Texas Hold’em is the simplest version of poker, which is why it’s the game most beginners learn first. The best online casinos and poker sites in the Philippines offer some iteration of the game. Before betting on Texas Holdem for real money, though, know how to play it. This guide shows you how to.
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What is Texas Hold’em Poker?
Texas Hold’em is a game in a genre called community poker. This type of poker game requires you to use your cards, known as pocket or hole cards, and board or community cards to make the best hand possible. Texas Holdem is wildly popular because it has simple rules. Once you get familiar with this variant, the rest are easy to understand. No Limit Hold’em is the most played. It is the main gaming option at the World Series of Poker. In the game, the strongest five-card hand, according to rankings, wins the pot.
How to play? – Aim and Basic Rules
2-20 players can play Texas Hold’em poker. The point is to have the best card combination at the showdown to take the pot. Hold’em contains several rounds where betting occurs, and in each one, you attempt to put together the best hand. In online poker, a button represents the dealer. This feature determines the big blind and small blind.
A game begins with bets and then everyone at the table receives two hole cards. Then comes the first, or preflop betting round, which occurs clockwise from the dealer. Next is the flop, the second stage where the dealer deals three face-up community cards. In this betting round, you decide which action to take based on the strength of your poker hand.
During the second betting round or post-flop, you must consider the hole cards, the board cards, and the remaining two options. The next round of betting, called the turn or Fourth Street, adds a fourth community card to the flop. All remaining players take action in the third betting round. Next comes the river, or Fifth Street, when the dealer deals the final community card. In the post-river or fourth betting round, you have all the available alternatives to make your hand. If after this final betting round, the table has two or more players remaining, then they have to show their cards to see who holds the winning hand.
Hand Rankings in Texas Holdem Poker
How do you know you have the best poker hand? Here’s how card combinations rank in Texas Hold’em in descending order.
- Royal Flush – an Ace to Ten sequence in the same suit (A-K-Q-J-10).
- Straight Flush – five cards in sequence and of the same suit.
- Four of a Kind – four cards of equal rank and another one.
- Full House – three of a kind and a pair (Q-Q-Q-3-3).
- Flush – five non-sequential cards of one suit.
- Straight – five cards in sequence, but not in one suit.
- Three of a Kind – three cards of equal value and two different ones.
- Two Pairs – two separate pairs and another card.
- Pair – two same-ranking cards and three different ones.
- High Card – a hand that doesn’t form any of the standard combinations plays the highest valued card.
Betting Options in Texas Holdem Poker
So, you know the several betting rounds you must go through in Texas Holdem. However, you also need to be aware of the actions to take. As you try to create the strongest hand possible, the goal is to take the pot or all the wagers made on that hand. In every betting round, you gauge how good your cards are and then make the most appropriate move. Alternatively, you can bluff. It means you keep betting despite your hand’s strength to intimidate opponents into withdrawing. Here are the primary betting options:
- Call – matching or raising another player’s wager.
- Raise – increasing your current bet in a betting round.
- Fold – withdrawing from the present hand and forfeiting all bets.
- Check – declining to wager before the initial round of betting, but might do so later.
- All in – if your remaining poker chips are not enough to call, you can play all of them.
Before the dealing of cards, two players can make forced bets. The player positioned to the left of the dealer button puts up a small blind, and the next player to the left places the big blind. A Texas Holdem game can also include an ante, a minimum bet from every player.
Tips and Tricks for Beginners
Poker can be overwhelming the first few times you play. Hence, a few best practices go a long way. One trick for getting better at poker is learning to watch your opponents. Look at bet sizes and moves in every betting round to understand their mindset. Wagering from a late position enables you to focus on the other players.
Although the wide array of poker games might be confusing, know how to pick suitable ones. Don’t bet on Texas Holdem games that are out of your skill level. Additionally, check the minimum bet and pot limit when choosing poker games.
Make the most of free play. With a free Texas Holdem game, you can grasp the intricacies at your pace. Since you are gambling with virtual money, you can play for however long you want.
If tournaments interest you, then learn about the different types. Know how they differ from regular games. Watching events like the World Poker Tour can help you get familiar with tournament gaming.
How to Improve Your Playing Strategies?
A solid poker strategy makes a significant difference when playing for real money. Your betting plan should be long-term, and that means improving it whenever you can. One way is to know how to size your wagers, particularly in no-limit poker. Sensible bet sizing requires you to follow the table closely to see what other players are doing. As a beginner, stick to a familiar betting pattern pre-flop. You can be more adventurous post-flop.
When holding strong hands, don’t miss the chance to build the pot. Although slow playing is advisable for a beginner, don’t be afraid of intimidating the other players to fold. The more the pot grows, the higher the returns.
Avoid limping first. Limping refers to calling the big blind when you first enter the pot. The danger of limping, especially from a late position, is that the community card options might not be valuable enough.
How to Select the Right Place to Play Texas Holdem Poker?
Thanks to the popularity of this variant, a majority of online poker sites in the Philippines offer it. However, you can’t trust every platform. The best poker sites are regulated. A licensed gambling website guarantees fair gaming. A plus point is if the operator has a certificate from an auditor.
Game variety is another selection criterion. Besides Texas Hold’em, you might want to try other poker games. Therefore, ensure a gaming site offers diverse gambling alternatives. Also, check table limits to make certain they meet your gaming requirements.
Bonuses can boost your poker gambling tremendously. If you prefer to use them, then find the best ones. Compare available poker bonuses for Filipino players. Don’t only consider the amount, though. Look at wagering conditions and other terms to ensure they are fair.
From this guide, you know what happens in Texas Hold’em. However, you still have to learn many aspects and practice regularly to truly master the game. If you are interested in poker, then Texas Holdem is the best place to start. Not only is the poker game simple, but it is also exhilarating. With the right strategy and some luck, you can enjoy good returns. As you learn about the rules, find out about the different betting options, like limit games. Also, teach yourself how to identify good games and tournaments. Don’t forget to research more tips for making money in Texas Hold em.