Anyone and everyone looking to get into poker should definitely start with Texas Hold’em as it’s the most popular variation of Poker. Previously, ‘Seven Card Stud’ was the most popular variant before being overtaken by Texas Hold’em in the early 2000s when the world saw a boom in poker. The variation was introduced in Las Vegas in late 1960s but didn’t see a spot on any casino table for another decade at least. The game absolutely took off once it was featured in World Series Of Poker (WSOP) main event & the TV coverage forever shifted the spotlight from Seven Stud to Texas Hold’em. Since then Texas Hold’em has been the king of all the variations. The only close competitor to Texas hold’em is Omaha, Poker variation really popular between European poker enthusiasts, which we will talk about in another article.
How to play Texas Hold’em?
Every player at the table is dealt 2 cards known as ‘hole cards’ which are visible only to that player. Apart from the hole cards, there are 5 common cards for everyone known as ‘community cards’. The goal of the game is to make the best hand of 5 cards out of the 7 cards (2 hole + 5 community) you are playing with. The player with the best hand takes away the pot.
But, how to does one actually play poker? To begin with, everyone at the table is dealt 2 cards, one card at a time. As, mentioned above, these cards can only be seen by the person to whom the hand has been dealt. After this, 5 cards (Community cards) are placed on the table facing downwards.
The big blind & the small blind then place minimum bets required to play the game and the game has thus begun. From here on, every player has to choose from either one of the 4 option – Raise, Call, Check & Fold. Confused what these terminologies mean? Don’t worry, we’ve explained all the important ones below. After every player has contributed the minimum amount to the pot, 1st three community cards are revealed and the players once again get a chance to bet. Post this, the remaining two community cards are revealed one at a time giving players opportunity to add to the pot once again.
It would take us ages to write down about the 1000s of poker terminologies that are used. So, let’s not do that and instead focus on the ones that really matter when trying to understand the basics of the game. You can see the complete list of poker terminologies here . If not, these shall be enough to at least get a hang of the basics.
Buy-in is the minimum amount one needs, to sit at the poker table. Buy-ins vary from table to table depending on the big blind. Generally, Buy-in is 20 times the big blind. The highest buy-in ever to be recorded in history was of 1 Million Euros!
The big blind is generally located two to the left of the dealer button and has to chip in a pre-determined amount to play in the game even before looking at his/her hole cards.
Just like big blind, small blind is located just to the left of the dealer button and has to chip in per-determined amount (half of big blind) to play in the game.
The 1st three community cards dealt face up.
Check is used to continue playing the game without betting any money further. If someone raises the initial amount, you cannot ‘check’ anymore and have to either call their amount, raise or fold.
To chip in minimum amount of money necessary to continue playing the game
To Chip in more amount than the minimum required to call. This forces the other players to put more money if they wish to continue playing the hand.
To not play the current hand. Once someone folds, they forfeit their right to the pot
The ‘pot’ refers to the collective sum of money that everyone chips in during a single hand. This pot goes to the player with the best hand or the one last standing (if everyone else on the table folds)
Now that you’ve got some idea about what different poker terminologies stand for and how to play poker, Lets jump right into the game, shall we? But before we do, please check this page to understand the hands and the hand rankings for Texas Hold’em. This will make it easier for you to know which hand to play and which hand not to and give you an overall idea about the game. If you haven’t downloaded the best online poker game yet, now is the time!