Poker has achieved extraordinary popularity rates due to its simplicity and room for implementing personal strategies that can influence in the outcome of the game. There are different poker games, from which the most popular is No Limit Texas Holdem Poker. If you are a beginner in the process of learning how to play poker, this is the perfect game to get started.
No Limit Texas Hold’em consists in achieving the highest ranking of your five-card poker hand by combining your ‘hole cards’ (face-down cards) ‘community cards’ (face-up cards) that are dealt and shared by your rivals.
How to play Texas Hold’em Poker:
Poker Hand Rankings
The ‘big blind’ and also the ‘small blind’ will be placed by those two players seated on the left-hand side of the dealer button. These bets are compulsory, establishing the minimum amount of bet in the first betting round, creating the base of the common pot.
The dealer button is a small circular marker that is used to identify which player has the role of the dealer on that hand. The dealer button is placed in front of one player and it moves one spot clockwise after each played hand.
At the beginning of the hand, each player receives two (face-down) hole cards. The first player to act will be that one seated to the left-hand side of the big blind. Heshe will have 3 options:
- give up their hand (fold)
- bet same amount of the big blind (call)
- or bet higher than big blind (raise).
When it comes to No Limit Texas Hold’em, players are allowed to raise any amount with a minimum of doubling the amount of the last bet on table. When a player chooses to bet all his/her remaining chips it will be ‘all in’.
Each player will pronounce in clockwise turns around the table, deciding whether to fold, call or raise, bearing in mind the decisions taken by his/her opponents.
The Flop, the Turn and the River
There are 4 betting rounds in Texas Holdem Poker, the first round of betting, the flop, the turn and the river.
The Flop: after the first betting round, three face-up cards will be dealt in the middle of the table so everyone has a proper view (the flop). At this stage there will be another betting round, where players will decide if folding, ‘checking’ (if they’re not placing a bet), calling or raising. The pot will keep accumulating for the lucky final winner.
The Turn: after the flop, another card will be dealt face up, so now the table has 5 community cards shared by all players. Consequently, the third betting round will take place before the final community card is dealt.
The River: the final card shared on the center of the table is named the River. Players will have their last chance of betting before comparing hands in order to determine the winner.
After all betting rounds and with all 5 community cards on the table, it comes the time for comparing each final player’s cards, also called the ‘showdown’. The player with the highest ranking among his/her five-card poker hand (combining community and hole cards) will win the pot. When two players hold winning hands of same strength, the pot will be shared half each.
We hope this introductory guide on how to play poker has provided you with the key insights to get started. Start playing free online poker today and have fun while making some money.