Texas Holdem Basics is pretty simple – The game can be played with a minimum of 2 player plus the dealer and a comfortable maximum of 9 players plus the dealer.
Each player is dealt two card face down – these are the players hole cards which is only seen by the individual player and there are five face up cards dealt on the table which are the community cards that are shared by all the players (these cards remain on the table, but are used to create a five card hand).
Each player gets to have the button (dealer), and play is in a clockwise rotation. The first player to the dealers left is the Small Blind and left to the Small Blind is the Big Blind.
The Small Blind is the first to post a bet – this is a forced bet and is followed by a second bet by the big blind which is generally twice the size of the small blind bet. The size of these blind may vary depending on the stakes being played, and are posted prior to any cards being dealt out.
Once these blinds have been completed, the first of the Hole Cards are then dealt to each player.
Player Betting Options
There are five different actions that may take place in the game of Texas Holdem which apply to just about every game of poker and they are:- ‘fold’, ‘check’, ‘bet’, ‘call’ or ‘raise’.
Depending on the action taken by the previous player/s, will determine your next action, but each poker player always has the option to fold, and therefore gives up their hand and the pot.
A player may either check (decline to bet, but keep their cards) or bet. If a player has bet, then subsequent players can fold, call or raise. To call is to match the amount the previous player has bet. To raise is to not only match the previous bet, but to also increase it.
Once you have your two hole cards, each player now has the option to play his or her hand by calling or raising the big blind. It is at this point that the player may choose to either fold, call or raise. Betting continues until all active players (who have not folded) have placed equal bets in the pot.
Three cards are dealt face-up on the board. This is known as “the flop”. These three cards on the flop are community cards, and are available to each players still in the hand. A round of betting on the flop begins with the active player immediately clockwise from the button. Once again betting commences, however if nobody has previously bet, players may then opt to check, therefore passing the action to the next active player again in a clockwise motion.
The next card to be dealt is the “turn” or also known as the “fourth street” which is the fourth card dealt face-up on the board, and therefore the fourth community card. Another round of betting then takes place once again beginning with the active player immediately clockwise from the button, and a further round of betting/folding/raising takes place.
The fifth and final community card which is the “‘river” or “fifth street” is then dealt face-up on the board. Betting commences with the active player immediately clockwise from the button, and the same betting rules apply as they do for the flop and turn.
Should there be more than one remaining player after the final betting round has been completed, then the last person to bet or raise produces their cards face up. Should it happen that there were no bets placed on the last round, then the player immediately clockwise from the button shows their cards first.
The player with the best five-card poker hand wins the pot. In the event of there being a tie, the pot will be equally divided between the players with the best hands.
After the pot is awarded, a new hand of Hold’em is ready to be played, and the button then moves clockwise to the next player, blinds and antes are once again posted, and new hands are dealt to each player.