Texas Holdem


A Darker Knight
Is there anybody that can give simple, easy to understand instructions on how to play? All the sites I've looked at have rather complicated instructions.

It'd also be nice if you'd included the basic sequences and terms since that's where I got a bit confused.

edit: woo hoo! first thread!


For a Free Scotland
I'd suggest going to an online site and playing to get some of them.

No-limit or pot-limit? and also ante or blind system?


A Darker Knight
well all I know is that you get two cards at first, and you try to make the best hand with th five cards the dealer puts out. Then all that's left would be the specific "when to say what" things

I have no idea what ante or blind, or no limit or pot limit is either. though I could just look those up
Here's the basic premise:

Deal 2 cards to each person's hand
Put 3 cards face up, called the Flop... all players may use these as though they were in their hand
Another community card is revealed
Another community card is revealed
Final Bet

You may use any 5 cards between what's in your hand and what's in the community cards to make the best poker hand you can.


For a Free Scotland
To add:

In an ante system, everyone bets the same amount before each hand.

In a blind system, the last person to act (the right of the deal I believe) pays the full ante (big blind), and the person who goes before them pays half the ante (small blind), and everyone else pays nothing unless they want to call, then they pay the full ante.

In pot-limit Hold'em, you can only bet as much as the total pot at that point (if the pot is currently 100 bucks, you can only raise 100, regardless of how much money you have). In no-limit you can bet all your money at any time, hence the "no".



Certified Shitlord
PartyPoker.net said:
* Limit Hold'em: There are two and only two betting amounts. They are the 'small bet' and the 'big bet'. There are four betting rounds in Hold’em (as you’ll see below). In limit Hold’em, the first two betting rounds use the small bet, and the second two betting rounds use the big bet. For example, in a 3/6 game, 3 is the small bet and 6 is the big bet. You can only bet or raise 3 in the first two betting rounds, and you can only bet or raise 6 in the last two betting rounds. Limit Hold’em is the easiest to learn. We recommend you start with limit before moving to pot-limit or no-limit.
* Pot Limit Hold'em: Pot-limit simply means that you can bet or raise the amount that’s already in the pot. If you have a bet in front of you, and you wish to raise the maximum, just add the amount of your call to the total in the pot. That number will be the most you can raise (after calling the original bet). Pot-limit can be confusing at first, but the game has a tendency to generate a lot of action! More details…
* No Limit Hold'em: You’ve seen it on TV. Now, here's your chance to play what many consider the purest of all poker games. In no-limit Hold’em, you can simply bet all of your chips at any time. This game takes practice and guts, but if you love the thrill of the kill, this is your game! More details…

The Game:

Hold’em is a positional game. This means that players have an advantage relative to their position in the hand. The player who gets to act last has an advantage, since that player gets to see what everyone else does before he makes his move.

Position in the hand is marked by a dealer button. This button is placed in front of a player to denote the theoretical dealer. The player 'on the button' gets to act last in all betting rounds, and thus has an advantage over his opponents.

After each hand is completed, the button moves clockwise to the next active player. Before the start of the game, the PartyPoker.net software generates a fresh deck of cards for the hand. At PartyPoker.net, we use a single 52-card deck to play a hand of poker. Jokers are not used.

To ensure fairness, PartyPoker.net uses a Random Number Generator (RNG) to shuffle a deck of cards for each new hand. The RNG gives the most complete shuffle possible. The system generates a random set of numbers that are used to place a card of the deck in a particular position. Once the complete deck is created, the deck is only used for that particular hand. At the start of a new hand, the random numbers previously generated are discarded and a new set is generated before the shuffle.
The Button and Blinds:

Button placement in a fresh table (where no hands have been played) starts with the first person sitting at the table. Once the game is active, the button moves clockwise to the next player after each hand. This assures each player receives his or her fair share in the best position.

The player to the immediate left of the dealer must post a forced bet called the small blind. The small blind is usually equal to half the small bet. For example, in a 2/4 limit game, the small blind would be one chip. This is a general guideline for determining the blinds, and not a strict rule. At PartyPoker.net, the small blind is rounded down to the nearest value chip. For example, in a 5/10 limit game, instead of the small blind being 2.5 chips (5 divided by 2), it is rounded down to 2. However, as it is just a guideline, the amount of small blind could be set differently at the time of setting up the table.

The player to the immediate left of the small blind is required to post the big blind, which is usually equal to the small bet. Following our example, the big blind in a 5/10 game would be 5 chips.

