How It Works: Texas Hold Em
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Texas hold em, or sometimes simply known as Hold Em, is a type of poker card game. In the game, two cards are dealt facing down to a player. The dealer will then set out five community cards face up: a collection of three known as the flop, then two added single cards known as the turn and the river. Players have the option to fold, raise, bet or check after each deal out. Betting commonly occurs before the flop.
The goal of each player of this game is to control the money in the pot based on the cards they have or their prediction of what opponent players are holding. The game is a series of hands, at the end of each hand the pot is awarded to the winning player. A showdown may occur in which the player with the hand is awarded the pot. There can be a tie for the highest hand.
The game begins with each player being dealt two cards, called pocket or hold cards, face down so no one else can see them. Player sitting in the small blind spot receives the first card and player seated in the button spot receives the last. These two cards are the only ones a player will individually receive and will only be shown at the showdown. The preflop round of bets is next, with players placing their bets in a clockwise pattern beginning with the person positioned left of the big blind spot. Betting continues until every player has put in all their chips, matched chips put in by other players or folded.
After this round, the dealer does a flop, facing three community cards on the table. After this comes another round of bets from the players. Then a single community card is dealt and a final single community card. Following this is a final better round and if necessary, the showdown.
When every player but one has folded, the pot is automatically awarded to the individual who has not folded like the rest. Overall, the goal of a winning player is not to come out victorious after each hand. Instead, it is about making sound mathematical and psychological decisions that result in high winnings in the long run.
Since the 1900s, Robstown, Texas has been recognized as the birthplace of this popular card game. During the late 1960s, Texans introduced this game to the Las Vegas scene. Nowadays, this game is one of the most popular variations of class poker.
There are three common variations of this game that are usually played: limit, no-limit and pot-limit. Historically, limit is the most popular of these and found in many casinos. In this version, bets and raises made during pre-flop and flop rounds must be equal to twice the big bet. No-limit versions are common in tournament play. This is when players can bet or raise an amount that is over the minimum raise up to all chips set out on the table. This is called an all-in bet.
It is recommended that Hold Em players play tightly and aggressively when playing against others. Tightly in that they play few hands, but aggressively in that they frequently bet and raise bets when they do play. An important part of the game is the position, or the order of plays. This is especially true in no-limit versions. Acting later is preferred because you can see what those ahead of you have done.
Like any other variant of poker, mathematics and psychology have a lot to do with game play. Understanding the rules and being a patient player is also helpful. How things pan out is largely out of the control of a player, especially since cards are randomly dealt. Still, players can influence results by betting wisely and thoughtfully predicting hands of their opponents.