A Beginners’ Guide to Texas Hold’em
Poker is an art, an international game that is easier to master than you think. To help you embark on a winning journey, Parq Casino experts have created this essential Top 10 guide that may just sweeten the pot.
#One – The Basics
Texas Hold’em is a popular version of poker you can play with or without limits. The variations use a standard 52-card deck with two to 10 players at a single table.
#Two – The Blinds
The first two players to the dealer’s left are required to bet before the other players are dealt their cards. These are called “blinds,” which ups the ante and keeps players from folding without consequence.
#Three – The Deal
Starting with the two players who posted blinds, the dealer then delivers the cards clockwise, faced down, to each person at the table.
#Four – The Bet
When everyone has their two starting cards, players, in sequence, then decide to play or fold. To stay in the game, you must match all bets around the table or you can fold for free.
#Five – The Hand
Here’s a tip you may not expect: Don’t play every hand. Limit your plays to those with a strong starting hand (first two cards) that have potential for a high-ranking poker hand (five cards).
#Six – The Rank
Here are your ranks from best to worst:
- Royal flush (All the same suit, sequence A-K-Q-J-T)
- Straight flush (Any sequence all the same suit, for instance 9-8-7-6-5)
- Four of a kind (Four cards that are the same value, for instance A-A-A-A)
- Full house (Three of a kind AND a pair)
- Flush (All the same suit)
- Straight (A basic sequence such as 6-5-4-3-2)
- Three of a kind (Three cards that are the same value such as 5-5-5)
- Two-pair (Two pairs, such as 9-9 AND 5-5)
- Pair (Any pair whether it’s A-A or 2-2)
- High Card (Whatever your highest card is)
#Seven – The Action
When it’s your turn to bet, bet swiftly. Remember, your demeanor speaks to your opponents. A decisive wager indicates a strong hand, even if you’re bluffing, while hesitation indicates a weak hand. When others are betting, watch their demeanor. What do their actions imply?
#Eight – The Flop
When the first round is complete, the dealer places three community cards on the table that anyone can use. This is called the flop, and it allows players still in the game to:
- Check: Make no bet and see what others on the table will to do
- Bet: Put money in the pot and up the ante
- Call: Match the previous bet
- Raise: Wager more than the previous bet
- Fold: Opt out of the game
#Nine – The Turn
Now the stakes get even higher. After that round, the dealer puts a fourth community card on the table. This is called the turn, and again, it allows anyone to check, bet, call, raise or fold.
#10 The River
Consider this the grand finale. The dealer puts a fifth card down, which is called the river. For the final time, anyone still in the game can check, bet, call, raise or fold before the players’ cards are exposed. The player with the highest rank wins the pot.
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Remember, you must be 19+ to play. If you gamble, use your GameSense.