Tagged in: Texas Holdem

Knowing your odds from the start on Texas Holdem – Am I going to Win?

A few poker players believe that Texas Hold ‘Em is the most unpredictable card game and that the players can’t know if they’re going to win or not until the game is finished. To me, this is just one part of the medal. The other part is a lot more “sensible”.

After a long journey, I have come to discover that most players can indeed have an idea about their odds of winning, and better yet, they can learn from the very beginning. The purpose for finding out if you have a chance at victory is directly related to the fact if you will bet large amounts of money – you wouldn’t want to play against the odds!

The starting hand on poker is surely underrated by some. While you can never know your luck on a Hold ‘Em game, calculating some odds from the starting hand is not impossible. You don’t have to be that good in calculating, you simply have to remember a few figures.

While I am not suggesting that a bad starting hand means that you’re going to lose the game (you really never know what will happen during a poker game), I am only saying that computing the odds on your mind can be a good indicator about your next moves on the poker table.

Let’s begin by taking a look at the probability of receiving a good combination of the hole cards. A standard deck has a total of 52 cards, which belong to four different suits. There are a total of 1,326 possible two card combinations on a typical 52 card deck.

However, these odds are calculated by considering the four suits to have different values. Since the suits do not play any role, it turns out that there are 169 possible combinations. That’s a lot less, but not all combinations have the same value on poker.

If we look into the odds more closely, we will learn that 13 out of 169 combinations are (successive) pairs and they have better chances of creating a powerful hand at the end. The odds of being dealt a combination of this kind are 7.69%, which is not that good.

Nevertheless, there are 78 other combinations of non-paired cards that belong to the same suit. While these combinations are not as good as the first ones, they can also be helpful and useful. The odds of having two hole cards of this type are 46.15%.

The remaining 78 combinations are non-paired cards of different suits. These are not necessarily bad since there are some valued hands which might use those particular cards. Again, the odds for this arrangement (which should not be mistaken for the previous arrangement) are 46.15%.

All things considered, I would not immediately jump into conclusions from the beginning of a poker game whether I am going to win or not. Instead, my best strategy is to look into my odds and do the best I can out of it, and this strategy has never let down!

The basic rules of Texas Holdem

I was introduced to poker a decade ago, and we have been “best friends” ever since. I personally find poker to be a very appealing and addicting game because it offers me something that most activities don’t offer these days – actual fun! In addition, my favorite poker game is undoubtedly Texas Hold ‘Em and not just because it’s the most popular version!

It is estimated that 14% of the total US population play poker, either online or offline. The figures are constantly growing so it’s “advisable” to learn the basic Texas Hold ‘Em rules so that you can fit in as well. Best of all, the rules are not as tricky as they might sound – you can master the Texas Hold ‘Em game within a few hours.

Let us begin with getting a general idea about what Texas Hold ‘Em is all about. Prior to dealing any cards, the two players located to the left of the card dealer have to place bets known as “Small Blind” and “Big Blind”. The “Big Blind” is twice as much as the “Small Blind”. The “pot” is the center of the poker table where the money is put. Afterwards, all players are dealt two cards faced down, also known as “hole cards”.

The player on the left of the Big Blind has to begin the betting. The lowest amount the player can bet has to meet the Big Blind. The player might decide to raise the amount, and this will become the new minimum betting amount. Then, each player has to declare whether they want to ‘call’ (bet the current amount of money), ‘raise’ (bet more), ‘check’ (pass to the other player to make decision) or ‘fold’ (leave the round).

After all players declare, the dealer places three faced-up cards known as the “community cards”. The next round of betting takes place. All declare whether they want to call, raise, check or fold. Nevertheless, in this round there is no minimum betting amount, unlike the ‘blind’ on the first round. If everything is set, we can move to the other round.

The dealer places another faced-up community card on the table and a betting round takes place just as it did before. They have to declare if they want to call, raise, check or fold so that the final round can take place. Lastly, the dealer places the final community card called “the river”. The players declare whether to bet or withdraw, a.k.a. fold.

This is the part where the game nearly comes to an end. There are a total of five community cards on the table, and each player has two cards on their hands from the beginning of the game. Using the five community cards and the two cards on their hands (known as hole cards) they have to make the best poker hand.

The player with the best poker hand wins, or in the event of two players having the same hand, they share the victory equally. I believe this concludes the basic rules of Texas Hold ‘Em and with a little practice you might learn these rules much quicker than you think!