Texas Hold'em

texasholdem

Get to know the world's most popular form of poker: The Texas Hold'em poker.

Description of Texas Hold'em

Texas Hold'em retains the basic rules of traditional stud poker and inherits its many Anglicisms. Here are some helpful points to bear in mind at the Texas Hold'em tables.

The principles of Texas Hold'em

Minimum of two players to play "heads-up", up to ten players to play full ring.

The basic goal remains the same: to win the chips of other players. To do this, you can make the strongest hand (hold the five strongest cards) or force other players to "fold".

Play of a hand in Texas Hold'em poker

Before the flop

Before the cards are dealt, the player to the immediate left of the dealer (the "small blind") will make a special bet called the small blind. His left (the "big blind") must also pay a mandatory bid, the big blind. In the specific case of heads-up Hold'em (with two players), the dealer puts the small blind.

The player with the dealer "button" deals the cards. He burns the first card and distributes two cards to each player given one by one, twice around the table. Each player will end up with two cards.

Then follows a first round of betting, called preflop betting, which begins with the player who is to the left of the big blind and so round the table clockwise.

Once dealt their cards, players who wish to "call" to enter the hand, need to match the money already paid in by the big blind.

  • If a player makes a higher bid than the previous player, they must announce this by saying "raise".
  • Once a player believes that their hand has no chance: they "fold".

Each player will decide to turn: fold, call or raise.

The first round of betting is complete:

  • Either when there is only one player remaining, the others having folded. He picks up the pot and the hand is completed.
  • Or when the remaining players match the highest bid. They all participate in the pot for the same amount. We can then move to the next step.

In the first round, if all players have folded when the it is the small blind's turn to speak, he has the choice between:

  • Folding. In this case, the big blind wins the pot (which consists of the blind and the big blind) without having to show his hand.
  • Calling or raising. Then the game continues between the small blind and the big blind.

The Flop

The dealer then burns the first card from the deck and spreads the "flop": three cards dealt face-up on the table.

Considered common cards, they help to build hands with the two individual cards dealt face down round the table. Each player then a hand of five cards: two privates cards and three community cards.

The second betting round can begin.

At this stage of the game, all remaining players have bet the same amount. The pot is therefore reopened.

The first remaining player to the left of the dealer is first to speak. He has the right to fold, not to bet but to stay in the game ("check") or to bet to open the pot.

In the second betting round, there are no more small and big blinds.

The following players may fold, check (as long as the pot is not open), call or raise.
The second round of betting is complete when all players have checked or when all players have spoken. If players check and the pot is reopened behind them, they must then choose to fold, call (match the bet) or raise.

You can go to the next step when all remaining players have acted.

The Turn

The dealer burns a card and peels a new card from the deck and deals it face up on the table: this is the "turn", and it also forms part of the players' hands.
Players conduct a new round of bids: same principle as above. Players can check, call, raise or fold.

The River

After another round of betting, the dealer burns another card and turns over a fifth and final card which joins the four face-up cards and is called the "river".
Players now know all the cards they can use to form the best possible combination of five cards using their hole cards and the five community cards.

There is then a final round of betting, which is exactly identical, to the last (turn) round. After this round, the remaining players (of which there must be at least two) have access to the last step: the showdown.

Showdown

This is the last round of betting. Finally, the remaining players reveal their hole cards. In all cases, we retain only the combinations of five cards. The sixth and seventh cards are always ignored.
The last player to bet or raise is the one who shows his cards first. If no player has bet in the last round of betting, the player to the left of the dealer shows his hand first.

Then each of the other players act in turn and can:

  • Fold their cards without showing. Players can fold without showing if they think they are beaten.
  • Turn their hand over if they think it is a winner.

The winner is the one who has the best five-card combination: it can be a mixture of private and common cards on the table. He wins the pot: which is composed of the bets put in by all the players. If there is a tie, the pot is shared equally.

The dealer passes the "button" to the player on the left: and a new game begins.

Example round of Texas Hold 'em

In Texas Hold'em poker the best card is the ace followed by the king, queen, jack, 10 down to the 2. The possible combinations (or hands), are also the same as in stud poker, the pair to the royal flush.

Through this example, check how the previous notation are used.

Here's is the state of the board at different stages of the game:

River
Turn
 
Flop
   
10-p 8-p r-ca  4-t 7-p

You are player A, here are the two cards you have on hand

r-tv-p

Hand you post K-K-J-10-8 consists of a pair of kings.

r-tr-cav-p10-p8-p

Your opponent player B has

v-ca9-t

He therefore has the hand J-10-9-8-7, which consists of a fifth Jack:

v-ca10-p9-t8-p7-p

Player C has

as-p3-p

He then displays the following hand A-10-8-7-3, all spades.

as-p10-p8-p7-p3-p

Result: Player C has the best hand.

Final tips for playing Texas Hold'em

  • Do not overlook the psychological dimension of Texas Hold'em.
  • Be patient and analyse the attitudes of other players to spot bluffs.
  • Finally, practice Texas Hold'em online to gain experience.