Texas Holdem looks like a lot of fun, but it can also be a bit intimidating. If you've never played the game before, the appearance of tough looking gamblers and young hotshots, guys with sunglasses and hats and expressionless faces, can be a little scary. But there's no reason you can't join in the fun of Texas Hold'em just like everyone else. Here are a few tips to get you through in the beginning. Start by getting a good book or two on the game. Doyle Brunson's Super/System and David Sklansky's Theory of Poker are some good ones to start with, but there are plenty out there for you to choose from.
There's also excellent advice to be found on basic Texas Hold'em rules and Texas Hold em strategy at Learn Texas Hold'em Once you've done that, you might want to get some poker software and play against the computer or just go online and play on a poker website for free. This will not necessarily afford you the best competition, but it will give you an opportunity to get a feel for the game without worrying about slowing the game down or about being intimidated by more experienced players. Once you've done that, try setting up a home game. You can play a tournament just for fun, or have a small stakes cash game. If you have friends who are more experienced poker players, this is a great way for you to learn the ins and outs in a comfortable environment. If you play in a live casino, it will go a little something like this:
Somewhere in the casino there will be a staff person manning a board. Approach this person and tell them the game and limit you would like to play. They will ask for your initials and write them on the board. When it is your turn, your initials will be called and you will be directed to a table. A chip runner will take your cash and turn them into chips, and then you're in the game! Don't worry if everyone looks much tougher than you. Most of them aren't. In fact, those guys wearing sunglasses are doing it because they are afraid you will see something in their eyes that will tell you they are bluffing. That's right. Those guys are afraid of YOU! Play the game that you have practiced and read about, and you will be fine. If you have any questions, it's okay to ask the dealer or call a floor person over. Make sure you have a set bankroll you're going to play with. If you lose what you've brought with you, get up and come back another day.
Don't be discouraged if you lose the first time out. Poker has an element of luck, and even if you play well you won't win every time. If you stick to your principles though, you will win in the long run. Texas Hold'em is a game that everyone can enjoy, including you. So get out there and let's play some cards!