Texas Hold’em is the most popular variation of poker on the planet, today, and with millions of hands played every single hour, it’s no surprise that you want try this fantastic and exciting game too!
In this guide, we’re going to take a look at some of the basic Texas Hold’em rules, and we’ll also look at some Texas Hold’em strategy tips.
Like with most games, let’s start by learning the rules of the game first.
Basic Texas Hold’em rules
Texas Hold’em poker can be played with anywhere from two, to 100 players (there’s actually no upper-limit!) although the most popular type of game is played with between 6 and 9 players.
The basic principal of the game is to make a better hand than your opponent – or, if you feel you have a worse hand – then fold it. But of course it’s a lot more complex than that, and the game itself actually involves a fair degree of mathematics and statistical analysis.
(That being said, don’t worry; you don’t need to be good at math in order to make healthy profits at the poker table; a solid Texas Hold’em strategy requires little-to-no math knowledge).
Now, there’s two main types of poker game; the first is a cash game, and this is where you play with real money, against other players. The second type is a tournament, and this is where all participants pay an entry fee, and play with tournament chips instead of real money chips.
There are a number of hand rankings, with the best possible hand being the Royal Flush. This is seconded by a Straight Flush, and followed further, by a 4-of-a-kind, a Full House, and then the lower hands.
A solid Texas Hold’em strategy will require good knowledge of the hand-rankings, so ensure you’re versed on these early on. If you need more help, re-read this “how to play Texas Hold’em for dummies” guide a few times, to get a strong grasp on the basic rules and strategy.
How to Play Texas Hold’em
As part of this how to play Texas Hold’em guide, we figured it’d be good to include a general section on playing the game.
Texas Hold’em is incredibly simple to play and getting started is as easy as choosing your game, selecting a suitable stake, and taking your seat. (Make sure you have a good grip of the basic Texas Hold’em rules before starting – this will help your game a LOT!).
Once you begin playing, you’ll be dealt your hand; this is made up of two cards, and is the beginning of the action, so to speak. You can either throw these cards away (fold) if they’re garbage, call the blind bet (if the hand’s OK), or make a raise, if you like your hand.
Once other players at the table have acted, a community flop is dealt; this is comprised of three cards, and all players can share these cards. A round of betting now takes place, with all players again given the option to either fold, raise, or check their hand. A fourth card is then dealt (known as the turn), with the betting round once again taking place.
The final line of betting takes place after the 5th community card is dealt – known as the river – and once this betting round has ended, players turn their two cards face up, with the player holding the strongest hand being awarded the money (known as the pot) in the middle.
Now you have an idea of how to play the game, we’re going to look at some quick advanced Texas Hold’em strategy and tips.
Advanced Texas Hold’em Strategy and Tips
So you’ve played a few hands of poker and now you’re ready to advance your skills further, well here are some advanced strategies and tips just for you. If you came here solely for a how to play Texas Hold’em for dummies guide, the Texas Hold’em strategy below may be a little advanced… but it’s never too early to improve!).
One of the best tips you should be aware of, is to know your mathematics. While it’s not necessary to become a successful poker player, it will help, and one of the good examples of where math can come in handy, is with pot odds.
For example, if you need a specific card to land in order to make your hand, you’re doing what’s known as ‘chasing’. It may be fine to risk a dollar or two to chase this card – but how do you know how much you should actually risk?
By working out the percentage chance of this card coming in, you can work out your rough pot-odds. While this won’t help too much in the short-term, it can greatly improve your profitably as you play more, and it’s something you’ll definitely want to make yourself familiar with.
Another key tip to bear in mind, is that learning how to read your opponents can also be very beneficial. For example, observing facial twitches, heavy breathing, and trembling hands can help you make decisions on whether a player holds a strong or weak hand – but make sure you don’t let on that you’re observing them, or they could try to deceive you!
Improving Your Game
There’s really only one way to improve your game (aside from reading up on poker theory), and that’s practice!
Just like any sport, or pretty much anything else in life, practice makes perfect, and the more you play the better you’ll become! What’s more, thanks to the rise in internet poker sites you don’t need to bet big to play like was previously required if you played at a land-based casino.
And this means you can play from stakes as little as $0.01/$0.02.
Above all else, make sure you have a good grip of the basic Texas Hold’em rules, as this will make a big difference to the quality of your game; a strong Texas Hold’em strategy will help as well.
Hopefully this “how to play Texas Hold’em for dummies” guide will have helped your game and you have gotten a taste of winning.
Want to win even more? Make sure to check out all our other guides on the site too. They’re always accurate, up-to-date, and have your profitability in mind.