Since Poker can be played in so many ways and according to several sets of rules based on the particular game of Poker being played, new players often become overwhelmed even before they’ve tried to give even a basic game a go.
But a good starting point for any newbie player eager to learn how to play would be to become familiar with the way in which Texas Hold’em Poker is played. Not only is this one of the more common versions of the game played both in home-games as well as at the casino, but it’s also superbly exciting. In fact, no other game is as thrilling, fast-paced, intriguing, or as easy to learn as Texas Hold’em.
And we’re about to tell you the basics needed to get off to a great Texas Hold’em Poker start.
The Basic Setup
Texas Hold’em can be played by as few as two players, or by as many as up to twenty two players. For starters, each player is dealt a total of two cards face down. These two cards are known as the “pocket cards”. Their values should not be revealed to any other player around the table, and they constitute your so-called private hand.
Moving clockwise, each player will then (by the dealer) be given the option to either fold, call the remainder of the big blind bet, or raise at least the amount of the big blind bet. In the event that no player has raised (a decision to raise being dependent on the overall quality of the hand) by the time the action has proceeded all the way back to the big blind, the dealer will turn the next three cards entering into play face up on the playing board.
This is what is commonly referred to as the “flop”. Next follows a round of betting during which players may either check, not bet, and pass play until such time as someone bets. However, once a bet has been made, checking is no longer possible.
The “Turn” And The “River”
The fourth card, also placed face-up on the table, is called the “turn” card. Another round of betting follows, only this time round, higher betting increments may be wagered than what would have been the initial maximum tier.
All of which is concluded by the placement of a 5th card on the table – also face up. This card is referred to as the “river” card. A final round of betting will then be offered.
The final showdown happens only after all the betting action has been completed. Those players still actively in the game and wanting to claim the pot for that particular round must then show to everyone around the table their hands. The pocket cards and five cards are then compared and the player will then, along with the dealer, determine who holds the best Poker hand. The highest hand is declared the winner, and the pot for that round is won.