Texas Hold’em poker is the most popular type of poker in the world. For the last few years the interest in poker has been booming. Especially Texas Hold’em is becoming popular and the No Limit (NL) tournaments draw million of TV viewers from around the world.
The basic rules for Texas Hold’em are quite simple but mastering the game of poker is the quest of a lifetime.
Texas Hold’em poker is a game with somewhere between 2-10 players (most online games offer 6 or 10 seat tables). A game consisting of 2 players is known as the heads up format. When there is a maximum of 6 players it’s referred to as a 6-max game (commonly played online) and when there is up to 10 players it’s the full ring table format.
Texas Hold’em poker usually involves at table with 10 players. One player is arbitrarily labeled as “dealer”. The dealer is represented by a dealer button and often referred to as “the button”. The game starts to the left of the dealer and continues in a clockwise order.
After each hand the button moves one position to the left making the next person dealer.
In most cases either a designated dealer or a computer program will deal the cards, however the game is played in relation to the position of the “button”. The “button” is last to act in every betting round besides from the first, which makes it the best position on the table.
Before the game starts the “blinds” must be posted. The blinds are two forced bets in the beginning to start the betting action. There must be two blinds after the dealer. Small blind (SB) is the person sitting directly to the left of the dealer. Then the person to the left of the SB is the Big Blind (BB). The blinds move around the table in a clockwise manner after the completion of each hand. The “small blind” has to bet ½ of the minimum bet at the table, while the “big blind” has to bet equal to the minimum bet.
First betting round (Pre-flop)
When the blinds have been posted each player is dealt two cards face down. These are the player’s private cards (hole cards) and can/should only bee seen by the player himself. When each player has received his or her cards the betting commences.
In the first betting round the player sitting on the left hand of the Big Blind (BB) begins the betting. Each player can choose to either “fold”, “call” or “raise”.
If a player “raises” the following players must match the raise (“call”), re-reaise or fold their hand. This way, everyone still in the game has contributed an equal amount of money to the pot when the first betting round ends.
After the initial betting round three cards are dealt from the deck face-up in the middle of the table. These three cards are known as “the flop” and the cards are community cards shared by everyone at the table.
The second betting round starts after the flop initiated by the player to the left of the “button”.
After the second betting round, a 4th community card is dealt. The 4th community card is referred to as “the turn”
When the “turn” has been dealt a third betting round is initiated by the player sitting to the left of the dealer.
When the fourth betting round is done, one final community card is dealt. The 5th and final community card is known as the “the river”. When the “river” is dealt one fourth and last betting round begins. The betting begins by the first player to the left of the dealer.
If two or more players stay in the pot to showdown the winning players is the one who is able to make the best “poker hand” using their two “hole cards” and five community cards. A hand can be made with any combination of the community cards and “hole cards”. If two players can make the same hand the pot is split between them.
After showdown a new game of Texas Hold’em can begin with new poker strategy applied. The cards are shuffled and the dealer button moved one position to the left.