Understanding The Strategy And Rules Of Texas Hold’em Poker
Those who have ever stayed up late watching television have probably come across a channel or two showing footage of individuals sitting around a table playing poker. A few years ago poker shows were all the rage as the game grabbed at the imagination not only of Americans, but of players from all over the world. That is all fine and good, but many would-be players never become players because they don’t understand what is really happening in the game or how they could learn no limit texas holdem strategy.
The Basic Rules
No limit texas holdem rules are fairly straightforward to learn. They revolve a hierarchy of outcomes for any given hand and a set of betting rules between each round. The hierarchy of hands begins with holding no special combination of cards at all. This is known simply as having “high card”.
Whatever the highest value card in your hand is determines your high card. In no limit poker, the lowest value card is the “2” and the highest value card is an Ace.
Actual combinations of hands that you want to have in your hand go as follows from the weakest to the strongest:
One Pair (Ex. A-A)
Two Pair (Ex. A-A and K-K)
Three Of A Kind (Ex. A-A-A)
Straight (Ex. 10-J-Q-K-A)
Flush (Ex. Any five cards of the same suit)
Full House (Ex. A-A and K-K-K)
Four Of A Kind (Ex. A-A-A-A)
Straight Flush (Ex. 5-6-7-8-9 all of the same suit)
Royal Flush (Ex. 10-J-Q-K-A all of the same suit)
Obviously, the higher up the chain you go, the less frequently those hands occur in real life. It is extremely difficult to get a Full House for example, but you are fairly likely to see at least a pair after just a couple of hands.
Each player in a no limit poker game is given two cards from the deck face down that only apply to them. They are not to show those cards or indicate what they have unless forced to do so at the end of the hand (this will be explained in the section about betting rules).
They must use their 2 cards plus any 3 of the 5 community cards that are dealt out on the board to form the most powerful hand that they can. If the player has the most powerful hand of any of the remaining players after all cards have been dealt out, then he or she wins the pot.
No Limit Texas Holdem Rules On Betting
To begin a round, two players from the table are selected as the “small blind” and the “big blind”. They must put some amount of money (or chips) into the pot before they are even able to see the hand that they will be dealt. They are committed to at least contributing that amount of money to the pot no matter what happens.
The designation of who will be the small blind and the big blind moves around the table with each hand. This means that each player at the table has an equal opportunity to be the small and big blind throughout the course of the game.
Once all of the cards are dealt, the player immediately to the left of the big blind must decide if they wish to stay in the hand or not based on the cards that they have been dealt. They must at least match the amount put in by the big blind to remain in the hand. If they simply match the big blind they have “called” and will remain in the hand for the time being.
They also have the option to put more than the big blind amount in and “raise” the hand to put additional pressure on the players behind them to get out of the hand. Finally, they can “fold” the hand if they do not feel that their cards are powerful enough to warrant staying in.
All players use no limit texas holdem strategy to decide if they will remain in the hand or get out as the betting comes around to them. The hands with potential to make powerful combinations tend to stay in or even raise the pot, but the weaker hands move aside and get out of the way.
After all players have had the chance to either call, raise, or fold their hand, the first three cards of the community cards are dealt out all at once. Players begin to mentally make combinations in their minds about how strong their hand is now that there are some community cards on the table.
Another round of betting identical to the first (with the exception of the blinds) occurs and all players decide if they are in or out. If all but one player folds at any point in the round, the last remaining player gets to take the pot.
After that round, another card is dealt into the community pile. This card, known as the Turn, is also used in combination with the players two cards to make winning hands. Another round of betting takes place after this card is revealed, and then a final card known as the “River” or the “River of Dreams” is dealt out and a final round of betting occurs.
If at least two players stay in the pot all the way through this final card being dealt out, then they must reveal their cards and see who indeed had the more powerful hand. The winner of that hand takes the pot and it is on to the next hand.
Getting The Strategies Perfected
It is plain to see to anyone that this is a complex game in terms of which strategies must be deployed to be a winner. It is never easy to figure out what cards your opponents are holding until they are forced to reveal them at the end. A big bet from an opponent could mean that they have a strong hand, or it could just mean that they are attempting to scare you off the pot and claim it for themselves.
The best poker players in the world say that the game is not so much about no limit texas holdem rules as it is about information. It is a game of trying to figure out your opponent based on small clues such as their betting patterns or even their body language when they are playing the game. It is never easy to get to the heart of that information, but that is the whole essence of the game.
The best players in the world try to focus on results over the long run. They know that short-term thinking is the best way to end up going broke in this game. A player can have the best hand going into the River and still end up losing as a result of someone catching a lucky card and getting a lucky break.
It is always best to remember that the best thing to do is to try to keep your head on straight and understand that everyone has lucky come their way from time to time.
Know the rules of the game and the television coverage will make a lot more sense and be a lot more enjoyable to watch. It may even make you decide to take up the game for yourself either online or among friends at your home some time. At the very least, you will be able to say that you know how to play Texas Hold’em Poker.