Texas Hold 'Em

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Flack
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Texas Hold 'Em

Post by Flack »

<Jizaboz> Can one of you guys teach me how to play?

Texas Hold 'Em is similar to regular five-card poker. The goal of Texas Hold 'Em is to make the highest hand possible using any five of the seven cards available to you (the two cards you are dealt (your "hole" cards) and the five cards that have been placed on the board). The game takes place over several rounds, with betting/action taking place between each round.

Round 1: Hole Cards
Each player is handed two cards. You must place a bet based on those two cards alone. Typically speaking, the more people that are playing, the better those cards should be before you bet. There's no shame in folding. You can only see your own hole cards. Nobody else can see them.

Round 2: The Flop
The dealer will deal three cards face up on the table. Now you have five cards (the three on the board and your two hole cards). Now it's time to check (no bet), bet, or fold.

Round 3: The Turn
The dealer deals another card. There are now four cards on the board, plus your two hole cards. Now it's time to bet again. You are trying to make the best five-card hand using five of the six cards available to you (any combination of your two cards and the board's four cards). Check, bet, or fold.

Round 4: The River
The dealer deals one last card. There are now five cards face up on the board. You are trying to make the best five-card hand you can with your two hole cards plus the five common/board cards. You can use any five of the seven available cards. If you made it this far, you either have a good hand or are a good bluffer! Now's your last chance to bet, check, or fold.

Texas Hold 'Em typically also uses blinds. These are forced bets to ensure that there is money in every pot -- otherwise, people would always fold if they had crappy hands. The person to the left of the dealer is in the small blind, the next person is in the big blind. So let's say there are five people playing and the blinds are set at 10/20. When the game begins, the person next to the dealer has to put in $10, and the next person has to put in $20. The next person can either call (put in $20), raise, or fold. The next person can do the same. The fifth player (the dealer) can also do the same. Now you are back to the person who paid the small blind, who has to match the current bet or fold. To keep games moving along, the blinds double every so often -- so the game starts at 10/20, then might move to 20/40, and so on.

Basic Strategies:

- Don't bet "obviously." If the flop shows 2, 4, 5 and you don't bet and then on the turn there's an Ace and you bet all your money, people will suspect you have an Ace. Maybe you should wait until the River to bet?
- Don't wait on a miracle. If you have 2,3 it's easy to imagine a 4,5,6 will appear and you will be rich... but probably not. Betting on wishful hands won't get you far, especially with experienced players.
- Knowing your outs. Once you've played for a while you will start seeing your outs (ie: what cards will help you win). Those odds can help you figure out what or how to bet.

-----

According to Hoyle, here are the wining hands in poker, ranked from highest to lowest. These apply to Texas Hold 'Em as well:

1. Royal flush
A, K, Q, J, 10, all the same suit.

2. Straight flush
Five cards in a sequence, all in the same suit.
8 7 6 5 4

3. Four of a kind
All four cards of the same rank.

4. Full house
Three of a kind with a pair.

5. Flush
Any five cards of the same suit, but not in a sequence.

6. Straight
Five cards in a sequence, but not of the same suit.

7. Three of a kind
Three cards of the same rank.

8. Two pair
Two different pairs.

9. Pair
Two cards of the same rank.

10. High Card
When you haven't made any of the hands above, the highest card plays.
"Jack Flack always escapes." -Davey Osborne

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Jizaboz
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Re: Texas Hold 'Em

Post by Jizaboz »

After ALL THESE YEARS finally, someone explains this shit to me without totally confusing me!

Thanks man

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Re: Texas Hold 'Em

Post by Ice Cream Jonsey »

Holy shit! What a treat! I knew some of these terms but this lays it all out. Can I turn this into an article?

This is one of the greatest posts that Flack dropped on us. We should all play a tourney this week or something.

Thanks, Flack!!!!
the dark and gritty...Ice Cream Jonsey!

