December 5th, 2012
Each player is dealt two cards face down, beginning with the player sitting to the left of the button. The button is a small disc that indicates who the “dealer” is. It is used by the casino dealer so that he can keep track of who the dealer would be if players dealt the cards themselves, like they used to do in the old days of casino poker and the way people still do in home games.
the start of every new deal, the casino dealer moves the button one seat to the left. When the button has traveled all the way around the table, one round of play has been completed.
Posting the Blinds
The first person to the left of the button is called the small blind and must post a predetermined bet in front of him before the deal. The second person to the left of the button is called the big blind. The big blind must post a prescribed bet before the deal that is double the amount of the small blind.
The purpose of posting blind bets is to stimulate action. That is, the blinds get the pot started so that there will be some money to compete for. Sometimes the blinds force people to play hands they would not have played if they hadn’t already been required to put money into the pot.
In cash games, the amount of money that you must post when it’s your turn to be the big blind or the small blind remains the same throughout the game. In tournaments, the size of the blinds increases at the beginning of each new level (a set length of time during which the blinds remain the same).
In some tournaments, a level remains at the same size of blinds for only 20 minutes. In others, the levels may stay the same for one hour or more. But one thing’s for sure: If you never play a hand, you will eventually go broke just from paying the two blind bets that you are forced to post during each round of play.
The Types of Hands to Play
In both limit hold’em and no-limit hold’em, big pairs and high cards rule the roost. Two aces, two kings, two queens, two jacks, and A-K are premium hands. You would like to have a pair in your hand and then see one of your rank come on the flop. You also can play other types of hands in different circumstances, but these premium hands are the best ones to play. In limit hold’em, you can play more types of hands than you can in no-limit hold’em. For example, suited connecting cards such as Q♥ J♥ or 10♦ 9♦ are more valuable hands in limit hold’em games than they are in no-limit hold’em games.