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Ask around for the most popular poker variant in online casinos, and every folk on the street will tell you it's Texas Holdem, the best form of poker game.

On the other hand, if you play lots of online poker games, you may have come in contact with Texas Holdem out of curiosity or by chance.

Generally known as Texas Holdem, Hold 'em, Texas hold 'em, and Holdem is a variation of poker where two cards(known as hole cards) are first dealt with each player face down. And five community cards are dealt with each player face up. In this article, we will give you a detailed overview of the Texas Holdem poker game; stay with us till the end.

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Game objective

The objective in Texas Holdem is to win the pot. There are two ways to do this;

1. Make the other players fold through specific strategies and techniques (Betting activity).

2. Make the best five-card hand at showdown. This could be any combination of the two hole cards the dealer deals with and the five community cards dealt to every player.

What makes Texas Holdem quite an exciting game is its simple complexity. This sounds a little bit strange, but here's what It means. The Texas Holdem game is relatively easy to learn, one of the easiest poker variations. Yet, the complexity lies in trying to master this game due to its vast number of combinations and possible situations.

While poker games are generally exciting and adrenaline-filled due to the suspense built upon each betting rounds, it can be relatively challenging to master like the Omaha variant and our primary focus, Texas Holdem

So, whether you're a master of the game or an inexperienced player who hasn't played enough poker, this guide will provide every information you need to understand the game of hold'em.

Pros

• The game is fast, and you can play as many tables as you like.

• You can get generous casino bonuses while playing poker

• It helps you develop mathematical skills.

Cons

• In limit-texas Holdem games, there are no all-in bets

• In limit Texas Holdem, there are possibilities of time-wasting.

• To sustain losses and remain in the game, a considerable bankroll is required.

texas holdem pros and cons

Texas Holdem terms

Before we head on to explain the rules of Texas Holdem, there are a few terms you need to get familiar with. Keep in mind that you may likely encounter them throughout this article.

Dealer: A dealer or croupier is mainly tasked with the duty of assisting in the conduct of the game.

Hole cards: The first two cards are dealt to each player face down.

Community cards: These are cards dealt to every participating player face up.

Button: This is the nickname given to a participating player on a betting table who acts as a dealer in the current hand.

Preflop: Before a flop is dealt to the players, everything that occurs before the flop is known as pre-flop.

Flop: In Texas Holdem, the first three community cards dealt to players are called flops.

Blinds: known as 'blind,' are bets placed before the cards are dealt to players. Blinds are usually mandatory bets placed to stimulate the game, more like a spore-up bet.

All-in: Put all your chips (counters made in the form of small disks used to represent money) in the pot.

Turn: This is the 4th community card dealt to players. It's also called the fourth street.

River: A river is the final community card dealt; in the Texas Holdem context, this is the 5th card dealt.

Most poker players may utilize the phrase fifth street to represent the river.

Showdown: The showdown term represents a point in the game where players reveal their hands to see the pots' winner.

Variations of Texas Holdem

There are three main variations to the game of hold'em, No-limit Holdem (the most popular variant of the three), limit Holdem, and Pot-limit Holdem. Each variation follows the same basic rule of playing. However, the number of raises and bets are distinct.

no limits texas holdem

No limit Holdem

Like the name, 'No limit,' this version offers an infinite threshold of betting amount, which means players can go all-in (Bet all their chips).

Basic rules you should note in No limit hold'em.

  • Players can bet on as many chips in their possession.
  • The minimum raise is equivalent to the amount of the previous bet or raise.
  • Players can raise any amount as long as it is the size of the previous raise at a minimum.
  • If a player wishes to re-raise (raise again), it must be at least the amount of the previous raise or more.
  • There's no cap on the number of raises allowed.

In order words, No limit hold'em gives participating players more room to be creative with their chips with the sole aim of winning the pot.

Limit hold'em

Again, the rules for betting and raising are made known through the name 'limit,' which means they are predetermined and structured betting amounts set for each round.

Here are some rules of this version

  • Bets and raises are equivalent to the big blind in the pre-flop and flop betting rounds.
  • Bets and raises double when it gets to the turn and river betting rounds.
  • In limit hold 'em, only four bets are allowed per betting round in the order (1) bet, (2) raise, (3) re-raise, and (4) final raise (cap).

Pot limit

A whole new idea is offered in pot-limit Holdem, where players can bet a maximum amount in the pot.

