Online Poker - Hold'em
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Room Help Texas Hold Em
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Texas Hold’em is far and away the most
popular poker game out there today. Featured
in the televised WPT events, and canonized
in the poker film classic Rounders, to many
Hold’em is the only game to play.
The game concept itself is pretty simple.
Each player is dealt two cards face down (called
pocket cards). The dealer then deals five
community cards face up; these are available
to all the players to help make their hand.
Players may use any combination of their pocket
cards and the community cards to make their
hand. The best 5-card hand takes the pot.
Of course, the game is a little more complicated
than that, and as usual, the complications
revolve around money. In our poker lobby,
you may have noticed three different options
under the limit column (Fixed, PL, NL). These
options represent the three different Hold’em
games we offer: Fixed Limit, Pot Limit, and
No Limit. The game type you select will dictate
the bet minimums and maximums for that game.
In a Fixed Limit game, both the bet and raise
amounts for each round are a preset amount.
For example, in a $5/$10 Fixed game, both
the bets and raises for the first two rounds
of betting must be $5, no more, no less. The
last 2 rounds have a bet/raise amount of $10.
In a Pot Limit Game, the maximum bet/raise
can’t be more than the current pot amount.
So, if the pot is $30, you can’t bet
more than $30. One thing to note: If you are
raising on a player’s bet, your call
is already included in the pot. So, for example,
let’s say the pot is $100. Player X
opens the betting with $100. Your maximum
bet is now $300 (Pot = Initial $100 + Player
X’s $100 + your $100)
Still with us? OK, the final game type is
No Limit. The name says it all; there are
no maximum bet limits. You can bet as much
as you like during any round of betting. The
minimum bet is the big blind amount. No Limit
Hold’em makes for big pots, fast action,
and great watching.
Now that you’ve chosen a game type,
it’s time to talk about 2 other betting
concepts…. The Stakes, The Cap and The
The Stakes: The stakes are tied directly
to the game type you select. For a Fixed Limit
game, the stakes dictate the bet and raise
amount for each round. Let’s use our
$5/$10 stakes example again. In the first
two rounds of betting, both the bet and the
raise must be $5, no more, no less. The last
2 rounds have a bet/raise amount of $10.
The Cap: In Fixed limit
games, each round of betting can consist of
one bet and has a maximum number of three
of allowable raises, known as the cap. So,
if a bet is made, that bet can only be raised
three times, after which all players must
call, or fold. However, if only two players
remain in the hand the cap is increased, to
a maximum of five raises.
In both the Pot Limit and No Limit games,
the stakes represent the amounts posted as
the blinds. More on the blinds next….
The Blinds: The blinds are
mandatory bets posted by two players at the
start of each hand, before any cards are dealt.
The player directly to the left of the dealer
posts the small blind, which in a fixed limit
game is half the small stake, rounded down
to the nearest dollar, and in pot limit/no
limit games is equal to the small stake. The
player to the left of him posts the big blind,
which in a fixed game is equal to the small
stake, and in pot limit/no limit games the
Sound complicated? It really isn’t.
Let’s use our trusty $5/$10 stakes again.
In a fixed limit game, the small blind posts
$2 (half of $5 rounded down). The big blind
posts $5. In a $5/$10 pot limit/no limit game,
the small blind posts $5, and the big blind
In poker we use blinds as an incentive for
players to play a hand, and build the pot.
Consider the blinds like a mandatory bet and
raise; any players that want to play the hand
must match the big blind to stay in. The blinds
are considered live bets, so when the action
goes around the table and returns to them,
they have the option of checking, calling,
raising or folding as they see fit.
Some other notes about blinds: Any player
has the option of sitting out and waiting
for the big blind to reach them. However,
if a player sits out and misses posting the
big blind, then that player will be required
to post a big blind and a small “dead”
blind before returning. This rule is in place
to prevent potential abuse from players who
join a table and then leave before having
to post the blinds.
One thing we haven’t talked much about
is the dealer. In poker each player in turn
plays as the dealer. At the table we represent
the dealer position with...
The Dealer Button: The Button is a graphic
symbol that represents the theoretical dealer.
After each hand, the button moves clockwise
to the next active player, who becomes the
dealer for that hand. This player is considered
to be “on the button,” and is
the last person to act in the betting round.
The first player to the left of the button
is the first player to be dealt cards, and
is the first player to act in each betting
OK, let’s play some Hold ‘em.
You’ve bought in to a table, sat down
and posted your big blind. What’s next?
Pre Flop…The Pocket Cards:
(AKA the Hole Cards). The dealer deals each
player 2 cards face down. Only the player
can see his/her hole cards. After the deal,
the next player after the big blind decides
whether to call, raise or fold the big blind.
Each player in turn is given these options,
until all bets are called and the big blind
checks. Don’t forget, in a fixed limit
game, any raises are limited to the lower
stake amount, and in a pot limit game, the
bet can’t exceed the pot amount.
The Flop: Now the dealer
turns over the first three community cards,
called “the flop”. All betting
rounds start with the player directly to the
dealers left. For fixed limit games, this
round of betting still uses the lower stake,
so in our example $5/$10 game, any bets or
raises must be $5. The pot limit and no limit
rules don’t change.
The Turn: (AKA Fourth Street).
The fourth community card is dealt, and a
new betting round begins. The bet amount for
fixed limit games increases to the upper stake.
Betting continues until all bets are called.
The River: Here the final
community card is shown, and the last round
of betting takes place. The bet amount for
fixed limit games is still the big stake.
The Showdown: All the bets
have been called, it’s time to show
the cards. The last player to bet or raise
during the final betting round will show their
hand first. If all the players checked through
(nobody bet), the player to the left of the
dealer will show first. The remaining players’
hands will be automatically revealed moving
clockwise, unless a hand is weaker than the
winning hand shown. In this case, you’ll
have the option to show, or muck (fold without
showing). The best five card hand takes the
pot. For a complete list of hand rankings,
please consult the Hand Rankings page.
Buying the pot: If during
a betting round you make a bet and all players
fold to you, you’ve bought the pot.
You have the option to show or muck your cards.
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