No Limit Hold’em uses a standard 52-card deck, even if you’re playing online. From 2 to 10 players can play at one table. If you have enough tables and seats, you can essentially play with thousands of players at the same time in a poker tournament format.
The dealer deals two cards to each player, starting with the player to his left and ending with himself. The player to the left of the dealer is the first player to be given a turn and has a choice:
- Bet (Bet) – Since this is No Limit Hold’em, the player can bet any amount they want
- Check (Check) – Essentially, this means doing nothing.
If someone decides to bet, the other players have the option to:
- Call (Call) – to equalize the amount of the raise in the bank
- Fold (Fold) – discard the game and all the chips that this player has already put in the pot
- Raise – Putting even more chips into the pot
This continues until everyone calls or until all the chips are in the middle of the table.
When the first round of betting is completed, the dealer deals three open cards. These are common cards that anyone can use. This is called the flop .
Again, everyone who is still involved in the game has a chance to bet and, accordingly, to make a raise or fold. At the end of the betting round, the dealer places the fourth community card on the table, which can be used by any of the players. This is called a turn .
Again, everyone has a chance to bet/check/raise/fold. The dealer places the fifth community card on the table, which can be used by everyone. This is called the river . The last time everyone has a chance to bet/check/raise/fold.
If more than one player remains in the game after the last decision is made, then the cards are revealed and the player with the highest hand wins the pot.
What are Blinds?
You may have heard the term “blinds” before, and they are indeed part of No Limit Hold’em. But they are not as difficult as you think.
The small blind and big blind are relatively small bets that the two players to the left of the dealer are forced to put into the pot before the start of each game. You are forced to put them in without seeing your cards, which means that you are “blind” (English blind).
You can think of them as an ante (forced bet) if that makes it easier for you. Blinds exist in No Limit Hold’em in order to increase the number of players in the game, which would be boring without these bets. Otherwise, players could fold every game without any consequences, which would be a problem.
Is Everyone Just Bluffing in Poker?
Bluffing is an integral part of poker (albeit to a lesser extent than you might think), but as a beginner, it’s best not to get too carried away at first until you feel particularly confident in the game.
Why? You’re still learning the power of hands, which means you may not even know if you’re actually bluffing or not, which isn’t great.
There are many other strategies you can work on before you start bluffing. (We will look at some of them below).
However, if you really want to dive into the art of bluffing, we suggest you start with semi-bluffing. This means not just betting 2-7 offsuit, but instead playing hands that have potential even if you get called.