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Learning Texas Holdem Poker

Free online casino games can really spice up life. Here I was playing regular Poker for years, often bored by the predictability of my evenings. A chance visit to Dallas introduced me to Texas Hold’em Poker, a community card game where players get to bet four times.

On returning to Atlantic City Casinos, I slipped back into my old habit of Draw Poker. Watching James Bond play the game in Casino Royale prodded me to forget about the slot machines, my favorite casino game and finally try it, so I decided to play for free first. Here are the basics:

You play the game with a standard deck of cards even at the free online casino. Each player is dealt two personal cards face down. Five other community cards are dealt face up on the table. One had to make the best five-card poker hand among players at the free online casino, combining the personal and the community cards.

The game starts to the left of the dealer, with a forced bet (small blind) which is doubled by another player (big blind). The money wagered is the pot, and the rest of the game is devoted to staking claim to this pot. Here is how: After the bet, the two personal (pocket) cards are dealt. If you ‘call’ you opt to match the amount of money bet earlier and see the next card; if you ‘fold’ your cards, you choose to stop betting and relinquish your hand; if you ‘raise’, it means you increase the stakes by betting more than what has been bet. This can either prompt others at the casino to fold, call or make a ‘re- raise.’

As this type of casino game unfolds, the four rounds of betting are completed in the ‘flop’, the ‘turn’, the river card’ and the ‘showdown’, when each of the five community cards are revealed one by one. Guess what? You don’t have to use your pocket cards, if you have useless ones. Last night, I played “the board,’ quite sure that the best cards were there. I was right and I won! It’s a simple game, but calls for a lifetime of learning, they say. So I am rushing back to pick up some more tricks of the trade.

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