Learn Texas Holdem

Learn Texas Hold ’em Poker

When you learn Texas Hold ’em, situations can be puzzling. Whether you play online or in a Las Vegas poker room, it’s important to know the rules. Here is a question I recently received in my email:
Question:
2 Players
Texas Hold ’em game
Player 1 has 4 and Q
Player 2 has 7 and J
Board shows 5,6,7,8,9, unsuited
Is that considered a tie?
Since the board shows a straight do we split the pot or refer to the cards in our hand to determine a winner?

Short Answer:
The quick answer is player 2 has a 7. With the board’s 7, it makes a pair, making player 2 the winner.

Long Answer:
You learn Texas Hold ’em by following the basic rules. Read carefully and it will become clear why player number 2 wins:

In Texas Hold ’em, each player gets two cards to start with. There’s a round of betting, and then three cards are turned over in the middle of the table. These cards (collectively called the flop) are common cards or community cards; they’re part of everybody’s hand.

Thus, if, when you learn Texas Hold ’em, you start with an Ace and a King (A-K) and the flop presents you with another Ace, another King and a Ten (A-K-T), then your hand so far is two pair, Aces and Kings, with a Ten kicker. Another player who starts with a pair of Queens (Q-Q) would only have two queens with an Ace kicker at this point, so you would have the best hand.

After the flop, there’s a second round of betting, and then another common card, called the turn card, is revealed. If the turn card in this case were a Queen, your hand would not have improved; you’d still have your two pair and your ten kicker. But your opponent would now have three Queens, and you’d be in trouble!

After a third round of betting, the fifth community card, the river card, is placed on the board.

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There’s a fourth and final round of betting, and then those players still left in the pot show their hands. The best five-card hand out of the seven available between each player’s hand and the board is the winner. So if that river card were an Ace, your hand would have improved to Aces Full, a Full House comprised of three Aces and two Kings, just narrowly edging out your opponent, who holds three Queens and two Aces, or Queens Full.

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