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Full Tilt Poker

full tilt hold em poker game
Rating: 92%
Play on: Windows XP/Vista/7/Mac
About: With a fantastic sign up bonus of $600, regular 50% deposit bonuses and some of the world's most skillful poker players, Full Tilt poker is a site for players of all levels from beginner to professional.

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Casual Poker Games

Governor of Poker

governor of poker hold em poker game
Rating: 85%
Play on: Windows XP/Vista/7/Mac
About: It's best not to mess with Texas in this battle to poker superstardom. Earn your title by challenging old western poker pros and see your name in the local paper.

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Poker for Dummies

poker for dummies hold em poker game
Rating: 74%
Play on: Windows XP/Vista/7/Mac
About: Learn when to hold 'em and when to fold 'em in this exciting, user-friendly poker suite! Learn the ropes of several popular poker variations and sharpen your new-found skills at...

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Poker SuperStars 3

poker superstars 3 hold em poker game
Rating: 80%
Play on: Windows 2000/XP/Vista/7
About: Are you ready for the next challenge?! Poker Superstars III Gold Chip Challenge raises the stakes with new superstars, new gold chips to win for great plays.

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Poker Stars

poker stars hold em poker game
Rating: 94%
Play on: Windows XP/Vista/7/Mac
About: PokerStars is the world's largest online poker room, with more poker games at every level, bigger tournaments and more players than any other site. They also offer generous sign up and deposit bonuses.

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Governor of Poker 2

governor of poker 2 hold em poker game
Rating: 80%
Play on: Windows XP/Vista/7/Mac
About: The government has outlawed all poker games! Play Texas Hold'em as you fight to overturn the ban and become the Governor of Poker! Prove to the minister of the Texas gambling committee that poker is all about skill and get him to make the game legal again in Governor of Poker 2.

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Poker Night

poker night
Rating: 86%
Play on: Windows XP/Vista/7/Mac
About: Prepare for a different kind of poker night in a very different kind of club. You'll experience a new style of poker, particularly when hands don't go the way of the other fiery competitors at the table.

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A Beginner's Guide to Hold Em Poker.

This guide will get you up to speed with the basics of poker in order for you to be able to survive and possibly profit in the world of hold em online poker.

Poker looks as though it is a complex game to play, but not with this simple guide.

The most popular version of Poker played is "Texas Hold em". Of course, online poker is increasing in popularity although not legal in all countries and states. "Texas Hold em" is the game you may have watched on TV in the World Series Poker, or similar high stakes games.

Hold em games are by far the most popular series to be played throughout the world and are aggressively played online for millions of pounds and dollars every day. So how do you get in on the hold em games action? First you must learn the Beginners guide to poker.

The best way to proceed to other forms of Poker is to start with Texas Hold'em, so that is where we will start with our beginners guide.

There are several basic rules and definitions we need to explain regarding hold em poker, plus one also has to perfect the "Poker Face" if playing in person, a long reigning term used in general life when someone has a straight face and it is difficult to read their opinion. Let us begin by explaining some of the terms used in Texas Hold'em as this is probably the most commonly played game now, either in person or online:

  • Cards: Let us confirm, or explain for the very beginner, that a pack of cards has 52 cards, arranged in four "suits", these being Hearts, Spades, Clubs and Diamonds. Hearts and Diamonds are red cards, Spades and Clubs are black cards. In Poker, no value is placed on the colors; however they do make it easier to play the game. The values of the cards are, from highest to lowest: Ace, King, Queen, Jack, 10, 9, 8, 7, 6, 5, 4, 3, and 2.
  • Chips: The "currency" of the game when played for money. There are different colors denoting different values.
  • Fold: When you think you have no hope of winning from the cards dealt, you give them back, and forfeit that hand.
  • Call or Check: When you wish to remain in the game and feel your hand is capable of winning.
  • Raise: Increase the stakes, thus making other players believe you have a good hand and have confidence in winning.
  • Blind: Initially the two players to the left of the dealer in Texas Hold em games have to place some stake by placing chips as a bet, this is called "Blind" because the players have no idea of the cards dealt. There is usually a minimum, and sometimes a maximum value of the "Blind" bets.
  • Hole: The dealer gives everyone playing two cards, these are dealt face down, and are called "Hole Cards". The players look at the cards, making sure no other players can see them. Bets are then placed, so then you can make a choice of folding, calling, or raising as shown above.
  • Flop: Once all the players have determined their position in the game with the dealt cards the dealer then deals three cards, face up this time, in the center of the table, this is called "The Flop" and the three cards are called "Community Cards".
  • Pot: The total number of chips played during the course of the game.

