Texas Holdem Poker

Texas Holdem is thought to have been introduced in the early 20th century in the town of Robstown, Texas. Following its development, Texas Holdem (then just called Holdem) quickly spread throughout the state and reached Las Vegas at the Golden Nugget Casino. Texas Holdem has widely been credited as the game that started the World Series of Poker and it was quickly adopted as the main event in the tournament, played as no limit. In 1978, the famous poker player Doyle Brunson was one of the first to publicly address Texas Holdem strategy in his book Super/System. Since then, Texas Holdem rapidly increased in popularity and is one of the most popular online poker varieties at online poker sites today.

Texas Holdem Rules

At the beginning of each Texas Holdem hand, two players are responsible for obligatory wagers - the small blind and the big blind. While the big blind is the full minimum wager of the game, the small blind is half of that. The small blind is posted by the player seated to the left of the dealer while the big blind is posted by the player sitting to the left of the player posting the small blind. In order to remain in the hand, the person posting the small blind must make at least another wager of the same size as their original small blind. This is, of course, if no other bets were made during the round in excess of the big blind.

How to Play Texas Holdem

Following the obligatory wagers, the first cards can be dealt and play can proceed with the person seated to the left of the player posting the big blind and proceeding through the remaining players. The first two cards are face down and viewable only by the receiving player. This player has the option to either match the big blind, make a bet exceeding the big blind or give up their hand. If the player either folds their hand or merely matches the big blind, the next player in line has the same set of options. If the player makes a bet above the big blind, the next player must match this new amount, exceed it or fold their hand.

Following the first betting round, three face up cards are placed in the center of the playing field. These are called community cards and are available to each player. Following these cards, another betting round occurs. A 4th face up card is followed by another betting round. The final community card is followed by the final betting round and the showdown.

Texas Holdem Strategy

Texas Holdem is a community card poker game variety with each player competing for the best 5 card hand. Suit has no value when comparing cards in Texas Holdem. This is important for evaluating the total possible combinations of starting cards dealt to each player - two face down cards. Technically, there are 1,326 different possible combinations of cards that each player can receive as their two face down cards. However, since suit has no comparative value, there are actually 169 effective combinations. Most Texas Holdem strategists will consider the hole cards of each player heavily when determining strategy. Statistically, a pair of Aces is the strongest possible set of hole cards.

Position is also a key aspect of Texas Holdem strategy. Players who are near the last player to act in each betting round have more information about each player than players sitting nearer the first player to act. For example, the last player to act during a betting round in which all other players checked would have some relative information about the strength of their hands. Many Texas Holdem strategies involve a tight aggressive way of playing where a player will fold weaker hands when they are not facing an obligatory wager and play good hands with multiple bets and raises - ideally causing most of the other players in the betting round to fold their hands before a showdown.