Although no one really knows for sure, Robstown, Texas is officially credited as the birthplace of Texas Hold’em in the early 1900’s. It is also thought that professional card players and gamblers spread the game throughout Texas and the western US.
Fixed Limit Texas Holdem
Fixed Limit Texas Hold’em General Information:
Limit Holdem is more of a game of finesse, odds, and well-timed aggression. This is in sharp contrast to no-limit games, which involve much more bluffing and huge mental swings. Your goal in almost any type of limit internet holdem game is to win between one and three big bets per hour. You must know the math of Texas holdem inside and out in order to be able to exploit even the smallest statistical advantages you hold over your opponents.
Rules of Limit Hold’em:
The rules of this game follow the general rules for standard online Hold’em:
One player acts as dealer. This position rotates clockwise after each hand, and is also called the button. This position still rotates even when playing with a permanent dealer.
The two players to the left of the dealer, or button, are called the small and big blinds, respectively. These players must make forced bets before receiving any cards.
Each player is then dealt two ‘hole’ cards, face down.
The first betting round now begins with the player to the immediate left of the big blind. The options are folding (giving up their cards), calling (matching the amount of the big blind), or raising. Betting continues clockwise until finished.
Three community cards are now dealt face up in the center of the table. This is called the ‘flop.’
The second betting round now begins with the first remaining player to the left of the button and continues clockwise. In addition to calling, betting or folding, players may also check if there is no bet in front of them. Checking is basically passing their turn.
A fourth community card is now dealt face up, next to the flop. This is called the ‘turn;’ followed by a betting round. Bets from this round on are usually double those of the flop round.
A fifth community card is dealt in the center of the table, also face up, and called the ‘river.’
A final betting round commences, once again beginning with the first remaining player to the left of the button and proceeding clockwise.
If more then one player remains, all must show their cards. This is called the showdown, and the winner is determined by who can make the best five-card poker hand, using either one or both of their hole cards.
In internet limit holdem, your main goal is to maximize the money collected on your winning hands, while minimizing the amount of money lost on your other hands. The turn (the 4th community card) is the key to this goal. Oftentimes, it is the right move to play through the flop in order to see the turn, especially since these betting rounds are usually twice the amount of money bet during the flop round. It is also much more difficult to bluff someone out of the game at these levels, so you really need to focus on the cards.
When you have aces, especially paired aces in the hole, you want to pump the pot. You should bet aggressively, but not too aggressively that everyone folds! With a strong hand like that, you generally want to keep players in the game.
With all this being said, you still generally wan to focus on only playing premium hands, and playing them aggressively. You should probably only be in about 20-25% of the flops. The other side of this coin is to look for tables with viewed flop percentages of 30% or higher. Beginning players tend to see too many flops, call too often when they have strong (or even trap) hands, and not raising enough with premium hands.
When you hold top pairs (A’s through J’s) or top connectors (AK, AQ), it is time to raise, even pre-flop. You want to drive out those with low pairs and various other connectors, and also to build the pot in case you hit your draw.
Some other solid hands include pairs of J’s, pairs of 10’s and A-Q suited. You should consider raising on such hands, even in an early position. Possibly also consider a re-raise if you are in late position. These are all solid and strong hands.
Other hands, such as paired 9’s, A-J suited, and K-Q suited are a bit trickier to play. If you are the first one into the pot on this round, consider raising (but only from late position). Your hope here is that you will seize the initiative and force most, if not all, of the weaker players out.
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