Every sport has its most popular game type, and every game has its favorite game type. When it comes to poker, Texas Hold’em gets the prize. Poker has dozens of games in it, and even those have several variations. However, among them all, the most popular form of poker currently played all over the world, especially online is Texas Hold’em poker.
How Texas Hold’em Took Over
Texas Hold em poker is by far the most popular form of poker played across the globe. Today, when you even mention playing a hand at the table, people tend to automatically assume that the game you’re playing is Texas Hold em poker. The reason this game (sometimes also referred to as Texas Poker) attained such popularity is because of its simplicity. By understanding the different poker hand rankings, and by thoroughly going through the different strategies, you can master your skills.
Importance of Poker Hand Rankings in Texas Hold’em
Spartan Poker is proud to present to you the best online forum to actively participate in playing Texas Hold’em poker online. You can learn how to play poker- Texas Hold’em online in detail on our website itself, however, we will run you through it here as well. In any form of poker, luck and skill are both involved. However, having the best poker hand is what will ultimately get you the pot. Here are the different five-card poker hands you can possibly have while playing Texas Hold’em poker online.
The best of the lot is also the rarest. A Royal Flush poker hand consists of a A, K, Q, J, 10 of the same suit (diamonds, hearts, clubs or spades).
Another card of novelty is the Straight Flush which consists of five cards of the same suit in sequence. For example, 4, 5, 6, 7, 8 of Hearts is a eight high straight flush. Fun fact, the royal flush is actually the best possible straight flush since it is essentially an ace-high straight flush.
Four of a Kind (Quads)
When you possess four cards of an equal rank from any suit, you are said to have a Four of a Kind (Quad). For example, a Queen of Hearts, a Queen of Diamonds, a Queen of Spades, a Queen of Clubs, and an Eight of Diamonds.
Full House or Full Boat
A three of a kind combined with a pair forms the Full House, also known as Full Boat. For example an Ace of Spades, an Ace of Diamonds, an Ace of Hearts, 7 of Clubs, and a 7 of Hearts.
Regardless of the order or sequence, If your poker hand consists of all five cards from the same suit, then you have what we call a Flush. For example, a King, 2, 3, 4, 5 of Hearts.
If you hold five cards in a sequence from any suit, you’ve got yourself a Straight.
Three of a Kind/ Set
As the name suggests, it is having three cards of the same rank from any suit, along with two cards of different ranks with any suit, then you have a Three of Kind. For example, an 8 of Diamonds, an 8 of Hearts, an 8 of Clubs, a 5 of Hearts, and a 4 of Spades.
A pair is generally referred to holding two cards of the same rank. If you have two of such pairs, you are said to have a Two Pair. For example, a 3 of Diamonds and a 3 of Diamonds; and a 5 of Diamonds and a 5 of Hearts. It is irrelevant as to which rank and which suit the fifth card holds.
Holding two cards of the same rank makes a One Pair where the remaining three cards are of any rank from any suit. An example of this would be- a 9 of Spades, a 9 of Clubs, a 5 of Diamonds, a 3 of Spades, and an 8 of Hearts.
The lowest ranking poker hand is the High card where it literally refers to the highest card in your hand. High cards are said to be formed when no other poker hand combinations apply. High cards also mean that in case of a tie, the hand with the highest card wins.
Texas Hold’em Poker Game Types
Texas Hold em poker itself has many variants, largely based on how the betting takes place. It’s vital that you know how to play poker across these variations.
Here, the bet is raised up to the total amount present in the pot. Let’s understand this further in detail with the help of an example. The total amount in the pot is 50 and the first player to act in the betting round bets 20, then the second player can bet a total of 30 (50-20). In Pot Limit games, there are no caps to the number of raises allowed.
The title is befitting the manner of play as in this variant of Holdem, there are no betting limits. Players are free to bet any amount in any time which is inclusive of staking their entire stack. However, the rule of the minimum bet amount being equal to that of the Big Blind is very much present.
