The most popular type of poker game and the best option to start learning. Hold’em can be found in any poker room, offline or online casino; it is played on the most prestigious poker tournaments, such as the WSOP and WPT; The largest number of educational articles, books and films is dedicated to Texas Hold’em.
Types of betting limits:
- Limit / Fixed-Limit Hold’em (abbr. FL or FLH) – the bet size in each round is fixed;
- Pot-limit / Pot-Limit Hold’em (abbr. PL or PLH) – the bet value in each round should not exceed the current size of the pot;
- No Limit / No-Limit Hold’em (abbr. NL or NLH) – the rate value is not limited;
- Mixed / Mixed-Limit Hold’em (abbr. ML or MLH) – in each hand the limit type changes from fixed to unlimited and vice versa.
Texas Hold’em uses 10 traditional high-combinations. The player needs to collect the strongest “hand” from 5 cards or make a bet that no one can equalize. The poker hand can be formed from 2 pocket (closed) and 5 common (open) cards, which form a “board”. In this case, the player himself chooses which of the seven cards available to him will form his best “hand”.
You can use any option: 2 pocket + 3 community cards, 1 pocket + 4 common, only 5 community cards, that is, the best combination of the player consists entirely of a board. If at the final stage of the game the common cards made up the strongest combination of possible, for example, royal flush, in this case the bank is divided between all players who did not fold.
Button and required bets
Button – a chip with the letter D, which is usually determined by the dealer in the current distribution. In online poker, this position is conditional and does not require any additional action from the player. It is customary to determine the order of rates in the current distribution. In terms of strategy, this position is considered to be the most profitable, since in all rounds except the preflop, the player with the button makes the bet last. The button goes clockwise at the beginning of each hand, so that each player gets the opportunity to be in the role of dealer.
Required bets are a preparatory stage, during which players have to form an initial pot. The presence of chips on the table stirs interest in the game. Most often, so-called “blind” bets are used in hold’em – small and big blind. Blind players are determined by the dealer button. The player to the left of the button always places the small blind, and the next player must place the Big Blind.
In a fixed-limit game, the Big Blind is equal to one minimum bet, the small one – half the minimum bet or slightly more. For example, “Hold’em FL $ 5 / $ 10”, where the Big Blind will be $ 5, and the small – $ 3. In pot-limit and no-limit hold’em, the size of the blinds is also indicated in the name of the game. For example, “Hold’emNL $ 2 / $ 4”, where the Small Blind will be $ 2, and the big – $ 4.
Sometimes another type of required bet is added to the blinds – Ante, which does not exceed the size of the blinds by the amount. In this case, each player participates in the formation of the original bank.
Pass or Fold means to draw cards. In this way, the player may refuse to fight for the bank in the current distribution.
Bet – make a bet if no one has made in the current round.
Call – means to equal bet, to call, to answer. Make a bet equal to the previous one.
Raise – raise, means, put more than previous players.
Check – it’s a pass in the current round of bidding, but not giving up the fight for a common bank. A Check can be made if no bets have been made in this round of betting or this player has already placed the Blind, which does not need to be called. If all players have made Check, the round is considered to be completed.
All-in – it’s a bet on the entire stack (all player chips). Used only in no-limit game.
After making the required bets, the first cards dealing occurs. Each player, starting from the small Blind, receives two pocket hole cards. Players can proceed to the first round of betting now.
All players in this round have only three actions: Pass – exit from the game, as well as calling or raising the Big Blind. For example, take $ 4. A player to the left of the Big Blind opens the betting round. He can make a Pass, Call ($ 4) or Raise (at least $ 8).
Further, the right to decide is transferred from player to player in a clockwise direction. To continue the fight for the bank, the player in the Small Blind has to increase the bet made at the beginning. The first round of betting is completed by the player in the Big Blind. If none of the opponents raised, then this player can make a Check, because his bet is equal to all the previous ones. If he decides to Raise, the trades are held in a new circle until all the active players equalize their bets.
!!! The structure of trade and the size of bets depend on the type of limit. More information about this can be found at the end of the page.
The next stage of the game begins with the delivery of three common open cards, which are called the “flop”. All active players who continue to fight for the bank can use them to form their own combinations. The right to open a trade belongs to the first active player to the left of the button. Two actions are available to him: Bet – the first bet in a betting round or a Check. If a player chooses a Check, then the right to decide is transferred to the next active player. Since in this round of betting there was not yet a second player can make either Bet or Check. If all players make a Check, the round is considered to be completed. If the player chooses a Bet, therefore he opened the betting and other players can only make even a bet- Call, Bet more – raise or make a pass. As in pre-flop, trading continues until all active players equalize their bets.
The “turn” is added to the three common cards – the fourth open card. Players will break into a new round of betting, which opens the first active player to the left of the dealer button. The rules and actions remain the same as on the flop.
Before the start of the next round of betting, the fifth community card, the river, is dealt. This is the last card players receive in the current hand. A round of betting follows the same rules as on the flop and turn. If all active players have equalized the bets, the final stage of the game begins.
Autopsy or showdown
According to the results of this stage, the winner of the deal is determined and, therefore, the owner of a common bank. The last player which made a Raise starts the Showdown. If there were no bets, then the right to start the showdown first belongs to the player to the left of the button. As a result, the total bank is taken by the player with the strongest “hand”. If the combinations of opponents are equal in strength, the pot is divided between these players.
It may happen that the game does not reach the showdown. For example, in one of the betting rounds, the player makes a bet that no one can equalize and all opponents simply fold.
When a common bank is played, the whole described game process begins anew. The button goes clockwise to the next player, and two players to the left of the new dealer can proceed to the required bets.
Features of Hold’em considering the type of limit:
- with a fixed limit – all bets must not exceed the size of the Big Blind Preflop and Flop (Hold’emFL $ 2 / $ 4). On the Turn and River, bet size doubles, it means go to the upper limit (Hold’emFL $ 2 / $ 4). Each round of betting allows for no more than four raises: Bet, Raise, Ke-raise, and kep (another raise).
- unlimited – throughout the game, bet sizes and the number of raises are unlimited. Also, the player can go all-in, it means to play the entire stack (All-in). The minimum bet should be equal to the big blind, and the minimum raise – the previous bet, doubled. For example, in Hold’em NL $ 5, the size of the minimum bet and the big blind is $ 5. Therefore, the minimum raise should be $ 5 and the final bet amount will be $ 10.
- with pot-limit – the minimum bet in the game is equal to the big blind, and the maximum bet is limited to the current size of the pot. The minimum raise is equal to the previous bet: if a player puts a bet of $ 5, then the minimum raise of the next player must be $ 5 and the final bet amount will be at least $ 10. The maximum raise in pot-limit hold’em is equal to the current size of the pot: the total pot + the sum of all the bets of this round + the call that the player have to make before the raise.
For example, it will look like this. In the current round, the pot size was $ 100. The player makes the first bet – the maximum bet is $ 100. The next clockwise player wants to raise, but before that he must call the previous player’s bet – $ 100. Taking into account the bets made, the amount of the current bank has grown to $ 300, and this player now needs to raise to $ 300. In this example, the player’s maximum raise was $ 400 (the call of the previous bet is $ 100 + the total bank raise is $ 300). The number of raises in pot-limit hold’em is unlimited.
- with a mixed limit – in this case, the bet limits go from fixed to no limit and back. The rules for each type of limit described above do not change. Fixed-limit blinds in Mixed-Limit Hold’em hands can be larger than Limit Hold’em. Thus, the average size of the pot is kept in hands with a mixed limit.