If you like to play poker quickly, then this is the game for you. Texas Hold’em is definitely the quickest and is probably the most popular of the game types to play. If you are just starting to play this is the game to learn. In Texas Hold’em, a player must make their hand of five cards from any combination of their two hole cards and the five community cards. There are four rounds of betting or stages in Texas Hold’em: pre-flop, on the flop, the turn and the river. The process of playing a round of Texas Hold’em is described below:
- Initially, one player is chosen to be the virtual dealer. Obviously in online poker nobody can actually deal, however, the fact that somebody is the dealer is important in the game as you will find out shortly. The dealer is shown as a marker on the table and is commonly referred to as the button. The button then rotates around the table in a clockwise direction after each play. This ensures that each player gets a chance to be dealer and also to be last to bet.
- The blinds are now posted. Blinds are forced bets that start the game rolling. In Texas Hold’em there are two blinds, the little blind and the big blind. The little blind in placed by the player to the immediate left of the dealer button and is usually equal to 1/3 – 2/3 the amount of the lower limit bet. The big blind is equal to a bet at the lower limit. For example, in a £10/£20 game, the little blind is £5 and the big blind is £10. Both of these blinds are termed live, which means that when the betting reaches the players with the blinds then they may raise. This is the only time in poker when a player may raise his own bet.
- Two cards are now dealt face down to each player in a clockwise direction. These cards are called hole cards.
- There is now a round of betting which is limited to one bet and three raises. This round of betting is called the pre-flop. If the game being played is a limit game, then all the bets are made at the lower limit.
- After the pre-flop has finished, three cards are now dealt face up onto the table. This is called the flop. The three cards are termed community cards because each player may use them in combination with their own hole cards to make their best possible poker hand.
- Once the flop has been dealt, another round of betting ensues. If the game being played is a limit game, then this is the last round at the lower limit. After this round, all bets and raises will be at the higher limit. Betting is limited to one bet and three raises.
- When the betting from the flop is completed, a fourth card is dealt face up onto the table. This card is called the turn card. Again, this card is one of the community cards and can be used by any of the players.
- After the turn card has been dealt, the third round of betting starts. In limit games, this round of betting is at the higher limit. Betting is limited to one bet and three raises.
- When the betting from the turn is completed, a fifth card is dealt face up onto the table. This card is called the river card. This card is the final card to be dealt and is the last of the community cards and can be used by any of the players.
- The final round of betting can now begin. In the same way as the previous betting rounds, betting is limited to one bet and three raises.
- When the betting is over, the players then reveal their hole cards and the winner of the pot is determined as the player with five highest ranked cards. These cards can be any combination of the two hole and five community cards.
It really is as simple as that! If it still seems a bit daunting then don’t worry as the casinos listed below will allow you to play free games until you feel confident enough to take on other opponents. Please refer to the advanced section for hints, tips and strategies to improve and hone your poker skills.