Texas Hold'em Poker Basic Strategy
(If you are looking for the rules of Texas Hold'em please check here)
If you are a poker beginner and are just learning the basics of Texas Hold'em Poker, we strongly recommend for you to start playing at Party Poker (click here to download) or Everest Poker (click here to download). Both sites have free poker software, and a play money section to practise. Once you have played a few play money hands and know the betting sequence and rules of the game, these two poker websites are ideal because of their Fixed Limit Texas Holdem ring games, which start at very low blinds (0,02/0,04$). With a deposit as low as $20, you can play for real money here, without risking to go broke too soon. There is NO learning effect at play money because players call indiscriminately here, since there is no money involved. Play low level cash games first, learn the game, play tight and learn some more.
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What are "Blinds"?
"Blinds" are forced bets that have to be placed by the two players sitting to the left of the supposed Dealer prior to the "Hole cards" being dealt. The amount of those "Blinds" depends on the table limit. For example, when playing at a £0.50/£1 cash table, the 1st player sitting to the left of the Dealer has to put £0.50 into the pot; he sits therefore in the "Small Blind". The player to the left of the "Small Blind" sits in the "Big Blind" spot and has to put £1 into the pot. The player to the left of the "Big Blind" is now the first one who needs to decide whether he wants to stay in the hand or not. If he does, he has to meet the "Big Blinds" £1 bet, at least; if he doesn't want to play this hand then he folds his "Hole cards" and returns them face-down to the Dealer. (He will be the "Big Blind" iIn next game).
Why is "Position" important?
The Dealer (also called "the Button") is signified by a small white disc that moves clock-wise around the table with every hand completed, meaning that everyone at the table will be the supposed Dealer at some point. As the Dealer button moves around the table, so do the Blinds.
As we learned in the last chapter, the player sitting to the left of the Big Blind is the first to make a decision whether to play or not. He therefore sits in the worst postion before the Flop. The players to the right of the Dealer sit in good position because they can see what the other players do and then base their decision on the action so far. The player on the Dealer button sits in the best possible position throughout the hand.
Conclusion: the closer you sit to the left of the Big Blind the better your hole cards have to be for staying in the hand, because most of the others players are yet to act before the Flop is dealt.
Which "Hole cards" are playable?
Of course, there is no absolute answer to that question since your decision-making will depend on many factors, which you will learn over time. However, we have compiled a chart that you can use as a rough guide to begin with. It shows which Hole cards you can (and mostly should) play in certain positions.
Early position - the first 3 seats to the left of the Big Blind
Middle position - the next 3 seats after the early positions
Late position - all other seats thereafter (incl the Dealer)
|Early position||Middle position||Late position|
|AKs - stands for Ace-King of the same suit|
|A - Ace|
|Q - Queen|
|J - Jack|
|T - 10|