Texas Hold’em Poker: Starting Hands and Rules of the Game
Have you ever seen an image of people playing poker and wondered what they’re doing? Or had friends who are crazy about the game and discuss it incessantly, but you have no idea what they’re talking about? Do you feel like your life would just be a teeny bit easier if you understood the game? If you’ve answered ‘yes’ to the questions asked, then your wish shall be granted. I’ve got your back, and I’ll tell you about Texas Hold’em rules.
Texas Hold’em is the most popular poker game played, and you’ll definitely benefit from learning its rules. Simply learning the rules of the game won’t make you a skilled and good player, but, it is enough to get you started. You’ll know the basic foundations of the game, and then all you need is practice. So, come along and let’s learn the poker rules.
Nothing you do in a game of poker is without purpose. But when you’re learning about the game, you’re concerned with the goals, or the endgame. As a beginner, you might be more concerned with the short term goal, which is to win the pool. Winning the pool, is essentially winning the game and walking home with all the cash. This can be done very simply. You have to do either of the two things:
-Have the best hand at the final showdown, or
- Get the other players to fold their hands.
Now, if you’re interested in a little more, you should keep your eye on the long term goal. Your aim should be to play as many games, as possible. You want to observe all the hands played and learn from them. Your objective should be to strengthen your skills and become a better player.
How to get to either one of the goals? Read on, and find out.
While the dealer does his designated job, which is to deal the cards, he does not participate and play in the game. His seat, however, is used to indicate which player will act last, at the end of a round. This is called the Dealer’s Button. Any round begins with the player seated to the left of the dealer and goes clockwise around the table.
Now you know who plays first and who acts last, at a poker table.
Now that we’re ready to begin the game, let’s look at some of the basics.
- The deck used in a game is a standard 52 card deck, without any jokers. It has regular cards and consists of the four suits; Spades, Clubs, Diamonds, and Hearts.
- The basic starting hands are dealt to the players, by the dealer, one at a time. The dealer deals in a clockwise rotation around the table.
- At a typical poker table, you’ll find two to twelve players engaged in a game. When there are only two players playing the game, it is called a Heads Up.
The game then begins, with the dealer dealing the starting cards, which are called hole cards. These are dealt to each player, one by one; starting with the player sitting to left of the dealer and continues clockwise around the table. This is accompanied by a round of betting and this entire process is called the pre-flop.
After the pre-flop, the community cards are dealt. The community cards are five cards, which are placed face-up on the table, and can be used by all the players in order to build their hands. They are dealt, as follows:
- The second round of dealing (the first being the pre-flop) is called the Flop, during which three community cards are dealt.
- The third round of dealing is called the Turn, during which one community card is dealt.
- The fourth round of dealing is called the River, during which one community card is dealt.
A round of betting accompanies each deal.
The Blind is the minimum amount of bet that has to be placed, in order to play in the game. Players seated to the left of the dealer, are called the Small Blind and the Big Blind. While most players are required to place bets after the hole cards have been dealt, these two players do so, before. The Big Blind has to place the full amount of the blind, whereas the Small Blind can place half the amount.
In the end, the game is decided via a showdown, where the player with the best hand takes home the pot. But how do you build a winning hand? Keep reading and find out.
Starting Hand Strategy:
Poker is a game that is won by having the best hand at the table. Poker hands are organized according to the hand rankings – a kind of hierarchy- and these help the players decide which hands to build. So it is important to choose the right cards as the basic starting hand. Choosing the right starting hand should be kept in mind from, well, the start. Considering this during the pre-flop itself, reduces any mistakes that could be made later. Some of the starting hands that are beneficial are as follows:
- Pairs of the same rank, such as two Aces or even two Deuces,
- Broadway Hands, which are combinations of two, from the cards Ace, King, Queen, Jack and Ten,
- Suited Connectors, which are two consecutive cards from the same suit, such as a Seven and Eight of diamonds,
- Suited Gappers, which are cards of the same suit, but consist of every other card, instead of consecutive cards, such as a Seven and Nine of spades, and
- Medium Suited Aces, which consist of two cards of the same suit, wherein one of them is an Ace and the other a medium card such as a Nine.
These pointers should be kept in mind from the very beginning. They can really improve your game.
Now, you can safely say that you’ve caught up with all the rules of Texas Hold’em and you’re definitely ready to start playing. If you’re wondering how you can do that, then come join us at Spartan and just download poker app to play!