Texas Hold’em Poker-Play The Game of Intellectuals
Texas Hold’em Poker– is a favorite game of the professional poker players. Hold’em is played almost in every big European and American casino and though the annual World Series of Poker, WSOP is held in different “categories”, the title of the World Champion gets the winner in Hold’em. There are several years Hold’em appeared in Moscow and in other cities some casinos include it to the list of offered games. To get into the championship, where the first fee is $10,000 and where millions of people from America and all over the world dream to play, the players have to pass several tournaments with less prizes which are called satellites. Such satellites tournaments where several places to WSOP are drawn plus money for the trip, are held by many serious sites for playing online poker (online poker rooms).
Hold’em is played usually by 6-10 player at the poker table. The round plastic disk, called button, which moves before every deal on one player clockwise, defines the dealer’s location. The player on the left hand of the dealer bets blind before the deal, i.e. without seeing his cards, a half of a base bet (small blind), and the next – the full start bet (big blind). In the Moscow’s casinos it is usually $5-$10, though other variants can occur. After that the croupier deals every player, beginning from the small blind, two cards closed and the first round of trade is begun. Let’s point that unlike the stud-poker, the trade goes in the definite way clockwise beginning from the player who sits on the left hand of the dealer. The exception is the first round, before which two players on the left hand of the dealer have made their “blind” bets and the trade is begun by the third player from the dealer.
Every player has by turn, according to his two cards, to decide – whether to fold, i.e. drop his cards without pretending on winning, to call the previous bet, or to raise it. The player whose bet is equal to the previous (for example, in the first circle of trade without raising the bet, who sits on the big blind) can say “check”, confirming his wish to play and unwillingness to raise. After when all the bets are made, i.e. raises are equalized, the rest said “check”, the other players dropped cards, and it can last for several rounds, three cards opened are dealt on the middle of the table and the next circle of trade is begun. These three cards called the flop, are common and belong to all rest players. After this circle of trade which can last for several rounds, the next common opened card is dealt (the turn, or sometimes the fourth street), the next round of trade, and than the fifth common card – river, or the fifth street. After it the last circle of trade is done, showing closed cards and definition of the winner, which gets the whole bank (for the exception of the casino’s percent, which is usually about 3%).
The bet limits depend on the sub-variety of the game (low-limit, pot-limit, no limit), but in the most Moscow’s casinos where Hold’em is played, in money (not tournament) game the rule “the bet raise – not higher than the half of the bank” is spread. It’s impossible to “crush by the large sum” in Hold’em – if you are short of chips with the winning card, to answer the last raise, with the words “all in” the croupier shares the bank into two parts. In one of them, on which you had enough of money you take part, the rest will be divided among the other players. If by this moment you stayed with your opponent alone – “excess” chips are returned to him at once. In the player’s combination any amount of common and closed cards can enter. Naturally, there can’t be more than 5 cards in the combination (usual poker combinations play in the habitual order of seniority). It is an important moment – two, one or none of the player’s closed cards can take part in the combination, and the common number of players can’t exceed five. On the last WSOP on the Hold’em tournament in May 2001 (by the way, with the entrance fee $10 000 and total prize about $6 000 000) on the second day after the screening of more than a half of players, a striking case occurred. After the flop and the turn there were 9-10-J-K of different suits lying on the table. The trade was over, because both residuary players bet all their chips into the bank. One of the players opened his two Q, showing a created street. The second one dropped his closed cards and jumped from the table. When croupier opened the fifth card, one more Q, which gave the street on the table, i.e. draw game, to run down the second player and to inform him of it was impossible. Be careful – even the last card (if you bargain to it, and when it is needed we will discuss later) can change the situation cardinally.
That’s all rules of this amazing game, one of the most exciting varieties of poker, which is considered to be the King of gambling. In the end of the first chapter let’s notice that any poker (besides Caribbean, or Oasis), and also Hold’em, unlike other usual games – the game is between players but not with the casino. Further will be said about the basic principles, strategy and tactics of the game, but you don’t have to forget about the role of psychology. You can’t win without knowing the technique. You can’t win a lot of money without understanding of the opponent’s psychology. Poker is played for money.
“Any two cards can win the bank” – such phrase you can often hear from the Hold’em players. It can’t be wrong, you can really win with anything. Having 2-7 of different suits, you can get on flop, for example, three deuces, and without paired turn and river to win with the strongest hand. However the probability of such event is rather small, and playing all 2-card combinations in a row the total loss will much exceed such casual winnings. Let’s see, with which two cards it is worth to enter the game, and which are worth to drop at once.
As it was mentioned above, unlike 5- -card Stud-Poker, in Hold’em the order of trade is defined by the location of the button and isn’t change during one deal. That’s why the location in the trade is one of the deciding factors of the game, and some cards, which are worth to drop in the early position, are right for playing on the last hands. The later your lead, the more information you have, and poker is the game of information. Of course not full, but information. That’s why, when setting out the basic strategy of the game, we will proceed from the player’s position according to button at the table: when nine players are in the game, four boxes on the left from the button (including binds) are considered to be an early position, the fifth-seventh players – in the middle, the eighth and ninth – in the late position.
In spite of a big difference of card joints in poker there are only 169 variants of start 2-card hands. Of course, we count those cards which are differ only by suit, the same combination, i.e. K of clubs J of clubs equalize to K of hearts J of hearts. If three clubs will come on flop, first of them is more winning, but for those who don’t have a gift of oracle these hands before flop are equivalent. All these 169 variants we can divide into five categories: pairs, neighbor cards, “full of holes” cards, neighbour cards of the same suit and cards “full of holes” of the same suit. If you have a pair, your two cards can be of the same or different suits, be neighbor or to have “a hole” between them in one or several cards. It is obvious that with neighbor cards there are more chances to get the street, the bigger the “hole”, the smaller is this probability. With the cards of the same suits for the flash the size of the “hole” isn’t important, but senior cards are preferable for other reasons.