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Texas Holdem Poker

How to play & Win at Texas Hold'em

Texas Holdem is one of the most popular poker formats out, it is simple to play and can bring hours of excitement. There are many tips and strategies for improving ones gameplay, below you can find a brief guide on how to play the game, and some simple tips that will go along way in improving your performance.

The Game.

Texas holdem is held in two formats, tournaments, and ring games. The maximum, amount of players at a table for either format is nine. The difference between the two is that in tournaments the blinds go up, and that players get eliminated until one person remains. The free downloadable game here at texasholdemclub.net, is based upon this format.

The objective is to win by creating the best hand using one the cards dealt to you (your pocket cards) and the community cards dealt on the table. Check below for a list of hands.

Blinds and Dealing the cards.

The hand starts off with two players left of the dealer putting out blinds, one small and one big. Each successive hand sees the dealer and also the blinds move one position to the left. Following the blinds, each player is dealt two cards, these are referred to as a players pocket cards. After each player has their pocket cards, a player chooses whether or not they wish to play the hand. The options available to them at this point are;

Fold - You decide your pocket cards are not good, and do not wish to play the hand. Your cards go into the muck pile.

Call - The wish to play the hand, and call the big blind amount, putting forward chip value that matches it.

Raise - Your pocket cards are good, and you wish to raise the opening bet. You bet in increments of the big blind. Other players will then have the option to call your raise, fold or re-raise.

Note: The big blind has the option to either check or raise.

The Flop

After all players have either folded, or called, three community cards are dealt face up on the table. The betting round starts off with the small blind player. They can either check or bet. Checking is placing no bet, if all players check then the next community card is dealt. However if one player places a bet then all other players will have to either call, or fold.

After one player has bet, other players also have the option to raise the bet.

The Turn

The next community card is dealt. And once again a round of betting proceeds

The River

The final community card is dealt, and is followed by the final round of betting.

If the final bet is called by another player, the player whose bet was called shows down their hand. If this hand is better than the calling players, they lose the hand, and can either muck their cards, or show them to the table.

This completes the hand, and the process is started all over again.

Winning Tips

Check Raise: A check raise is a play where you are confident that your hand is better than the other players, to lull them into a false sense of security, and to force more cash out of them you check rather than bet, in the hope that they will bet and then you can raise their bet. This often throws an opponent off guard, and will force more money out of them as they are already committed to the pot.

Table Position: Taking note of your table position and playing accordingly can markedly improve your game play. For example; if you are the last person to place a bet and all others check before you, you can control the betting by placing a bet. This forces all other players who wish to see the next card to call your bet, when they were reluctant to bet. Alternativley the same strategy can be used if you are the first in bet. This removes the option of checking for them, and allows you to see if they have good cards (they call your bet) or don't (the fold)

Bluffing: It is possible to win a hand by having no pairs, trips or any thing of value. To do this is called a bluff. A bluff is usually a bet of a large amount (3 or 4x the big blind minimum), this implies to the other players that your hand is valued accordingly. This will with luck, force them to fold, leaving you to win the pot. Bluffing can be quite effective when combined with the check raise strategy.

Tells: A tell is a an action by one of your opposing players that will give you some insight into their hand. Having some degree of knowledge about your opponents hands will give you the upper hand in knowing wether to raise, call or fold a hand and adjust your overall game strategy accordingly.

Online Poker Tells: In online poker there are action buttons that allow you to state your intentions on the hand before the play gets to you. These are useful tells, if you know what to look for. For example if a player bets instantly they are likely confident of their hand. If they bet a large amount, they are either highly confident or bluffing.

Alternatively, if they take a long time in calling a bet or placing one, they are likely to be deliberating, and not so confident.

There are many tells that a player can pick up on in online poker, even if they are not part of the hand being played. You can find lots of strategies and tells by watching recent bad beat jackpot tournaments, but you should always be carefully watching the play and trying to pickup on what tells are being given away.

How to play poker

The game is standard no limit Texas Holdem, it starts off with 9 players (you and 8 computer controlled bots).

  1. Blinds - in Texas Holdem before the cards are dealt, the two players left of the dealer must pay small and big blinds respectively. These blinds force the betting action. The dealer position indicated by the yellow dealer disc rotates one place to the left each hand.
  2. Cards are dealt - each player is dealt two pocket cards.
  3. Calling the bet - each player if they wish to play the hand, must call the big blind bet. They also have the chance to raise or fold. The big blind position may raise or check.
  4. The flop - three community cards are dealt face up in the middle of the table
  5. Betting round 2 - starting with the small blind, the first round of betting commences.
  6. The turn - after bets have been placed and called, if there are still players in the hand another community card is dealt face up.
  7. Betting round 3 - another betting round takes place
  8. The river - the fifth and final community card is dealt face up.
  9. The final betting round
  10. The showdown - if there is no winner of the hand thus far, the players remaining show down their hands. If a hand that beats yours is shown beforehand, you are given the option to muck. This means that you concede defeat and throw your cards in with out showing them.

After the hand is complete, the dealer moves to the next player on the left and the next hand is dealt. This continues with the blinds increasing every 5 minutes until there is only one player with chips remaining.

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