Texas Hold ‘Em Poker, otherwise known as Zynga Poker, is currently one of the most popular games on Facebook, uncomparable to the performance of any other Flash game. It’s also not comparable to online gambling sites such as PartyPoker.
It’s true, you can play Texas Hold’em ANYWHERE nowadays!
In fact, despite being a casino game, unlike other Facebook games you can have as much fun as possible without having to spend a cent – there are so many great free options for Texas Hold ‘Em Poker.
Texas Holdem - OVERVIEW
Game formats range from poker tournaments to individual and team challenges. During gameplay you can chat with the people you’re interacting with, and arrange to work together on tournaments and team challenges, even if you don’t know each other in real life. Zynga doesn’t waste any time putting you into the action. Instead of facing off against “the computer,” you’re up against other players from around the globe right off the bat. Now, this means that you run the risk of being put up against some of the world’s best – or someone who’s just learning. And trust me, even if the money isn’t real, the addiction is.
Now, I’m a pro at online poker so I’m sort of biased with my review. I did introduce the game to a newcomer to the game to get their perspective. The objective is simple – well, “simple.” Whoever has the best hand wins the pot. My friend has known that for a long time, but struggled in learning what exactly makes a “good hand”. Thankfully Zynga Poker does have a few in-game hints and tips which helped her out as she went along.
Once two to ten people sit down at the table, everyone is dealt their chips. Hold ‘Em works with a rotating dealer, where each player plays a round as the dealer before handing the duty over to the player to the left. The dealer is determined by each player drawing one card and the player with the highest value card becoming the dealer. Once dealer is decided, the player directly to the left passes out the “small blind” (blind referring to blind bet, the chips placed down before any card values are known). The player one more to the left passes out the big blind (around twice the value of the small blind). The stakes of the game are determined by the size of the blind. The dealer then deals two cards to each player, and it’s time to start the game. There’s your mini-poker table tutorial. Learning the game is easy but will require some research.
Texas Holdem - STRATEGY
Here’s how to play as my friend describes it: “You determine how valuable your cards are in the preflop stages and decide what you want to do – sit out the round or “fold,” which also wouldn’t see you putting in any chips. “Calling” matches the amount of the big blind, and “raising” is playing double or more the big blind. In the “flop” round, three cards are drawn which can be matched with your initial hand (your 2 ‘pocket’ cards) to create a winning poker hand. If you’re still in the game, the next card drawn face-up is the Turn Card which adds to the possibilities for your to create a winning 5 card hand. If there are still players left (ie. in the round stages, play stops only when all the players fold except 1). The last round reveals the 5th community card called the “River Card”. So the five community cards and your two pocket cards can be used to create the highest ranking 5 card poker hand combination. If you have the highest ranking hand, you win. Bets are put in place after each round. After the bets on the river card round, the players must show their hands (again, if there are at least 2 active ‘called’ players). If the player knows they have a losing hand, they can concede and not reveal their hand, but automatically lose.”
The order of card combos from highest to lowest are: a Royal Flush (cards in order from ten to Ace in the same suit), straight flush (five cards in order of the same suit), four of a kind (should more than one player play a four of the kind, the fifth card determines who wins), a full house (three of the same cards of a one rank and two of the same of another rank), a flush (five non-consecutive cards of the same suit, with the highest-ranked card determining the value), straight (five cards in order, any suit with the highest-ranked card determining the value)), three of a kind, two pair, and one pair. Any other hand takes the value of the “high card,” which can only beat any other uncategorized hand with a less valuable high card.
Texas Holdem Poker - TIPS, HINTS & CHEATS
- Now, people tend to play with far more abandon in Zynga’s Texas Holdem Poker than they do with real world poker. After all, would you be that cautious when you’re not playing with your own real money? So the first tip, especially for someone trying to learn to become a good poker player, is to play conservatively.
- You’ll see a lot of players taking chances on poor hands because they’re inexperienced in poker – and if you’re a seasoned poker vet, this may get really tiresome. You’re going to encounter a lot of arrogance and a lot of recklessness.
- The key, especially for a budding poker player, is to be patient and humble. To quote the song, “know when to hold them, [but especially] know when to fold ’em”.
- Fold unless your pre-flop hands are top-tier cards. Raise on the following hands: QQ, KK, AA, AK, AQ, KQ. And when you raise, do raise big. Raising small is an indication to other players that you’re unsure of your hand, and these duos are a pretty sure shot.
- If you’re the last to act in the hand (directly to the right of the dealer) you’re at an advantage because you get to see everyone else’s plays first. Unfortunately there’s no way to guarantee being in that hot seat. There’s no way to guarantee much of anything in Zynga poker – experts have yet to find any cheats or hacks to the game. But there’s still strategies you can apply within the game that are as good as a cheat.
- Bluffing pretty much never works, even though no one can see your “poker face” online.
- Play it slow and steady, and don’t get too cocky – you’ll see a lot of that in Zynga Poker.