An Introduction to Texas Holdem Poker
So you're new to Texas Holdem poker? Not a problem. Texas Holdem poker is by far the best game for a beginner to learn. Other poker games like Omaha or 7 card stud need a higher understanding of calculating odds and card counting. Texas Holdem can be learned in a few minutes and you can be playing fairly well with a few hours of practice. However, in order to learn the game you must play and you must play fairly often.
Online poker rooms offer a wide variety of play money tables where beginners may practice for free until they are ready to move up to the fun at real money tables. We recommend playing online to start because online poker rooms handle many tedious details, like dealing, shuffling, and determining who has the best hand.
A Texas Hold'em poker game goes as follows:
- Depending on the limit and betting structure, players will place out blinds and antes so there is an initial amount to get things started. This is called posting.
- The dealer shuffles up a standard deck of 52 playing cards.
- Each player is dealt two private cards face down. These are called your hole cards or pocket cards.
- Then there is a round of betting starting with the player to the left of the blinds. This is the preflop betting round. Like most games of poker, players can call, raise, or fold.
- After the betting round ends, the dealer discards the top card of the deck. This is called a burn card. This is done to prevent cheating.
- The dealer then flips the next three cards face up on the table. This is called the flop. These are communal cards that anyone can use in combination with their two pocket cards to form a poker hand.
- The player to the left of the dealer starts another betting round.
- After the betting concludes, the dealer burns again then flips another communal card onto the table. This is called the turn.
- The player to the left of the dealer begins another round of betting. In many types of games, this is where the bet size doubles.
- Again, the dealer burns a card and places a final card face up on the table. This is called the river. Players can now use any of the five cards on the table or the two cards in their pocket to form a five card poker hand.
- There is one final round of betting starting with the player to the left of the dealer.
- After that, we have the showdown. All of the players who haven't folded reveal their hands. This begins with the player to the left of the last player to call. Players use a combination of their pocket cards and the community cards to form a five card poker hand.
- The player who shows the best hand wins! Although sometimes players with the same hand split the pot.
Once you understand the game's basic structure, you can play Texas hold 'em and even some of its variants. Texas Holdem is an easy game to learn, just difficult to master. The "mastering" part is the costly part, requiring study and practice. This website offers lots of articles and tools to get you started on the studying. You can practice all you want for free in online poker rooms.
Check out FullTilt to get a feel for the action. They have free money tables, and you can start playing for real money as soon as you feel ready. They have both low limits for newer players as well as high stakes tables.
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