Texas Holdem has literally taken the poker world by storm. The game was THE poker variation in the oil wildcatting region of West Texas until Doyle Brunson, Amarillo Slim, and Crandall Addington pushed it in Las Vegas poker rooms in the 1960s. Until then, what has become ultimate Texas Hold em online was virtually unknown outside of West Texas.
What Was So Special about Texas Holdem?
Crandall Addington called it the thinking man’s poker variation and so it is! Each player has two hole cards and can use any of the five community cards. On many hands, the bets revolve around the question of “what does he have in the hole?”
This question is filled with tension and anxiety as players try to fathom the viability of calling or raising.
Slots Play Casinos Considers Texas Holdem to be a Great Online Casino Game
Two of the 30 or so online casinos that we at Slots Play Casinos recommend (and have excellent reviews of on SPC), have poker rooms in parallel to their online casinos: Everygame Casino and Juicy Stakes Casino.
Playing ultimate Texas Hold em for real money at an online poker room is different than playing at a land-based poker room. We believe that playing at an ultimate Texas Hold em online casino is much better for newer Texas Hold em players.
Can the Basic Strategy in Texas Holdem be Narrowed Down to a Few Points?
If we are looking for the MOST BASIC Texas Holdem strategy, then the answer is YES! If we want to stay at the basic level but expand our area of learning, then the answer is NO!
Start by Understanding the Blinds
There are only two players who have to ante in Texas Holdem. They are called the small blind and the big blind. They “sit” next to each other at the table and the blinds rotate around the table so every player is a blind at some point in a session of Texas Holdem.
The big blind is always double the small blind. They bet last before the flop.
All of this means that a player who is not the big blind has to call or raise the big blind to stay in a hand before the flop. It also means that a player who folds before the flop LOSES NO MONEY on the hand!
That simple fact influences most players to fold before the flop. Texas Holdem books advise players to fold upwards of 70% of all their hands.
This is possibly the most significant consideration before the flop. A player who has to call, raise, or fold in early position is at a huge disadvantage in Texas Holdem. A borderline call in early position is a bluff, to be sure, but it also may cost the player dearly and be a waste of betting capital.
At an online poker room, a player would normally have the chance to play in a multitude of stakes levels. That means that a new player can play for pennies. A land-based poker room may not have very low stakes since the poker room gets a commission, called the rake, on every pot. Poker rooms want the pots to be bigger rather than smaller so the rake will be higher.
On any hand in which two or more players are in to see the flop, someone is probably bluffing. Experienced players can bluff a new player out of a winning hand. It takes time to get to know an opponent’s tendencies and experienced poker players are always studying opponents for the opportunity to win a hand that they should have lost.
A great advantage of playing Texas Holdem online is that an opponent who is bluffing cannot see an inexperienced player’s uncertainty. It is a lot harder to read opponents in an online game so playing online allows newer players to get a lot of experience without worrying about whether or not they are telegraphing fear or uncertainty.
Isn’t it Possible to Act Afraid or Uncertain?
Yes, it is.
The fact is that very few poker players are good enough actors to act afraid when they have complete confidence in the hand.
Understanding Opponents’ Tendencies
We touched upon this earlier. Poker players have to study the game in depth in order to get good enough to challenge the top players in a tournament. Those top players also studied every aspect of Texas Holdem when they had little experience in the game.
Very few players are pure naturals. The run-of-the-mill natural is someone who can study an opponent and gain vital insights from the smallest of clues. That means, studying human nature is a very significant aspect of excellence in Texas Holdem.
Advantages of Playing Poker Online
We have spoken many times of the advantages of casino gaming online. For poker, the advantages are pretty much the same but there are nuances unique to poker players:
- No travel costs.
- Players can play in short sessions as often as they wish. At land-based poker rooms, players tend to play for too long a time and lose the benefits of short sessions and longer reviews.
- The surroundings at land-based poker rooms are not “real”. When you play online, you can walk out of your house and everything around you is real.
- Online poker is a lot more anonymous.
- Since concentration in Texas Holdem is of the essence to success, the low level of distraction at an online poker room is much better than the myriad distractions at a land-based poker room.
Why is Texas Holdem So Popular?
This is a very good question. It is likely a combination of history and luck. The game that has everyone agog could have been Omaha. But Crandall Addington, Amarillo Slim, and Doyle Brunson were Texas gamblers who had more gravitas than anyone trying to build up popularity for Omaha!
By the way, Omaha is also a great poker variation and it is available at both Juicy Stakes and Everygame Poker.
Slots Play Casinos Steps out of Our Comfort Zone to Extol Texas Holdem
As anyone who has visited us here at Slots Play Casinos often knows, we primarily talk about online casino gaming. We have reviewed about 30 online casinos and plan to review more. We have published a very large number of informative articles and tutorials about online casino gaming.
The key insight here is that online is the best medium for playing either casino games or poker. As Marshall McLuhan said, “the medium is the message” and online is a superior medium for casino gaming and poker.
We encourage all readers, gamers, and poker players to see online as their medium of choice to further their quest for entertaining casino fun and poker excellence.
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