## Texas Hold’em-Beginner’s Outline

Texas Hold’em Poker is definitely the most popular variation of poker played around the world.  In fact, many people not familiar with poker, think this is the only type of poker played.  More and more people want to learn the game because of it’s popularity on TV.  It’s well known that the top professional players earn millions playing a simple looking game, so why can’t the average person win a few bucks also?  It seems like such a simple game.

Starting Rules

• In casinos and card rooms, the dealer doesn’t play.  In home games, the dealer duty usually changes clockwise with each hand
• The player to the immediate left of the dealer acts first.  The player to act first is at a definite disadvantage because they have no idea as to what the other players may do
• At casinos, there will be a “dealer” button that moves with each hand played, so play will rotate fairly
• There are 2 forced bets called blinds.  They are the small blind and the big blind.  Games begin with the two players left of the dealer making these predetermined blind bets.  This is to insure there is always something (a pot of money) to play for  in each hand.  This is also why the dealer button moves every hand, because it wouldn’t be fair for the 1st two seats to always have to put in the two blinds
• The small blind is usually ½ of the minimum bet and the big blind is usually the full minimum bet.  So, when you see a \$1/\$2 Hold’em table, that means the small blind is \$1 and the big blind is \$2.

The object of the game is to combine your hole cards with the 5 cards eventually dealt in front of the dealer, known as the “board,” to make the best poker hand at the table.  The hand can contain your 2 hole cards and 3 board cards, 1 hole card and 4 board cards, or neither hole card and just the 5 board cards.

PLAY OF THE HAND

The Deal

Each player is dealt 2 cards face down, called the “hole cards.” You cannot let the other players see your cards and therefore they are to be checked discretely.  No board cards are dealt yet.

First Betting Round

The 1st player to act is the 1st player left of the big blind spot, because the blinds have already bet in that sense.  The player may fold, call or raise.

To fold, the player pushes his cards face down towards the middle of the table, called a muck, and is out of the hand.

To call, the player matches the big blind bet.

To raise, the player bets at least double the big blind bet.  If he decides to bet all his remaining chips, it’s know as “all-in.”

Play continues clockwise around the table, with each player making the choice of fold, call or raise, with the same rules in play.  As betting continues around the table,  a raise is actually called a re-raise at that point.

THE FLOP

After the end of the 1st round of betting, the dealer “burns” (discards) the top card of the deck, just in case it was accidently seen, then proceeds to place the next 3 cards face up on the table in front of him.  This is the flop.

Second Betting Round

This starts with the 1st player to the dealer’s left, since there are no more forced bets.

After the flop, the option of “check” is now available.  This is like taking a pass.  You can stay in the hand without betting additional money.

If everybody checks, that round is over and everyone gets to see a free card.

If someone bets, then all players must either fold, call or raise.

You cannot check if a player has made a bet before you.  If a bet is made before you, you must fold, call or raise.

THE TURN (4th Street)

Once again, the dealer burns the top card and deals the next card to the table, called the turn or 4th street.

Third Betting Round

The betting again begins with the player immediately to the left of the dealer.  The same betting rules used in the second round, apply in the 3rd round.

THE RIVER (5th Street)

The dealer burns the top card and deals the next (and last) card to the table in front of him, called the river or 5th street.

Fourth Betting Round

Same betting rules apply as in the previous betting rounds, with the player to the dealer’s left, starting.

### THE SHOWDOWN

This is where it gets exciting.  The last player to bet or raise shows their hand first and the highest five-card hand wins the pot. In case of a tie, the pot is evenly split among the winning hands.

Hands don’t always reach the showdown.  In any betting round, if a player bets and everybody else folds, that betting player wins the pot without having to show his hand.

