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Texas Holdem Beginners Course
02-09-2009, 08:14 AM (This post was last modified: 03-19-2009 10:21 PM by KillJoy.)
Post: #1
Texas Holdem Beginners Course
Introduction

This beginners course was created to teach the basics of texas hold'em, and will be concentrated more on no-limit hold'em. The main goal is to introduce this very popular game to new players in order to get them comfortable playing texas hold'em.

Learning hold'em is quite easy and conceptually simple although the overall game is complex. Playing texas hold'em requires a great deal of skill and knowledge, and is not based on the cards alone.

After finishing this course you will not be an expert, but will posses enough information to hold your own ground in low-limit games , and begin practicing at one of the many online poker rooms.

Preflop

Typically the game is played with eight to ten players to a table (it can be played with less players). One person is determined the dealer or also known as the "button". The two people to the left of the dealer are going to put their blind bets in the pot. Blinds are the starting pot builder. The blinds will be announced before the round begins. The first person after the dealer, or the "small blind" puts in X amount then the second person, the "big blind" adds double that amount. This changes clockwise each round by moving to the next player. So, in the next round big blind is the player to the big blind in the previous hand, the small blind is the player that was the big blind in the previous hand, and the player that was the small blind in the previous hand is now the dealer, and so on the next hand. The dealer or a designated dealer is going to deal out one card to each player in a clockwise fashion starting to his left. Another one card round will be dealt. These two cards are known as your "pocket" cards. Your pocket cards will be combined with 5 community cards that will be dealt on the table. Each player uses his pocket cards along with the community cards to make his strongest 5 card poker hand.

Betting

After the cards are dealt, the first round of betting will begin with the person to the left of the big blind and continue around the table. Each player has the right to:
Fold - Throw in his cards if he doesn’t want to continue playing the current hand
Call - Match the big blind or bet made by a previous player
Bet - When no one before you has bet anything, you can do it yourself. You can say, for example: "I bet 100 chips" and place your chips in the pot, so that anyone who wants to play on must pay your bet. If they don't, because it is too expensive, they can fold.
Raise - Match blind or bet, then add at least the amount of the big blind or bet. By raising, you are making the bet more expensive to call for anyone who wants to play on. If they don't want to pay extra, they must fold.
Check - If no one has bet yet, then you have the option to check. This means that you don't place any bet and let the next player act. You cannot check on the first round since there are already bets made, the blind bets (Blinds).

Flop

The dealer will then lay one card face down or "burn" a card, he will then deal 3 cards face up known as the "flop". Another round of betting will start off but this time on with the player to the left of the dealer. Here a player can skip on his bet and pass to the next person by calling "check". Each person can check, fold, or bet (at least the big blind) if no one has yet entered the pot. Once someone has entered the pot a player can then fold, call, or raise.

Turn

The dealer will now "burn" another card and deal one card face up. This card is known as the "turn". Another round of betting will follow.

River

The dealer will then "burn" one last card and deal one more card face up for what is known as the "river". Another round of betting will follow and who ever is still in this round of play will go to Showdown and compare their combined 5 card hand. Whoever has the highest hand wins.

The Poker Hands

Royal Flush
The strongest poker hand is the royal flush. Ten, Jack, Queen, King and Ace all of the same suit, e.g. spades.

Straight Flush

The second strongest hand in poker is the straight flush. It is composed of five consecutive cards of the same suit. If two players have a straight flush, the one with the highest cards wins.

Four of a kind

A four of a kind is four cards of the same rank, e.g. four Kings. If two players have four of a kind, then the one with the highest four of a kind wins. If they have the same, then the player with the highest fifth card wins, since a poker hand is always composed of five cards.

Full House

A full house is a combination of a three of a kind and a pair. If two players have a full house, then the one with the highest three of a kind wins. If they have the same one, then the pair counts.

Flush

Five cards of the same suit make a flush. If two players have a flush, then the one with the highest cards wins.

Straight

Five consecutive cards are called a straight. If two players have a straight, the one with the highest cards wins.¸

Three of a kind

A three of a kind is composed of three cards of the same rank. If two players have the same three of a kind, then the other cards, or both cards, determine the winner, since a poker hand is a always composed of five cards.

Two pairs

Two pair hands are, of course, composed of two pairs. If two players have two pairs, the rank of the higher pair determines the winner. If they have the same higher pair, then the lower one counts. If it is also the same, then the fifth card counts.

Pair

A pair is composed of two cards of the same rank. Since a poker hand is always composed of five cards, the other three cards are so-called "kickers". In case two players have the same pair, then the one with the highest kicker wins.

High card

If you don't even have a pair, then you look at the height of your cards. If there are two players at showdown who don't have a pair, or better, then the one with the highest cards win.

"Depend on the rabbit's foot if you will, but remember it didn't work for the rabbit." - R. E. Shay
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