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Re: Texas Hold 'Em

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Great job, Flack!
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Flack
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Re: Texas Hold 'Em

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Half the praise should go to Pinback for fixing all the stuff I got wrong.
"Jack Flack always escapes." -Davey Osborne

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Re: Texas Hold 'Em

Post by pinback »

This site is full of people who know way more than me about nearly every topic. Arcade games, home repair, libertarianism... Up until now I think cooking is the only thing I may have had a SLIGHT edge on the rest of the field, but maybe not.

However, if Hold 'Em is a topic that interests people, I think I got this one, and would be happy to expound endlessly. I am not a great player, and have not played for actual money in years, but I have spent countless hours in casinos and backwoods smoky cardrooms and in online cash games (back when that was legal), and since then online free games -- which are not as carefree as you'd think -- so while I'm small potatoes in the general poker community, I'm probably godlike here.

The first thing I will say is, if you would like to play, please get a Discord account and join my Discord (https://discord.gg/rNHe8CS) because I can generate games at the press of a button that you can join to play with us and have fun. We have fun! It's a fun game.

I have had way more fun playing for free than for cash, because it still kinda matters who wins, but you can laugh about losing, where, not so funny with real money.

That rhymed and I liked it.
In the yard, not too far from the car.

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Jizaboz
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Re: Texas Hold 'Em

Post by Jizaboz »

Yeah I'm game. I actually don't mind spending like five or ten bucks towards a pot to play and lose either. To me it is not much different than blowing 10$ to play games in an arcade!

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Re: Texas Hold 'Em

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The year was 1999. The world was still reeling from the death of Stanley Kubrick. I was on my own in Vancouver, Washington, the city everyone lived in who worked in Portland but didn't want to pay sales tax. The entire town smelled like the local paper mill. These were magical times.

My first time playing actual hold 'em, player real poker for real money with real players was in a nasty old backwoods cardroom in the woods of Vancouver.

I probably did other things, but my memories of that time were that every single night, I would knock off work, go to the Red Robin for a burger and many beers, and then drive to the cardroom with Tool's "Aenima" blasting on my car stereo.

I was a young, vibrant man with decent paychecks and no responsibilities, so every night I was able to buy a "rack" ($100) and play the game. Again, probably other things happened, but my memory is that for the first month or so, I lost my "rack" every single night, and then went defeated up to the bar to commiserate with the craggy old losers who had probably been going there decades before I was.

The game was $3/$6 Limit, which is not what you see on TV. It means in the first two rounds (pre-flop and post-flop), you can only bet or raise three dollars. Then on the turn and river (the last two cards), you can only bet or raise $6. It was comfortable. It was hard to lose a lot at once, and the revelation that poker was a game where on most hands, when you're not in "the blinds", you can just fold and not bet any money at all, made it very appealing. It's more appealing in Vegas or the like, where you can sit there folding and get free drinks at the same time, but in backwoods Vancouver, they weren't giving anything away.

My only memory from the post-defeat bar was an old (redundant, since the average age there was death-plus-ten) dude who noticed I was reading a poker strategy book, and he said, "The books won't help you, son (they did, very much). Just remember, Ten-Jack offsuit (two different suits) is the best hand." This was ridiculous at the outset. AA is the best hand, no matter what planet you're from, but it stuck with me that he mentioned off-suit. I'm sure he had a reason. His reason was bad. He was an idiot. Everyone is terrible at this game. And he's probably dead now. Shows him.

Anyway, one day I actually left with more than I came in with, which was a great moment. I kept at it and became what I would call a player good enough to have fun at the game. I win sometimes, I lose sometimes, but I no longer have to drop a rack a day to learn what I'm doing. I don't "calculate pot odds" to the number, I just have a general sense of what to do, and it's good enough that I have a fighting chance if I'm just playing a bunch of other casuals. I do pretty well on pokernow.club, which is a small enough site that people there generally take the game seriously, and the ones who don't, you meet often enough to know that they're not serious, but more importantly, how they're not serious.

