The most popular variant of poker at non GamStop casinos is No-Limit Texas Hold’em. The main tournaments are played in this variant, despite the emergence of several other variants. No-Limit Texas Hold’em is a card game that you play against one or more opponents.
Poker is played all over the world with Las Vegas as the epicenter. Every year thousands of players gather there to play the World Series of Poker, the unofficial world championship. The winner of the main tournament takes home millions. But before you play with the best, it’s time to learn the rules. These poker rules and poker strategy are about the game of No-Limit Texas Hold’em, by far the most popular poker game. Unless otherwise stated, we assume a cash game in the examples. Below we explain the difference with tournament poker.
Poker Rules (No-Limit Texas Hold’em)
No-Limit Texas Hold’em is a card game that you play against one or more opponents, with up to ten players at a table. If you play this game in a casino, there is also a dealer sitting at the table who deals the cards.
Although there is an employee of the casino at the table, you are not playing against the house. Unlike other card games like blackjack and punto banco, you play No-Limit Texas Hold’em against other visitors to the casino. You can also play online poker against other logged in players. The casino earns money from the game by taking a small percentage of each pot (rake), or by charging an entry fee (fee) on the entry fee of a poker tournament.
Each player is dealt two cards which only the player who receives them may see, not the rest of the table. We call this the hole cards. In the end, five community cards are placed on the table that everyone can see and use. With this total of seven cards (two to yourself and five in common), each player tries to make the best possible combination of five cards in total. This can be done by using your own two cards and three from the table, or one of your own and four from the table. You can also only use the five cards on the table, but in that case the best you can hope for is a draw if you have to show your cards, because all your opponents have that combination at least of course.
Because in No-Limit Texas Hold’em you have information that the rest of the table doesn’t – namely the value of your own cards that no one else has seen – you can bluff. After all, you can pretend that you have better cards than you actually got from the dealer. And this is what makes the game so interesting and exciting! The combinations you can make determine who wins. The poker combinations are shown below and are very similar to those of the game Yahtzee. You can print out these combinations for No-Limit Texas Hold’em and even take them to the casino if you want, though let the rest of the players know that you don’t have much experience yet. It is more convenient to learn them by heart.
Poker Combinations (Poker Hand Ranking) No-Limit Texas Hold’em
|Royal Flush||Five cards of the same suit from ten to ace|
|Straight Flush||Five cards of the same suit consecutively|
|Four of a kind||Four cards of the same rank||quads|
|Full House||Three cards of the same value and two cards of the same value||Boat, full boat|
|flush||Five cards of the same suit||Color (French)|
|straight||Five cards ascending but of different suits||Street|
|Three-of-a-kind||Three of the same cards plus two of the same cards||Trips, Set|
|Two Pair||Twice two cards of the same rank with one random card||Two pairs|
|One Pair||Two cards of the same rank with any three cards||A few|
|High Card||Five unequal cards|
The height of the cards is equal to that of all card games: the ace is the highest and the two is the lowest. So, increasing from low to high it is as follows: The ace can also be used as one, so you can also make a straight with an ace, two, three, four, and five.
The Royal Flush is the highest possible combination in poker, but it is rare. The odds of hitting a Royal Flush are about 1 in 650,000. Some players have been playing for years before getting a Royal Flush of their own.
On the other side of the coin you will find the high card – you always have it because you don’t have to do anything for it.
The combinations are worth more as they are rarer and more difficult to make. Thus, two pair (e.g. twos and fives) beats one pair (e.g. two aces), but in turn is defeated by three-of-a-kind (e.g. three nines.)