Texas Hold’em Poker Rules
By Jesse Abramowitz, Rakeback.com Staff Writer
|How to Play||A Complete Hand||Starting Hands||Playing Styles||Poker Jargon|
Each player is dealt two cards facedown, beginning left of the dealer button and orbiting clockwise. Your ‘position’ is always relative to the button.Once the cards are dealt, action preflop begins with the player to the left of the big blind,with the option to call (the amount of the big blind), raise or fold.
Once the last preflop action is completed, the dealer will flip three community cards face-up, known as the flop. The action postflop on all rounds begins with the first player to the left of the button being first to act.
Otherwise known as 4th street, the turn is is the fourth community card that is dealt face-up. Another round of betting takes place.
Otherwise known as 5th street, the river is the fifth and final community card that is dealt face up. A final round of betting takes place to conclude the hand.
The best 5 card hand wins the pot if the hand goes to showdown. If at any point during the entire hand, a player has bet and received no callers (everybody folds), the bettor is awarded the pot without a showdown.
The video below shows the action of a complete hand from preflop to showdown.
When initially learning the game, it is often most prudent to adopt a tight approach preflop.Tightening up and sticking to the top 10 starting hands in early positions will make you less exploitable versus regulars.
This will also help reduce the likelihood of making crucial mistakes. It is just as imperative to familiarize yourself with the ranks of the top ten starting hands as it is the rules of Texas Holdem
The Top 10% of Hands in Texas Holdem
Of the 52 cards in the deck, there are 1,326 varying strengths of hole cards you can make. If a player is raising with any two cards then it is implied that he is playing 100% of starting hands.
In the graphic below, the cards in orange are the range of hole cards that roughly equal the top 10% of possible starting combinations for your reference. Once you become more experienced you can open up your range to play loose where appropriate – e.g. in late position, when playing shorthanded, or when playing vs tight opponents to steal their blinds.
Graphical Illustration of the Top 10% Starting Hands in Texas Holdem
|Texas Holdem – Fast Facts|
|Odds to be dealt AA||220 to 1||Best hand vs AA||76s|
|Odds an opponent has AA when you have KK||4.4%||Odds to beat AA with 76s||22.5%|
|Odds to flop ‘set over set’||98 to 1||Odds to beat AA with KK||17.8%|
Position Is Everything
When you play a hand from early position you will likely be first to act for the entire hand, which often gives your opponent an advantage, as well as an opportunity to put you to difficult decisions. Therefore, it’s imperative to play extremely tight from the first starting positions.
As your position changes, this allows you to widen your starting hands considerably. For example, low suited connectors from early position should be folded, however if action has folded around you to you in late position, they can be played for a raise.
|The Ancient Greek saying ‘Know Thyself’ is well suited to poker.Identifying your own playing style can help you to perceive how others see you and also help you to exploit the playing style of others.|
- Tight Aggressive – otherwise known as TAG, this is the most optimal strategy for beginners. It entails playing a tight range of starting hands and betting accordingly to continue applying pressure on your opponents.
- Loose Aggressive– otherwise known as LAG, this is a difficult strategy to master, as it will require you to be extremely aggressively with sub-par holdings. For a beginner, it is not recommended to put yourself in a position where you need to be bluffing often.
- Tight Passive – this strategy indicates that you play strong hands but do not raise and bet as often. This strategy works well against LAG players who are likely to bluff you, but like all strategies, it is a double-edged sword because you allow your opponents to catch up and crack your hand when they see free cards.
- Loose Passive – this is the weakest style of play. This approach is one where a very wide range of hands are played from all positions, and without applying any pressure on the opponents. This style is one mostly associated with the most novice and inexperienced of players.
|Did you know?
President Nixon used poker earnings won during his time in the Navy to finance his presidential campaign.
The game of poker is riddled with slang, short-hand, nicknames and an ever-evolving jargon. If you think of ‘poker lingo’ as its own dialect, you can often draw conclusions about your opponents.
Because the lingo is a major part of poker culture, it varies across demographics (especially age, and experience level).Using your knowledge,you should easily be able to tell who’s the ‘fish’ at the table.
Likewise, you should brush up on your own slang before hitting the tables to avoid being a target for sharks.