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Texas Hold‘em is one of the world’s most popular poker variations – possibly because it's so simple to learn. Poker Millions viewers will have seen the game played on TV, and it's now the most widely available option for poker players online. This makes it an attractive option for players hoping to polish their skills, or make their first steps into the online poker community in the hopes of progressing to the big leagues.
With so many variations across sites in terms of game types, banking systems and player-to-player interactivity, it's important to start out with an offering that suits your style and level of expertise.
There are several ways you can play live Texas Hold'em on online poker sites:
Falling under the 'community card poker' category, players are dealt two cards to form a hidden hand, which are then combined with five (3-1-1) shared face-up cards. Players are able bet, check, fold or raise after each additional card is dealt. In order to win a hand, you need to score (in value order) a pair, three of a kind, straight, flush, full house, four of a kind, straight flush or royal flush. In Texas Hold’em, combinations are the key.
However, you don’t always need to actually have a strong hand to win – that is the beauty of the hidden hand and why bluffing is so important in Texas Hold’em. If you can convince your fellow players you have a game-winning combination, even if you don’t, then you can force others to fold and take the pot yourself.
The best way to learn the art of bluffing is on low stakes tables, where even if you're taking the risk of trying to bluff your way to the pot, you won’t lose much if it doesn’t pay off. Another way to learn can be a one-on-one table, where each player will often have low hands, so it becomes a question of out-bluffing the one other player.
Once you have mastered bluffing, then you can confidently move up to the higher stakes tables with the big boys and have a better chance of succeeding in tournaments, which will affect the site you choose.
While strategy and game variations are clearly the main factor when choosing a live Texas Hold’em site, players should remember that online casino can also be sociable. Most online casinos offer Texas Hold’em with a chat function, which allows players to engage directly with the dealer and, sometimes, other players.
Since Texas Hold’em is a game that attracts new online players regularly, several sites gear their offering toward the newbies with introductory bonuses and opportunities to learn the game with minimal risk. Winner offers a £35 new player bonus to the live casino, as well as providing a significant deposit bonus. 888 poker provides £50 free in vouchers and also allows users to play for nothing for 90 days to learn the subtleties of the game.
With almost every site offering some sort of introductory offer or additional deposit bonus, it's important to shop around to find the best available deals.