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Texas Hold'em Rules (Guide)

 
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Ronald
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PostPosted: Wed Mar 05, 2008 1:19 am    Post subject: Texas Hold'em Rules (Guide) Reply with quote

I found the following article online useful, and thought I'd share it here to make it easily for people to refer to. You'll still need to learn some basic concepts of Poker to really understand Texas Holdem. I'll post some article on the classic poker game, Five Card Draw Poker later. (Note: Five Card Draw Poker is our "Party Strip Poker" game.) Texas Hold'em is all about the betting!


Texas Holdem : Quick Start

You've seen the TV shows, you've heard the hype, and you have finally decided you would like to try the hottest poker card game of all time. But when it comes to Texas Hold'em, you haven't the slightest idea of where to begin. You don't know a flop from a fold or river from a runner-runner, and you're just a little bit intimidated. The good news is that Texas Hold'em is one of the easiest poker games to learn. There's a saying about Texas Hold'em that is absolutely true: "it takes minutes to learn and a lifetime to master."

The game is so easy to learn you could sit down and start playing and learn it as you go. This article will go over some very basic ideas so that, even on your very first game, you can have a good chance at winning.

The dealer position is indicated by a white plastic chip referred to as the button, which is also what the dealer position is called, sometimes referred to as being on the button. After each round of play, sometimes called a hand, the dealer button rotates to the left, ensuring that everyone gets to play in this and all other positions.

To start the players in the two seats to the left of the dealer have to pay what is known as a blind, which is a forced bet. Each other player has the option of calling the amount of the bigger blind or folding. If you fold you are out of that hand. Each player can also raise the pot to a certain limit depending on the variety of Texas Hold'em. After each round of card dealing there is a round of betting and the same options: check, bet, call, raise, fold. Check, which means to pass and not put money in, bet by putting money in the pot, call by matching the last bet, raise by putting more money in than the last bet, or fold, which means to lay down your cards for this hand and not participate. (Betting all your money is usually known as going "all-in".)

After your first two cards are dealt to you and there is a single round of betting, the dealer will put down three community cards, called the flop. You are using the community cards plus your two pocket cards to try and make the best poker hand. If your pocket cards plus the flop does not equal a decent hand, you should fold. While it is true you could stay in the game and possibly catch a good hand on the next two cards, which are known as the turn and the river, you have already seen five of the seven cards you will get to use. The chances of your hand improving in a great way on the next two cards are slim.

Texas hold'em is known as an aggressive game, especially the no limit variety. However, when you are new to the game your main goal should be to not lose money, more than to win money. If you stick to only very good hands and fold everything else, odds are already in your favor for winning at the game.

But what kinds of cards are really good starting cards?

Wired Cards
Also known as pocket pairs, wired cards are two cards with the same value in the starting hands, such as two sevens. These are great because you can catch a third card to make a set and surprise your opponent. If you are playing very tight or conservatively, then don't play any wired pairs less than tens.

Connectors
Connectors are two cards next to each other in numerical order. These are nice because they are the foundation of a straight. Low value connectors are not as good, naturally, as 10 - Jack and higher.

Suited
Suited cards are two cards of the same suit, such as two spades. These form the foundation of a flush hand.

Suited Connectors
As you can probably guess, this is connectors and suited put together. A six and seven of diamonds is an example of suited connectors, which form the foundation for either a flush or a straight; or even a straight flush, the highest valued hand.

Small Gap Cards
Gap refers to the number of spaces between the two cards you hold. If you have a king and a jack you have one gap, which is good. If you have a king and a five you have seven gaps, which is bad. High value cards, such as 10 and up, that have small gaps between them are good starting hands.

What to Do With Your Starting Hand

Pre-Flop
You should fold, or if you are in the big blind you should check, if your cards are not connectors, suited, wired, small gaps, and if the values are eight and lower. Your odds of catching a good hand are slim to none.

Post Flop
After the flop you want your hand to improve. If you started with a monster pair like two kings or two aces and the flop did not improve your hand, you're probably still okay to play. Otherwise, you're hoping to move up to two pair or three of a kind to feel pretty strong with your hand. If you have top pair, for example if the flop is king, 10, 2 and you started with a king and a five, then you might be doing pretty good. If you are faced with a big raise or a big bet and your hand did not improve, you should likely fold. Chasing after a poker hand that requires five cards to make, such as a flush or a straight, is a good way to lose money. If you were lucky enough to make a flush or a straight with the flop cards and your pocket cards then you should bet aggressively.

