How To Play | Texas Holdem

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Texas Holdem

Texas Holdem is one of the most popular variants of poker and has fascinated players for many years. The history of Texas Holdem is full of intrigue, mystery and full of interest. The popularity of this game has continued to grow and players are flocking from all over the world to get a piece of Texas Holdem poker.

In Texas holdem, players are dealt two face-down cards. Afterwards, each player gets a chance to exercise his betting options. Next, three cards are dealt simultaneously on the table for all players to share. This is called the flop, and it is followed by another round of betting. A fourth card, called the turn, is then dealt, and it too is followed by a round of betting. One final community card called the river is dealt followed by a final round of betting. When all bets have concluded, there is a showdown, in which the highest ranking hand in play wins the pot. Visit our hand rankings page for an overview of poker hand rankings. For more Poker Games

The History of Texas Holdem

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The invention of Texas Holdem is unclear but Robstown, Texas is the official birthplace of the game as declared by the Texas State Legislature. This poker variant is believed to have started sometime in the early 20th century. After the game gained popularity throughout Texas, it was taken to Las Vegas in 1967 by Texas natives. After its initial introduction to Vegas, the game was only offered at the Golden Nugget Casino. This casino did not draw in many high profile players so the game did not receive much publicity until 1969 when Texas Holdem poker was made available at the Dunes Casino. In 1971, the directors of the World Series of Poker decided to feature no limit Texas Holdem as the Main Event tournament and Holdem has been played in the Main Event ever since. The popularity of Texas Holdem surged during the 2000s because of its exposure in literature, the internet and television. The popularity of this game can also be credited to its combination of simplicity and complexity. The structure and rules of Texas Holdem can be easily learned while allowing for a complex interaction of strategies. Currently, Texas Holdem one of the most prominent poker variants in online and U.S. casinos.

What Makes Texas Holdem Fascinating

For many players, there simply is no substitute for a rollicking game of Texas Holdem poker. This game first captivated the public's attention in the 60s, and it's global popularity has swelled since. The widespread appeal of this game is owed in part to the simplicity and entertainment value inherent in it. Players are tasked with forming the best 5 card hand possible. It's a simple proposition, but mastering this game certainly takes tremendous insight, practice, and poker smarts. The games take place in an interactive and wildly entertaining arena. Skill, strategy and luck play their part in determining the outcome of Texas Holdem showdowns. For players though, there is but one reality: Texas Holdem variants reign supreme. The game can be enjoyed by players of any bankroll, both low rollers and high-rollers alike. Thanks to the inclusion of pot limit, fixed limit and no limit Holdem, everyone scores with this feature rich attraction. And then there's the psychological aspect of the game: bluffing! The art of maintaining a poker face against overwhelming odds is certainly an enviable characteristic. But that's what it takes to rise to the top and become the crème de la crème of Texas Holdem poker. The art of the bluff is crucial in Texas Holdem and because of this, players sometimes spend years just perfecting their bluffing skill. Professional Hold'em players prepare for their tournaments by studying the subtle tells of their opponents, from the movement of their eyes to the way they hold their cards. This bluffing preparation has gained attention from poker players and fans from all over the world as it truly pushes the game of Texas Holdem into the realm of art instead of a simple game of poker.

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The Use of Probability in Texas Holdem

One of the most important skills that players can use in Texas Holdem is probability. There are many players who get into the game without understanding how to calculate the odds of completing their hand. Players may get lucky every now and then but more often than not they will lose if they do not know the probability of filling their hand. An easy way to calculate the odds of completing a hand is to compare the number of cards that are needed to complete the hand to the number of unknown cards. As an example, if a player needs to complete a flush and already has 4 cards that are suited, the number of unknown cards is 46. In addition, because the player has 4 suited cards and there are 13 cards in a single suit, there are 9 possible cards that could be used to complete the player's hand. This means that the player's chance of filling his or her flush is about 19%. These odds get worse when the hands of other players are taken into account as these players could hold some of the needed cards because these cards are completely unavailable. When players understand the odds in Texas Holdem then they know when to play more tightly and are able to more easily recognize when to place a bet. Another important consideration that players should take into account is their starting hand. The strength of starting hands will determine how the player will proceed in the game. In many cases, players will not be a dealt strong starting hand and therefore should not get into the game. The probability for being dealt various Texas Holdem starting hands is as follows:

