Texas Hold’em Poker is a community card poker game which is typically played between 2 to 9 players.
The most popular and widely played variant of Texas Hold’em is No-Limit Hold’em, which is also the format for some of the biggest poker tournaments in the world, including the World Series of Poker Main Event.
Each player is dealt two cards, called hole cards and subsequently, 5 community cards are dealt in the middle, which can be used by all the players. The goal is to make the best 5 card combination using the players’ hole cards and the 5 community cards.
In No-Limit Hold’em, players are allowed to bet all their chips (all in) at any given point of time, hence the term “no-limit”.
• In a game of poker, the players compete for an amount of play chips that are contributed by themselves. This is called the pot.
• The game is divided into a series of deals, known as hands. The objective of the game varies for cash games and tournaments.
• What are Cash Games?
• Cash games (also called ring games) are real money games with pre-defined stakes and buy-in limits, where every chip is worth its face value.
• The stakes remain constant, and players can join or leave the table at any point of the game. The objective in a ring game is not to win each hand, but simply to maximize one’s winnings.
What are Tournaments?
• Tournaments, on the other hand, can be played by a significantly larger number of people at any given time in a multi-table format.
• Every tournament has a fixed buy-in and the chips in play have no monetary value. Instead, players are rewarded on the basis of their final posItIon, from a prize pool accumulated from their own entry fee.
• The ultimate objective in a tournament, therefore, is to defeat all other players or last as long as possible.
A, K, Q, J, 10 all of the same suit.
Five cards in a sequence, all in the same suit.
Four of a Kind
All four cards of the same rank.
Three of a kind with a pair.
Any five cards of the same suit, but not in a sequence.
Five cards in a sequence, but not of the same suit.
Three of a Kind
Three cards of the same rank.
Two different pairs.
Two cards of the same rank.
When you haven't made any of the hands above, the highest card plays.
Players can exercise an array of options at their disposal during a hand of poker.
• If a player wishes to continue in a hand, he may decide to check, bet, or raise depending on the action before him and his table position.
• On the other hand, if he elects to exit the pot and not continue in the hand, he can fold, i.e. muck his cards.
At the conclusion of each hand, the pot is awarded to either the player(s) with the best hand at showdown, or the last player left in the pot, i.e. player who is left when everyone else has folded.
• If all the players involved in a hand have not put all their chips in the pot (all in) before the 5th community card (river) then their cards will be opened on the table (visible to all) to evaluate the winning hand.
• Similarly if all the players involved in a hand have put all their chips in the pot (all in) before the 5th community card (river) then their cards will be opened on the table before the remaining cards are opened to evaluate the wining hand
At the start of a new table, in order to determine table positions and the position of the dealer button, all players are dealt one card each, face up.
• The dealer button (or simply button) is assigned to the player who is dealt the card with the highest rank. This is only for the first hand, following which the button moves to each player in a clockwise direction.
• The two players seated immediately to the left of the dealer are required to post blinds, and the action continues from there. Blinds are forced bets that are required by two players to make sure there are some chips in the pot worth playing for. The big blind = 2 x small blind.
Starting from left to the Dealer (button) position below are the name of the positions in a game of Poker:
1. Dealer button (D)
2. Small Blind (SB)
3. Big Blind (BB)
4. Under the gun (UTG)
5. Under the Gun +1 (UTG+1)
6. Middle Position (MP)
7. LoJack (LJ)
8. Hijack (HJ)
9. Cut-Off (CO)
1. Pre-Flop - After the hole cards are dealt, the first betting round (pre-flop) begins clockwise starting from the player sitting immediately to the left to the big blind.
The player may elect to either fold his cards, call the big blind, or raise the bet. After his turn, the player sitting on his immediate left can exercise the same options, and the action moves clockwise.
• The betting round continues the same way and ends when everyone has either put equal chips in the pot or folds.
• In the pre-flop round, only the player at the big blind position can ‘check’.
2. Flop - After the pre-flop round, 3 community cards are dealt face-up on the table and the next round of betting commences.
3. Turn - One more card is dealt and the third round of betting begins.
4. River - The final community card is dealt and the final round of betting starts.
• In the first round of betting which is pre-flop,the person who will act first will be at UTG Position (Under the Gun).
• After the first round of betting has happened, person to act first will be at small blind position.
Within a stipulated time period, during any hand a player can perform the following actions on his turn depending upon the situation at that point in the hand:
A. Check - An action allowed only when no bet has been placed in the round of betting which in technical terms is a 'pass' without putting money in the pot while continuing the round. Your hand will still be in contention to win the pot if you check.
B. Call- This would mean that the player agrees to match the current/existing highest bet from their available chips and wishes to continue playing the HAND.
C. Fold- A player can elect to fold his hand, i.e. exit the pot. This action would muck the player’s hand and the mucked hand then no longer stays in contention to claim the pot.
D. Bet - The player bets a certain amount based on the strength of his cards (or bluff if they’re feeling adventurous). The bet must be more than or equal to the Big Blind.
E. Raise - You can choose to bet more than the other bets that have been previously made. It needs to be at least double any previous bets made.
F. All-in - Whenever a player puts all their chips inside the pot and has nothing left behind then it is considered an All-in.