Hold’em

Hold'em is a Casinopoker version of Texas Hold'em. The difference is that in Hold'em, the dealer is your only opponent and there are no other players. Hold’em is occasionally called Texas Hold'em Bonus Poker. Learning how you play the game of Hold'em may seem a lot trickier than it is. In fact, the game is rather simple and logical so that you can learn it in short time. Texas Hold’em has three main areas, those being: Setup, Betting Rounds, Showdown.

Hold’em
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Hold’em Casino Game Terms

There are a few terms specific to Hold’em, so before getting into the game, be sure to take a look at them:

  • Blinds: Also known as the blind bets, these bets are obligatory and made before the dealer deals the cards. Blinds replace the standard "ante"
  • Button:  the player who first acts as a dealer in the current hand
  • Check: the same as a call, but with no additional money wagered. If there’s no pre-flop raise, the big blind is free to check
  • Fourth Street:  the fourth card turned over; also referred to as the Turn
  • Fifth Street, or the River: the fifth and final card
  • Flop: the initial three common cards dealt
  • Pre-flop: anything that happens priot to the flop
  • Showdown:  when players show their hands and discover the winner of the pot

How to Play Hold’em Poker

To start the round, all players put their ante bet, as well as any bonus jackpot wager if they wish. Everyone, including the dealer, gets two cards which are face down. These are the hole cards. To play out your hand, you are required to wager exactly twice the ante bet. If the ante is $5 and you would like to play out the hand, you will be required to place a bet of $10. If you opt to fold and not to play, then you will lose the ante.

At this point, the dealer draws three additional cards and places them face-up in the table’s center. This is called a flop. These are communal cards, which means that everyone who is playing at the table can see and use them to complete the best five card hand. At this point, you are given another opportunity to bet. This time, however, you are permitted to place a bet which is equivalent to the ante, an added $5 for the purpose of this example. You can choose not to play or fold, which is known as "Check."

Now the dealer will put a fourth communal card, which is added face-up to the table center and called the turn.  Once again, you can check or bet. In the latter case, you bet the ante. This will be your last opportunity to wager. When the fifth and final card is shown, this is known as the river.  The card will be placed facing up after the first four communal cards.

The dealer then turns his cards over to reveal the best five-card poker hand that he is able to make for the house. Then he determines the players’ best five card poker hand. You can use your hole cards combined with the five ones on the table.

The dealer selects your best five card poker hand. However, it is vital that you are aware of the poker standing so that you can accurately determine what your best hand is, and bet appropriately. If your hand is better than the dealer’s one, then you will receive even money for the bet you’ve placed. If you have a weak hand, then the dealer wins, and you will lose your bets and ante.

Let’s break it down step by step, and take a closer look.

#1 Preflop

After all the players have been dealt their respective hole cards, this is what is known as the pre-flop round. Players look at their cards to decide which action to take. The pre-flop round begins with the first player to the left of the big blind.

He has three choices:

  • Fold – do not pay anything into the kitty and discard his hand;
  • Call – place a bet which matches the value of the big blind;
  • Raise – increase the bet by doubling the big blind;

Once the player has decided on their actions, the player on the left of the first player proceeds with their turn. All players can fold, call the wager (if it was raised) or raise.

The betting round has come to an end when the following conditions are satisfied:

  • Every player has had an opportunity to act;
  • Every player who has not folded yet bet the same value;

#2 Flop

The flop follows the pre-flop round. The topmost card in the deck, known as the burn card, is put face down.  Then three more cards are dealt facing up. Then the first post flop round begins. The rules of this betting round are the same as that of the pre-flop, except for two small distinctions:

1.      The first player who is due to call is the player to the left of the dealer.

2.      The first player to call may check or bet. Because no bets were made, calling at this point is free. Any bet placed on the flop has to be equal to the value of the big blind.

#3 Turn

After betting on the flop has been completed, the dealer puts one card facing down and the other one facing up. This is referred to as the burn and the turn. When the turn is done, the third round begins. This round is the same as the flop round except for one difference: the minimum bet is doubled.

#4 River

If there are still players that haven’t folded, then goes the river. The rules are the same as for the turn: one card is dealt facing down, which is followed by another single card which faces up. This is the final street.  No additional cards are dealt. The betting round is dealt the same as the turn betting round.

#5 Showdown

When the river round ends, the players enter into what is called the showdown. The best five hands win everything in the pot.

  1. The player who placed a bet on the river is now the first player who is required to show his hand;
  2. If there were no bets placed on the river, that is, all the players chose to check, then the player nearest to the dealer’s left reveals his cards. The same continues clockwise around the table;
  3. If the player loses, it is totally up to him whether to show or discard his hand.

Evaluating Hold’em Poker Hands

Of course, your goal is to make up the best five card poker hand by using any mix of your two cards with the five ones on the table. You may choose to use both, one or even neither of your hole cards in order to make up your best five card poker hand.

Suits are not used when evaluating the strength of your hand. Once the winning hand has been determined, the player who won receives the pot. The dealer passes the button to his left while the players that are now on the dealer’s left will place their blind bets.

Hold’em Poker Bonus Jackpot Wagers

If you place a bonus jackpot bet at the start of the hand, your cards will be checked and evaluated by the dealer to see if you are eligible for the bonus jackpot.  What’s great about this wager is that it is possible to come out a winner even if your hand lost the round. The bonus pays out if you get a pair or certain card combinations (for example, an Ace and a Queen).