From here you will begin to learn the intricacies of the game as you play. Keeping these basic strategies in mind will help you hold onto your money, and make a little more, while you learn.
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Last edited by Ronald on Thu Mar 06, 2008 5:10 am; edited 2 times in total
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Ronald
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PostPosted: Wed Mar 05, 2008 1:23 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

TEXAS HOLDEM RULES (EXTENDED)


Pre-flop
Before cards are dealt the forced bets must be paid, which are called the big blind and the little blind. The little blind is sometimes called the small blind as well. A bet is when money is put into the pot for the first time in a round. The amounts of the bets and blinds are predetermined, and the little blind is always half the big blind. The little blind position is always the seat to the left of the dealer, and the big blind is the seat to the left of the little blind.

The dealer will then deal two cards (referred to as pocket cards or hole cards) face down to each player, one at a time, starting with the player on his left. Once the cards are dealt, each player looks at their cards; on their action they must then decide if they wish to call the current bet (the big blind, which is the highest amount bet at this point) which means to match it, fold their hand with out betting if they don't like their cards, or raise the bet by putting in more money. Each player, starting with the seat to the left of the big blind, makes their choice and acts. If a player raises the bet, each player must now call the new amount, including those who may have already acted. At any time a player may re-raise, meaning that they raise it again beyond the amount it was raised previously. If no player raises the big blind, then the player in that position may check, meaning they do not want to put more money in, or raise. It is important to note that if a players raises he may not raise again unless he was re-raised, as opposed to called. The round of betting stops when all players have either folded or called the last raise.

Flop
The dealer burns a card, which means they deal it to one side and it is not used in play, and then deals three cards face down. The dealer then turns the thee cards face up simultaneously; this is called the Flop. These are the first of five community cards that all players can use, along with their pocket cards, to make the best possible poker hand. The standard poker hand ranks are used. The player in the little blind position (once again, the first seat to the left of the dealer) is now UTG, or Under The Gun, meaning they are first to act now and on every subsequent round of betting. They must make a decision as in pre-flop play, with one change: they can choose to check if they don't want to bet or fold. Many experts advise players to stop here if they do not improve their hand, as they have now seen five of the seven cards they will use. Once again, the betting round ends only when all players have folded or called the last bet or raise.


Turn
The dealer burns another card and then deals a fourth community card, called the Turn, face up. There is another round of betting, exactly as after the flop, with the small blind seat being UTG.

River
After a final burn card, the dealer turns over the fifth and last community card, called the River. There is one final round of betting. At this point (or before) if all but one player folds, the last player who didn't fold wins the pot. This player may muck his hand, which means to toss it into the discard pile by the dealer without showing anyone what it was.

Showdown
A showdown occurs when a player is called after the River, and could involve anywhere from two players to the entire table, depending on how many stayed in to this point. All players still in the hand show their cards, starting with the last person to bet. At any point after this player showed his cards other players in the showdown may muck their hand, essentially conceding the pot; just think of mucking as folding. They are admitting they have been beat without having to show their cards. This strategy (mucking) helps keep the other players from learning your playing style, such as if you bet heavy on two pairs or like to chase a flush.

The best five-card poker hand wins.


That is the essence of Texas Hold'em, but there are a number of other important points to understand.

Position
Where you sit at a Texas Hold'em table is a very important factor in how you play. The dealer position is considered the strongest on any given round, as being on the button means you act last in every post-flop round. Acting last means you act with the most information, which is essential to making the right decision whether to bet or raise, check, call or fold, and the game of poker is all about making the right decisions.

Being in early position means you are one of the first to act in a round of betting, and is considered weak due to the lack of information you have before you act. Middle position is less weak and falls between the early and the late position. The late position is the strongest, such as the dealer and the player to his right, who is referred to by some as the cutoff. The cutoff could take the choice away from the dealer by betting or raising big, bumping him out and becoming the latest player in the hand, and thus in the strongest position.

Winning a hand
Besides everyone but you folding, the only way to win a hand is in a showdown. The five best cards are used out of the five community cards and each player's hole cards, which can lead to some interesting situations. For example, if the board, or table cards, is AAKK9 and no player has better than a pair of eights in their hand, the board is the best possible hand, and all players in the showdown will chop the pot, which means to divide it evenly among those players. The same holds true if two players tie a hand. In the event of a flush or a straight, the player holding the highest card in the series wins; if the board has the five highest, the pot is chopped.

One last note; Texas Hold'em can be played as Limit, No Limit, and Pot Limit. Limit Hold'em means that you can only bet up to a predetermined amount, typically equal to the big blind, and raise the same amount. Raises are typically limited to four or five "bets" total, meaning the big blind, the first raise, and then three or four more raises. Pot Limit Hold'em means you can raise up to the current amount in the pot, but no more.

No Limit Texas Hold'em is the most dramatic of the three, where any player, at any time, can declare All In and bet everything he has. A player calling an All In move with too few chips creates a side pot, which he cannot win and is separate from the main pot, which he can.

Our EAdultGames.com version of Strip Texas Hold'em uses the No Limit rule.
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PostPosted: Mon Feb 14, 2011 8:26 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Hear hear, well spokem out Ronald!
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