Texas Hold ‘em Poker can be played with as many as 10 people, and utilizes a 52-card deck. We’ll assume that you know the standard poker hands rankings, since they are in play in this game.
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A game includes two forced blind bets (one forced bet is made before the dealer deals the hole cards). After the dealer deals, the players to his left bet the blinds. The first player sets the small blind; the second sets the big blind. The big blind is the table’s minimum bet; the small blind is half of that.
After the blinds are made, each player gets two cards from the dealer. These are “hole cards.” Each player in turn decides whether to place a bet, check, call, fold, or raise (there is no checking in the first round of betting). To stay in the hand every player must bet a number of chips equal to what the other players are betting. If someone raise, everyone must either match the raise or fold.
The next round is called The Flop. In this round, three cards are placed in the middle of the table by the dealer. These three cards are called the flop and are community cards. That means any player can consider them part of his hand and use them in combination with his own two hole cards.
Players still in the hand begin a second betting round, which goes as before. Then comes the third round, known as the turn. A fourth community card is placed by the dealer on the table. This means players now have four cards on the table and two in their hand with which to make their hand.
A third round of betting follows, as before. Then comes the fourth round, called The River. In this round, a fifth community card is placed on the table, followed by a final betting round.
Players still in now show their cards. The best five-card poker hand, using any combination of table cards and hole cards, wins the pot.
There are three styles of game-play with Texas Hold ‘em: Loose, Aggressive and Tight.
Loose play refers to when you are involved in many pots, calling bets and chasing draws without making a counteraction. Good players can easily identify a loose player and are not likely to fold to the loose player. This can work to your advantage, because if you have a strong hand, your opponents are likely to think you have only a marginal hand.
Aggressive play is one who raises often in pre-flop, straddles during cash games, and puts pressure on other players by betting out in position. Aggressive play lets others know you’re not scared of putting money into the pot.
Tight play is one who doesn’t chase or play out of position and who avoids confrontations with his opponents. They often over-raise in pre-flop when they have strong hands. The advantage to this style is that you tend to win most pots that you’re involved in.