How Hold em games are played:

The players have their two personal cards, plus the three community cards dealt to the table center makes up the individual player's hand of five cards at this time. Once the community cards have been dealt the player can then choose again to raise by placing a bet, fold, or call.

When that round of adjusting the bets is complete the dealer then deals another "community card", making the total in the table center four. This round is generally called "The Turn" and once again betting takes place.

Once completed the dealer places yet another face up card in the center of the table, this stage of the game being called "The River" and betting takes place for the final time, again the players have the choice of folding, raising or calling.

The player now has his/her own two "Hole" cards plus a choice of three from the five cards on the table to decide which is the best hand of a total of five cards they can make, and although they have to use their own two cards, any of the community cards can be used.

This is a visual concept, the cards themselves are not touched by any of the players, and it is at this time, perhaps more than any other when the "Poker Face" really comes to its best use.

It is now time for the hold em poker "Showdown" and the players reveal their two personal "Hole" cards. The player who can form the best hand wins the "pot" of chips. In the event of a tied first place the pot is divided amongst the winners. In a commercial gaming session the "house" or the online hosting website takes a cut from the pot before it is given to the winner(s).

Order of hold em winning hands:

The customary order of winning hands in Texas Hold em games and hold em online poker is in this order: Royal Flush, Straight Flush, Four of a kind, Full House, Flush, Straight, Three of a kind, Two pairs, One pair, High cards, so let us now explain how these are defined:

  • royal flush
  • Royal Flush : The daddy that rules over all hold em games the Royal Flush cannot be beaten but only matched by another player. A complete run of cards of one suit comprising the Ace, King, Queen, Jack and 10 only. Any other five consecutive cards hand of the same suit is called a Straight Flush, see below. In the event that two players have a Royal Flush they split the pot proceeds as suits have no ranking in Poker.
  • straight flush
  • Straight Flush: A complete "run" of cards, for example 3,4,5,6,7 of the same suit. In the event that more than one player has a Straight Flush, the highest ranking flush wins. A Straight Flush can also use the ACE as a low card, for example Ace, 2, 3, 4, 5, although this would be the lowest ranking Straight Flush possible.
  • four of a kind
  • Four of a kind: Four cards with the same face value, for example, four 5's plus any other card. In the unlikely event of two players both having a four of a kind hand then the highest value four wins.
  • full house
  • Full House: Three cards of one value and two of another, for example, three 9's and two 4's. In the event more than one player has a full house, then the hand with the highest set of three wins. If again a tie, then the highest pair wins.
  • flush
  • Flush: All five cards of the same suit, but not in a "run". For example, 2, 3,5,7,9 of Hearts. Having 3 or 4 cards which are the same suit is worthless in this winning hand format; you have to have all five of the same suit. If two or more players have a flush, the highest flush wins.
  • straight
  • Straight: A run of five cards in hold em games, for example 2, 3,4,5,6, but of differing suits. A run of 3 or 4 cards is useless, you need to have five. If two or more players have a straight, then the highest valued one wins. A Straight, along with the Straight Flush, is the only time in Hold'em where the Ace can count high or low, so you could have Ace, King, Queen, Jack, 10 as a straight OR an Ace, 2, 3, 4, 5 as a straight, however the hand with the 5 in it is the lowest straight possible.
  • threeofakind
  • Three of a kind: Three cards with the same face value, for example, three 5's plus any other two cards. If two or more players have three of a kind then the highest valued three wins. If there is then another tie, then the highest other card will win, the kicker card.
  • two pairs
  • Two Pairs: Two cards of the same value, for example two 5's, plus two cards also of the same value, for example two 8's, plus any other card. In the event that two or more players have two pairs, then the highest valued pair takes the game. If both players have the same high pair, then the second, lower valued pair becomes the decider. If two players both have an equally high pair and lower pair, then the remaining card becomes the decider as in "High Card", or "The Kicker" card.
  • one pair
  • One Pair: Two cards of the same value in hold em poker, for example two 4's, plus any other three cards. In the event of a tie, the highest valued pair wins. In the event that both hands have the same pair, for example both have a pair of 4's, then the next highest card wins in a similar way to "High Card" or "The Kicker" card.
  • high cards
  • High cards: All five cards have no direct relationship or similarity to each other, the highest value card is the deciding factor. For example: 2, 4, 6 ,8, 10 of varying suits, the 10 becomes the "High Card". In the event of two tied hands the second highest card becomes the deciding factor, etc.

