Beopedia ©

An alternate universe inside the complex mind of one man…

Texas Hold’em Poker

with 2 comments


Thanks to a nice trip around China a few months ago, I got a perfect introduction from my acquaintances on this wonderful card game. This game is actually one of the many versions of Poker, which is arguably the current most famous type of Poker game of all. This game only gained massive worldwide popularity since around 2004 mainly thanks to the LIVE coverages of big events such as World Poker Tours as well as the extremely prestigious WSOP (World Series of Poker).

To beginners, (pretty much just like where I was at a few months ago) this game might seem like the most difficult game in the world. However, in the actual fact, this game is one of the simplest games in the world, it is also one of the easiest games around that is very easy to grab, master and of course just like any other forms of card games, it is rather easy to get hooked-up on once one has gotten the hang of the game. What makes it a complex and adrenaline pumping game is the sheer unpredictability as well as the very fact that even for seasoned professionals with very many WSOP bracelets (and of course truckloads of money), it is still impossible for them or anyone for that matter to totally master the game 100% and steamroll past all players in the game just like a hot knife slicing through butter. Anyways, in my opinion, it is the same as any other games, the basics are very simple, but it’s the strategies and trickery which makes life difficult
for rookies…

Before going on to the rules as well as the progression of a game, it is pertinent for new players to know and if possible memorize the various combination that exist in Texas Hold’em. Players who are familiar with other types of poker (such as Video Poker and Big 25) should be well-versed in reading the five card combination in each hand.

First and foremost, the highest ever rank of a hand combination is the elusive and coveted Royal Flush. This combination is made once a person has 10, J, Q, K, A (suited).
It is almost impossible to obtain this combination and the chances of one getting it is 1 : ~800000. Very very rare indeed.

The second highest combination is the Straight Flush. This is obtained when a player has for example, A, 2, 3, 4, 5 (suited) or 4, 5, 6, 7, 8 (suited) and so on and so forth.

The third highest combination is the Four-of-a-Kind. This is obtained when a player has four of the same cards such as AAAA, KKKK, QQQQ, 8888, and so on.

Next is a Full-House, which can be obtained when a player has for example, AAAQQ, 888AA (known as Dead Man’s Hand), 66655 and so on.

Next is the flush, which can be obtained when all five cards are of the same suit, such as 387QA (hearts) or 5QJ8A (Spades) and so on.

Next is straight, which is obtained as long as the five cards are all continuous such as A, 2, 3, 4, 5 (any suit) or 6, 7, 8, 9, 10 (any suit)

Next is 3-of-a-Kind, the same as the four cards counterpart, just that it involves 3 cards instead of 4. Examples AAA, 888 etc.

Next is 2-Pairs. Examples AA552, KKQQ6, etc etc.

Next is 1-Pair. Examples AA653, QQJ76, etc etc.

The lowest hand is High-Card, which very rarely results in a player winning a pot, but personally I have won pots with this “combination”, if I can call it that. High-Card simply means that when the 5 cards offer no combination at all, then the highest card in that hand would determine the value of the hand. For example, A3527 would beat K4378. High Card A beats High Card K in this case.

The rules of the games are very simple. This game is usually played among 9 people at a table, but sometimes there can only be only 5 people or even duels!

Each player would be dealt 2 cards which is referred collectively as the “Hand”. Before the first betting round (called the FLOP) begins, 2 players seated side by side have to post bets known as blinds (big blind and small blind respectively. The 2 amounts being bet by the 2 players depend on the stake at that particular table. For example, if the stake of the table is $5/$10 it means that the amount of the blinds are $5 for the small blind and $10 for the big blind. A player besides the small blind poster would get a special chip known as a Dealer Chip (usu. a black chip with a D on it). This person gets to post his/her bet last, just before the small blinder and big blinder makes their own bet. These three chips would go clockwise around the table after a hand has been played and a pot (total amount of money being bet at the table) has been won.

After everyone has been distributed their 2 cards, the first round of betting starts. This is known as The Flop. All players are required to make their bets, either equaling the big blind or raising the stake higher or they can even bet all of the chips they have by going ALL-IN. In any case, other players would have to match the highest amount on the table to keep participating in the hand. If one is not willing to match the highest bet on the table, he/she could FOLD, which means his/her participation in the hand is over and has to wait for the next hand. If for example the highest bet on the table is 1000, and a player only has 300, he can go ALL-In and still participate, but if at the next rounds of betting other players raise the stakes further, and in the end, the aforementioned ALL-IN player wins the pot, he/she would only win the pot just before the bet made once the player has gone ALL-IN. The remaining pot would go to a player who has the
second highest combination.

During the FLOP, 3 of the 5 Community Cards would be dealt, and the next round of betting would promptly start. This second round of betting is known as The Turn. This is exactly the same as the first betting round just that only 1 instead of 3 cards would be revealed. The final round of betting is known as The River, and is more or less the same as The Turn. After all 5 Community Cards have been dealt, and players have finished all the betting rounds, the players still involved in the hand would engage each other in a showdown. Assuming now that only two players, A and B remain in the hand. A’s hand is A (heart), A (Spade), while B has King (heart), Jack (diamond).

The community cards are A (diamond), Jack (Spade), 3 (heart), 7 (club), 9 (diamond)

For this case, A’s combination is AAA (3 of a kind) while B’s combination is (JJ one-Pair). This would mean that A wins this particular pot. Simply, 5 of the 7 cards (hand + community cards) are chosen to determine which combination being possessed by the respective players).

This is just the basics of this wonderful game, there are many many more deeper aspects pertaining to the game on offer, such as the various trickery and strategies and anything along that line.

Personally, I have decided to write my own very simple manual of this game here because I have taken a liking for this game and writing about it would just satisfy me as a fan. One thing I like about this game is that unlike other games such as basketball and football, it is never too late to start picking up the game and even go professional and perhaps eventually be calling the shots at the WSOP Main Event! While in the 2 aforementioned branches of sports, to be a top professional one needs to be training since the tender ages of 5 or even 4 these days while sacrificing other aspects of life such as education. In poker, a 20 year old is able to start learning from scratch and be a professional while still going n with his/her studies, occupation, etc. Anyways, I may comeback with the deeper aspects of the game soon! Hope that this little and simple manual of the game would help new players on picking the game and for that, I am very grateful to have
contributed where I can to this great game!

Written by cp

20/08/2009 at 02:35

Posted in Poker

2 Responses

Subscribe to comments with RSS.

  1. Texas holdem is said to be the most popular poker game because according to them, it is very easy to play. They say, this game is can be learned with only just a few minutes but to become a professional will takes a lifetime. Your article will really help beginners, like me, to improve their poker skills and to know more about this game


    20/08/2009 at 16:22

    • Hello there Zyke! It’s nice to hear that my article is of help to aspiring poker players out there!

      Yes, I agree, and that’s why Texas Hold’em is so special!


      20/08/2009 at 16:25

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out /  Change )

Google photo

You are commenting using your Google account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s

%d bloggers like this: