Poker is an amazing game requiring a variety of skills and of course luck. If you don’t know how to play poker, here are the poker rules.
I usually play No Limit Texas Hold’em which means that at any given time you can put your entire stack on the line whether there is 20 or 20,000 chips in the pot. There are also fixed-limit and pot-limit variations of poker where the maximum you can bet is either fixed or limited by the size of the current pot. Pretty simple, right?
In Texas Hold’em everyone receives two hole cards. Followed by rounds of betting there will be 5 community cards revealed. Your (as everyone else’s) goal is either to make the best five – card combination by the showdown or make everybody else fold through aggression.
The best starting hands are high pocket pairs, KK and AA and high suited connectors like AK. The worst are 72 off suit and 83 off suit because they don’t have the potential to make a straight or a flush and even if you make a pair it’s rarely good enough to win the point at the showdown. But of course, if you don’t plan to show your cards, any set of cards can be good enough to bluff your opponent off their hand. Just learn when to stop and when to fire again.
The first betting round
OK, you get your cards. The first round of betting begins. Players in the Small Blind and Big Blind positions are forced to put in their first bets (half of a big blind and a whole big blind consequently). Every other player at the table can make a decision between folding, putting in a minimum of a big blind (limping) or raise. The round closes when everyone that decided to play has put in the same amount of chips.
Let’s say, it’s a six-handed 2/5 game.
• Small Blind puts in 2
• Big Blind puts in 5
3 players folds
Button with JJ raises to 10
• Small Blind calls 8 with AQ
• Big Blind Folds
The second and third rounds – Flop and Turn
Once everyone has posted an equal amount of chips (money), the betting round is over and three community cards are revealed. It’s called Flop. The Turn and the River each reveal one additional card. After each of the streets (Flop, Turn and River) there is a betting round. Every street begins from the player in the Small Blind position.
The fourth round – River
After the betting round that followed Turn is over the last community card is revealed and the last betting round begins. If no one bets or a bet is called by at least one other player, players go to a showdown where they reveal their cards and the best 5 card combination wins and takes all the money.
If you play a live NL Texas Hold’em tournament like at the WSOP, make sure to ask the dealer whether you have to show your cards. Even though you have reached the showdown, if you are the last to act and see that opponent has you beat, Texas hold’em rules may allow you simply much your cards without revealing the information to the rest of the table.
The power of No Limit Hold’em is the ability to bet any amount at any time. Moreover, you can go all-in at any time. If it’s too pricey for your opponent to call, he will fold. And in a tournament, risking your tournament life screams strength so you often will get others to fold.
Playing online poker is not only about knowing texas hold’em rules. You have to learn to control yourself when the hand doesn’t go your way, learn to read your opponents and develop filter-like ability to see what hand is your opponent most likely to have after he played all three streets in this particular way. The more you play poker, the more layers of it you will get familiar with and only time spent playing and learning will determine how successful you will be in the end.