Texas Holdem Poker
Texas Holdem is the most popular variant of poker game, both live and online. Simple to learn, but virtually impossible to master, Texas Holdem poker has been likened to chess for the variety of strategies that can be used. Success in the game has little to do with luck and is often related to how well a player can “read” their opponent.
Texas Holdem Poker Hand Hierarchy
Texas Holdem poker follows the standard hand hierarchy shared with many other poker games. Players are each dealt two cards (which nobody else can see) and five further “community” cards are dealt face up in the centre of the table in three separate stages (Flop – 3 cards/Turn – 1 card/River – 1 card).
The aim of Texas Holdem poker is to create the best five card poker hand using one or both of the “closed” cards in conjunction with the five community cards.
Texas Holdem Poker Betting Formats
Texas Holdem poker is most commonly played with one of three different betting formats – or with a combination of the three.
- No Limit Texas Holdem – Also known as No-Limit Hold’em, both live and online, Texas Holdem with no limit to the amount a player can bet, is the most popular format. Players can use a substantial pile of poker chips to bluff or scare another player into folding their cards and collect the pot uncontested – although this manoeuvre has the potential to backfire when pushing a big pile of chips into the middle of the table (or virtual table) to be called by a player who has a better hand than you!
- Pot Limit Texas Holdem – This version of betting format is not used so widely when playing online Texas Holdem Poker, but is still frequently used in live games and often in mixed poker game formats. The difference between Pot Limit Texas Holdem and No Limit Texas Holdem is that the amount a player can raise is limited to the amount of chips in the pot and the player with the best hand will attempt to manipulate the size of the pot to his advantage.
- Flop Limit Texas Holdem – For players who are learning how to play poker, Texas Holdem with a fixed limit on how much can be bet is often the safest way to start. The fixed limit is equivalent to one big blind, and only four raises are permitted in one round of betting. The stake (or flop) limit doubles for the rounds of betting following the turn and river and, although Flop Limit Texas Holdem is generally considered to be a less skilled format of the game, you can still win a WSOP Bracelet at it!
Texas Holdem Poker Cash Games – Online Texas Holdem is offered in cash game format (where you can enter a game and leave at any time) or you can participate in Texas Holdem tournaments. With cash games, it is advisable to select a stake limit (big blind) which represents 1/200th of your total bankroll and then go onto a table with enough funds for between 20 and 100 big blinds. Although taking a smaller amount is the safest option, should a really valuable pot be at your mercy when you have an unbeatable hand, you want to be doubling up on 100 big blinds rather than the minimum.
Texas Holdem Poker Tournaments – Tournaments can range in size from just two players to many thousands. Effectively, each player is given an identical number of chips at the start of a game (for which an entry fee is paid) and uses their skill to be the last man standing and collect the first prize. In most tournaments (2 player matches being the exception), finishing near the top of the field will also be financially rewarding or- in the case of satellite tournaments – qualify the player for entry in a more valuable tournament.
Speed and Size in Texas Holdem Poker – Online Texas Holdem poker offers players the opportunity to play at different speeds and on different sized tables. “Turbo” tournaments may enable you to get through more games quicker, but allow you less time to make important betting decisions. If you are playing on a 6 handed table (as opposed to a 9 or 10 handed table), it is less likely that a premium hand exists which can dominate yours, but you will also find fewer players entering a pot. Short-stacked and deep-stacked games also exist where players start with fewer/more chips than the “usual” 1,500.
Online Poker Sites Offering Texas Holdem Poker – It is very unusual to find an online poker site which does not offer Texas Holdem poker to its clients. The way to choose which is the best online poker site for you is to visit the lobby of selected sites and see how many games are taking place at the format and at the stake limit you wish to play. Also take into account which online poker site offers the best sign-up bonus and that it can be redeemed without spending the next three months of your life in front of a computer screen or where you might lose your entire bankroll trying!
Best Texas Holdem Poker Sites
All of the listed poker websites are good to go. Based on playing the best Texas Holdem poker games you can not really say this site is better than that, since based on that criteria they all offer enough tables with activity up to the higher limits. Most sites are not accepting players from the US nowadays, if you are from the United States, check our list of the best US Holdem Poker sites.
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