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Step One: Blinds, or bets are placed. One player places the “small blind,” while the other places the “big blind.” These bets are compulsory for two of the players; additional players play for free. To make it fair, different players must post the blinds during each round.

Step One:
Blinds, or bets are placed. One player places the “small blind,” while the other places the “big blind.” These bets are compulsory for two of the players; additional players play for free. To make it fair, different players must post the blinds during each round.

Step Two:
Each player of Texas Hold ‘em receives two cards in the Preflop Round, which are referred to as the “starting hand” or hole cards. After all players have received their hole cards, each player in succession decides whether to continue playing or not, starting with the player to the right of the person who placed the big blind. If you have good, playable cards, you can “call the blind,” by putting in the same amount of money as the big blind; alternately, you can “raise” by putting in more money than is in the big blind. If your cards are undesirable, you “muck” or “fold,” meaning you throw your hand away. Each player has similar options, calling, raising, or folding in turn. Once everyone has contributed the same amount of money or folded, the chips are moved to the center of the table, and the second round, also known as the “flop round” begins.

Don’t bluff too much.
It’s true that bluffing is an important part of every poker game, but doing it too much is one of the biggest mistakes newer players make. It’s easy to get carried away, so use your best judgment.

Select starting hands with care.
Don’t play unless you think you have a chance of winning. Good online poker players usually play only 20 to 25 percent of the hands they are dealt, so keep this in mind if you feel like you’re not playing enough. Playing too many hands will ultimately cost you money.


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