Other forms of poker
Texas Hold’Em, sometimes called just ‘Holdem’, has become possibly the best-known form of poker. This is because it is the game played in the World Series of Poker in Binion’s Horseshoe Casino in Las Vegas, which has been televised in the United States since the 1980s, and it is also the game played in regular series on two television channels in the United Kingdom. In theory up to 22 people can play but in practice it is rarely played with more than eight.
Outline of the game
Each player ’s object is to make the best poker hand from the two cards he holds and the five common cards in the center of the table. A player can use both of his hole-cards or one, or if he likes none, using the five common cards as his hand. In this case he is said to be ‘playing the board’. He cannot win with this, since the same option is open to all the other online poker players.
In the televised game and in most casinos, a dealer is provided so that none of the players needs to deal. A disc or ‘button’ is moved round the table deal by deal to indicate who the nominal dealer is. In effect the professional dealer is merely acting for each player in turn. It is customary in casinos, after the cards have been shuffled and cut, for the top card to be ‘burned’, i.e. discarded unseen. This is to prevent possible cheating.
There is no conventional ante, but before any cards are dealt the first two players to the left of the dealer put in small bets known as ‘blinds’, which is short for blind bets. The first blind, known as the ‘small blind’, is a percentage of the minimum bet, usually a half or a third, and the second blind, the ‘big blind’, is usually the table minimum.
When the blinds have been posted (pushed towards the pot) the dealer deals two cards face down to each player. The players examine their cards.
* Minimum and maximum bets
In a casino, and advisedly in games played socially at home, there will be minimum and maximum bets. In a casino, for example, the small blind might be one chip, the big blind three chips and each bet and raise for that round would be in increments of three chips. Once face-up cards are dealt the bets and raises would be limited to increments of six chips up to the casino limit. The televised games are no-limit knock-out affairs in which all players start with an equal number of chips and continue to play until one player has won all the chips.
For home games the blinds of one chip and three chips are recommended. Since the blinds are regarded as bets it will be necessary for all players to stake at least three chips to stay in for the first round. Three chips could therefore be the minimum bet or raise throughout, with say 10 as the maximum bet or raise throughout, with say 10 as the maximum on the first round and 20 once cards are displayed on the table. That gives some scope for bluffing, although not as much as in the no-limit games. The game is also played as a pot-limit game, where the limit for bets and raises is the size of the pot.
Flop the first three of the five community cards, dealt face up in Hold’Em and Omaha.
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