Sometimes, situations arise when it is necessary for more than one player to post a big blind . If a new player joins an active table, that player has the option of posting the big blind, or waiting until it is his turn to post (determined by his position relative to the button). All the blinds in Hold’em are considered 'live' bets, meaning that the players who posted them will have the option of checking, calling, raising or folding when the betting returns to their position.
The First Round:

After the blinds have been placed, two cards are dealt to each of the players, after which the first betting round starts. The player to the immediate left of the big blind is the first to act for this round. His options are to fold, call (put in the amount of the big blind) or raise (in a limit game, he can put in twice the amount of the big blind).

Once the first player has made his move, the action moves clockwise around the table as each player takes his or her turn to act. Following our 5/10 limit Hold’em example, the first player to act can either call (put 5 in chips into the pot), raise to 10 chips, or fold. After he chooses his action, these options are available to each player depending on the action taken by the previous player. The only other additional action afforded players after the first player is the re-raise. For example, if the first player to act raises to 10, the next player may decide to re-raise to 15 chips. Remember, in the first two betting rounds, all bets and raises are in increments of the amount of the big blind (the small bet).

Every player participating in the hand puts an equal amount into the pot on each round if he or she wishes to continue with the hand. The betting on each round will continue until all players participating have placed the same amount of bets into the pot.

Note that there is a limit on the amount and the number of bets a player can place during a betting round. These limits are set forth below in the 'Standard Rules' section.
The Second Round:

After the first round of betting is over, three cards are placed face up in the center of the table This is called the Flop. These three cards are community cards, meaning that each active player in the hand can use these cards in making his best five-card hand.

After the flop, and in each subsequent betting round, the first active player to the left of the button is the first to act. Again, his options are to bet, check (pass his turn without placing a bet) or fold. The second betting round also limits the value of bets and raises to the lower limit of the betting structure. Continuing with our example, all bets and raises on the flop are in increments of 5 chips in a 5/10 limit game.
The Third Round:

After the second round of betting is complete, a fourth community card is dealt. This card is called the Turn.

The third betting round starts again with the player to the left to the button. This time, all bets and raises are in increments of the big bet. In our example of the 5/10 limit game, all bets and raises in this betting round would be in increments of 10 chips.
The Fourth Round:

After the third betting round is complete, a fifth and final community card is dealt. This card is called the River. Players now have a total of seven cards from which to choose to make their best five-card hand.

The fourth and final betting round starts again with the player to the left of the button. Again, all bets and raises are in increments of the big bet. In our example of the 5/10 limit game, all bets and raises in this betting round would be in increments of 10 chips.
The Showdown:

After the last betting round is concluded, all players remaining in the hand will show their cards (this is optional for the player, but to win the hand, a player must show his or her cards). The player uses five cards of the seven available (total of hole and community cards). Any combination of the following may be used:

* Both hole cards and three community cards
* One hole card and four community cards
* All five community cards (known as 'playing the board')

On the final round of betting, the player who bets first (or checks first if no one else bets) is required to show their cards first at the showdown. If that player has the best hand, the remaining players can choose whether to show their cards or not. The aggressor's hand is only turned over first if he was the last to initiate action on the river.

There is a set rank of cards, which is used for deciding the winning combination.

If two or more hands are of the same rank, the pot is awarded to the player with the higher cards. For example, an Ace-high flush beats a King-high flush. If the poker hands remain tied, then the highest card not being held in common (the kicker) determines the winner. The suit order of the cards is not taken into account when deciding on the winning cards.

PartyPoker.net follows the standard rules of poker. Should poker hands be absolutely identical in ranking, the pot will be split evenly between the two or more winning players. If there is an odd chip, the winning player to the left of the button/dealer will receive it.
Some Standard Rules:

A maximum number of four bets, which includes one bet and three raises, is allowed for each betting round per player.

The term cap is used to describe the third and final raise in a round, since the betting is then 'capped' and no one can make another raise. Once capped, players will have the option of calling or folding only.

Folding can be done at any stage of the game. The action of folding basically shows the player's cards being moved to the dealer. These cards are not exposed to the other players. Once a player has folded, he is no longer in contention for the pot.

Checking, as described above, is simply passing one's option to the next player in turn. A player who has checked is still in the hand but has elected not to bet. If there is a bet after a player has checked, all players who have checked will have the option to call the bet, raise the bet, or fold. This option would not always be available to the player, and it depends on the actions taken by the previous player in the hand. Each player must contribute an amount equal to the amount placed by any other players for each round in the hand.

