Texas hold’em uses a standard 52 card deck that is shuffled before every hand. Each player starts with two hole cards. There are three rounds of community cards. These are dealt face up, for every player to use, with betting after each round. The best 5 card hand, using any combination of the five community cards and two hole cards wins.

 

BLINDS – Each hand of hold’em starts with two blinds. Blinds are preliminary bets made by two players before cards are dealt for the purpose of stimulating action. If there was nothing to win, the first player to make a decision would have no reason to make a bet. The deal position is indicated by a disk called the dealer button. This is the position from which the dealer/croupier would distribute the cards, beginning with the player to the left of the dealer button. Prior to the cards being distributed, the player to the left of the button puts in chips equal to half the size of the minimum bet for the game.( known as the small blind). The player to that player’s left puts in chips equal to the minimum bet for the game.( known as the big blind).

 

When the blinds are in place, the dealer distributes, first one card and then another face down to each player, starting with the small blind. These two starting cards are called the “hole” cards. The betting on the first round always starts with the player just to the left of the big blind. He can ;-  1) fold,  2) call or 3) raise.  If you fold, your cards are removed from play and you are out until the next hand. Each player, in turn, has the same choices to make. Once the betting for the round has been completed, then the dealer deals three cards up in the centre of the table (called the FLOP).

 

The second round of betting takes place. In this round, the betting starts with the first active player (one who still has cards) to the left of the button. He may check or bet. If anyone bets, each succeeding player has three choices – fold, call or raise.

 

Once the betting for the second round is complete, the dealer deals one more card face up in the centre of the table. This card is called the TURN. The third round of betting starts and proceeds exactly the same as the second round.

 

Once the betting for the third round is complete, the dealer/croupier deals a fifth and final card. This last community card is called the RIVER. The fourth and final round of betting takes place and proceeds exactly as the previous rounds.

 

Once the betting for the fourth round is over and there is a showdown, remaining active players show their hands and the best hand,- comprising of the best five cards from among each player’s combination of two hole cards plus the community cards- wins. The holder of the winning hand is awarded the pot.

 

Sometimes a player runs out of chips before all the betting is over. In such case, one or more side pots are created. When a player is all in, a bet or raise can be made that is not called but a showdown still takes place.

 

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