Texas hold ’em is the game of choice for the World Series of Poker, which is held annually at Binion’s Horseshoe Casino downtown. More than 500 players compete, and the entry fee is $10,000. The mechanics of Texas Hold’em are simpler than a seven-card stud. You don’t have to remember which cards your opponents have discarded.
In this game, 2 cards are dealt with their face down to each player. You have a chance to look at the cards and then a round of betting follows after the deal. Here, you are dealt with 3 more cards face up. This is called “the flop.” Then follows another round of betting called the turn” which is then followed by another round called the “river.” Players then make their best five-card hand using their two cards and the table’s five cards. Whoever has the highest hand is the winner.
Players can check, bet, call, raise, or fold during each round of betting. Texas Hold’em is easily learned and deceptively simple, although playing expertly requires a great deal of skill. Texas Hold’em is played with nine or ten players to a table, and the game is faster and more action-filled than a seven-card stud.
As for all other games, practice is what makes you improve your gaming skills. The same applies in Texas Hold’em. Based on our experience, we have listed a few points that you might want to keep in mind while playing Texas Hold’em.
Knowing when to call, raise, or fold during each round is important. If you have the following cards in hand, you should stay in the game:
Any high pair (10, jacks, queens, kings, or aces)
Ace – count card of any suit
King – queen (or, possibly, king-jack) of any suit
Queen – jack of any suit (if you are raised, fold)
Jack – 10 of the same suit
King – 10 of the same suit
Pair of 9s or less
High – Low, same suit (for example, ace – 3 of hearts)
Some other points to consider:
If you get lucky and flop a big hand, you may be better off checking rather than betting. This may lure your opponents into a trap you can spring on a later, more expensive, better round. You may want to play aggressively if you happen to get a hand of diverse possibilities such as a pair and a draw to a flush or straight. You can always raise before the flop with a pair of Aces, Kings, Queens, Jacks or tens. In fact, if someone has raised before it’s your turn to act and you have a pair of Aces, Kings, or Queens in your hand, go ahead and reraise. Reraising protects your hand by eliminating opponents thereby thinning the field. This further minimizes the chances of anyone else getting lucky on the flop.