Texas Hold’em Poker is one of the most popular variations of the game in the world. Played at land-based casinos, tournaments and online, it is a community card game with a particular focus on the betting rounds.
The rules are fairly logical and take just a few minutes to learn. Unlike Casino Hold’em, this version is played against other players where the aim is to win the pot by having the best hand or having all of your table opponent’s fold before the final showdown.
Texas Hold’em is played on a single table with between 2 and 10 players. The online version usually accommodates up to 7 players per table, but this may vary depending on where you play.
The action starts with the placing of the Blinds. In this game, there are 2 Blinds, namely the Big and the Small, which determine the stakes of the table. The person to the left of the dealer places the Small Blind, while the player to his or her left places the Big Blind.
The dealer then deals each player 2 cards facing down. These are called Hole Cards and are immediately followed by the pre-flop betting round. After analysing their cards, players have the option to Fold, Call (match the Big Blind) or Raise (Double the Big Blind or higher).
After the pre-flop, the top card is burnt, and 3 cards are dealt in the middle of the table. In Texas Hold‘em, this is called the Flop. The second round of betting then starts with the player to the left of the dealer.
This round is slightly different, as the first player to act can choose to Check or to bet. Betting is the amount of the Big Blind. Once the Flop is completed, the dealer burns another card and deals a single card at the end of the community set. This is called the Turn, and the next round of wagering begins.
Turn betting is identical to Flop, except for one key factor. The bets are double the size for this round, and the final round. Again, the action starts with the player to the left of the dealer who can choose to Check or bet. At any given time, players have the option of Folding and cutting their losses.
At the conclusion of the Turn, the final round in the game of Texas Hold‘em Poker begins. The dealer burns the top card and places 1 last card at the end of the community set. This is called the River and is the final deal. The River betting round then begins and is identical to that of the Turn. If at the conclusion of the River round, 2 or more players have not folded, the showdown begins.
The winner of the pot is the player with the highest-ranking Poker hand. The player to reveal his or her cards first is the person who bet on the River. If no bets were placed in the River round, the player to the left of the dealer reveals their hand first. If a player has a losing hand, they can choose to reveal their hand or “muck” their hand, conceding the pot.