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Attracting millions of players and spectators from all over the world, poker is a true worldwide gaming phenomenon.
Most modern players of poker knows only Texas Hold’em and none of the other versions, although there are many versions of the game from as far back as the antiquity of Persia and China. Poker was introduced in Europe via France with a game named Poque during the 17th century, and it was from Poque that the modern name was possibly derived.
Poker was introduced by French colonists to the New World, just like most other casino games. It spread into the Wild West as the US population expanded but it was originally from New Orleans. It surged in popularity in the 1860s during the US Civil War and it was then that many of the present rules and versions of the game poker was established, which includes Stud Poker, Draw Poker, and the straight.
Texas Hold’em was created in the town of Robstown which is in southern Texas in the early parts of the 20th century but it only took to fame after it was brought to a small casino in Las Vegas called Golden Nugger in the year 1967. Two years after that, Dune Casino held a tournament of Texas Hold’em and it was during that time that more attention was drawn to the game.
The Binion brothers got the fraught Gambling Fraternity Convention and converted it to The World Series of Poker, which is the world’s biggest tournament about poker nowadays. Their choice to utilize Texas Hold’em in the Key/Main event was a decision that would have effects for the entirety of the industry of online gambling.
Texas Hold’em transformed into the most widely- known form of the game poker in the world, thanks to its exposure on TV and to WSOP. This popularity was cemented with the onset of the internet in the later part of the 20th century and made sure that online poker and Texas Hold’em would be enjoyed by tens and tens of millions of players the world over.
The following definition of terms includes the terms that are a part of elementary poker terminology and some which are specific only for Texas Hold’em.
Blinds are coerced which are made by 2 players to the dealer’s left (person right to the left puts in small blind and person two places to the left puts in big blind).
Bluff refers to a tactic wherein a player wagers on a weak hand to make those with stronger hand make a move out of the game
Buy-in refers to the certain amount/value of chips to be purchased by the player to join a game of poker.
Community Cards refers to the five cards dealt face up in Texas hold’em and can be used by all the players.
Flop refers to the first or initial round wherein three community cards are dealt in a way that they are facing up.
Flush refers to five cards from the similar suit.
Hole Cards refers to two cards dealt to a player.
Pair refers to two cards of having similar value, e.g., two 5s or two Aces.
Pot refers to the total value bets or wagers on a certain hand.
Rake refers to the commission of the House from each pot. This is the way the House makes money from games of poker.
River refers to the final and fifth community card dealt out.
Round of betting refers to the time the players make a choice out of the four options (call, check, fold, or raise) at each round of betting.
Royal Flush refers to an Ace-high straight of identical suit (Ace, Ten, Jack, Queen and King of Hearts) and is the best but rarely seen hand in poker.
Straight refers to five serial cards of any suit (Jack, 10, 9, 8, 7).
Trips refers to three-of-a-king (three 10s or three 5s).
Turn refers to the fourth community card dealt.
The game starts as the dealer shuffles a standard 52-card deck. Half of the minimum bet (small blind) is posted by the player to the left of the dealer button. Other players begin to post minimum bet (big blind) following a clockwise rotation. This is the first round of betting. Still starting with the player to his left, dealer deals two hole cards to each player on the table. This is the preflop.
After the preflop, players may fold, raise or call. To prevent cheating, the so-called “burn card”, which is found at the top part of the deck, is discarded by the dealer.
The dealer flips 3 cards on the table face up. These three cards are called communal cards, which each player can use to add with their hole (pocket or private) cards to form their best five hands. The second betting round starts again from the person to the left of the dealer. After this betting round, the dealer lays another communal card on the table. This part is called the “turn”.
The third betting round takes place starting from the person to the left of the dealer. In most poker variants, this is the part where the size of the bet doubles.
After the third betting round, dealer places the final card on the table face up. This stage is called “river”. At this point, each player is allowed to use any card from the five cards laid on the table to form their best five hands.
The final betting round takes place from the person to the left of the dealer. Players reveal their best five poker hand. The player with the best five cards wins the game.
One of the most frustrating things in poker for a new player is not knowing which hand outranks another. Starting with the highest or strongest hand, here is the order of ranks.
- Royal Flush – This is the penultimate hand of all. This is a five-card sequence of the same suits from 10 to the Ace. You become invincible if you have this combination.
- Straight Flush – Similar to Royal flush, but sequence involve card/s with value lower than 10.
- Quads – Four cards having the same value.
- Full House – Three-of-a-kind and a pair. The three-of-a-kind is the tiebreaker.
- Flush – Five cards of the same suit but not in sequence.
- Straight – Fiver cards in sequence but of different suits.
- Three-of-a-kind – Three cards of the same value and a non-pair.
- Two-pair – Two separate pair. The higher kicker card (non-pair) breaks the tie.
- One pair – One pair of the same value.
- High Card – In the event that none of the players have any hand mentioned above, the highest value card determines the winner.
Texas Hold’em is not just a game of poker, it requires precise calculations, ability to read and judge others and at the same time keeping focus on the ultimate goal, which is of course winning. The first thing which every amateur player has to learn is how to use his cards, whether to play them or wait for the next hand.
Poker is game of chance; therefore, there are no sets of rules for winning. A standard practice is that if a player has two cards with a value less than 10 from different suits, then odds of winning are very slim. If a card is worth more than 10, individually or in a pair, then chances of winning as the game goes on increase. Texas Hold’em is a game of risk, you need to analysis what your cards are worth and what amount can be spent. In some cases, doling a few extra bucks can do the trick, in others, folding and waiting for a better hand turns out to be the best option.
- Do not play each hand. It is okay to be competitive (more so for poker) but then the laws of probability says it’s highly impossible to win each hand. Once you've had enough experience in playing, you’ll know when to hold or fold your cards.
- Do not go into playing a hand because you have already devoted money and time. This is a good rule that applies to real life as well as poker. If you got bad cards and your competition has increased the stakes really high, it might be worth thinking that your initial bet is now a loss.
- Be calm. The best players in poker never play or get angry. They keep their cool, hence their thoughts remain clear. They also keep their eyes on their competition and on the table
Have a good look at the community cards. These cards belongs to everyone so if you focus enough you will find out not just your best potential 5-card combo but also the best potential 5-card combo of your competition.