Texas Hold Em | Spirit Mountain Casino
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History


As the most popular poker variation in U.S. casinos, Texas Hold ‘Em takes minutes to learn but much longer to master. The combination of poker and bluffing skills makes Texas Hold ‘Em a game that requires practice and finesse. It was invented in Texas, just as its name suggests, and was brought to Las Vegas in the late 1960s. The poker game rose to popularity in the 2000s after it was highly televised and introduced in online game play. In Texas Hold ‘Em, bluffing expertise is crucial and poker players often spend years perfecting their poker face. Visit Spirit Mountain Casino to try your hand at Texas Hold ‘Em and read the game’s rules and a few tips below.

Rules


In Texas Hold ‘Em, all players are dealt two pocket (or hole) cards. Then, a total of five community cards are revealed by the dealer. After all rounds of betting are finished, the best five-card hard, using any combination of pocket and community cards, wins. While the casino dealer is always the one to physically deal the cards, a dealer button is rotated around the table so that each player is in the dealer’s position once per round. This allows the blinds to be set. A “blind” is a mandatory bet posted before the cards are dealt used to stimulate the action on the first betting round. Normally, two blinds are used, to indicate the two players that will put antes, or a stipulated amounts which must be posted by each player before cards are dealt, into the pot. It is also possible to play Hold ‘Em with one blind, multiple blinds, an ante, or a combination of blinds plus an ante. Be sure to ask the casino dealer which format is being used at your table. To start play, the dealer deals each player two pocket cards face-down. Then, a round of betting ensues. After the betting, the dealer burns one card and reveals three community cards face up. This is called the flop. After the flop, there is a second round of betting. The dealer then burns another card and reveals one more community card (the turn, or fourth street), and then the third round of betting takes place. After the third betting round, the dealer burns one more card and reveals one final community card. This card is called the river, or fifth street. There is then a final round of betting, followed by a showdown in which each remaining player shows their hand with the bettor showing first.

PLAYERS MUST USE ONE OF THE FOLLOWING COMBINATIONS OF FIVE CARDS AT THE SHOWDOWN:

Two pocket cards and three community cards

One pocket card and four community cards

Zero pocket cards and all five community cards

Tips


After posting your blind, that money is no longer yours, just like an ante. Don’t think that you need to defend the blind by calling raises even when you don’t have a great hand. All this will do is lead to wasting additional money on marginal hands. Also, don’t just always call with the small blind with the assumption that you might as will pay the other half of the ante. If you have nothing, you have nothing. Saving that half of the ante will pay for your next small blind, and get you into the game when your hand is hot. Choosing whether or not to continue playing after seeing the flop can be a tough decision. It can also be a costly decision if you continue with a weak hand. Keep in mind that the flop determines about 71% of your hand. After those three community cards come out, you’ve seen 5/7 of the final hand. This should give you enough information to determine whether or not to continue. If you feel that you have the top hand after seeing the turn, go ahead and bet. “Calling a bet” means you intend to match the amount of the wagers made up to that point. If you simply check, you may lose a few bets. You may “check” whenever you are first to act, or when the players acting before you have checked. “Check” is simply choosing not to bet, but reserving the option of remaining in the action if other players do bet. Most players will call you in a straightforward low-limit game. If your hand truly is the best, why not make them pay? Remember, you’re playing against the other players at the table. Don’t give them a free card. Take them out of the game when you can.
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