Texas Hold ‘Em is a variation of poker that is played worldwide in casinos, and even on high profile televised competitions. Due to these televised competitions and celebrity tours, Texas Hold ‘Em has gained popularity in the past couple of years. The game is very simple to play.
Play begins with the dealer shuffling a standard 52 card deck. Most games begin with the two players sitting to the left of the dealer putting a preset amount into the pot before any cards are dealt, and is called “posting the blinds.” This ensures that there is something to play for in every hand. Generally, the “first blind” (the player to the left of the dealer) puts up half of the minimum bet, and the “second blind” puts up the full minimum bet. After blinds are posted, each player is dealt two cards, face down. These are known as the “hole cards.” A round of betting then takes place, beginning with the player to the left of the two players who posted the blinds. Players may call, raise, check, or fold when it is their turn to bet.
After the first round of betting, the dealer discards the top card of the deck, which is called burning a card, and is done to ensure that nobody at the table accidentally saw the top card, and to prevent cheating. The dealer then flips the next three cards on the table, face up. This is called “the flop” and these are community cards, for all players to use to make their best hand. After the flop, another round of betting takes place, and this round begins with the player to the left of the dealer. During this and any future rounds of betting, players may call, check, raise, or fold when it is their turn to bet. The dealer then burns another card, and places one more face up on the table, which is called “the turn” or “fourth street.” The player to the left of the dealer begins the third round of betting, then the dealer burns yet another card, and places the final card face up on the table, which is called “the river” or “fifth street.” Players may now use any combination of cards to make the best possible five card poker hand with the community cards and their two hole cards.
The fourth and final round of betting begins with the player to the left of the dealer. After the final round of betting, the players who remain in the game reveal their hands, with the player who made the last raise shows their hand first. The player who has the best five card hand wins the pot.