Texas holdem is the most popular variation of the game of poker. There are also some variations in the game of Texas holdem when it comes to the betting limits. There are limit, pot limit, and no limit variations of the betting structure.
Limit Texas holdem – In limit Texas holdem the size of the bets are structured and always the same, one amount for betting rounds before the flop and after the flop and another amount for betting on the turn and the river.
Pot limit Texas holdem – In pot limit Texas holdem there is a minimum bet amount but you can bet more, up to the maximum which is the total amount of money that is in the pot at the time of your bet.
No limit Texas holdem – In no limit Texas holdem there are minimum bet amounts but there are no maximum bet amounts other than table stakes, which means you can bet up to the amount of chips that you presently have on the table.
When a new table starts up each player is dealt a single card face up and the person with the high card starts out with the ‘Dealer’ button. The dealer button determines the order in which the cards are dealt and the betting action takes place. This button moves in a clockwise direction one seat at a time after each hand.
The first two players to the right of the dealer button must place a bet before the cards are dealt. Since they are betting before they have seen their cards these bets are called ‘blinds’. The player immediately to the right of the dealer button must put up an amount equal to half of a bet and this is called the ‘small blind’. The player immediately to the right of the small blind must put up a full bet and this is called the ‘big blind’.
After the small and big blind are posted, each player is dealt 2 cards. After these cards are dealt a round of betting begins with the betting action starting with the player to the immediate right of the big blind. Players have the option of calling the bet, folding their hand, or raising. When the action goes around the table the two blinds have to act on their hands and they have the same options of calling, raising, or folding. If there was not any raise then the big blind will also have the option of checking.
After the first round of betting has finished there are 3 cards dealt face up in the center of the table. These are ‘community cards’ that any player at the table can use to make a hand. The 3 cards are called the ‘flop’. On this, and all future betting rounds, the action begins with the player to the immediate right of the dealer button.
After the second round of betting another community card is dealt face up on the table and this is called the ‘turn’ card. A betting round takes place in the same manner as on the previous round.
After the third round of betting the final community card is dealt face up on the table and this is called the ‘river’ card. If more than one player remains after the final round of betting then there is a showdown to determine the best and winning hand to take the pot. The remaining players can use the two cards in their hand and the five community cards on the table, or ‘board’, to make the best possible hand.
Texas holdem uses a regular 52 card deck. There is no joker. The ace is the highest card but it can be used at the top of a straight, A K Q J 10, or at the bottom of a straight 5 4 3 2 A. Hand values from best to worst are:
• Royal Flush
• Straight Flush
• Four of a Kind
• Full House
• Three of a Kind
• Two Pair
• One Pair
• High Card
Filed Under: Poker Strategy
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