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A Guide to Texas Hold’em

Texas Hold’em is the most popular version of poker. It is widely played in casinos, tournaments, and on the internet. This casino game gained popularity in the 2000s due to its exposure to television programs. Major poker events, such as the World Series of Poker, are often broadcast on television networks. 

The success story of Chris Moneymaker who won the 2003 World Series of Poker Main Event from a small investment gave many poker players hope that they could be the next poker millionaires. However, to win Texas Hold’em, you need to know how it’s played and how to increase your winning chances. 

Whether you’re a beginner looking to learn the basics or an experienced player in Kenyan online casinos looking for that next level, this post is for you.  

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What is Texas Hold’em?

As previously mentioned, Texas Hold’em is a variant of poker. It’s unclear when the casino game was invented, though its official birthplace is believed to be Robstown, Texas. It is said the game started in the early 20th century and gained popularity through Texas before being taken to Las Vegas in 1967. 

In Las Vegas, Texas Hold’em was only offered at the Gold Nugget Casino. In the years that followed, the game was available in other casinos in the United States and around the world. Texas Hold’em was introduced in the Main Event Tournament of the World Series of Poker in 1971. Exposure to television and the internet in the 2000s played a crucial role in the popularity of the game.

Another factor that makes the game popular is its perfect blend of simplicity and complexity. Texas Hold’em uses a standard 52-card deck and it’s played by two to 10 players at a single table. The game can be played by both low rollers and high rollers. Skill, luck, and strategy play a part in determining the outcome of the game. 

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Texas Hold’em Lingo 

Here is a list of terms used in Texas Hold’em:

  • All-in – This term is widely used by players to indicate they are betting all their winning chips.
  • Ante – A mandatory payment player must make at the table before the cards are dealt.
  • Bankroll – Funds a player has allocated to play Texas Hold’em.
  • Big blind – A bet from a player two spots to the left of the dealer. 
  • Bust – Refers to losing all your chips.
  • Call – Deciding to equal another player’s bet. 
  • Dealer – Refers to the person who deals the cards. 
  • Deuce – A two.
  • Flush – A hand consisting of 5 cards of the same suit. 
  • Full house – A hand made with three of a kind and a pair.
  • House – The casino that runs that game. 
  • Loose – Someone who plays many hands and bets. 
  • Nuts – The hand that can never lose.
  • Pair – Holding two cards of identical rank. 
  • Rank – A card’s number or value.
  • Suited – A starting hand with two or more cards of the same suit.
  • Tie – Two hands of equal strength. 
  • Variance – Describes a brand of poker.

Texas Hold’em Game Rules 

The goal of this game is to combine the hole cards and community cards to make the best possible hand. The players are usually dealt two face-down cards, known as hole cards. After several rounds of betting, five more face-up cards (also called Community cards) are dealt in the middle of the table. 

The community cards can be used by any player in combination with hole cards to come up with a five-card poker hand. 

The idea is to create a five-card poker hand using the best five cards from the several cards at your disposal (2 hole cards and 5 community cards). You’re free to do anything that works for you to construct the best five-card hand. 

If all but one player folds, the remaining player wins without showing any cards. Also, unless all the players quit the game before the showdown, you can only win if you have the highest hand. 

Texas Hold’em Betting Options

Here are the betting options for Texas Hold’em:

  • Pre-flop – This refers to when players get their two cards and have to decide the action to take depending on the strength of their hands.
  • The Flop – Term used to describe the first three community cards dealt face-up after the first round of betting.
  • The Turn – Refers to the card taken from the deck after the betting round for the flop and a fourth community card is unveiled.
  • The River – This is the final card dealt in the game. 
  • The Showdown – When more than one play remains after the final betting round and they have to show and compare their cards to determine the winner.
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Texas Hold’em Gameplay 

Here we provide a step-by-step description of the gameplay

Step 1:  Deal hole cards

All players are dealt two cards face down. These cards are known as hole cards.

Step 2: Betting process

The betting process is initiated by the player to the left of the big blind. He has three options: to call, raise or fold. Calling the bet refers to matching the number of chips in the pot as the previous bet. The act of raising means putting more chips in the pot than the previous bet. The other players must match the amount of the raise before proceeding. Folding means giving up your chances of winning and surrendering the cards to the dealer. All the players have to either fold or call before the play continues.

Step 3: Deal the flop

In this step, the first three community cards are dealt face up. Then another round of betting begins, as highlighted in step 2.

Step 4: The turn 

Once the betting round is completed, the net community card is turned, and another round of betting begins. 

Step 5: The river

Here, the last community card is placed face-up, and the last betting round begins. 

Step 6: Complete the hand

Once the final round of betting is completed, players that have not folded will reveal their hands. The player with the best five-card combination wins.

Tips and Strategies 

Here are a few strategy tips to keep in mind:

  • Pick an opening hand that can earn money in any situation 
  • Carefully follow what’s happening at the table to size your bet correctly 
  • Avoid limping. It’s not good for you.
  • Know when to fold. The act of folding will keep your bankroll intact
  • Have a position over your opponents. This way, you’ll get them to act before making your move. 

Conclusion

Texas Hold’em is the most popular variation of poker in the world. It’s a combination of skill and luck. This game allures with simple rules and exciting gameplay, but don’t be fooled by it, in order to master Texas Hold’em, you will need a lot of practice, but it is totally worth it, the excitement of winning the pot can’t be compared to other casino games. Many people think learning the skill part is difficult, but that’s not correct. The secret to winning this game is mastering luck.

FAQ

Texas Hold’em is one of the three variants of poker. The other variants are Draw and Stud poker.

Yes, you can consistently win money by playing Texas Hold’em. You only need to put in the effort and be patient.

It’s based on both. This is because you don’t have control over the cards dealt but you can control how you play them.

Yes you can play both, tournament and cash game.

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