Texas hold ‘em is one of the most popular, and potentially most lucrative, card games in the world. One can simply play a simple game at home with some friends, or wind up at the final table at a high dollar poker tournament It can be very fun, but for an inexperienced player, it can be a bit daunting. This article will help you to understand the game from all angles. Where it started, how to play Texas hold ‘em and all the mechanics you will need to become a proficient hold ‘em player.
Where did it come from?
Although the true origin of the game isn’t actually known, it is the town of Robstown, Texas that gets the credit. The game initially gained its popularity by spreading through the state in the early 1900′s, and was brought to Vegas in 1967 where it truly blossomed. What made it different from games like draw poker is that, throughout the game, you bet four times as opposed to only two. This allowed for actual strategy which was not previously a large part of other card games. The game’s popularity really took off in the early 2000′s, due to television exposure, and the rest is history.
What is the goal?
Hold ‘em, like many poker games, involves the players assembling the best hand that they can using any five-card combination they have available. The player then bet’s accordingly based on the quality of the hand they have assembled.
How does it work?
Each player is dealt two cards—referred to as “hole” or “pocket cards.” These cards are dealt face down so only the respective player knows what they are. Each player will combine their cards with the five community cards on the table and the player with best hand wins; or the last player standing if everyone folds. These community cards are dealt face-up by the dealer.
The first is a series of three cards, known as “the flop.” The next is single card known as “the turn.” The final card being “the river.” After each deal, players can either bet, check, raise or fold, depending on the quality of cards [in hand] and [the] strategy of the individual.
The two players to the immediate left of the dealer are responsible for making initial bets or “blinds.” The first player to the left places what is known as the “small blind,” and the player next to them places the “big blind.” The first move after the deal goes to the player to the left of the big blind and proceeds from there. After the flop, the player to the dealer’s immediate left will make the first move and will continue as such until the hand is over. Once all betting has finished the remaining players show their cards and the best hand wins. That’s it.
What else should I know?
Anyone playing any form of poker should familiarize themselves with a basic knowledge of different hands ranging from a pair of 2′s all the way up to a royal flush. Bluffing is also a concept all players should familiarize themselves with. A ‘bluff’ is a bet made by someone who does not think they have the best hand on the table. [Elaborate more, perhaps] The objective is to get the other player(s) to fold.
Lastly, players should learn some basic poker etiquette. Players and casinos take it seriously. Simple things such as “splashing the pot” or not paying attention can upset other players or, quite simply, cost you a hand.
Hopefully you now have a basic and simple understanding of the game which will allow you to begin playing hold ‘em either online, or at a real table. But, just remember, like all things, there is a learning curve and you will learn more as you play more. Have fun and gamble responsibly.