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Texas Hold'em Poker

The game is so easy to learn you could sit down and start playing and learn it as you go. This session will go over some very basic ideas so that, even on your very first game, you can have a good chance at winning.

To start the players in the two seats to the left of the dealer have to pay what is known as a blind , which is a forced bet. Each other player has the option of calling the amount of the bigger blind or folding. If you fold you are out of that hand. Each player can also raise the pot to a certain limit depending on the variety of Texas Hold'em. After each round of card dealing there is a round of betting and the same options: check, bet, call, raise, fold. Check , which means to pass and not put money in, bet by putting money in the pot, call by matching the last bet, raise by putting more money in than the last bet, or fold , which means to lay down your cards for this hand and not participate.

After your first two cards are dealt to you and there is a single round of betting, the dealer will put down three community cards, called the flop . You are using the community cards plus your two pocket cards to try and make the best poker hand. If your pocket cards plus the flop does not equal a decent hand, you should fold. While it is true you could stay in the game and possibly catch a good hand on the next two cards, which are known as the turn and the river , you have already seen five of the seven cards you will get to use. The chances of your hand improving in a great way on the next two cards are slim.

  Texas hold'em is known as an aggressive game, especially the no limit variety. However, when you are new to the game your main goal should be to not lose money, more than to win money. If you stick to only very good hands and fold everything else, odds are already in your favor for winning at the game.

Good starting cards :

•  Wired Cards
Also known as pocket pairs, wired cards are two cards with the same value in the starting hands, such as two sevens. These are great because you can catch a third card to make a set and surprise your opponent. If you are playing very tight or conservatively, then don't play any wired pairs less than tens.

•  Connectors
Connectors are two cards next to each other in numerical order. These are nice because they are the foundation of a straight. Low value connectors are not as good, naturally, as 10 - Jack and higher.

•  Suited
Suited cards are two cards of the same suit, such as two spades. These form the foundation of a flush hand.

•  Suited Connectors
As you can probably guess, this is connectors and suited put together. A six and seven of diamonds is an example of suited connectors, which form the foundation for either a flush or a straight; or even a straight flush, the highest valued hand.

•  Small Gap Cards
Gap refers to the number of spaces between the two cards you hold. If you have a king and a jack you have one gap, which is good. If you have a king and a five you have seven gaps, which is bad. High value cards, such as 10 and up, that have small gaps between them are good starting hands.

Your Starting Hand s should go like :

•  Pre-Flop
You should fold, or if you are in the big blind you should check, if your cards are not connectors, suited, wired, small gaps, and if the values are eight and lower. Your odds of catching a good hand are slim to none.

•  Post Flop
After the flop you want your hand to improve. If you started with a monster pair like two kings or two aces and the flop did not improve your hand, you're probably still okay to play. Otherwise, you're hoping to move up to two pair or three of a kind to feel pretty strong with your hand. If you have top pair, for example if the flop is king, 10, 2 and you started with a king and a five, then you might be doing pretty good. If you are faced with a big raise or a big bet and your hand did not improve, you should likely fold. Chasing after a poker hand that requires five cards to make, such as a flush or a straight, is a good way to lose money. If you were lucky enough to make a flush or a straight with the flop cards and your pocket cards then you should bet aggressively.


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