If you've ever seen a poker game, chances are it was Texas Hold 'em. This world-famous variant has become the most popular form of poker thanks to its easy-to-learn but hard-to-master gameplay. While there are many advanced techniques and strategies, everyone has to start with the basics of poker.
Find a Place to Play
You'll need to find a way to play Texas Hold 'em regularly to practice and build up experience. This is easier said than done due to Norway's strict gambling laws. Thankfully, there are still many sites where you can find a norsk casino that offers online poker. Once you've found one, it's time to start learning the game at your own pace.
When playing Texas Hold 'em at a casino, there are a few aspects to be aware of beforehand. The first is the blinds, which varies from table to table. These are the minimum bets needed every game to ensure the pot is never empty.
The small blind starts at the player left of the dealer, while the big blind starts to their left. Each one is a small mandatory bet, and each blind moves clockwise to the next player every game. It's best to check the blinds to judge the general stakes of a table before joining.
The basics of Texas Hold 'em poker are pretty straightforward. Each player is dealt two facedown cards that only they can look at, starting from the dealer's left. The game then begins with the pre-flop betting round, where the first two players must bet the blinds. Turn order proceeds clockwise as each player chooses from a handful of available decisions.
Generally, players will either place a bet if they have a good hand or fold if they want to quit the round. Judging your starting hand is one of the most crucial basic skills to master. If you can recognise a bad hand, you can fold early to avoid entering unfavourable rounds.
After each player has made a decision, the dealer will draw three faceup community cards, known as the flop. Players are allowed to bet for another round before a fourth card is added to the flop, called the river. The next betting round takes place, and a fifth card, called the turn, is dealt.
Players engage in a final round of betting after all five community cards are in place. This signals the end of the game, and the players who remain show their hands.
During the showdown, you'll combine your own cards with the community cards to create a hand of up to five cards. The best hand takes the entire pot, or half if it's a tie.
Learning the various poker hands is essential as it allows you to judge the community cards and decide if you can make a winning hand. The card combinations from strongest to weakest are:
Royal Flush: 10 to Ace of the same suit.
Straight Flush: Five consecutive cards with the same suit.
Full House: Three-of-a-Kind and One Pair
Flush: Five cards with the same suit.
Straight: Five consecutive cards
High Card: If none of the above hands can be created, the player with the highest value card wins. Two is the weakest card, while Ace is the strongest.
How to Bet
The decisions available to players during a betting round can change depending on the situation. Aside from the initial blinds bets, a player can choose to:
Fold: This option is always available during your turn.
Check: Checking means you choose not to bet. You can only do this if the player before you also hasn't bet, meaning the option won't be available during the first round.
Bet: If no bets have been placed so far during the round, a player can start the chain by betting any amount.
Call: Once a bet has been made, you can call to match the previous amount.
Raise: If you are confident in your hand or simply want to bluff, you can raise to bet more than the last player.
All In: This means you want to bet all your remaining cash into the pot. Sometimes you can be forced to All In if the previous player's bet is higher than your balance.
Texas Hold 'em is always exciting, thanks to its unique combination of skill and luck. Advanced players need to react and make fast decisions based on the situation. Fortunately, getting into Texas Hold 'em is easy with its simple basic rules that'll give you an edge over many casual players.