So I understand about winning hands, how does this game work?
Get some chips and find a table, I’d start out on the $1-$2 blind tables to begin with., you get around 1000 free chips every day so you will get a good number of hands with those chips at that level.
Blinds!!! What is this game going to do to me?
Don’t panic! Nobody is going to be going blind. Texas Hold'em is a game about gambling. You get up to 9 people at a table with a certain amount of chips to gamble. It would be no fun at all if players could just sit there hand after hand and not put any chips in the pot until they got good hole cards. So we have things called blinds, these are mandatory bets that have to be paid in to play a hand, the player to the immediate left of the dealer is the Small Blind (SB), the player to his left is the Big Blind (BB).
Each table has a certain blind value attached to it, the SB is always exactly half the BB.
After each hand is won the Big Blind moves one player to the left and drags the Small Blind and dealer button one place left with it. Note that this means for every go (orbit) round a table of 9 players you will have to pay a minimum of 1.5BB
The hand has started, I’m not in a blind position, but I've put in a BB bet. is this a bug?
No, in an attempt to stop ungamesmanly behaviour Zynga implemented a rule whereby you MUST post a BB bet whenever you sit down at the table, this was to stop people standing up before becoming the big blind and sitting back down in a seat where they would not have to pay it.
I have my hole cards what now?
Look at your hole cards, are they any good? To begin with it is probably better to stick to premium cards,
What are premium cards?
High pocket pairs ( anything above a pair of 10s) or two face cards (J, Q, K, A) especially if they are of the same suit. Premium cards are considered as playable until you learn from experience when to fold them
Super premium cards are AA KK and AK suited and should almost always be played
I’ve got premium cards. Lets get this thing going.
This is the pre-flop betting stage. The person directly to the left of the BB (Under the Gun) acts first. they have to decide, based on their hole cards, whether to fold their hand(no cost) call the BB (costs the BB) or make a bet, (usually a multiple of the BB).
After doing this, play (action) moves to the player to his left who can either fold, call the current value of the bet or raise. This continues clockwise, when it gets to your turn you have to decide whether your hole cards are worth playing or not. Lets be honest here, as a new player you are going to lose more than you win and rely on a lot of luck until you build up some experience. If you have premium cards and nobody else at the table has made a very high raise you should call any raises. If you have super premium cards then you should raise. if you don't have premium or super premium cards...fold.
The pre-flop stage ends when all players have either folded or have put equal amounts into the pot. At which time all the bets are collected into the centre of the table and the flop is dealt.
Three cards will be dealt face up on the table, compare these with the cards in your hand. Have you hit anything?
Hit anything! Blinds! Under the Gun! Are you sure this isn’t a bloodsport?
LOL. No. Hitting something on the flop means that your hole cards have matched up with the three cards on the table. For instance if you have a pair of Jacks in your hand and a J or two have come down on the table you have hit trips or quads. If you had JA in the hole and K Q 10 come down then you have hit an Ace high straight. If you had Two hearts in the hole and three hearts come down then you have hit a flush. If you have Q J in your hand and a Q and a J come down then you have hit two pair.
The flop came down but I haven’t hit anything should I fold?
Maybe. There are still another 2 cards to come remember. Look at your five cards, do you have 4 cards that could make a straight if the right fifth card comes down? Have cards come down that could make a flush if another of the same comes out? Do you have two higher cards in your hole than have come down on the flop? Have you got a pocket pair which is higher than the three cards on the table?
The flop came down and I've hit something...what should I do?
Look at the list of hand rankings from earlier in this guide, where on that list is your current hand? The lower down the list the better the hand you have and the more you should consider raising. The higher up the list the weaker the hand and the more you should consider simply checking and seeing what other players do. As you play more hands and gain in confidence and experience you can consider bluffing, semi-bluffing, trapping and slow playing (topics for a further guide I think) for now I would say if you have a straight or higher, raise. if you have lower simply call.
I think I should raise...how much should I raise by?
That is the million dollar question and one which even the most experienced players ask themselves in every hand.
In general after the flop you should raise by multiples of the pot, either half pot or full pot or twice the pot, depending on how strong your hand is.
But you should also look at what is on the table and see whether what you have in your hand could be beaten, for instance if you have trips and there are three hearts on the table, then you could be up against a flush. if three cards of different suits are there but they are linked in a way that someone could have a straight i.e. if 2 3 4 or 3 5 6 are on the board. If you have trips after the flop you might want to raise by a lot to try and scare off players from chasing a straight, or you might want to raise by a little to try and get more chips in the pot from more players but run the risk of losing the hand. It is called gambling for a reason. When you have a thousand hands under your belt you get a feel for the cards and the hand strength and will make better decisions. for now stick to calling or raising based on the strength of what you have.
Someone else has raised, what do I do?
How much have they raised by? if it is just by a couple of blinds and you have top pair or better then you should call it. if it is more than a couple of blinds and you have trips or better then call it. if it is more than a pot and you have a flush or better you should call it. if you don't have those then you should fold. if you have a full house or better in any of those circumstances then you should raise over the top of them.
What happens when I fold?
you sit out the rest of the hand you lose all the chips you have put into the pot and you wait until the next hand begins, it should take no more than a couple of minutes.
OK, I have called and nobody else has raised. what happens now?
Now the turn card is dealt and the betting begins again. look again at what you have and what is on the table and consider what other cards might be out there to make a better hand than you have at the moment and raise , call or fold accordingly.
After this the river comes down, you now have all 7 cards and should know what hand you have, there is another round of betting and after that the player left in with the best hand wins.
What if I raise and all the other players fold?
Then you win the pot, well done.
I won the hand. What now?
Well done, you win all the chips in the pot and the next hand is dealt and the process begins all over again