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Monday, 28 November 2011 08:00

How To Play Texas Hold’em Online Poker

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If you’re new to online poker, I thought it would be helpful to explain the basic rules and structure, so you can get an idea of how to play. Nothing beats playing for fun, so once you’ve read my brief introduction, try a few hands of free poker yourself to put what you’ve learnt into practice.

First up, it is important to know what kind of poker game you are playing, there are many different styles, from Texas Hold ‘em to Omaha, 5 Card Stud to 7 Card Stud, all with different rules, so it is important to decide what you want to play first. The most popular kind of online poker is Texas Hold’em, which I will concentrate on in this blog.

The object of Texas Hold’em is to make the best hand you can out of five cards. You are dealt 2 cards to start with which only you can see, these are known as pocket cards. Once you have been dealt your cards, the first round of betting takes place. Now you go round the table, starting from the left of the dealer, each one of the players can either bet, check or fold. If you check, it means you do not raise the bet, if you fold, it means you quit that round of betting. In order to stay in, each player must have made an equal contribution to the pot so far. There is no shame in folding, if you do not have a strong hand. All the best online poker players will fold more often than they bet.

Next, the dealer lays down three community cards, this is known as The Flop, these are dealt face up, for everyone to see. Then another round of betting takes place. Once everyone has checked, matched the pot or folded, the dealer deals a fourth card face up, this is known as The Turn. After another round of betting, the dealer deals the last card face up known as The River. After which there is a final round of betting with the remaining players battling it out to win the total pot based upon the strength of their hand. The remaining players then show their cards and the player with the strongest hand wins.

Your hand consists of your two pocket cards which no one else can see and three of the five cards dealt on the table which give you the best hand. So if you have been dealt 2 Jacks, you have a pair to start with, which is a strong start, if another Jack appears on the table you now have three of a kind, a very strong hand. Search for poker hand rankings, to get a better idea of what hands beat what.

Remember to try free poker before you play for real money, to get to the grips with the basics of how to play.