Texas Hold'em Poker
If you’re playing Texas Hold ‘Em in a casino then the dealer won’t be joining you. To indicate the dealer position a round disc is used, called the “dealer button.” The dealer button marks the player who would be dealer. As the game advances the deal or button moves clockwise from player to player.
Before the hands are dealt an action usually takes place called “posting the blinds.” A “blind” is a predetermined amount of money, which is added to the pot to ensure there’s something to play for on every hand. The player directly to the left of the dealer position most often adds an amount known as the “first blind,” or “small blind,” which is half the minimum bet. The player to his left adds the “second blind,” or “large blind,” which is the full minimum bet.
Hold’em Rules of Play
Once the blinds have been added then it’s time to start dealing the cards. Each player is initially dealt two cards both face down.
After the first cards are dealt, its time to start the betting. Betting begins with the player to the left of the players who posted the blinds. If you’re only playing with three players then the betting usually begins with the player to the dealers left. The betting takes place as in a standard game of poker. Players have the option of calling, raising or folding. For more information on these actions see How To Play Poker Lesson 2: The Betting.
The dealer then discards the top card of the deck, known as “burning the card.” This is done to ensure no one has accidentally seen the card and also helps guard against cheating. The next three cards are dealt face up on the table. These three cards are called the “flop.” The flop cards represent the first three of a total of five community cards that will be placed face up on the table. These cards can be used by all players to help them form the best possible five-card poker hand.
Now it’s time for another round of betting. This time the bet begins with the player to the left of the dealer position. Again players have the option to call, raise, or fold.
The dealer burns another card by discarding it and deals one more card face up next to the other community cards. This card is called the “turn” or “Fourth Street.” Once again, betting starts with the player to the left of the dealer.
After the dealer burns another card, we move on to “Fifth Street,” which is the fifth and final face-up community card. This card is also called the “river.”
After all the community cards have been dealt players can use any combination of the five community cards and their two face-down cards to form the best possible five-card poker hand. The final round of betting again begins will the player to the left of the dealer position.
When the betting is finished, all players who have remained in the game reveal their hands. Usually the player who made the initial bet or the player who made the final raise shows their hand first. As in standard poker, the player with the highest-ranking hand wins the pot.
And that’s how you play the game of Texas Hold ‘Em Poker. The game continues in the same fashion for each round.