The most popular poker format, Texas Hold’em is often called the Cadillac of poker aka the “thinking man’s game.” The game originated during the early part of the 20th century and has become one of the more popular mind sports in the world today.
In Texas Hold ‘em, the small blind and big blind have to make ‘forced’ or compulsory bets. Since the small blind position is to the left of the dealer and the big blind is on the left of the small blind, to make it fair, the dealer button is rotated clockwise after each hand so that the position of small and big blinds keep changing every hand.
The small blind bets a certain amount first, and the big blind then has to bet an equal amount or he can choose to raise it.
Players have to make a choice of three betting actions:
- Check or call: To call is to match the previous bet made. Check is the same, only when no bet has been made, so a check is a call for free.
- Bet or raise: In no-limit, a minimum bet equals the size of the big blind, and the maximum is the total amount of chips you hold. Once a bet is made, the minimum raise is the size of the bet made by the player preceding you, and maximum remains the size of your stack.
- Fold: means throwing away your hand and waiting for the next deal to play again. Again, folding is for free.
Betting rounds correspond to the four stages in poker: Preflop, Flop, Turn and the River round.
In Preflop, the UTG can call, raise or fold and all other players have the same options. In Flop round, Small blind can check i.e. not bet anything, bet i.e. put some money in the middle which other players have to match, or fold. The Big Blind can either fold, call or raise. The remaining players follow the same options. In the Turn and River rounds, players opt from the same choice of betting actions as in the Flop round. With four betting rounds over, showdown has players tabling their hand and the best hand wins.
A No-Limit Hold ‘em cash game is played according to the blind size and the buy-in varies from one poker room to another. Usually, the minimum buy-in will be 20 big blinds and the maximum 100 big blinds, though in certain games no maximum buy-in limit is set.
In Limit Hold ‘em, betting limits are fixed and the size of the game is based on the pot size. Plays remain like in any Hold ‘em game but you bet and raise in increments. There are a set number of raises you can make before betting is capped, after which players can not raise, and can only call or fold until the next street is dealt.