Hold ‘Em Poker the Texas Way

Posted on: January 9, 2019

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Poker has become one of the most famous table games in the world that it has made the international arena. Because of this popularity, many have taken the interest to learn the ropes of this game. If you are one of them, read on and know how to play the Texas Hold Em Poker like a pro:

TERMS TO LOOK OUT FOR:
When playing Poker, gamers have their own language when conversing at the table. For you to not get lost in the conversation here are some of the most common words you will hear while the game is ongoing:

  • Blind: This refers to the blind bets that players make at the start of the game. It is called a blind bet because players have to place their bets without seeing their cards first.
  • Call: This means that a player would like to check on a card facing down but has to place a bet that is equivalent to the raised amount.
  • Check: This is the same with “Call” but no additional bet is required.
  • Big Blind: This is, usually, where the raise of the bet happens. However, there are more rules that govern the big blind. Different poker variation also means different big blind definitions.
  • Flop: The first three cards placed on the table.
  • Pre-flop: Any card dealt before the flop is considered as a pre-flop.
  • River: This is the final card dealt; also known as fifth street.
  • Turn: The fourth card dealt; also known as fourth street.
  • All-In: A dare devil move that makes the player bet all his remaining chips.
  • Showdown: When players reveal their cards to the table to know who gets the pot.

THE RULES
Poker is a game of suit. The goal is to win over the hand of your opponent at the end of the game. Texas Hold Em Poker can be categorized into three parts—set up, betting, and showdown.

During a set-up, the players decide who will be the dealer. Once the dealer is assigned a small blind and a big blind will be determined. The player on the left of the dealer is the small blind and the big blind is seated on the left of the small blind. Once setup is done, the dealer will require players to put a blind bet. Then, the two cards will be dealt to each player and these first two cards are known as the hole cards. After the hole cards are given out, the betting starts. The betting can go around for four rounds, maximum. The betting stops when all other players, but one, is still in the game or the final betting round has come with multiple players still on the race, whichever comes first.

We go back to betting. During the betting rounds, only one player can act at any given time. This is when the pre-flop happens. Betting starts with the small blind or the player to the left of the big blind. When the first bet is placed, the second player, playing clockwise, will make the next move. The player can do any of these three acts: fold, call, or raise. When a player folds, it means he or she is surrendering his or her cards and will wait for the next game. A raise, on the other hand, is the minimum bet being increased depending on the value given by the player who raised the bet. Example, if the bet is originally $5 dollars and a player raised it to $10 dollars, then the minimum bet to act a call is now $10 dollars. Lastly, a call means the player will add more chips to his initial bet equivalent to the raised amount.

Now that the betting is done. A showdown will happen. During the showdown, the players will try to form the strongest hand possible made of the hole cards and the cards on the table. The beauty of playing Poker is that wherever you go, there is an official hand ranking to guide the players who gets the pot. There are no exceptions or special incidents that can change these rules. The rule states that a flush is always the stronger hand than any of a straights, and three of a kind always beats two pair, even if the two pair is composed of four cards. A Poker hand, or the combination of cards an individual chose to play with, must only use five cards and only those cards are used to determine the winning set. For newbies, here is the official ranking of hands in Texas Hold Em Poker, from highest to lowest: Royal flush, straight flush, four of a kind, full house, flush, straight, three of a kind, two pair, one pair, and highest card. There are no other hands used in Hold ‘Em Poker other than the hands listed above. For example, having three pairs is actually only “two pair, with the highest-valued two pair making your hand”. Suits will never be used to determine a winning hand. Newbies are sometimes confused by this rule because there are a total of seven cards in the game. The hole cards, two cards, and the five community cards.

The first player to reveal his hand is the player who bets on the river. But, if other players decide to reveal their hands first, there is no rule that prohibits this act. If there is no betting on the river, then the player closest to the left of the dealer is the first to reveal his cards to be followed in clockwise direction. For players with a losing hand, they can tuck their cards and concede the pot, which means they can choose not to reveal their cards. Sometimes, two players hold the same ranking cards in a game. When this happens, a split is facilitated by the dealer. This only means that both players get 50 percent of the pot each.

So, there you have it. While poker is a mind and strategy game, it is definitely a craft that can be mastered with enough practice. Here in Capitol Casino, our poker rooms have various players which make it a good place to practice. New players can learn from the professionals and professionals can take up a challenge with fellow professional players. Next time you are asked to play Poker, do not be afraid to join the table. There is always a first time, give it a try and enjoy the learning experience.