This page gets back to the basics about Texas Holdem Poker. Every now and then I get an email about various aspects of the game. So, I decided to go over the game from the beginning. And while this article isn’t all there is, it’s a step in the right direction, instead of hearing about poker superstars or the latest tournaments.
History of Texas holdem poker
Today’s top poker players have people like Doyle Brunson, Amarillo Slim and Jack Binion to thank for the game of Holdem Poker played today. Then professional card players were looked at like seedy people. Often games were held in out of the way locations and crime at these events occurred often. The game originally started in Texas and moved to Nevada. In hopes to attract wealthy clients, the game originally played at the Golden Nugget. It was moved to what was the Dunes hotel, a better environment. Interest in the game grew and exploded with television broadcasts. This really became the turning point. Suddenly millions of people would watch these players at round tables playing this game. Next, the internet made it so much easier.
In the early internet, porn and gambling were the two biggest money makers. One lucky player named Chris Moneymaker managed to win the WSOP and entered through an online casino operator for $50. He is cited by many players today as the reason they got into poker and this has been coined the “moneymaker effect”. Now, everyone had access to the big bucks that poker offered. It was a wide open field all you had to do was win. Online poker is making players millionaires and top operators billionaires. Pokerstars was recently sold for five billion dollars and several of their top players have annual earnings in the seven figures. This is one of several online poker sites. Poker today is truly hot. For all the money on the table, poker is a simple game to play.
Poker is a community card game. Players have cards in their hands called hole or pocket cards and there are community cards that are displayed face on the table. The combination of the two decides the winning hands.
The first round is pre-flop. This is when all members are dealt their two cards. Players then get to bet, raise or fold. After this the first of three card come out. This is the flop phase of the of the round. Players get to raise, check or fold. To check is to neither raise or fold but indicate you’re still in the game. If a player raises everyone has to raise or fold. The next round is the turn. A fourth card comes out followed by another round of raising, checking or folding. Then a fifth card comes out. This is the river where everyone can add it all up and decide again to raise, check or fold. Afterwards is the showdown where everyone shows what cards they have and the player with the highest card value wins.
As in most forms of poker the ranking of hands is royal flush. A royal flush are all the face cards of the same suit and a ten.
A straight flush is the next rank the hand rankings. A straight flush is the same suit in sequence as in the diagram. In case of two straight flushes in a hand, the higher of the flush will win. For example, 5, 6, 7, 8, 9 of spades will beat Ace, 2, 3, 4, 5 of the same suit.
Four of a kind ranks next.
A full house is next. A full house is made three of kind and a pair. As in the straight flush the highest of the full houses will win if there are two full houses.
Next is a flush. A flush is five cards of the same suit. The highest card value will win if there are two flushes here as well.
A straight ranks next. Like a royal flush, a straight flush is all the same cards in sequence of mixed suits.
Three of a kind ranks next. This is self-explanatory. and finally a pair is the next ranking card.
Also, there is high card, in the event no one has any matching pair. An ace will trump a king, as an example.
Players are seated in a oval table. As a betting round finishes the dealer position rotates by one clockwise. The two players to the left of the dealer, right if you’re online, are called the blinds. There is the big blind and small bind. These are the first bettors with the big blind betting the round amount and the small bind betting half that.
There is much written on strategy in poker. There’s always someone who has a new way of strategy. For beginners, this is sometimes good. There’s often a tip or two that will help you win tournaments. One of the best I’ve found is Gripsed Poker. He has a massive amounts of free videos on Youtube and he has thousands of subscribers. It’s a free channel also and you can learn lots of things that will improve your game. Experienced players can also benefit especially if stuck in rut.
There is also software called huds, pokertracker, is an example. You use these as a companion while playing online . The computer will indicate whether it’s a good time to bet or not. The decision is up to you. Some swear by them other people don’t. By the way online poker is the way many of today’s poker players are working the poker scene today.
Online poker has many benefits. You can learn without distractions of a casino. You can create a comfortable atmosphere to work in and excel. One of my favorite sites for poker is Americas Cardroom.
So, here are the basics of Texas Holdem Poker. There’s so much out there in terms of abstracts of poker it’s amazing. Staying focused with a strategy of some sort often works out best even though poker is an ever changing sport with very little predictable. It’s an exciting sport and many will continue to play for a long time.