Texas Hold’em Big River
How to Play Texas Hold’em Big River
In casinos and cardrooms throughout North America, you’ll find more tables spreading Texas Hold’em than all other games combined! Why? Because of its unique combination of excitement, big pots, and quick games. Poker America is only site on the internet to offer a new version of Texas Hold’em called Big River Texas. The unique feature of Big River Texas is the river bet, where the bettor (or raiser) has the option of betting the normal river bet or what we call a “big bet” (or “big raise”, if applicable), equivalent to five times the normal river bet. If you’re a lover of Texas Hold’em, you need to try Big River for yourself to witness how this big bet actually adds excitement and strategy to the game!
Big River Texas is a community card game. All players share the five community cards turned face up in the middle of the table. This aspect of shared cards creates many exciting possibilities since many times the winner of the hand is determined not by the actual pairs that you have made with your hand, but by the kicker (next highest value card) that you hold when the other card has made a pair. Position is very important in this as well as in all flop games, since when you have the button (becoming the theoretical dealer), you are last to act on every betting round. “Tight up front” and “loose in the back” is the phrase most heard by hold’em players in brick and mortar cardrooms. Large amounts of action before and after the flop are created in hold’em since many pots are jammed (raised and reraised) by one player with high cards against another player with a pocket pair, each betting on the relative strength that they place on these particular hands.
RULES AND ORDER OF BETTING ACTION FOR BIG RIVER TEXAS
|The dealer deals each player two hole cards face-down. Each player can see only his own cards.|
|First betting round|
|The dealer spreads three community cards face up on the table. These three cards are commonly called “the flop”.|
|Second betting round|
|The dealer turns over a fourth card face up on the table. This fourth card is commonly called “the turn”.|
|Third betting round|
|The dealer turns over one final community card face up on the table. This fifth and final card is commonly called “the river”.|
|Fourth and final betting round|
|Players show their hands. This is commonly called “the showdown”.|
Remember, poker is a game of the best five cards. At this point, the best hand wins the pot. At the showdown, players may use either:
•Both hole cards and three of the five community cards
•One hole card and four of the five community cards
•None of his hole cards and all five community cards-which is commonly called “playing the board”
There are four betting rounds for each game in Big River Texas. Each bet in the first two rounds of betting is set at the lower limit of the stakes structure. For example in a $5/$10 game, all bets and raises are $5 for the first two rounds (preflop and flop). The third round of betting (the turn) is set at the higher limit of the stakes structure. In a $5/$10 game, all bets and raises are $10 for the turn. What makes Big River Texas unique is the fourth (the river) round of betting. On this round, the bettor will have an option of betting either the normal high limit bet (in this example, $10) or making a “big bet” equivalent to five times the high limit bet (in this example, $50). Note that if the original bettor on river makes the big bet, any raise will have to also be a big bet (called a “big raise”). If the big bet is not used, then a raise will be an option of a regular bet or a big raise. This optional “big bet” gives Big River Texas a whole new dimension when compared to normal limit hold’em.
One bet plus three raises (four total bets) are the maximum amount of bets allowed per betting round. This would consist of (1) a bet, (2) a raise, (3) a re-raise, and (4) another re-raise (also known as “a cap”). The term cap is used to describe the third raise in a round since betting is then capped and cannot be raised anymore. Once a player has made the third raise (thereby capping the pot) then players will have only the option of calling or folding. Check raising is allowed in all games.
In order to designate which player is the theoretical dealer in hold’em games, a round disk is used. This disk is called the dealer button or simply “the button”.
When the first hand is dealt in hold’em, the button is always given to the player that is to the immediate right of the dealer chip rack. In tournaments, however, one card is dealt to each player and the button is given to the player with the highest card. After each hand is completed, the button moves clockwise to the next active player and this player will be considered to be the dealer, and will act on his hand last on each betting round for that game. It is a big advantage to act last in hold’em and by moving the button, each player gets to take a turn at having this advantage. When it’s your turn for the button, you are said to be “playing the button.”
SMALL AND BIG BLINDS
The player to the left of the button is first to receive a card and is required to post a small blind. The small blind is equal to half the lower limit bet rounded down to the nearest dollar. The player to the left of the small blind is required to post the big blind. The big blind is equal to the lower limit bet. These bets are referred to as blinds because players must post them before the dealer deals any cards to the players. You are at a disadvantage when you its your turn to post a blind, since you’re actually putting money out on table before you see your cards, whereas other players have a chance to see their cards before they decide to invest any money in that hand or not. As the button moves around, everyone gets a turn to be a blind. These blinds are similar to the ante that is required in other games such as 7-Card Stud.
Both the small and the big blinds are considered live bets. They have the option of checking, calling, raising or folding when the betting action comes back around to their position. After the flop and after each subsequent betting round, the first active player to the left of the button is the first to act.
When players first sit down to play, they will be required to post the equivalent of the big blind only once or they have the option to “sit out” until it is their natural turn to post the big blind. This rule is in place to ensure game fairness to all players. The rule prevents the possibility of players entering games in late position and then leaving before they are required to post the big blind. When you first enter a game it is always a good idea to either wait for your turn for the big blind or post your blind immediately after button passes you. Using either one of these ways, you’ll get the most bang for your buck.
At the end of the final (fourth round, called the river) round of betting, the remaining live players show their hole cards and the highest value hand wins the pot. In the event of a tie, the pot is split.