When talking about classic card games, Texas Holdem poker must come up because it’s the most popular poker variant both online and offline. Texas Hold’em is a simple game that is the perfect way to get into poker. Learning how to play holdem poker opens you up to a host of other card games. This poker game involves skill and some luck. Therefore, you have to be careful of how you approach it. Texas Holdem poker provides good opportunities to win money. Besides that, it is a fun gambling option where you get to compete against other players. Continue reading this guide to get the fundamentals of Texas Hold’em poker.
Texas Holdem Poker Popularity in the Philippines
Even before online gaming, poker was a big part of the Philippine gambling market. As online casinos gained popularity, so did online poker. Players in the Philippines can now access games like Texas Hold’em from hundreds of sites. Online poker gaming is legal in the Philippines as long as players use registered offshore platforms. So, wherever you are in the country, you can get into a poker room and gamble on Texas Holdem for real money or free.
Due to the large following the game commands, just about every casino with online poker options offers the variant. Thus, gamblers in the Philippines won’t have any trouble finding a suitable game. You only have to make certain that you are playing on a reputable and regulated poker website. Whether or not you have to pay taxes on poker winnings depends on the region. For this reason, check local gambling laws first.
The Rules in Texas Hold’em
Before putting money on a Texas Hold’em game, you should know the rules. Once you grasp the rules of holdem poker, you can easily learn about other versions. The point of this online poker variant is to get the best hand with five cards. So, each player on the table is competing to hold the strongest hand. You need a standard deck of 52 cards for this poker game.
Before betting begins, two players have to put up forced bets. The player to the dealer’s left puts up the small blind and the next player to the left pays the big blind. Neither player gets to see their cards before these wagers hence the ‘blind’ part. Each player at the table gets two hole cards for the personal hands. Then the dealer deals five community cards face up during the different betting rounds where players have to take certain actions to build the best hand. You win the pot if you hold the strongest hand.
How to Play Online
Playing online poker is not that much different from offline gambling. The rules don’t change. So, if you have gambled at brick-and-mortar poker rooms in the Philippines, then the same skills apply to Texas Holdem poker. The biggest difference is that online poker doesn’t have dealers, just a computerised system doing most of the work. Of course, if you want to play Texas Hold’em with a dealer, there are live gaming alternatives.
With online poker, you have to click on a button to take the desired actions like checking, calling or folding. Gaming on the web offers the advantage of free games. You can play for fun until you get used to the rules of holdem poker. Also, players can claim poker bonuses that increase playing time and help them to manage their bankrolls better. Below are critical aspects of playing poker games online.
After the small blind and big blind, players get their hole cards and can then proceed to play. This betting round is the pre-flop and starts from the left of the big blind, continuing clockwise. You can fold, call or raise the big blind. After this round of betting is complete, three cards are dealt, face up. This is the flop and the community cards are shared among the players still present. Betting occurs clockwise from the button.
When the betting round ends, the dealer deals the turn or fourth street, face up. Another round of betting follows, and when it is done, the river, also called fifth street, is dealt. The final betting round begins. If more than one player remains, the last one to bet shows their hand using the hole cards and community cards. The best five-card hand wins.
At each betting round in Texas Holdem poker, players have to make certain decisions. The actions of the previous player determine the alternatives available. These are:
- Fold – Forfeit your hand and wait for the next betting round.
- Check – Refuse to bet but keep your cards and let the next player make a move.
- Call – Match the big blind or a previous player’s wager to continue playing.
- Raise – Bet more than the previous player.
When playing Texas Holdem poker, you have to know the value of your hand, so you can tell how good it is. The following is how hands rank in a poker game from lowest to highest:
- High card – It doesn’t contain any of the known combinations.
- Pair – Two cards of the same rank.
- Two Pair – Two sets of pairs from different ranks.
- Three of a Kind – Contains three cards of identical rank.
- Straight – Five consecutive cards not in the same suit.
- Flush – Five cards, same suit, not in order.
- Full House – Three cards, same rank and two of a different rank.
- Four of a Kind – Fours cards, same rank.
- Straight Flush – Five consecutive cards, same suit.
- Royal Flush – Highest possible flush – 10, J, Q, K, A.
Texas Holdem Terminology
As you study and play Texas Holdem poker, you will encounter some words and phrases that are unique to the game. Here are some common ones and their definitions:
- Ace in the hole – Having an Ace as one of the hole cards.
- All in – Putting all your chips in the pot in a no-limit poker game.
- Buy-in – The amount required to join a tournament.
- Kicker – The card used to break the tie when two players have the same hand.
- Limp – Calling the big blind in pre-flop.
- Showdown – If after dealing all five community cards and completing the last betting round more than one player remains, then they have to turn over their cards to find the best one.
- Split pot – Sharing the pot between two or more players that hold the same hand at showdown.
Variations of Texas Hold’em Poker
Since Texas Hold’em is a widely popular game, it makes sense that it has evolved through the years. Several variations have sprouted to cater to the diverse online poker market. This section explores some of the common derivatives of Holdem poker that you can play in the Philippines.
Texas Hold’em is differentiated through betting limits. Limit holdem has predetermined bet sizes. All bets and raises in the first two rounds are equal to the big blind then they double in the last two rounds.
No-limit holdem lets you bet as much of your chips as you want. The minimum bet is the same amount as the big blind.
Pot limit poker games are a compromise between limit and no-limit holdem. You can bet up to the size of the pot.
Texas Holdem Tournaments vs. Ring Games
A critical decision to make when playing online poker is whether to gamble on ring games or tournaments. Ring games are real-money non-tournament games. Therefore, players can join or leave as they please. Every seat at a ring game must be filled. The table requirements vary across poker games. Also called cash games, ring games have buy-ins. However, the amount is smaller than what tournaments require.
A tournament has a set number of players that depend on the type of game. Each player buys on for the same amount. Tournaments have starting and stopping times. While ring games are played on one table, Texas Hold’em tournaments can include several tables.
Profitable Texas Holdem Strategies
If you are to win the pot in holdem poker, then you have to learn how to play intelligently. Poker is a mental game, and you have to know which moves to make and when. The following tactics can help improve your gambling.
Size wagers correctly. Be confident with bets but don’t be too aggressive. Look at the table history and choose wagers that match your previous actions, especially if you are bluffing.
Know if a poker hand is worth playing in the early, middle or late position. Don’t hold on to a bad hand hoping that you can improve it because you are in position.
Take the learning process one poker game at a time. Don’t expect to become a skilled player after only a few poker games. Understand the basics of holdem and practice vigorously. Try different strategies to familiarise yourself with them.
Practice Poker For Free
Free games are the best way to learn holdem poker. Some poker games include demo modes that allow players to gamble with virtual currency. So, you can play limitlessly without risking a real money investment. Demo versions have all the features in the real game. Thus, you can employ poker strategies to see how well they work. Playing demos is also an excellent way to try out new titles.
Another way players in the Philippines can play for free is with no-deposit bonuses. Some poker sites offer these bonuses to attract customers. The poker room fronts the cash while you use it on selected titles. No deposit offers are, however, hard to come by. Besides Texas Hold’em, you can find other variants for free.
Get into Online Poker with Texas Hold’em
Are you looking to start gambling on online poker? Then Texas Holdem poker is the best way to do it. The game is impressively uncomplicated, and once you get a hang of it, you can easily transition to more complicated variants. In the Philippines, you can find Holdem poker at a majority of the poker sites available in the region. Players can gamble for free, for real money or participate in sit & go’s and other tournaments. You can find poker games from some of the biggest developers in iGaming. Whether you prefer high or low table limits, Texas Holdem has a suitable variation.