  • Pocket pair: 6%
  • Suited cards: 24%
  • Non-paired and non-suited cards: 71%
  • Ace/King: 0.3%
  • Ace/Ace: 0.5%
  • Suited Ace/King, King/Queen, Queen/Jack or Jack/10: 1%
  • Ace/Ace, King/King, Queen/Queen, Jack/Jack or 10/10: 2%
  • Suited Jacks or higher: 2%
  • Suited 10s or higher: 3%
  • Connected and suited cards: 3.9%
  • Connected 10s or higher: 4.8%
  • Any pocket cards with rank of Queen or higher: 5%
  • Any pocket cards with rank of Jack or higher: 9%
  • Any pocket cards with rank of 10 or higher: 14%
  • Any connected cards: 15.7%
  • Any pocket cards with rank of 9 or higher: 20.8%
  • Non-suited or connected cards with at least 1 card between 2 and 9: 53.4%

These probabilities show that premium starting hands are rare and players should expect to fold more often than placing a bet or a raise. A mix of calculated poker plays, tactics and strategies form the bedrock of any successful poker player. For more information you can choose one of the options below.

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Strategy

Learning the rules of Texas Holdem is a great place to start your poker endeavor. However, here at WSOP, we realize that understanding the rules does not always lead to a winning hand. In addition to the rules, you must also understand strategy in order to be a competitive poker player. Learn all about Texas Holdem strategy with our easy to follow strategy guide before you enter into any high stakes games!
Rules

Here at WSOP, we want you to have the best possible experience when playing Texas Holdem. That is why we have put together an easy to understand explanation of the rules of the game. If you are not sure about some of the terms, feel free to explore our terminology guide to help get you started. A basic understanding of the rules is the best way to prepare to cultivate a winning hand!
Player Position

This primer to the various games and strategies will give you the basics to better understand the games played at WSOP.com and the winning principles of play. These strategies should be used only as guidelines. If you play strictly according to the advice listed here, you will be too predictable and opponents will take advantage of you. But don't stray too far either! Keep your opponents guessing by mixing up your play, adding tricky moves in the right situations, and playing the player-cards are often only secondary considerations! Seven-card stud is one of the more traditional forms of poker, and by learning the rules of this well loved game, you can perfect your own strategy and have endless fun with this poker game, as well as its variations: RAZZ and Seven-Card Stud High-Low. Seven-card stud situational rules may vary slightly, depending on the house rules at the venue of play.
Tips

Everyone is looking for a way to improve their game. Once you have learned the basic rules and examined the strategies for playing Texas Hold'em, it is time to get some advice from the experts. We here at WSOP have compiled a list of Texas Holdem tips that are sure to help everyone from beginners to experienced players. If you are looking for a few ideas to improve your game, this is the section for you!

Everyone has a favorite type of poker. Finding yours may be as simple as reading through the different poker guides and finding a style that speaks to you, or it may take years of playing before you settle on a favorite. Some poker players find they enjoy playing a variety of styles to keep the game fresh and exciting, even after they have found a favorite style. Whichever you choose, we at WSOP want to help you become the best player you can be. Seven-Card Stud is a game for traditionalists, and it is one of the most well known poker games; you will also find variations like Seven-Card Stud High-Low and Razz. Texas Hold'Em and Omaha are very similar. The primary difference between the two is that, in Omaha, a player receives four hole cards, but in Hold'Em he receives only two. Of course, there are different varieties of Hold'Em, each with slightly different rules. It is the subtle differences in the rules that make each hand a unique challenge. Be sure to review the terms used in all poker games, the rules of each game, and the tips and strategies area to help you out before you decide to go all-in.

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