Home Page The Blog Texas Hold’em Poker – Basic Game Rules

Texas Hold’em Poker – Basic Game Rules

By Mel Judah on October 1st, 2009.

Texas Hold’em is by far the most popular of all poker games. This article details Texas Hold’em poker playing techniques for beginners.

Premium Hands. Learning to master premium hands, obtaining a feel for the game, and understanding what is happening on the table with other players is essential. This is very important because you could get out of your depth and lose a lot of your poker chips. Premium starting hands from first and early position after the blinds should be AA, KK, QQ, JJ, AK suited, AK, AQ suited, TT, AJ, down to pocket 8’s. If you are first to speak, these are raising hands. With small pairs, you can limp in and try to see a cheap flop.

The kicker. When you see a flop and you hit top pair, your second card is the kicker unless you flop 2 pairs. ie: if there are 3 people in the pot and the 3 hands are AK, A4, A9. The flop is AT3. If you have AK, you have the best kicker. The other two hands have a weak kicker and could get into a lot of trouble.

Pay attention at the table. This is imperative. Paying attention at all times whether you are in a pot or not helps you to make decisions further down the line. When playing online, you need to remember how your opponents bet and by how much. Now you can consider whether they are weak or strong. In a live game, you must watch everything. How they speak, how they bet, how they put their chips into the pot. Watch everything your opponents do.

Decision making. Take your time and make your decisions wisely before you act, whether you are calling, betting or raising so you do not make a mistake that could cost you most or all of your chips. Making small mistakes is not a bad thing as you will learn from experience not to make them again. Making big mistakes is something you can ill afford to do.

Percentages. It is important to know percentages even if you are not too good with maths. There is a formula you can use to help you make a decision during a hand. You need to know how many cards you need to win the pot (your outs) in no limit on the flop and the turn. ie, If you have T9 in your hand and the flop is 872 unsuited and your opponent has AA, you need to hit the straight on the turn or river with a J or a 6 to win. On the flop you have eight outs, four J’s and four 6’s (8 x 4 = 32%). If you do not hit the straight on the turn, your odds now change (8 x 2 = 16%). This gives you a clearer picture on how to work out your percentages, or odds.