Four bets are allowed during all betting rounds. These bets can comprise of a Raise, Re-raise and the final Raise unlike No Limit poker and Pot Limit poker where there are no limits to the number of raises players can make. Here, the Bet as well as the Raise are both agreed upon prior to the game. At the end of the game, i.e. in the last two rounds, the Bet and the Raise must be equal to 2.
Texas Hold’em Poker Game Stages
Just like with any other game, this too has its own structure. When playing Texas Hold’em online, players will follow this set pattern in order to inch closer towards winning the pot. Now that you know about the different game types, it is time for you to look at the stages in Texas poker online.
Initially, the pot is formed by forced bets from two of the players positioned to the left of the dealer. These bets are referred to as Blinds since they are made before the players can see their cards. Blinds are of two kinds - small and big. The small blind is placed by the player to the left of the dealer. A big blind is placed by the player left of the player who has posted the small blind. The big blind is generally double the value of the small blind. Since the dealer keeps shifting places, the blinds also rotate.
The first of the four betting rounds is called the pre-flop. This round begins with the player positioned to the left of the big blind as soon as the first two-hole cards are dealt. The first player has three options: call, raise, or fold.
Call: If you are willing to remain in the game as per your hole cards, then you must call the bet placed by the big blind. This means to raise the same amount as the big blind.
Raise: If you feel you have good cards at your disposal, then you can decide to increase the bet made by the big blind. The value you raise depends on the table limits.
Fold: If you judge that you have a weaker hand, then you can decide to not bet any further and discard your cards. You can fold in any of the four rounds of betting. However, by doing so, you lose all the money you may have previously bet till that point and stand no chance to win the pot.
Three community cards are dealt on the table face-up during the Flop. Once the flop is completed, the second round of betting begins. The guidelines are the same as it was in the pre-flop with two exceptions:
The player active to the left of the dealer will be the first player to act.
Since no bets have been placed, the first player to act can decide to check or bet.
Another card is dealt face-up on the table after the betting round on the flop called as the Turn. Players once again place their bets depending upon the newly introduced community card on the table.
The size of the bet during the turn and the final round is doubled than the flop, everything else stays the same.
You can go All-in here which means you can place your entire stack on the line if you are playing the No Limit variation of Hold’em where players can bet any amount of chips.
The final community card is revealed face-up on the table to kick-start the last betting round. Soon after all players have placed their bets or folded their hands, we move to the showdown.
The players still in the game (who did not fold) show their hole cards. If you have the best five-card poker hand at this stage, you take the pot.
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1. What is the best starting hand in Hold’em?
If you receive two Aces at the top, then those are the best hole cards you can possibly have. Holding two kings puts you at number two. The following are also great starting hand combinations- an Ace, two Queens, a King of the same suit and a King and an Ace of different suits.
2. Which poker hand beats which other?
The Royal flush is the ranked the highest poker hand and the lowest ranked poker hand is a High Card. Between these are the following in order of lowest to highest: one pair, two pair, three of a kind, straight, flush, full house, four of a kind and straight flush. This means that a two pair will beat a one pair, or that a four of a kind will beat a full house.
3. Which is the worst starting hand in Hold’em?
Being dealt with a three and a two of different suits is considered to be the lowest hand in Hold’em poker. However, most players prefer this hand to a seven and a deuce of different suits. At least with a 3-2 you have a chance of using both cards to complete a straight.
4. How many participants can play at a table?
Texas Hold em poker games can be played with anywhere between 2-10 players. However, most casinos and places where you would play poker live restrict it to eight players at max for the best overall experience for everyone at the table. While playing online, depending upon the tournament, the prize pool, and the website you’re playing at, you more often than not will play with 10 players for each game.
5. Is luck the deciding factor?
Despite the general notion, poker in general is a game of skill through and through. You ought to know the different hand rankings, how to make them, how to play them and what kind of strategies you must employ and when to use them. Although luck plays a key role in poker, it is only the skill and efficiency of the player that helps you win the prize.