Basic rules that guide this version

  • The minimum bet is the same as the previous version, which is the size of the big blind.
  • Players can only bet as high as the amount in the pot.
  • Players are obligated to raise as much as the previous raise in the same betting round as the minimum raise. So if the previous player raised $5, then the next player must first match the raise and then raise at least $5, making $10. But, of course, a player can decide to raise more!
  • The maximum raise allowed in pot-limit hold'em is the size of the pot.
  • Raising cap isn't determined or fixed in pot-limit hold'em.
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Texas Holdem; basic rules of the game

Like every poker game, there are rules every player must follow. Here are a few notable texas Holdem rules to keep in mind.

Pre flop betting round: Starting round; dealing hole cards

A typical Texas Holdem game allows four betting stages, the first being pre-flop.

As a pre-card dealing rule, the cards are shuffled. The player closest to the left of the dealer is forced to make forced bets known as a small blind, say $1, and the next player moving in a clockwise direction(next to the small blind) must make a forced bet known as the big blind which is double the amount of the small blind making it $2.

At this point, the dealer deals two cards, known as the hole card or pocket card, face down to each player, and the card dealing starts from the player nearest to the left of the dealer and moves in a clockwise direction. The card dealing progress until every player has in hand two hole cards which they can, at this point, take a peek at. Once this is achieved, the first betting round begins, and the action starts with the player closest to the left of the big blind.

Participating players have the options to call, fold or raise without checking as there are forced bets already placed.

If all but one player folds in any case, the betting round ends, and the remaining player wins the pot. But in counter situations where more than a single player is left, the game progresses to the next round and continues thus till the showdown.

Community cards

As earlier stated, five community cards are dealt to every player face-up. These cards are placed in the center of the betting table, and every participating player is free to use any card from the table to complete their best five-card hand according to the poker hand ranking.

Community cards are dealt in three stages;

Flop

These are the first three community cards dealt to participating players. The second betting round starts, and every player has three community cards(Flops) face up (nothing hidden). The Texas Holdem rules require that the player nearest to the dealers' left starts, and the playing action follows the same suit as the previous betting round.

Options available to each player;

Fold: this acts shows that a player is no longer interested in participating in that hand, hence folding. Whenever a player does this either pre-flop, flop, turn, or river betting stages, it means they're no longer going to participate in that hand. Hence, bets are no longer required of that player.

To do this, players toss their cards face down to the poker dealer, who then picks the cards and puts them in the muck (card pile of folded cards).

Call: matching a bet or raising an amount that a player has put in.

For instance, player A bets $25, and Player B calls (Matching player As' bet), the game moves to the next participating player, player C. So, calling a bet in Texas Holdem is an option that every player has other than folding, raising, or checking.

Raise: by raising, a player increases the opening bet. Another instance is where Player A bets $25 over to player B, player B calls (matching player As' bet), and it's now player Cs' turn who decides to raise the opening bet to $50.

Note that raising can be a very useful strategy in texas Holdem, as it sweeps some players off the game, forcing them to fold if they cannot match the raise. The next player can either call, fold, or re-raise in such situations.

Also, there's no option to check as there's a bet on the ground that needs to be matched!

An additional option in the flop betting round is the check.

Check: checking involves passing the action to the next participating player while still keeping their cards. This could get a bit tricky as a player can only check if there are no small (opening bets) or big blinds. Note that checking is possible if no big or small blinds are involved.

Important things to note

• If every player participating in the round decides to check, the play moves to the next betting round.

• If every other player but one folds, then that player wins the pot.

• Consequently, if every player calls, the play progresses to the next betting round.

• Also note, if there are five participating players, and one decides to fold while other players call or raise, then the game still progresses to the next round. The same applies if two or three players fold, leaving two players.

Turn: The fourth community card dealt

In this stage, the fourth community card, also called the fourth street, is dealt. The game starts, and the dealer deals the fourth community card to every player face up, and the third betting round commences. Just like in the previous round, players have the option to call, fold, raise or check.

Following the game's rules, if all but one player folds, the player left in that round wins the pot without escalating to the showdown round. However, if every but two players decide to fold, the play moves on to the next betting round, where the players will have to make the best five card hands to win the pot.

Also, the game progresses to the next betting round if every player calls.

River: the final and fifth community card dealt.

It's the final betting round, and the final river card dealt in Texas Holdem, also called the fifth street, is dealt to every participating player face up. This round plays a vital role in the overall outcome of the game. In Texas Holdem, there are five rounds. As such, if a winner doesn't emerge from a call, fold, or check, then the remaining players move on to a showdown.

If only one player is left at the end of this round, they win the pot without getting to the showdown. However, if more than one player is left after the round, they must continue to a showdown where the best five-card hands win the pot.

