Texas hold ’em is one of the most popular varieties of poker, the distinctive feature of which is the game with two hole and five community cards used by all players when making combinations.
- Deck of cards
The deck is standard, consisting of 52 cards (from deuce to ace). The lowest card is a deuce; the highest is an ace. However, there is one exception to keep in mind: in a low straight combination (A-2-3-4-5), the ace will be the lowest card.
- Types of tables
The number of players at the table can vary from 2 to 10. Depending on the quantity, the duration of the game can be different. There are the following types of tables:
– Long (9-10 players);
– Short (6 players);
– Ultra-short (4 players);
– Hands-up table (2 players).
- Positions at the table
- SB and BB – the blinds go first – they make the first mandatory “blind” bets, even before the cards are dealt.
- Early positions (UTG and UTG+1) are the first two positions to the left of the blinds. Their abbreviation stands for “Under The Ground”, which literally translates as “at gunpoint”. It’s rather complicated to play in these positions, because on the pre-flop stage players have to act first. Moreover, players at positions UTG and UTG+1 do not have the opportunity to assess the positions of other participants in the distribution.
- Middle positions (MP1, MP2, HJ). These positions come immediately after UTG and UTG+1. MP stands for a middle position. In these positions, players have more freedom of actions, as they have the opportunity to evaluate the actions of the participants in the distribution in earlier positions. HJ, in fact, is an acronym for “hijack”. The name is explained by the fact that the opening raise from HJ prevents the players in late positions from stealing the blinds.
- Late positions (CO, BU) are the last positions at the table. On the pre-flop stage they are considered to be the best, as the players have the opportunity to evaluate the actions made by previous participants in the distribution. Furthermore, they are good for stealing blinds.
- Trading circles
There are 4 stages of trading circles:
- Pre-flop is the first stage of betting where players are dealt 2 cards each. Also, at this stage, 2 players make blind bets (blinds).
- Flop is the second stage. At that moment three cards appear on the table and for the first time the players have the chance to assess the strength of their hand.
- Turn is the third step. At this point the fourth card appears on the table.
- River is the final stage on which the auction is completed: the players open the cards (relined to showdown) and the person who won the pot is determined.
- Player actions during betting rounds
- Bet – the first wager of a round.
- Call – to match the opponent’s bet
- Raise – to raise the bet.
- Check – to skip a turn but retain the right to call or raise later in the same round.
- Fold – to discard cards and exit the game.
Varieties of the game
There are three main varieties of Texas Hold’em:
- Limited. In such type of poker, bets are limited.
- Pot Limit. The maximum bet is limited by the size of the pot.
- No limit. The maximum bet is limited by the size of the player’s stack.