Learning the Language of Texas Holdem

Unless you know the jargon and terminology, going through the Texas Holdem strategies you see on the Net will be useless. Before you study all the basic tactics, you need to have a basic understanding of the language.

There are three basic types of Texas Holdem games: Pot Limit, Limit and No Limit. The rules for each are basically the same, with the difference being the pot bets. In Pot Limit you cannot wager any higher than what is currently in the pot; in limit the bet is fixed for a particular round and in No Limit you can put all your chips all in at any point.

The abbreviation used to denote these games are NL, PL Holdem and LH. Sometimes Limit Holdem is just called Limit or fixed limit.

Another Texas Holdem term that you should be familiar with are the blinds. These are the forced bets made by players. Almost always the bet by the small blind is exactly half of the big blind and this indicates the type of game being played. So if you go to an online Poker room and see the message $3/6 NL, it signifies a No Limit game with the small blind starting at $3 and the big blind at $6.

There are also certain Texas Holdem terms associated with your position on the table. Being the first to bet means you are in early position. It is also called under the gun, as it puts you at a disadvantage. If you are last to bet, your are on the button (because you hold the dealer button). The cutoff refers to the player who acts second to last.

When playing, you will also see some Texas Holdem terms that are used to describe the players; the rock is the player who plays only the best cards; the fish is the newbie who calls every hand, and thus referred to as a calling station; aggressive players who raise almost every hand are called maniacs, while the best are called sharks.

Obviously, if you are going to play Texas Holdem, you will want to play at the table with plenty of fish and preferably no sharks.

The way to becoming a good player starts by learning the terms used in Texas Holdem. Once you have learned the language, you will have an easier time mastering the strategies you need to win in the game.