Texas Hold Em is the king of all poker games. Exciting, fast paced and skilful, if you have ever watched poker on TV then you have most certainly seen Texas Hold Em in action.
The good news is that you do not need to be a professional poker player to enjoy this exciting game, if you want to learn the basics please read through this handy guide to introduce you to the popular game of Texas Hold Em.
Texas Hold Em is played with a typical 52 card deck. Hold Em can be played with as few as two players ( going” heads up”), to a maximum of eleven players.
The aim of the game
Ok, let’s start at the beginning. Texas Hole Em is a fast-paced seven card game where the all important aim of the game is to make the best five card hand using all the cards in play, five community cards that everyone can use in their hand and the two cards you’re dealt.
The dealer button and the blinds
Each hand one player acts as the dealer. The position of the dealer is important as the two players to the left of the dealer post the blinds, the compulsory bets put in before the deal to ensure that there’s something to play for. The player to the immediate left of the dealer posts the small blind with the player to their left posting the big blind (twice the small blind). The dealer button moves to the left after each hand so that all players take it in turns to be the dealer.
The opening deal
Once the blinds have been posted, its time for some cards. Moving clockwise around the table from the dealer, each player receives two cards dealt face down that only they get to see ( these are called pocket or hole cards ). Its now time for some betting!
Betting after the deal
After the deal, its time for some betting based on the strength of the hand the two hole cards could lead to. As the blinds already have money in the pot, the betting starts with the player to the left of the big blind as the game can only progress when all players have put in the same amount of money.
When betting, there are three options: (1) call, which is to match the big blind (2) fold which is to end their participation in the hand and (3) raise, which is to bet more than the big blind. The big blind player has one more option in that they can check, which is to continue playing but without raising. Simple, no?
Now that the first round of betting is out of the way, its time for the flop. The flop is a set of three community cards that are dealt face up in the middle of the table. They’re community cards as all players can use them when constructing their best five card hand.
Once the flop has been dealt, its time for another round of betting starting with the player to the left of the dealer who can check, fold or raise. Once all bets are equal, its time for the next card.
The forth community card is called the turn or forth street. Again all players can use this card when forming their hand. The next round of betting starts, again starting with the player to the left of the dealer.
Four down its now time for the fifth and final community card: the river. Now that all the cards have been dealt, each player still in the hand knows exactly what their best five card hand is. There’s now one more round of betting.
Once the final round of betting is over, its time to see who takes the pot. Each player left in the hand shows their cards with the winner decided by the universal hand rankings. If a player wins a pot by default, that is every other player has folded, there is no showdown and the winning player can decide whether to show their cards or not. Most players don’t, it’s always nice to keep the other players guessing.
You gotta know when to hold 'em
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