Possible situations

In Texas Holdem, there are situations where two players end up with their best five-card hands of equal value. In such cases, the pot is split between both players. Following the end of the game, a new hand restarts.

Texas Holdem poker hand rankings

Poker hand ranking systems play a pivotal role in determining the relative strength of each card hand. This is also an important tip to consider when making in-game decisions.

Here is a breakdown of the poker hand ranking in Texas Holdem;

Royal flush

When ranking poker hands, the best situations are considered first. Hence, we start with the flush. The flush in Texas Holdem is the best possible hand a player can have, and it consists of 5 consecutive cards of the same suite with values ranging from the order ten down to Ace.

The straight flush

A royal flush or a flush can only eliminate it with cards in the higher ranks. A straight flush is any five cards of consecutive values in the same suit. This is distinct from a royal flush.

Four of a kind

Four of a kind involves having four cards of the same value in all four suits. The highest-ranking card in the poker room completes this hand of 5.

Full house

A full house comprises three of a kind (Three same value cards in 3 different suites) and two separate pairs of the same ranking cards in two different suits.

According to the poker hand rankings, there may be situations where more than one player has a full house. In such a betting round, the winner is the player with a three of a kind having the highest value.

Flush

A flush comprises five cards of the same suite in whatever order. Again, when more than one player has a full house, the flush holder with the highest-ranking value wins the hand.

Straight

These are five cards of successive number values containing more than one suit.

Three of a kind

Three same rank cards in three different suits are called Three of a kind. In this scenario, the two higher-ranking cards, asides from the three of a kind, complete that hand.

Two pairs

Two pairs are two different sets of two cards in a matching rank. A two-pair rank requires that the highest-ranking remaining cards complete this hand.

Pair

As the name implies, a pair is a pair of cards of the same rank in distinct suits. The remainder lies in the three highest-ranking cards available to complete this hand.

High card

This is the lowest ranking card considered in the poker hand ranking. In this case, the king of spades is your highest-ranking card and your best hand card.

Playing Texas hold'em online

Live dealing involves a more traditional table setting with different seats and a dealer to deal cards. However, like in a regular play poker game, Texas hold'em poker can also be played online in most new online casinos. And if you feel you need to gain more experience or learn the ropes of the game, playing online is your best bet. Before starting to play be sure to check if the casino offers no deposit bonuses.

Also, online Texas Holdem, other poker games, and slots give you the freedom to play from the comfort of your home rather than in a live seat where players can physically see the reactions of their opponents and take a decision in that regard.

Some advantages come with playing Texas hold'em poker online; one huge advantage is that games are faster. For example, a regular live no-limit Texas Holdem game involves 30 gaming hands per hour. Whereas, playing online should see that figure double, thereby giving more hands to play.

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Tips For Playing Texas Holdem online

Like every other poker game, Texas Holdem requires strategies and mastery as this isn't a game of chance. You can't be too prepared if you intend to play for real money, which is why you should consider implementing the following:

Choose The Right Opening Hands

The hand you choose to start the game within Texas Hold'em is crucial. Hands refer to a set of five playing cards formed by players. Starting hands is a significant part of the game, the same as the position you choose to begin with. The number of players' hands can either increase or reduce in value.

So, when choosing an opening hand, you should consider the hand position and how such a hand can earn you money after the flop.

Bet Sizing with Confidence

For No Limit cash games, players are allowed to bet whatever they have in front of them, and this very freedom gets lots of players into trouble. So, bet sizing is one of the most critical subjects in Texas Hold'em.

Bet Sizing – Pre-Flop

An excellent way to size your bets correctly is to attentively follow what's happening at your table. If the basic pre-flop raise is 2.5×BB, as an amateur, this is the line you should use.

It could backfire if you try to play smart and raise an odd amount. Your bet size has to make sense to your opponents.

By raising odd amounts, all you're doing is making it harder for your opponents to make a choice. Making it hard for opponents to think post-flop can also be a good thing. However, the pre-flop result is the loose call you just don't need.

Bet Sizing - Post-flop

If you are the raiser pre-flop, then a c-bet (continuation bet, after a pre-flop raise) is almost unavoidable. You should place your c-bet at a range of 50% - 70% of the pot. The size of your bet will help establish the strength of your hand. This is particularly true when playing at the lower levels. Most unskilled players will see a big c-bet as strength. You will be able to get the handover - even if you have hit the flop or not.

If you bet a small amount, you might likely end up facing a re-raise or a check-raise. This depends solely on your position. You might also bet too big and find yourself pot-committed to a hand that will likely be the loser.