HANDS RANKINGS

• Royal Flush — five cards of the same suit, ranked ace through ten; e.g., AKQJ10
• Straight Flush — five cards of the same suit and consecutively ranked; e.g., 98765
• Four of a Kind — four cards of the same rank; e.g., QQQQ4
• Full House — three cards of the same rank and two more cards of the same rank; e.g., JJJ88
• Flush — any five cards of the same suit; e.g., AJ852
• Straight — any five cards consecutively ranked; e.g., QJ1098
• Three of a Kind — three cards of the same rank; e.g., 888K4
• Two Pair — two cards of the same rank and two more cards of the same rank; e.g., AAJJ7
• One Pair — two cards of the same rank; e.g., 1010942
• High Card — five unmatched cards; e.g., AJ1052 would be called “ace-high”

FINAL THOUGHTS

Texas hold’em poker is not very difficult to learn, but it is quite difficult to master.  I’ve only given the basic outline and rules of the game here.  There are a vast number of possible game situations that can challenge players of the highest levels.  Even the winningest pros say they are always learning to play better. Remember it is a game of chance, you can’t win all the time. Play responsibly.

## Easy Money Blackjack System – Review

This system was developed by an avid blackjack player who was frustrated with his inability to consistently win at blackjack.

He wanted a easy, practical system that anybody could master, to win at blackjack, without the need of deep concentration or card counting.

THE PROGRAM

Easy Money Blackjack System is an 80-page digital manual, giving step by step directions on how to make your blackjack sessions profitable.

WHAT YOU GET

• Several different charts and tables for easy visual learning
• A simple strategy, with only a few rules,  that doesn’t require a lot of concentration
• Additional bonuses that include, Vegas coupons, online house edge calculator for any game, printable pocket basic strategy cards
• A 100%, no questions asked, 60-day, money back guarantee

The program teaches the following:

• Methods of tracking favorable tables, to decide which table to play at
• Proper chip stacking, to make betting easier and more routine
• How to manage your bankroll by maximizing profits and minimizing losses
• How to play within your limits and disguise your winning patterns, in order not to bring attention from pit bosses
• Different strategies for playing at land-based casinos vs. online
• Different strategies based on the number of decks being used
• How to take advantage of liberal rules at different casinos
• How to recognize tricks casinos will use to take your money and avoid falling for them
• When it is a good time to take insurance
• When is the proper time to surrender, how to use it for your benefit

SUMMARY

This is a highly comprehensive and valuable course, with enough information to start making your blackjack sessions profitable on a more consistent basis.  It is clear and very easy to understand.

Easy Money Blackjack System is based on personal secrets and information amassed from many years of play and thousands of computer simulated hands played.

It would be informational for even the most avid player, as it does point out many things that a typical blackjack book doesn’t give you.  It’s an easy to grasp system that will take your game to the next level.

## 21st Century Blackjack

21st Century Blackjack is probably one of the most unique variants of blackjack  It was invented, by an Irvine, California company called Casino Gaming Concepts, to “get around” the 1860 California law that made it explicitly illegal to play the game of “Twenty-One,” among other gambling games where the player bets against the house.

It is similar enough to standard blackjack for players to want to play, but also varies enough to not be considered an illegal game under the California law.  It is mostly played in California, as you might imagine.

It is also sometimes called 21st Century No-Bust Blackjack, because one variant is that there is no “busting” in this game.

The Differences

While the list of differences may seem lengthy and complicated, the basic goal of the game remains similar to blackjack, in that, as a player, you try to get closer to 21, than the dealer, without going over.

