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Basic Tips for Texas Hold'em

There are numerous varieties of poker games available today, including through online websites and live games. Seven card stud, five card draw, Omaha and Follow the Queen are just a few of the styles of poker that have gained popularity with avid poker players.

But by far the most popular poker game is Texas Hold'em. Because it is so popular, every online poker website offers this type of poker. Casinos and other live poker games also offer it. There are three varieties of Texas Hold'em: limit, pot limit and no limit.

A caveat, however, is necessary before we proceed any further with explaining how to play this style of poker.

Texas Hold'em is not for the faint of heart, nor is it for amateur poker players. Those who are inexperienced should not start out by attempting to play this version of poker, as they will quickly become frustrated and likely part ways with quite a bit of money.

In each variation, five community cards are dealt. Those cards are left face-up and are available to every player in the game and are refreshed during every hand of the game. Every player is also dealt two cards, which are left face down. The two players to the left of the dealer will put out blind bets - bets made prior to seeing any of the cards.

The player seated next to the blind better makes the first move of the game. This player is allowed to call the bet, raise it or fold. Betting will then continue clockwise around the table.

Following the first round of betting, three cards are dealt into the community pile face up in the center of the table. From this point on, play continues starting with the player to the dealer's immediate left. Rounds and betting continue until a player can compile the best five-card hand.

Now that you understand how the game is played, let's discuss some tips for helping you to win.

The two cards you hold in your hand are the two cards that will make or break the game for you. They are the only two cards the other players are not privy to and will ultimately decide whether you walk away a winner or a loser. Evaluate your two cards and determine if there is a way you can work with the community cards to build a strong hand. It also is important that you try to determine how your opponents could use the same set of community cards to their benefit.

Another important factor in your success will be your ability to hide your "tell." The subtle cues players can give off through facial expressions and body language, called "tells," are easy for other seasoned players to pick up on during a live game. For example, if a player tends to tap their foot excitedly when they have a good hand, another seasoned player could pick up on that and use it to their advantage in the game. So it is important that you become good at hiding your tells as not to reveal a good hand.

Lastly, it is important not to be afraid to cut your losses after the flop if you feel you do not have the kind of hand that will win the game. It is better to fold early and hope for better luck next time than to lose a large amount of cash on a bad hand.

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