Hold em Online Poker Play:

When deciding to play hold em games and poker online a few factors must be considered, not least of which is making sure you are aware that gambling in general is very addictive and will likely cost you a lot of money.

Hold em Online Poker is no different for many players although perhaps it could be in time if a player learns to harness his experience.

Betting is always against the house, where the house always has the odds in its favor, this will mean you will eventually lose all your money if you keep betting.

The difference with poker is you actually play against other real players and therefore its your skill over theirs as opposed to an inevitable loss to the house. If you can exercise the discipline of a true poker professional in time and play to the odds and not to your greed you can profit from poker. It is the challenge of exercising this discipline that leaves many players losing out.

You will find that as far as getting good at poker whether it be online or off comes through repetition and playing thousand's of games. Simply reading the rules over and over again will not get you good at how to play the odds at poker so I would advise you start with excellent beginners game that I used to become proficient.

Poker for Dummies is a fantastic downloadable hold em poker game featuring Texas Hold 'Em that will more than get you up to speed with how to really play poker proficiently. You can download a trial version here.

poker for dummies game

Poker for Dummies is a user friendly, interactive and educational card game that features fun tutorials on many variations of poker including Texax Hold em. You can choose to play on either practice or real tables where you have the chance to bet all the way to the bank.

  • Easy to follow interactive guides
  • Learn, practice and play modes
  • Unleash your inner card shark!
  • Slick, high stakes graphics
  • Get help at the Dummies Forums on hold em games

Hopefully you have now downloaded and played Poker for Dummies and are all clued up on how to play a proper game of poker.

Next if you do decide to play for real at one of the many online poker sites, then there are several things you need to explore in any website you choose, and there are plenty of choices on the internet, maybe as many as 100 sites, depending on where you live in the world.

Many are not allowed in certain countries as they have to ensure they meet the legal requirements for online gaming in each country they serve. If they don't they can be ip blocked so the country's residents can't access it.

For individual poker websites features make sure firstly that there are many players on the site. This will show that the site is very popular, and those playing must feel it offers value for money, is easy to use and is reputable.

Most hold em online poker sites allow you to use virtual "free" money rather than real money to try them out, if the website you are looking at does not do this, then look further for another website.

However, be aware that the "free" money is really just a carrot to entice you, get you hooked on the game so you proceed to play with real money at a later time. Many websites will also produce a match bonus, where they equal the amount of real money you put in initially, so look for that if you decide to venture into online poker.

Be especially aware of any website which asks you for credit card information prior to downloading any software or registering online; preferably stay clear of any site that does this.

Please remember online ID theft and personal security are rampant now, and this type of website is typically the type that is so tempting for users to give up their information easily.

So, to summarize, think carefully if you want to get into hold em online poker and hold em games in general, and do your homework online about any website you think of using. First download Poker for Dummies, play and learn all the hands and become proficient at the game.

Before you decide to play for real money, ensure you are emotionally and mentally strong in controlling the rate you bet at and treat it as a game of skill, not a game of greed!

The Psychology of Poker:

Offline hold em poker holds a great psychological game as opposed to online which is less psychological. In the presence of other real players they can observe your every move, your every facial expression, your every twitch, how your sat, how you speak, what you say, your tone of voice! All can count towards giving a game away or making the game harder for the other opponents.

You will need to master your emotions and control your body language to throw your opponents off guard and become a reigning champ over hold em games. If you're not a good liar, you won't be a good poker player!

Poker is full of psychology from the basic and much needed "Poker Face" to other factors in playing the actual game.

Other players are looking for signs when you play, and you should look for them in other players.

Ask yourself the following questions:

  • Is there a routine for their game which helps you forecast what type of hand they have? Are they playing their hand fast? This probably means they are full of confidence in the two cards they have as their personal cards or it could mean they are about to play a bluff.
  • Are they taking a lot of time? This may mean they are short of confidence and considering folding.
  • Are they calling or raising their bet? This may lead you to think that they have some confidence or a lot of confidence.
  • Do they always make a fast choice on folding or continuing? If the time they take varies, then the amount of time taken may give an indication of the strength of their hand.

If you have a bad or a weak hand don't be slow to fold it, at least in your mind. The actual time taken should be varied so other players can't "feel" your reactions. The converse also applies, if you have a strong hand don't react quickly, let others think you have to consider your move.

Above all make sure all your reactions are varied sometimes reacting quickly, sometimes slower, but don't vary them all with the same bias otherwise others will catch on to your methods.

One other thing to remember, this isn't a "one game" event, don't be worried about folding a few times when playing hold em games. This is the best way to minimize your losses and to prepare yourself for a strong game where you could reap a greater return.