poker-7Poker has been around for a long time, but really started to gain popularity during the early 2000s, when live poker matches started being aired on television. Poker has many variations, Texas hold ‘em being inarguably the most played around the world. In order to start playing, you must first be familiar with some terminologies used in this game along with the objective. We’ll take you through them step by step as we proceed.

Hand Rankings

As the objective of the game is to have the best hand possible, it is important to acquaint yourself with the hand ranking used in Texas hold ‘em. A standard deck of 52 cards are used to play, with all the suits being equal to each other in value.  The Ace is the highest card, with the deuce being the lowest. We will take you in ascending order from the lowest hand to the highest hand so it would be easier to understand.

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The above image shows the hands of two competing players. This is the worst hand for both   players as there are no pairs involved. The hand with the highest card i.e. A wins.

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As you can see now, there’s a pair in both hands. The hand with the highest pair i.e. B wins. Even if there are two pairs present in each hand, the same applies.

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The next best hand is a pair of threes, where once again, the higher pair A wins.

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Then comes the straight, where a player has 5 cards in a row, regardless of suit. Do note that an Ace can be counted as a lower value here, i.e. Ace, 2, 3, 4 and 5. The highest straight wins i.e. B.

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Here you have the flush, with 5 cards of the same suite, regardless of order. It is of higher value than a straight. Hand B wins here, with the Ace being the highest flush.

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After the flush comes the full house, which is for example, a pair of threes and a pair of twos. Like before, the highest value pair of threes becomes the deciding factor in case of both players getting a flush hand.

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Increasing further in value is the four of a kind, where the player has a hand of 4 pairs.

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And finally, we have the straight flush. As the name suggests, it is a straight hand combined with a flush. This is the highest hand in the rankings. Do note that Hand A is a royal flush, which is the highest possible hand in Texas hold ‘em, as it has the highest face cards.

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How To Play

In Texas hold ‘em, the player competes against other players for money, but the amount of money is contributed by the players themselves, not by the casino. This is called the “pot”. Needless to say, the winning player takes the pot, with the casino taking some a small percentage of the winnings.

Two of the players place a small bet called the “Blind” in order to get things going. Then, each of the players get two face down “Hole” cards and decide to either bet or to fold out (quit). After this, three cards are placed face up in the middle of the table. This is called the “Flop”. Players look at these communal cards and can make use of them to plan out the best hand they can with the use of the hole cards they have in hand. However, the players aren’t allowed to touch the cards.

If the player thinks he can make a better hand than the opponents, he bets. He can also fold if he doesn’t like his chances. This continues for two more times until there are a total of 5 communal cards on the table and if there are any remaining players left. The remaining players then reveal their cards, and the player with the best hand wins.

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