know that you have good cards and fold.
The worst style you can have is a loose passive player because you rarely have good cards and often just call. Don’t use it if you know how to play texas holdem poker.
A way to improve your game is by striving to be more aggressive and tight. If the hand is not good enough to raise with, then it is probably not a good idea to call.
Players think of bluffing as a huge game changer, but the reality is that winning players rarely use it. You should always keep in mind against how many opponents are you playing because if there are more of them, it is way harder to bluff them all. Playing against two people is a good time to try and bluff.
Another thing worth considering is the playing style of your opponent. That way you can guess if he is going to call your bluff or not.
Semi-bluffing means that you do not have the best hand, but it is still reasonably strong and can be improved.
Imagine that you have a pair of 2s, one of them 2 of hearts, and the flop is KJ7 of hearts. That is not good because the opponent probably has a pair of Kings or Jacks. However, he may think that you have a flush, and you have the opportunity to try and bluff him. If he calls, you can still get a good card on the turn or on the river, which can be either a 2 or another heart.
We suggest reading some poker strategy books if you want to learn more about how to play texas holdem poker and improve at it.
Texas Hold’em Poker has all the traits of being an American game, but unfortunately, Americans do not have a lot of opportunities to play it online. However, that may not be the case in the future, and we will monitor the situation.
There are free versions of the game, but we think that their only purpose is to help you learn how to play before making the jump towards real money poker, even if it is not online.
Of course, each game becomes more entertaining if you are good at it, so it is always worth it to spend some time and read about different strategies.