Although many of the concepts in this book apply to any form of poker, this book isn’t a  general poker book it’s about Hold’Em, a particular form of poker that has gained   tremendous popularity in North America and Europe. 

  This popularity probably originated in the no-limit Hold’Em championship event held at   Binion’s Horse-shoe in Las Vegas every May.

  It was originally called Texas Hold’Em.  The origins are obscure but the game probably   began in the old private cardrooms of South Texas. 

  One of the features of the game is that it’s typically played with ten players.  Because   each player only gets stwo unique cards, the other cards are community cards placed   faceup on the table.

  You could play as many as twenty-two players if you could get that many around a table. You seldom see more than ten at a table in a casino game.  I’ve played with as many as   fourteen in private games.

  Why Hold’Em ?

  Why should you choose Hold’Em as your game and not Seven Stud, Five Card Draw,  Omaha, or some other poker game?

  First, Hold’Em is a much simpler game than any of the forementioned poker variations.  In   Seven Stud you have to pay close attention to the cards that have been played and what   was folded. 

  It requires a great deal of memorizing something that is not easy to do given the pace of the game in a cardroom, especially for a beginner. 

  Five Card Draw also requires that you remember which player took how many cards. 

  Omaha requires that you keep in mind that two of the four cards in your hand must be used   with three community cards to make your hand. 

  Omaha requires that you keep in mind that two of the four cards to make your hand. 

  This is something that can easily be confused in the fast-paced atmosphere of the cardroom,   where players think they have a hand only to find out at the showdown that a card on the   board or in their hand is not valid in making their hand. 

  Hold’Em only requires that you know what you have in your two-card hand and how it   meshes with what is on board. 


  There are no discards, folded cards, or anything else to memorize, nor are there extraneous cards that can cause confusion.

  Second, during any given hand in Stud the position of the bettor varies with the high hand, but in Hold’Em, the position of the bettor doesn’t vary during a hand. 

  If you know that your position will not change, it allows you to play your position to its   maximum effectiveness.

  Third, in a Hold’Em game, more players will stay in the game as opposed to Stud or Draw. This is chiefly because there are usually ten or eleven players as opposed to seven or eight   in Stud or Draw; additionally, because of the five community cards, the hands are more   promising to more players. 

  Because more people tend to stay in the game, it yields bigger pots.  Of course, with bigger   pots you have a better chance to make more money.  One winning hand in Hold’Em can   make up for hours of lost blinds and folded hands.

  Fourth, it is a much quicker game than most other poker variations. 

  For instance, you can play nearly twenty hands of Hold’Em in the same amount of time it  would take to play ten hands of Seven Card Stud.

  With the faster turnover of the cards, it gives you more opportunities to win.Fifth, it’s just  more fun.


why play poker ? / unique features of poker / poker versus other casino games

keeping score with money / the basics of poker / mathematics of poker

growth and change in poker / sources for this book


poker brain


ve. If there is just a raise and a call, then you can play any three-flush if your cards are live. However, if your three-flush is small and two of your suit are out, you usually should throw your hand away. To play a three-flush with two of your suit elsewhere on the board usually requires big cards. Sometimes it is correct to raise with your three-flush even when you canno