One time I spent an entire night in an Atlantic City cardroom playing $3/$6 with what appeared to be a group of Italian fellows. As the night turned into morning, I noticed more and more of them coming up to this one large fellow and speaking with him. It was Italians and me, until the breakfast buffet opened up. I saw them giving him gifts and money. Eventually it dawned on me that I was playing poker with the east coast mob. I played from about 10 PM to 7 AM, and came out even. The casino comped me a breakfast buffet. I got up from my mob friends and enjoyed my free breakfast. I believe at the time it was the Trump Taj Mahal.

I mean, what's better than that?

At least I got a free breakfast out of that fat fuck.
In the yard, not too far from the car.

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Re: Texas Hold 'Em

Post by Flack »

Excellence.
"Jack Flack always escapes." -Davey Osborne

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Re: Texas Hold 'Em

Post by Ice Cream Jonsey »

My only memory from the post-defeat bar was an old (redundant, since the average age there was death-plus-ten) dude who noticed I was reading a poker strategy book, and he said, "The books won't help you, son (they did, very much). Just remember, Ten-Jack offsuit (two different suits) is the best hand." This was ridiculous at the outset. AA is the best hand, no matter what planet you're from, but it stuck with me that he mentioned off-suit. I'm sure he had a reason. His reason was bad. He was an idiot. Everyone is terrible at this game. And he's probably dead now. Shows him.
God, I can't stand old morons. It's okay to be a moron if you are younger than 60. Any older than that it means life failed to shut you up.

I am loving these stories. It sounds like you guys are playing in a way where you can't lose a giant pile of chips within the first half hour. Or no? I am curious what the etiquette is about just getting up and leaving. There have been times where I am just losing my ass at blackjack and of course I don't want to abandon my friends. If the (I hate to use this term, but I am going to) ENERGY is wrong, I would like to leave immediately. I dunno if this happens at Hold 'Em? I dunno.
the dark and gritty...Ice Cream Jonsey!

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Re: Texas Hold 'Em

Post by Flack »

I can't top that, but I'll try and add to it.

PART ONE: CHRIS MONEYMAKER

While I may have heard of the game, I didn't really start playing Texas Hold 'Em until 2003, the year Chris Moneymaker won the World Series of Poker. Before that, Texas Hold' 'Em was just one of a dozen variations of poker my friends and I used to play. Moneymaker's win, combined with what seemed like 24/7 coverage of the tournament by ESPN, turned Texas Hold' 'Em into the only game in town.

We quickly learned that playing for chips was no fun. (Who cares if you lose a bunch of chips?) Based on this, we decided to put together our first Texas Hold' 'Em game. I rented a suite at the Embassy Suites and invited five of my friends to the tournament. We set the buy in at $50, but unfortunately also set the small and big blinds at 25 and 50 cents, which meant that the game took hours and hours to finish. The day before the tournament I found a necktie covered in playing cards which I decided was a good omen so I bought it and wore it to the party. I didn't win, but I wasn't the first one out.

The next morning we all went down for the free breakfast and this black prostitute was flirting with us from across the room the entire time. It wasn't until she stood up that we all realized she was a he.

PART TWO: THE BACHELOR PARTY

When my buddy Andy got re-married in 2007, he threw his bachelor's party down at the lake where a bunch of us went swimming, boating, fishing, and mostly drinking. That night, we all decided to play Texas Hold' 'Em. By 2007, everybody and their brother thought they were an expert at the game from watching television. The problem is, on television they always show the hands where guys win by betting on dumb hole cards like 4/5 off-suit, but they don't show the dozens/hundreds/thousands of players that go out of the tournament betting on those same cards. Also, it's fun to play cards with people who are drinking, but not ones that are drunk. After a while people start trying to look at each other's cards and forgetting whose turn it is to bet. I ended up winning the game that night and took home like a hundred bucks.