1. The game is played with multiple decks of cards, from 2-8 decks, with 1 joker included, per deck of cards.
2. The maximum hand is 22, also called a natural
3. The joker is considered wild and helps a player get a hand of 22
4. Players are allowed to bet on other hands
5. There is no house dealer.  There is a “dealer/bank” button that moves around the table, giving players the chance to act as the dealer as the game goes on. (This may vary depending on the casino)
6. There is no bust…a player/dealer with a hand value over 21 that is also higher than a player’s hand, results in a push
7. A player/dealer with a hand value over 21, but lower than a player’s, over 21 hand, results in a loss for the player
8. The player/dealer does not actually receive cards for that round, but “acts” as the bank for the round.  The player/dealer gets the money if the dealer wins, but also must pay the players if the dealer loses.
9. The casino usually charges a fixed amount to play, usually \$1 to play and \$2 to act as the dealer.  This is how the casino makes money on this game.
10. The casino may or may not provide an employee or a player with a large bankroll, (detected by the large bankroll in front of them) to cover all bets on the table.  If a player chooses to act as the dealer, but doesn’t have enough money to cover all bets, the large bankroll person will step in and cover what remains, and then splits all wins and losses with the dealer.
11. A player can place up to 3 bets on his hand, designated by 3 betting circles on the table in front of his hand.
12. A player may also bet on another player’s hand by placing a wager in one of that player’s betting circles.

RULES OF PLAY

• The maximum hand value is 22, or a “natural”
• A “natural” beats all other hands
• A “natural” is formed with 2 Jokers,  a Joker and an Ace, or 2 Aces
• In some casinos, a “natural” of 2 Jokers, pays extra
• A “natural” for both a player and the player/dealer, results in a push
• Other than when paired with an Ace or another Joker, a Joker paired with anything else results in a hand value of 21
• There is a dealer/bank button that moves from player to player as the game progresses.  The button stays with 1 player only a specified number of hands
• There is usually a bet limit, but players may bet that limit in each of the 3 betting circles
• A player does not bust if his hand totals more than 21, play continues until the dealer’s last move and then rules will determine wins and losses
• Splitting is allowed
• Surrender is allowed after first 2 cards
• Player must hit 12 or less
• Player must stand on hard 20 and up, and hard/soft 21, 22
• Player may double down on 11 or 12 and draw up to two additional cards
• A player may not double down, split or surrender if they have a Joker
• If a player and the player/dealer tie with hands less than 21, it is a push
• A player cannot hit if the player/dealer’s up-card is a joker
• Player/dealer hits soft 18 or less
• Player/dealer stands on hard 18 or more
• When a player and player/dealer go over 22, it’s a push if the player’s hand value is lower than player/dealer’s
• When a player and player/dealer go over 22, a lower dealer hand results in a win for the dealer.
• Card values are the same as regular blackjack, except for the joker, which has no value except to pair with any other card to value 21 or 22.
• Some rules may vary depending on the casino

How to Play

• Player’s place their initial bet and one of them opts to be the player/dealer (or bank)
• Two cards are dealt to each player, each face up, with the dealer receiving his first card face down (the hole card) and the 2nd card face up
• If the player/dealer has an Ace or 10up, the hole card is checked to determine if he has a natural.  If he does have a natural, all players hands lose, except if a player also has a natural and that player pushes
• If the player/dealer doesn’t have a natural, play continues with each player deciding to hit, stand, double down, split or surrender
• The player/dealer is last to play and either hits or stands.  When his play has ended, winners and losers are decided and payouts are made

PAYOFFS

• All payoffs are to the extent the player/dealer has the money to cover all bets
• Order of payoff or collection is determined by the player/dealer’s hole card and is in clockwise order. The player/dealer will place an action button in front of the first hand and go clockwise from that point.  If the hole card is an Ace, the payoffs start with the player immediately to the left of the player/dealer.  If the hole card is a two, payoffs start with the second player to the left of the player/dealer, and so on.
• Order of payoff can make a big difference if the casino doesn’t offer the “large bankroll player” or employee who would cover any bets the chosen player/dealer can’t pay.  If the player/dealer doesn’t have enough money to cover all bets, the players whose bets weren’t covered, would get no action, no matter if they would have won or lost.

Final Thoughts

As mentioned in the beginning, though the rules and differences may seem great, the game play is not that different from standard blackjack.  If you’re an avid blackjack player, it’s a game that will challenge you a little more, having enough difference to keep you from getting bored with play.  Also, if you’ve ever thought that being the “bank” or “dealer,” would be cool, this game gives you the opportunity to do that!  Different can be fun!