The cost to buy in usually ranges from about $40 up to $2000. A few years back I was attending a meeting and one of the theme nights was “Poker Night”. A Las Vegas dealer filled us in on what and how to play “Texas Hold ’em” and life has never been the same. I discovered the game of my dreams, We’ll try to explain the tips he gave us and give some ideas on the best places to play. Don’t be mislead, however it can be deadly on the pocketbook, but bluffing and winning has never been more fun.
Some of our favorite places to play in Las Vegas are at the major casinos, one of the most luxurious rooms of course, is in one of the most luxurious hotels, The Bellagio by name. Texas Hold ’em is a very popular game here as well as 7 Card Stud. Wednesday and Fridays are the poker tournament days. There are at least 30 tables – so name your poison! Bellagio hosts the World Poker Tour championship in April, this is my dream to play for the $1,000,000 stakes in a World Championship.
Circus Circus is a good place for lower limit games and tournaments. It has been voted “Best Poker Room in Las Vegas”.
The Luxor offers daily Texas Hold ’em tournaments with low limit tables. If you look over the crowd you may see me among the players at The Luxor during the week.
For a large variety of limits as well as poker games, The Mirage is the place to go. You can play 7 Card Stud or Omaha 8 at your choice of 31 tables….and Texas Hold ’em can be played as well. Poker tournaments are held Sunday through Thursday, buy-ins on those nights range from $60 to $120. The Mirage hosts a Mirage Poker Showdown tournament in July.
When you get tired of ogling the girls around the pool at The Palms, you might want to wander into their poker rooms. A low limit room deals Texas Hold ’em with spreads of $2 to $4 and $4 to $8. High stakes poker room offer No Limit Texas Hold ’em and progressive High Hand Jackpots.
Find no limit poker tournaments every Monday, Wednesday and Sunday at The Sahara. $40 to buy-in.
If you think you need poker lessons and you probably do, a good place to go is Excalibur, you can’t beat the cost of their lessons. Free!
In the meantime here are a few things to know about Texas Hold ’em (I’m not sure if I mentioned – this game is also sometimes called “Let ’em ride”.
A hand begins when one or more players to the left of the dealer post a “blind” bets. A blind bet is the same as an ante in other games.
Each player gets 2 cards dealt face down, after you get these two cards, you can make a bet or fold. My dealer suggests if they’re not high cards – fold ’em! Betting starts to the left of the big blind, and continues around the table. To continue playing you must call a 2 unit bet.
The dealer deals three cards, these cards are community cards and each player matches up these cards with their “hole” cards. Another round of betting takes place, all bets are in increments of 2 at this point. 2 more cards are dealt face up, after each card betting once again, after the 4th card is dealt, betting is in 4 increments. Then a fifth card is dealt and followed by a final round of bets, all bets now in increments of 4. These cards combined with your 2 make up a 5 card hand, you can use the hole cards or not in figuring your best 5 card hand! Bluffing is big in this game, since no one knows who may have the best cards in the hole, sometimes the biggest bluffer and the best “poker face” wins.
At any time, when there is only one player remaining, the pot is awarded to that player, and this is where all the bluffing comes in, that player does not need to show his cards. (so you’ll never know!) If more players stay in, at the end of play all hole cards are shown and each player makes up the best possible 5 card hand, you may use both, one or none of your hole cards to make up your hand. As in other poker games, the same hierarchy of winning hands counts, from a straight flush, 4 of a kind, full house all the way down to one pair or just high card.