Texas Hold em is a poker game where each player plays with two
individual cards and five community cards, and makes the best
5-card poker hand with those seven cards. A player may use any
five of those cards, and does not necessarily need to use one
of both of his/her individual cards. The game is typically played
with upwards of eight or nine players. In general, more players
make for a better game as a lot of players typically muck their
cards early in each hand.
the hand, each player is dealt two cards face down. These are
the only individual cards that each player will receive for
the entire hand. The rest of the cards are community cards that
are shared by every player. After the first betting round, the
dealer burns one card off the top of the deck (puts it in the
discard pile and out of play) and then turns up three community
cards simultaneously in the middle of the table. The turn-up
of these three cards is called “The flop.” A second
betting round occurs followed by the turn-up of one additional
community card in the middle of the table. A third betting round
then occurs followed by the turn-up of the fifth and final community
card. To complete the hand, a fourth and final betting round
occurs. Thereafter, the best hand available among all remaining
players wins the pot. The cards speak for themselves, so you
don’t necessarily have to call your hand correctly –
just turn them over. If a player doesn’t want to show
his/her cards at the end of a hand (for whatever reason), they
can muck them and disqualify themselves.
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hand, the deal rotates one player to the left. In casinos, where
a designated dealer deals each hand, a white marker called “The
button,” rotates around the table to indicate who occupies
the dealer position. The player in this spot is said to be “On
The two most common betting formats for Texas Hold em games
are called “Structured betting” and “Spread-limit
betting”. In a structured betting game, each bet and raise
is a fixed amount, and usually that fixed amount is one amount
for the first two betting rounds and twice that amount for the
last two betting rounds. For example, in a $3-$6 structured
betting game, all bets and raises in the first two rounds must
be exactly $3, and all bets and raises in the last two rounds
must be exactly $6. In a spread-limit betting game, say a $1-$4
spread-limit game, any bet or raise during all four betting
rounds may be any amount between $1 and $4, with the exception
that raises on any particular betting round must equal or exceed
any previous bet amounts (i.e. if someone bets $3, then any
subsequent raises must be $3 or $4). Some spread-limit betting
games increase the available betting amounts in the last two
betting rounds. Typically each betting round is limited to a
maximum of three raises.
each hand before any cards are even dealt, the two players to
the immediate left of the dealer must each bet. These two bets
are called “Blinds,” in reference to them being
committed without seeing any cards. The first player to the
immediate left of the dealer is on the “Small blind,”
while the player two spots to the left of the dealer is on the
“Big blind”. The big blind is twice the small blind,
and it’s common for the big blind to amount to the lower
end of the structured bet amounts. These two bets serve to kick
off the betting during the first betting round. As such, any
player that wants to see the flop must at least call the blind
bets, even if no player actively bets during the first round.
The player on the small blind must at least call the difference
between the blinds. Note that because of the blinds, the first
player to make a betting decision during the first betting round
is the player 3 places to the left of the button. The player
immediately to the left of the button initiates all subsequent
here’s how the betting goes:
and large blind required by 1st and 2nd player to the left
of the button.
player is dealt two down cards.
- 1st betting
round initiates with player 3 places to the left of the button.
one card, and then deal the flop – 3 community cards
- 2nd betting
round initiates with the player immediately to the left of
one card, and then deal one additional community card.
- 3rd betting
round initiates with the players immediately to the left of
one card, and then deal one final community card.
and final, betting round initiates with the players immediately
to the left of the button.
hand remaining wins.
the house usually makes money off of what is called “The
rake.” The house takes a small amount of money from each
pot. This rake varies, but is usually 10% up to a maximum of