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How to play Texas Hold'em

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1 How to play Texas Hold'em on Mon Jul 28, 2014 7:25 am


How to play Texas Hold'em

Each player is dealt two cards. Then there are three rounds of community cards, "the flop," "the turn," and "the river," dealt face up, with betting after each round.

The best 5-card hand using any combination of the five community cards and your own two cards wins.

Each new hand begins with a small blind, a big blind, and a round of betting. The betting rules vary depending upon whether the game is Limit, Pot Limit or No Limit.

Once the first round of betting is complete, the dealer then puts out the first three community cards, or "the flop". There is a round of betting.

The dealer then puts out the fourth community card or "the turn". There is a round of betting.

The dealer then puts out the fifth community card or "the river". There is a final round of betting.

After the last round of betting, the pot will be awarded to the best hand.

All Hold 'em games include a small blind and big blind. These are forced bets, and are determined by the position of the button. These bets are considered live, and every player in the hand must either call the big blind, raise, or fold. The button moves clockwise around the table, giving each player a turn being the button, small blind, and big blind.
Small Blind and Big Blind

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 white disk, labeled D, called the dealer button, or, simply, the button. This is the position from which the dealer would distribute cards if the dealer were one of the players. Prior to cards being distributed, the player to the left of the button puts in chips equal to (usually) half the size of the minimum bet for the game. The player to that player's left puts in chips equal to the minimum bet for the game.

For example, in a $2/$4 limit game, the small blind would be $1 and the big blind $2.

In Limit Hold 'em, each betting round has a fixed bet. In $5/$10, the small blind is $2.50, the big blind is $5, and the first two rounds of betting are in increments of $5. The last two rounds of betting are in increments of $10. There is a maximum of three reraises per betting round.

In Pot Limit, a player can bet any amount from the minimum bet to the size of the pot. In a $5/$10 pot-limit game, the small blind is $5 and the big blind is $10. The first player can call the big blind (in this case, $10), or raise to any amount up to the size of the pot. A raise must either equal or exceed the previous bet or raise. In this case, a pot-sized raise would be $25 ($5 small blind + $10 big blind + $10 call), meaning that, in total, player three can bet up $35. Supposing player three makes a pot-sized raise, the total pot is now $50.

If the next player wants into the hand, they must call $35, which is the size of player three's bet. If they want to raise the maximum, they would bet $120, which equals the size of the pot ($50) plus a $70 raise ($5 call + $35 raise).

In No Limit Hold 'em, a player can bet any amount from the minimum bet to the maximum number of chips they have in front of them. As in pot limit, a $5/$10 No Limit game means blinds of $5 and $10.

In Tournament Hold 'em, the blinds will increase after timed intervals. And while Texas Hold 'em generally does not have antes, in tournaments, the later rounds will include antes based upon the escalating betting limits.

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