Bet Sizing - Bluffs

For example, let's say you are ready to bluff in a $20 pot, and you feel that your opponent will fold. If you bet $20, you could get into trouble if you're wrong and the person decides to call – or worse, come over the top. If your opponent folds to a $10 bet, this will probably be a poor bet size. Because if the bluff fails, you will lose an extra $10 immediately.

Bet Sizing - Value

When you want to bet, you should try to bet for value. For example, you have gotten to the river, heads-up, with Ad-Ks on a board that reads: Ac-Kh-7h-3d-2s. Then be sure that your opponent has the Ace, at the very least. But, if the pot is $50, and you bet $20, then your opponent snap calls with two pairs, then you have probably left some money on the table. They might have called off another $10-$20! So, that's most likely a classic bet sizing mistake.

A successful Hold'em player makes fewer bet sizing errors. Of course, you aren't allowed to see your opponent's cards before sizing your bets. But, by using all the information you have on an opponent and the knowledge of how the hand was played, you'll be able to deduce the right amount to bet.

For example, a loose caller might likely call you down with a pair. Therefore, when you have a strong hand, your bet-sizing can be a bit bigger for value - versus a rigid opponent who would be more willing to fold.

Avoid Limping

Some of the best online poker players tend to open raises whenever they are the first to enter the pot. When a player enters a pot through calling rather than raising, that's known as limping. If someone else has open-raised, they would likely call that raise, 3/bet, or fold – depending on their take on the open-raiser.

Reasons Why Limping is Bad for You!

  • When you decide to limp in a late position, you're giving the blinds an easy pass to see the flop for cheap, with rather mediocre hands.
  • You'll likely find yourself post-flop facing several opponents with a pretty modest holding when you limp into a pot. The worse is if you hit the top pair with a weak kicker, you'll end up kicking yourself on the river when a much better kicker beats your hand.
  • If you miss the board entirely, you'll end up being the dead money in the pot. (Dead money is the money in the pot that has been contributed by players who have folded.
  • Whenever the action has been folded to you, the best play is to either raise or fold—the act of raising controls the hand and puts any caller on the defensive immediately. Great players tend to attack limpers because they see them as weak. And they're usually right in most cases.

    So, it would be best if you avoided the open limp like the plague, unless you're in a multi-way pot for cheap, with suited connectors or set-mining a small pocket pair.

Fold If You Are Unsure

If you intend to play Texas Hold'em successfully, you need to learn when to fold in a game. Doing this right allows you to protect your pot without bluffing into bets on a weak hand.

The game is of imperfect information, so you should know when you have been outplayed. The game's dynamic is that you don't know what your opponent is playing, so you should fold when you are sure the game's outcome won't be in your favor.

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Play Games You Can Win

Playing Texas Hold'em requires experience and strategy. You can spot a good table by identifying the hesitation or lack of depth in your opponent's play. Going for a table where your opponent is less experienced in the game is always an added advantage to a player.

Conclusion

Texas Holdem can be a fun and exciting game which can be found at the best online poker sites. Being one of the easiest to learn, it isn't surprising why most poker players prefer this poker variant over others.

The intention here is a simple one, make the five best card hands or win the pot when every other player folds. However, when playing with more vigorous opponents, things can get pretty heated up. Your best bet? Always choose a one-time Texas Holdem player over one who plays constantly.

Furthermore, you can always rely on your poker skills to survive in a Texas Holdem game. But unfortunately, mastering the cash games comes at the cost of intense difficulties.

The good news is that you can earn good money playing no limit or limit Texas Holdem games, irrespective of your experience level.

FAQs

Should I play limit or no-limit Texas Holdem?

Choosing between both Texas Holdem games can ultimately come down to personal preference.

No-limit Texas Holdem provides room for more flexibility and creativity. For example, players can go all-in in no-limit Texas Holdem if they believe their opponent has a weaker hand. Consequently, players can re-raise in anticipation that their opponents will see this as a bluff.

What is the best position in a game of Hold 'em?

Like every game or sporting event, taking the best position available is an excellent step to potentially winning at a Texas round of betting. Well, the same rule applies to the game of Holdem.

The best position in the game of Texas Holdem is the button. Being the last player to commit to the pot is quite a good seat. The button has the liberty to watch other players make their decisions before they are mandated to make theirs. This way, they can act with respect to the findings of other players with the information they have.

Are there online resources that I can use to learn the tactics of playing Texas Holdem?

Texas Holdem is generally easy to learn, and the terms are also not much of a challenge to master. However, if you still find yourself staring at a particular Holdem term trying to figure out what it means, you should go through our detailed article on Texas Holdem. This will further help you with tips and tricks to win huge prizes.