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Over the last decade, Texas Hold’em has attained an unheard-of popularity. Along with Texas Holdem’s rise (and either the cause or the consequence, depending on who you talk to) came the online poker explosion, with dozens or hundreds of dedicated online poker rooms competing for the business of fish and shark alike. Although the Texas Hold’em craze does seem to be settling down to reasonable levels over the past year, Texas Hold em still maintains a high level of popularity and visibility and easy lead over any other variety of poker, online or not.

Here we will give you the basics, take you through some tips and tricks, and offer up some fascinating glimpses into the drama surrounding the game of Texas Holdem. Nothing helps a beginner or intermediate player as much as just picking up the cards and diving in, so feel free to pursue your Texas Hold em curiosity at one of our recommended online poker websites, all of whom offer free poker software to practice Texas Hold’em to your heart’s content.

Sun Poker

$500 Bonus

Sun Poker offers tables at all experience levels and limits for any and every player. Highly recommended A++

Mansion Poker

$500 Match Bonus

Mansion poker offers great promotions and has an outstanding number of players. Highly recommended

Pacific Poker

$400 Match Bonus

Pacific Poker is a fast and reliable online casino with prompt payouts. Highly recommended

Although televised poker can make Texas Hold’em look easy, there is a version of an old saying that goes: “Hold’em takes five minutes to learn and a lifetime to master”. To be honest, even that part about ‘five minutes’ is stretching the truth if you come from a draw or stud poker background, because you’ll have a lot of habits to unlearn. Luckily, there are almost as many ways to play Texas Holdem as there are players…and they all started out the same way: losing. Often. Don’t get discouraged because you can’t quite grasp the little complexities (or the big simple things, for that matter!).

Perhaps the first step you should take in learning to play Texas Hold em is to make sure that you know the basics of poker hands. This alone is a fundamental bit of information that all too many Chris Moneymaker-wannabees seem to forget as they sprint to the Texas Holdem online tournaments. Know what you hold and how likely you are to see the last card or two you need to make it worth anything. Too many straights and flushes went down the drain because an aspiring Texas Hold’em player thought he would be luckier than he could possibly hope to be.

In the end, the best way for you to learn Texas Hold’em is to play the game. Play as much as you can, and take advantage of the free online poker rooms for that much-needed practice. For sheer convenience, nothing beats having access to a wireless connection, as the best online poker rooms that we recommend can give you a full-featured game of Texas Holdem to your laptop, netbook…at this point, there are even plenty of options for mobile poker, BlackBerry poker or iPhone poker from the best online poker sites. The more you play, the more mistakes you’ll make, and the more you’ll learn.

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