How to Play Texas Holdem Poker
It's never too late to learn how to play Texas Hold'em poker. Fun, challenging and fast-paced, this poker version will increase your ability to think strategically. It can also increase your cash-flow when you play for money in live games or online.
A game of Texas Hold'em begins when two bets are posted. These are referred to as blind bets, because they are made before a single card is dealt in the game. The purpose of the bets is to furnish the pot. A big blind and a small blind, which is usually half the larger bet's amount, are posted by the two players seated to the left of the dealer. Once the blinds have been posted, the dealer awards all players (up to ten) with two cards and the game begins. Play proceeds in a clockwise direction with each player taking a turn at operating as the dealer.
After each player has received two cards, the first round of betting commences starting with the player seated next to the one that placed the big blind. Bets are placed into the pot. In each betting round, a player can choose to call, raise or fold based on the cards he holds. He can also 'check' if no other player has made a bet in the round. This passes his turn on to the next player.
Starting from the pre-flop, it is important to consider the type of hand you are trying to make. The strongest hand in a game of Texas Holdem is the royal flush. This is a hand of five cards of the same suit featuring an Ace, King, Queen, Jack and Ten. These hands can be rare in poker. However, a variety of other card combinations can help you win the game. It is crucial that you familiarize yourself with the cards that make up Straights (five cards in sequential order), Flushes (any five cards of the same suit) and a Full House (two cards of one value and another three cards of another value).
Following the betting, the 'flop' takes place where three 'community' cards are dealt face up. At the end of the flop, another betting round takes place.
This is followed by the dealing of a fourth community card. This card is the Turn and a third betting round takes place after it has been drawn.
The final community card is known as the River and initiates the fifth and final betting round in the game. If you have a strong hand and need one more card to make up a straight or flush, the River card is your last opportunity to make a winning hand.
The last stage is final showdown. If a player bets and all others fold, he will receive the entire contents of the pot without having to show his cards. However, if more than one player bets, all players must reveal their poker hands. The player that is in possession of the strongest hand made up of his first two cards and the five community cards dealt throughout the course of the game receives the contents of the pot.