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Introduction to Texas Hold’em

For the past few decades, Texas Holdem has been the most popular form of poker in both online and brick-and-mortar rooms. Televised broadcasts of the game have made their way to prime-time TV. The online poker boom revolves mainly around Holdem tables and tournaments. It seems that Holdem has got everyone’s attention in a big way. Before we get down to the specific rules and strategies, we can better understand Texas Holdem by asking ourselves what all the hype is about. Simply put, what makes Texas Holdem so great?

There are many answers to the above questions, but we at gamblingplanet.org will try to cover the important ones:

Easy to learn

The basic rules of Texas Holdem are very simple. It’s perhaps the easiest poker game to learn, and that appeals to newcomers.

Hard to Master

Though the rules can be explained in five minutes, the game only begins there. Truly understanding and mastering Texas Holdem can take a lifetime. In fact, many have dedicated their lives to mastering this game. Endless tactics and crazy mind-twisting schemes can be found in every poker variety, but it’s the seeming simplicity of Holdem that puts more weight on the strategy.

Fast Pace

As will be further discussed in the basic rules article, in Texas Holdem there are only two down cards and five community cards. This makes holdem the fastest moving poker game. When more players get to play more hands, everyone is happy. Plus, a fast paced game makes for better TV.

Better players can expect to win more

Better players stand a better chance. This is true of any poker variety. Holdem, however, gives better players more of an edge. Holdem offers more opportunities for expert players to get more money out of unsuspecting opponents. Weaker players can go wrong from the very beginning of a hand, and stronger players can make them risk more money.

Lady Luck’s paradox

Since any two cards can win, sometimes even late into the game, weaker players will often chase a hand longer than they should. Sometimes they will get lucky and come away with the pot. Over time, however, this strategy will loose more often than not, which is why more experienced players have an edge. Basically, the same thing that draws beginners to the game is the reason that experts hang around.

The Drama Queen of Poker

In Texas Holdem there are five community cards, and any number of them can be used by any player to make up his or her hand. This is more than any other poker variety. With so many cards out in the open, the game has a real communal feel. On a psychological level, Holdem is more of a group activity than any other poker variety. Such an “open environment” makes more room for bluffing and representing – online and offline. Also, it makes great TV.

Texas Holdem is a truly unique phenomenon. Many books and countless articles have been dedicated to all aspects of this poker variant – from strategy and tactics to brain studies, psychological theories, and even artificial intelligence experiments. Any one of these studies will have a different answer as to why Holdem is awesome. But they will all agree on one thing – if you’ve never experienced Texas Holdem, you’re missing out on something big.