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How to Play Texas Holdem Poker

Poker Texas Holdem – How to Play?

Whether you are playing Texas hold em poker with some friends, or you are trying to find some competitive games online, it is a good idea to learn the rules of this game before you attempt to play multiaple hands. While the game can seem incredibly confusing at first, Texas Holdem is one of the simplest and most enjoyable versions of poker.

A minimum of two players are required to play the game, but most games involve six to eight players to start. Most Texas hold em games will involve playing with poker chips because it is the easiest way to keep track of each player’s pot and place bets for each round.

How to Play Texas Holdem Poker Hands

It is impossible to understand or play Texas holdem poker with any success unless you have a firm understanding of the different poker hands. Luckily, you will not have any problems with these poker hands after you have understood them. But some players like to make a little “cheat sheet” of paper where they write down all the hands in order of their ranking. For individuals who have a harder time memorizing such facts, writing the hands down will give you a reference point in case you ever get confused during the game.
The lowest ranking in poker is the high card, with the highest card being the Ace, followed by the King, Queen, Jack, Ten and so on. The lowest card in the game is the two. If none of the players have a pair or better in a particular hand, the player with the highest card wins. For example, a player with a 7 would beat another player who only had a 6. High cards are also used to determine a tie, which is a situation where two or more players have the same combination of cards at the end of a particular hand.

Following the high card is the one pair, two pair and three of a kind. A “one pair” stands for two cards that have the same number or letter. For example, two Aces is a pair. “Two pair” means the player has two sets of such cards. For example, two Aces and two Kings equals two pairs. And three of a kind refers to the player having three cards of the same letter or number. For example, three Queens is a “three of a kind.”

The next best hand is the straight, followed by the flush, full house, four of a kind, straight flush and royal flush. A straight is a set of cards that are in numerical order. For example, Seven, Eight, Nine, Ten and Jack equals a straight. The flush is a situation where the player has five cards from the same suit. A full house refers to the combination of a “three of a kind” and the “one pair.” If a player has three Kings and two Fives, they have a full house.

The four of a kind refers to having four cards with the same numerical or alphabetical value. For example, four Kings or four Tens is a four of a kind. The only two hands that beat the four of a kind are the straight flush and royal flush. As you would expect, a straight flush is the combination of a straight and a flush. And the royal flush is the best possible hand you can get in poker, which is Ace, King, Queen, Jack and Ten of the same suit!

How to Play Texas Holdem Poker Rules

A game of Texas Holdem begins with each player being dealt two cards, face down. These cards are only seen by the player during the game. One of the players will put in the “small blind,” while another player will bet the “big blind.” The big blind is always double the small blind, and the individuals who must put in the respective blinds rotates after each hand. When the blinds are in place, the other players must decide whether they want to fold, match the big blind or raise.

After the first round of betting is complete, the dealer will put three cards face up. Another round of betting follows. Then a fourth card is placed, the players complete another round of betting, the fifth “river” card is played, and a final round of betting is completed. During these rounds of betting, players have a choice between checking, raising or folding.

When all the bets are complete, the players who are still competing in the hand will show their cards and see who has the best combination. The players must make the best “five card” combination from the five cards on the table and the two cards in their hand. For example, say the five cards on the table are A, K, 2, 3, 7. If one player has a 2 and 3, while the second player has an A and J, the first player’s best “five card” hand is A, 2, 2, 3, 3. Meanwhile, the second player’s best “five card” hand is A, A, K, J, 7. Since the first player has a two pair and the second player only has a pair, the first player wins the hand.

If all but one of the players fold at any time during a hand, the last remaining players win. An important fact to note about Texas Holdem is that players do not have to show their cards after they have folded. Similarly, the last remaining player does not have to show his cards to everyone else. The only time players show their cards is when they place competing bets after the fifth card is put face up on the table.
The reason players do not show their cards after folding is because they would not want their opponents to get an idea regarding their strategy. Similarly, if one player can get everyone else to fold, he will not want the other players to know whether he was bluffing or not.

How to Play Poker Without Chips

If you are playing poker with some friends and none of you have poker chips, you can find other ways to keep a count of how much value is in each player’s pot. People will sometimes use little pieces of candy, colored beads or other minuscule objects with different colors to act as chips. As long as you have some small pieces with three or four different colors, you can assign a value to each color. These valued pieces will act as poker chips.

But you do not want to employ this technique unless you have absolutely no way to get access to poker chips. If you are going to play poker with your friends on a regular basis, it makes a lot more sense to invest in a set of poker chips. Even though they entail an upfront cost, your poker chip set will last you for many years. The chips are very durable and they do not break, lose color or suffer any other type of wear and tear.

Texas Holdem Poker Online

For those individuals who do not have access to a physical casino nearby their home, or do not have friends that enjoy playing poker, online Texas Holdem poker games are a great alternative. There are many sites that allow players to participate in poker games in the United States and other parts of the world. Depending on whether you are a beginner or an advanced player, you can choose between sites that offer free poker games and pay-to-play games.

With the free games, you will get all the excitement of playing poker online, but you will not lose any of your money. In contrast, the pay-to-play games involve paying the buy-in for each game and using that money to bet during each hand of Texas Holdem poker.

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Will Online Poker Soon be Legal in California?

AB 2863 – The bill to legalize poker in California recently passed committee which means we could see it come up for a public vote in the near future. This is good news for advocates who are hoping to bring back the popularity of online poker in the US who see this as a major win. If the bill passes California could be the fourth state in the US to legalize online poker. Let’s take a look at what this means for poker players…

california legal online poker

There are some major incentives for California to pass the AB 2863. Under the Internet Poker Bill applicants would have to make a one-time $12.5 million deposit, and the state would tax their revenues. The state would keep some of the tax money and much of it would be given to the horse racing industry and fairs to bolster declining activity. Essentially compensating them for not seeking internet poker licenses.

Opponents of the bill have described PokerStars and similar brand leaders as “bad actors” who would have an advantage because they already have huge lists of California poker players who want to play from the times they operated in the “grey area” of legalization. Nonetheless the advancement of AB 2863 (The Internet Poker Bill) means we could soon witness the legalization of internet poker in the state of California.

Currently AB 2863 has several amendments including:

Should AB 2863 pass: California will join New Jersey, Las Vegas and Delaware as a Legal state for players wishing to engage in internet poker.  But the bill still has a few major hurdles to overcome before we will see that happen. For one the Governor Jerry Brown has to sign off on it and that’s only if it passes both the state House and Senate. And second lobbyists for tribal casinos are adamantly against the competition.

Gaming and online poker organizations seeking legitimacy also have their own deep pockets and team of lobbyist to push their side. They claim the tribal casinos are enjoying a monopoly on gambling that prevents the state from making tax revenues and drives players to spend money in other areas.

Whether you support online poker or not there is no denying it’s a very lucrative industry. States like California that already have a large player base from their 70+ tribal casinos could benefit immensely from players who would opt to play from anywhere, anytime, from the convenience of their laptop computers.

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