At PartyPoker.net, poker is played 'table stakes', meaning only the chips in play at the beginning of each hand may be used throughout the hand. This means that a player cannot add additional chips to his stack at the table from his account while he is involved in a hand. If a player wishes to add chips, he must do so when he is out of a hand or between hands.

The table stakes rule has an application called the 'all-in' rule, which states that a player cannot be forced to forfeit a hand because the player does not have enough chips to call a bet (see below).
Exceptions to the Value of Betting in Each Round:

A player who does not have enough chips to call a bet is declared 'all-in'. The player is eligible to win the full amount of the pot at the point that his final wager was placed. All further action involving other players takes place in a 'side pot' that is unavailable to the player who has already gone all-in.

When a player goes all-in, the pot currently at the center of the table, which also has contributions from that player, is treated as the main pot. The all-in player can only contend for this pot. The all-in player does not have rights over any side pots that might have been created. The side pot is awarded to the best hand of all other players in the pot (not including the all-in player, regardless of the value of his hand).

Since this is a multi-player game, players are expected to complete their actions within a set amount of time during their turn. On PartyPoker.net, players are given approximately 30 seconds to make each action. Initially, the player is given 10 seconds, after which there is a timer countdown. This timer is displayed on the table for 20 seconds.

If the player runs out of time, he is considered all-in if he has contributed some chips to the pot; otherwise, his hand is folded if he does not respond in time. The system can detect a player's disconnection. This means that if a player gets disconnected during the hand and is able to reconnect with several seconds left for his turn, then he is given an additional 20 seconds to make his decision. However, if the player is not able to reconnect and return to the table before the time has elapsed, then the player is considered all-in.

When a player is considered all-in, the player is still in contention for the pot but is not an active player (placing any bets) for the remainder of the hand. All betting action after a player has been declared all-in will be placed in a side pot that the all-in player cannot claim. As noted above, whatever pot is collected up to this point in the hand is referred to as the main pot, and the all-in player has rights (if he wins) to this pot only. The side pot is awarded to the best hand among those players still in the hand who have not been declared all-in.

Please check PartyPoker.net's disconnection policy for more details.

The game play remains the same for both no-limit and pot-limit Texas Hold’em with a few exceptions to the rules mentioned above:

In limit Texas Hold’em, a maximum of four bets is allowed per player during any betting round. This includes a bet, a raise, a re-raise, and a cap. However, in no-limit and pot-limit games, there is no limit to the number of raises that a player can make. The only criteria is that you cannot raise yourself (i.e., if a player bets during a betting round, then that player would have to be raised by another player before he or she could re-raise). If all the other players in the hand only call or fold, the player would not get an option to raise because he or she would have already completed the last betting action.
Betting Structure for No-Limit Texas Hold’em

Minimum raise: The raise amount must be at least as much as the previous bet or raise in the same round. As an example, if the first player to act bets 100 chips, then the second player must raise a minimum of 100 chips (total bet of 200 chips).

Maximum eligible raise: The size of your stack (your chips on the table).

The Betting Rules for Pot-Limit Texas Hold’em

Minimum eligible raise: The raise amount must be at least as much as the previous bet or raise in the same round. As an example, if the first player to act bets 100 chips, then the second player must raise a minimum of 100 chips (total bet of 200 chips). The player with the first betting action must bet an amount at least equal to the amount of the big blind.

Maximum eligible raise: A player can raise up to the total size of the pot. The size of the pot is defined as the total of the active pot (which can be either the main pot or the side pot if a player or players have gone 'all-in'), plus all bets on the table, plus the amount the active player must call before he raises.

As an example, if the active pot is 200 chips, and the first player to act in the round bets 150 chips and the next player calls the bet of 150 chips, the third player has a maximum eligible total bet of 800 chips. The 800 total is made up of the 150 chip call and 650 chip raise. The 650 chip maximum raise portion is equal to the pot of 200 + first player's 150 + second player's 150 + his own call of 150.
Great beginner's guide here. Better yet, head to Partypoker.net and learn more about it. Party Poker's software is pretty good as well for learning the game.


The Mercenary said:
Great beginner's guide here. Better yet, head to Partypoker.net and learn more about it. Party Poker's software is pretty good as well for learning the game.
Yeah, if you go into a play money table at Partypoker, it's a fun way to learn the game. And it's also fun to play there even if you're experienced.