I don't remember what I was drinking that night but I went outside after the game and threw up harder than I ever have in my life. I threw up so bad that I decided to sleep in my truck with the door open so I could throw up in the grass all night long... except somehow I just kept throwing up on myself. I wore one of my favorite shirts to that party and threw up all over it so bad that I ended up throwing it in the back of my truck and the puke rotted a hole in the shirt. I bought a new shirt with the money I won so ha ha, joke's on you. Fortunately someone got my digital camera that night and took several pictures with it.

PART THREE: THE WORK PARTY

A few years later, I heard a few guys at work were throwing Texas Hold' 'Em tournaments. I mentioned to one of them that I wouldn't mind coming, and so I got an invite. When I arrived at the guy's house I found at least forty people there with multiple tables spread out throughout the living room and dining room. I think the initial buy in was $20, and I was on my second hand when I drew pocket kings. I slow bet the flop, turned it up on the turn, and went all in on the river. The guy I went up against had pocket aces. Immediately they started making fun of me and laughing and saying stuff like, "who goes all in with pocket kings on the second hand?" which I didn't think was a dumb thing to do. I ended up wandering off to one of the guy's spare rooms where I found another coworker who had gone out and was playing Xbox, so I played Xbox games for about ten minutes before leaving.

That's when I kind of decided that playing Texas Hold' 'Em for money wasn't for me. I like playing with friends and all, but I don't know enough about odds and stuff to be a serious player. I used to like calling with terrible cards just to see the blind, which is something you can't really do with guys at that level. So, that was kind of the end of Texas Hold' 'Em for me until last month when Pinback introduced me to his PokerNow site.

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Re: Texas Hold 'Em

Post by Ice Cream Jonsey »

The guy I went up against had pocket aces. Immediately they started making fun of me and laughing and saying stuff like, "who goes all in with pocket kings on the second hand?" which I didn't think was a dumb thing to do.
WERE THEY OLD??

There are many times where I am trying to learn something and because I am successful in life - and you are too - I'm not trying to be a jerk, but things have a habit of working out for people like you and me. But it is very natural to have self-doubt when a bunch of fobs are teasing about something people like you and I think isn't that bad.

I don't know much about Hold Em, but I just typed "are pocket Kings a good hand" into Google and got this:
result for are pocket kings a good hand:
Pocket Kings is the second best poker hand you can be dealt in Texas Hold'em poker, behind only pocket Aces.
It's important you know that I have utter contempt for those screeching dumbfucks in 2021.
the dark and gritty...Ice Cream Jonsey!

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Jizaboz
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Re: Texas Hold 'Em

Post by Jizaboz »

Thia actually helped me when playing poker in Red Dead 2 online last week!

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Re: Texas Hold 'Em

Post by pinback »

Ice Cream Jonsey wrote: Sun Jan 31, 2021 9:23 pmI am curious what the etiquette is about just getting up and leaving.
Let me answer this in a separate thread.
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Re: Texas Hold 'Em

Post by Ice Cream Jonsey »

I still can't get over the fact that dumb shits were trying to tease people about having the second best hand in poker.

In chess do they wait for the other player to move the queen and go UMMMMM HUR HUR HUR HUR
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Re: Texas Hold 'Em

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Chess people are exponentially worse than poker people, because they are entranced by the illusion that it means anything.

We're often brainwashed to believe chess skill indicates that you're other things. It means you're more intelligent, more analytical, just generally sharper - and in the chess dickhead's mind, better - than those you defeat.

Being good at chess means exactly one thing: you're good at chess. It might also indicate you've got better than average memory, because that's most of what chess skill is, but this idea that smart people are good at chess or chess masters are smart is a myth.

Poker players don't generally worry about this, because they're laser-focused on their own game. Smart, dumb, who cares, gimme your money.
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Re: Texas Hold 'Em

Post by Ice Cream Jonsey »

I've never seen a chess enthusiast that I couldn't beat the shit out of. The only one that comes to mind that I couldn't get to submit to my will by pummeling with blows is that one with the Sherlock name, whats his face.
the dark and gritty...Ice Cream Jonsey!

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