How to Play Texas Holdem Poker

What we’re going to do now, is we’re going to learn how to play the game of Texas Holdem Poker. Texas Holdem, it’s been a big booming game hasn’t it in the Internet era? And you can be a big part of it and the best thing to do is to learn how to play it properly before you start playing the game.

That’s what I’m here to do. I’m gonna teach you the fundamentals of Texas Holdem Poker. What is it?

I’ts a game of Poker against other players. Eventually there’s gonna be seven cards in play. Two are kind of secretive, they’re your own cards. Five card layed out across the middle here and the best player, with the strongest hand will win and i’ll talk you through it. You can see on the table here you’ve got something called a Dealer Button, you’ll see this when your playing online. Everybody takes their turn to be dealer.

The Dealer Button will move around after every hand so everyone takes their turn. To the left of the dealer, that’s the person who starts the betting off in every single hand, they’re called the Small Blind. That will be, in this case, here’s the dealer. So to the dealer’s left, here’s your Small Blind. To their left, is what we call the the Big Blind. So what are the Blinds?

The Blinds, they’re the thing that start the action going. They’re compulsory bets so that we’ve got some action, we’ve got some betting to start every hand off. In this case, we’ll say the small blind is one of these $5 chips here or £5 chips, so the Small Blind to the dealers left will be five, and the Big Blind has to be twice as much. So in this case, we call this, this is what we call a 5-10 game, the 5 being the Small Blind, the 10 being the Big Blind. You’ll see games of all different levels on the website. This’ll be a 5-10 game this case.

Five Blind, 10 Big Blind. So that’s started our betting going hasn’t it? What happens next? We’ve got our table set, we’ve got our players, we have the cards dealt out initially. You have just two cards each, so out come the cards.

We’ll have three players playing on this website. Two cards to each player and the players, as the cards go over the line there, will have a little look at their cards and think, have they made a good start to the hand. We’ve got the betting started, so we’ve gone Small Blind here, we’ve got the Big Blind here, so we would say the action, the next person to act in the hand is again, as it moves round clockwise the player to the left here. So we’ve got the Small Blind and the Big Blind, so what does the player here have to do next?

Well the action is now 10, that’s him out of the bet So they’ve now got three 3 different choices. Very common term in the world of Poker are these three phrases; They are to Fold, they are to Call and they are to Raise. So lets go through the three different options that the player in the third position here in this example. if he Folds, that’s pretty straight forward, he looks at his cards, he sees the betting is 10 and he thinks “Oh, that’s too expensive, I don’t have a very strong hand, discretion is the better part of valor, i’m gonna Fold my hand.” So the cards will be Folded, nothing ventured, you can actually have many hands in Poker where you don’t lose any money in the game.

Quite nice. There is a second option is to Call. To think “Well, I’m not doing too badly but I don’t wanna commit too much to the hand.” To Call at this stage, would be just to match the bet which was 10 there, The bet will again be 10 more.

If he does that, the action keeps moving around in a clockwise direction until it comes to the next player. The third option is to Raise. Now raising is when you add money to the pot, you build it up.

You could possibly call it by playing aggressively. An aggressive player does a lot of Raising and to Raise you have to double the amount that’s been bet previously. Here, the amount is 10, so if the player in the third box is going to Raise, the minimum he would be able to do that would be 20. He couldn’t bet 15, that wouldn’t be allowed. You have to double it up. So he can bet 20 or more.

So we’ll say he has bet 20, the action then moves round the table, the player in the box here, he has to now have 20 committed to the pot. He’s got 5, we’ll put him in for 20 and we’ll move the action round to the next player to his his left, he’s again got the same options. He’s committed for 10, the bets 20, he can Fold, he can Call it at 20 or he can Raise it again.

We’ll put him in for a Call. At this stage, everyone’s got the same amount committed to the pot, that’s when the round of betting ends. And all the money goes, as we say, into the pot, that’s gonna be played out at the end. So that’s the end of the first round of betting. After this, what we do is we’ll now draw three cards out and this is called the Flop, where the dealer will, in a real game, burn a card.

Drop a card down, and then three more cards are drawn to the table. Now, you with your two cards here, are gonna be matching up seeing how strong a Poker hand you can produce here. This is called the Flop. And again the betting will open up again, to the left of the dealer. Whoever is the player left in hand to the left of the dealer, shall be the first to act.

A little bit differently to the first round here, because there’s no compulsory betting already out there, you can at this stage do something that we haven’t talked about which is called Checking. Checking is when there’s no action, but you don’t want to commit any money at this stage to the pot, but you don’t want to get out of the pot either, So you can just Check and move the action around to the next player, So you’ll maybe go Check, Check, maybe perhaps the third player here, he wants to bet into the action. We’re in a 5-10 game, so the minimum bet here would be 10. So we’ll have this player here maybe, very very confidently betting 200 chips, getting a bit of action going in the game.

The betting then moves round again in a clockwise action to the next player who’s here. He’s now got those three options we talked about before, where he can Fold, he can Call, or he can Raise. Just like in the first round of betting.

In this example then we’ll have the player Calling the bet, the third player here, he’s then got the same three options. He can match that 200, he can raise to 400 or more. Or he can think, “My cards aren’t quite good enough. I’ve seen the Flop, I haven’t got a strong enough hand.”

So in this example let’s have the third player Folding his cards and he’s out of the hand. So we’ve just got the two players remaining, all the bets are equal. So again, that’s the end of that round of betting, called the Flop and the pot is building up nicely. The next thing that happens, is called the Turn. The Turn is a fourth card. Down it goes, over it goes.

So now look; we’ve got four cards here, hopefully you’re building up a nice strong confident position in the hand. Again, to the dealer’s left the first to act, do you Check or do you bet? What should we do this time?

Maybe the player here, fairly confidently bets 200, maybe the player to his left is very confident and Raises to 500. Again the player here, we’ll talk through these three options again. What does he do? Does he Fold, does he Call or does he Raise? Lets in this example say you Call the bet, you match the 500, so that 200 disappears,that 500 goes in. We’ve got the bets matched at this stage then, that’s the end of that betting turn.

And we’re now ready for the last card to be delivered and this is called the River, everything can change on the River. A lucky player is sometimes known as a River Rat, we’ve all been one. There’s the last card that’s burnt, there’s the card that goes into the middle.

Let’s see, we’ve got a Pair of 4’s on board, lots and lots of different possibilities. We then return to the player to the dealers left to choose, what are you gonna do? Are you gonna Check, are you gonna bet?

In this example, let’s keep it nice and simple. We’ll go Check, and Check. Both players, a little bit scared perhaps to commit too much into this pot. The hand is now complete.

The last thing to do is to see who the winner is, so we turn the cards over. An 8 and a 10 there, a Queen and a 6 there. The winning hand in this example is this hand here, you’ve got two 6’s and two 4’s with what we call a Queen Kicker. We’ll talk about the Hand hierarchy in just a moment. so in this example, the player here wins the pot, all the cards are brought in.

The Dealer Button will move across one, and we’re all ready to start our next hand.