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Texas Holdem Rules

Texas Holdem is usually the flagship game for every single online poker room operating on the internet today. It is immensely popular with the masses in general and with rookies in particular. Its popularity is probably due to the simplicity of its rules, but quite possibly, also to the fact that it is the poker variant that provides rookies with the best edge when faced with experienced players.

As a beginner, your first real-money Texas Holdem experience will probably be consumed at a ring-table. Ring games are regular poker games where players can come and sit down to the table any time they wish to, and they can also leave whenever they feel like it. Ring games come without any extra rules, so they’re basically the purest form of poker you’ll ever encounter.

They’re also the best choice to illustrate the rules of the game. Whenever you sit down to a Texas Holdem Ring table, you’ll notice that there is a dealer button, going around in a clockwise direction, one player at a time with every single hand. As you sit down, you’ll be prompted whether you want to pay up the equivalent of the big blind and participate in the next hand or wait till the blinds get around to you.

The person to the immediate left of the dealer button is the small blind, the guy sitting on the small blind’s left is the big blind. The big blind is twice the size of the small one, and it is basically the catalyst of all action about to follow. After the blinds are posted, each player is dealt two cards face down. The deal goes around in clockwise direction as well. These two cards are also known as hole-cards or pocket-cards. Players can take a look at these cards before they decide they want to call the big blind, raise it or fold it right away.

This is called the first betting round, or pre-flop betting, and this too goes around in a clockwise direction right back to the big blind. If nobody raised, and the big blind checks, the flop is shown. If somebody raised the BB during the first round, the guy in the BB position gets to call that raise, raise it, or fold it and give up the money he posted as the BB. If he checks, the betting goes around again up to the guy who did the initial raising.

Players who stay in the game, get to see the flop. The flop is made up of three community cards laid out on the board for everyone to see. Players are required to make their hands using their pocket-cards and the three community cards off the table. Another betting round follows the flop, with similar rules to the pre-flop betting round. After that, the 4th community card is shown, (after the dealer burns a card, of course) called the "turn" or "4th street".

The turn is followed by yet another betting round. The 5th community card is shown to those who are still in the hand (if a winner is not decided by that stage) followed by the last round of betting.

It is quite obvious to see why experts call Texas Holdem a Betting Game above all else. There are no less than four betting rounds in a hand, followed by the showdown. The showdown decides who has the best hand of the players still in the game. Remember, in Holdem, you can use either both of your pocket cards and three community cards off the board to make your final hand, or one of your pocket cards and four community cards.

In Omaha, you are compelled to use exactly two cards form your pocket-hand and exactly three off the board. In Texas Holdem this is not the case, so make sure you know what you’re doing when you make your hand or when you try to read the board.

Naturally, the guy who shows down the best ranking 5-card poker hand wins the pot, minus the rake which goes to the house.

Texas Holdem Tips

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