Poker Variant - Texas Hold'em

Poker Variant - Texas Hold'emTexas Hold’em is the most popular variant of poker in the world. When you think of poker, the first thought generally jumps to Texas Hold’em. Courtesy of the latest James Bond movie Casino Royale, this poker variant has become all the more popular among today’s generations.

Although poker has many variants, like Omaha, Stud, Razz, etc. Hold’em is the most widely-played. In this article, we will tell you how Texas Hold’em is played. But first, a little glimpse into the basics of poker for those who are looking to start playing this game.

Poker mainly involves betting, and the amount that is bet by all the players is collected into a common ‘pot’. This money goes to whichever player makes the best 5-card hand. There is a pre-decided hierarchy of hands. Based on that, the community cards and your opponents’ betting patterns, you should choose what to do.

And here’s how to play Texas Hold’em –

  1. Before the game starts, every player gets two cards each. They are called ‘Hole Cards’. These cards are yours, and not common.
  2. After the cards are dealt, the player to the left of the dealer posts the small blind. The player to the left of the small blind posts the big blind. Blinds are compulsory bets at the start of a new hand. The small blind is half of the big blind.
  3. After the big blind, the betting begins. In the first round, a player can call the bet of the big blind, raise the amount, or fold out of the hand.
  4. Once all the players have bet, the flop is dealt. The flop consists of three cards.
  5. After the flop, the second round of betting begins. Here, apart from calling, raising and folding, players can also check. Checking means staying in the hand without betting. However, if a player bets, then all other players need to call the bet, raise or fold.
  6. Then the turn card is dealt. This is just one card. Betting follows the same pattern.
  7. Then the river card is dealt, which is the last of the community cards. This is again followed by a round of betting.
  8. Then the game goes to showdown. All the players in the hand open their cards for the dealer to see. The player with the highest five-card hand wins the pot. If there are multiple players with same-ranking hands, then the pot is split.

The following are the variants of Texas Hold’em.

  • Pot Limit Texas Hold’em – Here, the limit of the pot is set. There is a big bet and small bet, and players cannot bet below or above it. The big blind is always equal to the small bet. For example, in Pot Limit table of INR 5/10 bets, the blinds are INR 2.5/5.
  • No Limit Texas Hold’em – Here, you can bet any amount, even all your chips, at any given time in the game. There is no upper limit for the amount of bet.

Now that you know how to play Texas Hold’em and the two variants under it, why don’t you give it a try? After playing for a while, you will know what stakes you are comfortable with and can go ahead from there.