If you want to be a texas holdem poker pro, or just
impress people, you have to know the language of texas
holdem. The last thing you want to do is sit at a
texas holdem game and feel like the other players are
speaking a foreign language. If you don’t know what
they are talking about, chance are you’re about to lose
all your money. And lost it fast. Let’s make sure this
doesn’t happen to you.
Let’s take a look at some of the more common words and
phrases used in texas holdem.
All-in: I think even the casual observer or player knows
this one but just in case you don’t, going “all-in” is
when you put all of your playable chips into the pot.
You’re either going to win, or you’re going to go home
Bad Beat: This happens in texas holdem when you lose
a hand in which you had better odds than the winning
player earlier in the hand. In other words, bad luck.
For example, you may go in with pocket aces and you’re
opponent only had pocket fives but flops a set and
wins the hand.
Blind: A required bet made before the cards are dealt.
Boat: A full house
Bottom Pair: Making a pair with the lowest card showing
on the flop
Early Position: In texas holdem, this is the position where
a player must act before most of the other players at the table,
putting him at a disadvantage for that hand.
Flop: The first three community cards that are dealt at the
same time, face-up.
These are just some of the terms you’ll need to know if you
want to sound like a texas holdem pro. It may seem silly to
have to know these terms if you know how the game is played.
But showing your ignorance at the table could make you a mark.
at a table
Texas Holdem is a game of perception. If you have a big hand you want your opponents to think you have nothing so you can get more money out of them and if you have nothing you want them to think you have the best hand possible. Well, your position that you are sitting in at the poker table contributes to your overall perception as well. Sometimes it’s a positive contribution and sometimes it’s a negative contribution. So before you make your next bet in a Texas Holdem poker game, you may want to take a look around the table and recognize all the factors before you bet.
On the Button
Being on the button means that you have the dealer button in front of you. Traditionally this is the most powerful position to be in at the table. The reason this position is so powerful is that the person that is on the button is the last player to act after the flop is shown. You can see how this would be an enviable position because you get to see what everyone else is doing before you decide what you are going to do.
Many times a poker player that is on the button will have the opportunity to steal the blinds as well. This happens when there is no action on the table (everyone in front of you has folded) and the only players left in the hand are the player that is on the button and the big and small blinds. In this particular situation, it may be a good idea to test the players in the blind positions by raising on the button. The object of doing this is to have the players in the blind positions fold their hands without seeing the flop. It is good poker strategy to try to steal the blinds whether you are holding a good hand or not. Once again, poker is all about perception.
In the Blinds
If you are in either the big blind position or in the small blind position, you are traditionally called “out of position”. This position is called out of position because it is the weakest position to be in because you are the first to act once the flop is shown. If you are playing a hand while in one of the blind positions just keep in mind that you are the first to act and an experienced poker player will know how to exploit this information.
You can also choose to use the big or small blind positions to your advantage. As mentioned earlier, the blind positions are traditionally the weakest players at the table because they are the first to act once the flop is displayed. Some poker players think differently. Some players think that the first person to act has the first chance to bet and that is a good thing. An aggressive player will take advantage of this opportunity even if they have missed the flop completely.
When you are in the blind positions, try to utilize the continuation bet. This is a great tool that experienced poker players use at the right time in order to collect pretty sizable pots. If you are in one of the blinds and a number of people are in the hand but no one has raised the pot, what you would do is raise the pot a significant amount (maybe 3-5 times the big blind) in order to get rid of any of the marginal hands that might still exist. Let’s say you get one or two people that call. Since you are first to act, you would use this to your advantage by placing another significant bet after the flop is displayed. This will immediately get your opponents to think that you have some type of huge hand like two aces or two kings. Usually, if the others hit nothing on the flop they will gracefully lay their hands down. Once again, you can do this with any type of hand because the perception is that your hand is huge.