Most Texas Hold’em venues play No-Limit by default, although Limit and other variants can be found in certain venues and/or through the use of items.
Similarly to Five Card Draw, a dealer is randomly selected from among the players at the beginning of the game. However in this case, the two players to the left of the dealer must place a forced bet (blinds) into the pot. The player to the immediate left of the dealer places half the minimum bet into the pot (referred to as the small blind), and the player to the left of him places the full minimum bet into the pot (big blind).
Every player is then dealt two cards face down (known as ‘hole cards’) and the first round of betting begins with the player to the left of those two who posted the blinds. The big blind becomes the first bet and each player will have to decide whether to call (match) the bet, raise it or fold. This means that all players other than the big/small blinds are able to view their own cards prior to deciding whether or not to pay anything into the pot.
After this first round of betting, the next three cards are flipped off the deck and laid face up on the table; this phase is known as ‘the flop’ and these three cards are community cards.
Note: Eventually a total of five community cards will be placed face up on the table. Players can use any combination of the community cards and their own two hole cards to form the best possible five-card Poker hand.
After the flop a second round of betting takes place, beginning with the player to the left of the dealer (small blind). Unlike the first betting round where blinds are required to be posted, all subsequent betting rounds start fresh with no active bet, thus players may check, call, raise or fold when it’s their turn to bet.
After this betting round an additional community card is dealt face up onto the table. This phase is known as ‘the turn’. Once again the player to the left of the dealer (small blind) begins another round of betting.
Once this round concludes a fifth and final community card is dealt face up onto the table (‘the river’). Players now construct their hand using the best five-card combination of the seven available cards – that is, the best hand built from the five community cards and the two hole cards whose values are known only to themselves.
The fourth and final round of betting starts once again with the player to the left of the dealer (small blind). After this final betting round, all players who haven’t folded reveal their hands, and the best hand(s) win.
People are drawn to No-Limit Hold’em because of its unique mix of skill, chance and action, and because you can bet all of your cash at any point during the hand.
In No-Limit a minimum bet is equal to the size of the big blind, while a maximum bet is the total amount of all of your cash.
Once a bet has been placed, the minimum that players can raise by is the size of that bet. So if your opponent bets $5, the minimum raise you can make is $5 (for a total bet of $10). Again, the maximum raise allowed is the total of however much money you have.
When selecting a venue, No-Limit Hold’em games are labelled by their blinds, so for example a game labelled as $1/$2 will have $1/$2 blinds.
Unlike in No-Limit where you can go all-in whenever you want, Limit Hold’em plays with fixed betting limits. This results in a more sincere game that is focused more around exploiting small edges rather than huge bluffs.
Limit Hold’em can be enabled by using the Monocle available at Gideon’s Pawnshop. When selecting a venue with Limit Hold’em enabled, games are labelled by their bets rather than their blinds. For example, a game labelled as $4/$8 means that the small bet is $4 and the big bet $8. The blinds will be $2 and $4 – the big blind is always equal to the size of the small bet.
Gameplay proceeds as it would in any Hold’em game; however players bet and raise in increments. Before the flop and on the flop players may only bet in single increments of the small bet.
For example, if you open the betting in a $4/$8 game, you can only bet $4, and the next player can only raise by $4 (so the bet would be $8). Any player wanting to raise after that could still only raise by $4 (so the bet would be $12).
Likewise on the turn and river, players may only bet in increments of the big bet. For example, if you were to open betting on the turn it would be $8, and then anyone who raises would make the bet $16, etc.
In Limit Hold’em there is also a maximum of four raises allowed per round until the betting is capped. Once that happens players no longer have the option to raise; they may only call or fold until the next betting round begins.
In this variation players are dealt three hold cards in the beginning instead of two. After the first round of betting is complete and right before the flop cards are dealt, all players remaining in the hand must discard one of their three hole cards. So everyone now has two hole cards just like in regular Texas Hold’em, and from here the game is played in an identical manner.
Crazy Pineapple is the same as Pineapple, the only difference here is that players must discard one card after the second round of betting (before the turn card is dealt).
NO RIVER NO-LIMIT TEXAS HOLD’EM
This variant is played using three hole cards and three community cards. Unlike the Pineapple variants, in this game a hole card does not ever need to be relinquished.
ROYAL TEXAS HOLD’EM
Royal Texas Hold’em plays with 8 decks comprised of only the 10 through Ace cards (10-J-Q-K-A). The strategy for playing this variant is very different from other variants because the odds of certain hands appearing are greatly increased. The worst possible hand is a J-J-Q-Q-K not all of the same suit.