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A Beginner's Guide to Texas Hold'em

A Beginner's Guide to Texas Hold'em is not an introduction to the basic rules of Texas Hold'em. To find detailed information on how Texas Hold'em is played, please visit our poker rules page. Instead, this guide is focused on helping you understand the game better and give you some tips on how to become a better Texas Hold'em player. We hope you'll find it intriguing.

Texas Hold'em is the king of all poker games. And it requires a ton of skill. But still the most skilled player in the world can't beat a lucky strike. So anything can happen. But we thought we'd guide you through the most essential strategy assessments.

Start at the Bottom

Even if you turn out to be the biggest poker talent the world has ever seen, you are best off starting at the bottom. Playing low stakes limit games or tournaments is a good way to get a lot of hands under your belt without taking too big a risk. Sure limit games can be tricky and lacks the element of bluffing, but as a newcomer bluffing is probably not the thing to try. Limit games are much more controlled and less risky to experiment a little with. And as in all things, experimentation is a good way to learn fast.

Don't trust your Play Money Stack!

If you've won a ton of money playing with play money you probably got what it takes to become a good real money player too. But the games differ a lot. So don't jump into a high stakes real money game expecting to kick butt. But you are probably set to take on a low stakes game. Because sometimes they are even wilder than play money games!

Starting hand Value

Your two pocket cards, or hole cards, are the only factors that separate your hand from the other players' hands. So learning how to play them is vital. An AA (ace-ace) combo simply has a much greater chance of winning than say a 7-3 combo. Play the good starting hands. Fold the bad.

Position Play

Being seated in “late position” in a poker game is a huge advantage since you then get to see your opponents make their moves before you have to act yourself. To become a good player, one must understand, and learn to take advantage of this advantage. A good starting hand in an early position may actually be a worse hand to play than a bad hand in late position.


No matter the betting round, if you have nothing and can't draw to anything, fold faster than Superman on laundry day. It's as simple as that.

Hand Nicknames

AA - Pocket Rockets, Bullets, American Airlines

KK - Cowboys, King Kong

QQ - Double date, Canadian Aces, Siegfried and Roy, Ladies

JJ - Fish hooks

99 - Wayne Gretzky

88 - Snowmen

77 - Sunset strip

66 - Route 66

55 - Speed limit

44 - Magnum, Sail boat

33 - Crabs

22 - Ducks

AK - Big slick

AQ - Big chick

AJ - Black Jack, Jack-ass, A-jax

KQ - Royalty, Marriage

KJ - Kojak

J5 - Jackson five

Q3 - Gay waiter

95 - Dolly Parton

A8 - Dead man’s hand (Wild Bill Hickok was shot in 1876 after winning with it!)

K9 - Canine

J4 - Flat tyre

93 - The Sik. (A legendary PokerRoom.com hand made famous by the members of the forum)

By following these simple guidelines you'll be better prepared for the thrill, rush and excitement of online poker!

Sit in before everyone else does.

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