All The Aces Daily Poker Column

Texas Hold 'Em


Texas Hold 'Em is a rip-roaring community poker game which is catching on like wild fire. It's easily the most absorbing card game available online and here are some tips for beginners to help you ease into that seat for the first time.

The purpose of Texas hold 'em is to assemble the best five card hand that you can by combining the two concealed "hole" cards that are dealt to you face down with the five community cards which are dealt face up in the centre of the table for everyone to use.

Sounds a little odd, but hang in there and we'll take you through a hand and the four rounds of betting which are an essential ingredient. Before we do that you need to be up to speed about "blinds" and the "dealer button".

texas holdem tips for beginners

When cards are dealt its always clockwise and betting follows the same rotation. The "button" itself is a small circular piece of plastic with "dealer" written on it. The button is given to one player each hand and this notifies all the other players that the action will start to the left of the dealer. Each hand the dealer button moves round to ensure equality to all players. In online poker the dealer button simply replaces what would normally be a "real dealer" if you were a playing in a physical game at home or in a casino.

The dealer button's position is key as the two players on the dealer's left will post the blinds. Blinds are just compulsory bets to add drama to the online game and to ensure there is something in every pot to make the game compelling and rewarding. The term "blind" simply indicates that the players making the bets are making them prior to having seen their cards. Whoever is on the dealer's immediate left posts the first blind and the player to his or her left then posts the second blind which is universally accepted as being double the first blind bet.

Table stakes govern the size of the blinds that are required.

The blinds have been posted and the first cards are dealt. The dealer goes clockwise round the table, giving each player two cards face down. These cards are known as your "hole" cards and must be hidden from the other players at all times.

If you're comfortable with your hand or your strategy then it's time to bet. First the blinds will be placed by the two playes to the left of the dealer. Now it's the turn of the player third from the dealer's left to bet on his hidden cards and the betting will progress in this fashion around the table. Remember you are betting on the potential of your hand based on your first two hole cards.

At this stage you can fold (toss in your cards) raise the previous bet or call the largest bet made so far. To keep the game interesting, the blinds guarantee that you have to at least call the highest blind to stay in the game; "checking" isn't possible. Betting proceeds round the tabel until all players have called, raised or folded. It may be that no player raises and therefore the player making the biggest blind may check his own bet, raise or fold. Where the largest blind has been raised by one of the players, the betting continues round the table until everyone has put in the same call amounts, or folded or gone "all-in".

Going "all-in" is the classic move in Texas Hold 'Em and consists of the player in question wagering all the chips he has infront of him. Most games are controlled by a maximum number of raises to prevent fatigue. A hand is finished when a single player is left with his two face down cards or there is any outright v