Lesson 1 Poker Basics
Texas hold’em Basics, Betting, and Bluffing
Texas hold’em poker is a game that began sometime in the early 1900s in Texas and quickly spread to become one of the most popular types of poker today. This is a game in which players try
to win the pot, which contains money from each players placed bet. Players are dealt two cards to begin their hand. These are referred to as pocket cards. Then initial bets are placed,
which often include forced bets that all players must contribute in order to play the hand. These are called antes. Play then continues as community cards are flipped over and betting
continues while players try to create the best possible poker hand using their pocket cards with three additional community cards.
Players who choose not to participate in a hand may also fold which means that they do not bet, but assuming there are two or more players left in the hand play begins with three cards
called the flop turned over in the center of the table. Betting goes around the table based on the betting order, which will be explained below. Next, a fourth card called the turn is
flipped over and another round of betting ensues. Finally, the final card called the river is flipped over and the last round of betting goes around the table. The winner is whoever has the
best possible hand.
There are many different hands in poker. The lowest hand is based upon whoever has the highest card with a two being the lowest and an ace being the highest. Next up is a pair or two pair.
A pair is when a player has two of the same card such as two nines or two jacks. The next lowest hand is three of a kind when a player has three of the same value card followed by a
straight, which is when a player has cards of any suit that increase numerically by one such as a two, three, four, five, and six. Next up is flush which contains five cards of the same
suit followed by a full house which is when a player has a pair and a three of a kind. Finally, the two highest hands are four of a kind when a player has all four of one value card and the
highest hand which is a straight flush. That is when a player has a straight all in the same suit.
Bluffing is significant in Texas hold’em. Bluffing is when a player bets higher than expected when they have a bad hand or lower than expected when they have a good hand and it is a
necessary part of the game. It is essential to bluff sometimes in order to win a hand. To bluff well in person one must remain physically calm and collected and have a keen ability to read
others. To bluff well online one must not bluff when they are facing multiple opponents and it is easiest to bluff after multiple cards have been turned over. In both forms of betting, it
is smart to remember past hands of your opponents and how they played them.
Betting and betting order are very important. There is a chip called the button used to represent the dealer. Play goes clockwise to the left of the dealer first to the small blind then the
big blind. These players must put in a forced bet. It is best to play tight, which means not very many hands, but play the hands that you choose in an aggressive manner with betting. It is
important to have a very good hand to bet high early in this game