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Texas Hold'em Rules

Texas Hold'em is a community card game with four rounds of betting.
It is the currently the most popular form of poker and the variation you may have seen being played on TV at the World Series of poker etc.

The different betting structures are explained here

Game Play

  • One player is called the dealer and a dealer 'button' is placed in front of them. For each new hand the dealear button will move clockwise one position.
  • The players to the left of the dealer is called the small blind and has to ante half of one small bet. The next player to the left is called the big blind and has to ante one small bet.
  • Every player is dealt two card face down. These are call the 'Hole' Cards.
  • The first round of betting begins. The player to the left of the big blind now has to decide whether to fold, call (a bet to match the big blind), or raise. This continues clockwise around the table until each player has acted. If a player raises the bet the betting continues until every player has had a chance to match the bet or fold.
  • Once the first round of betting is completed three cards are dealt face up in the center of the table. These cards are community cards, meaning they can be used by anyone to improve their hand, and are known as the 'Flop'.
  • The second round of betting begins with the first remaining player to the left of the dealer and again continues clockwise. The difference, in this and subsequent rounds, is that until a bet has been made by a player it is possible to 'Check'. This means make no bet. If a following player does make a bet the betting will come back round to a player who checked and they will have to bet or fold.
  • After the betting is done another community card is dealt face up next to the flop. This card is called the 'Turn'.
  • Now there is a third round of betting with the only difference being that the minimum bet is doubled from one small bet to one large bet.
  • Once this round of betting is completed the last community card is dealt face up alongside the others. This final card is the 'River'.
  • There is one last round of betting, again with the first remaining player to the left of the dealer and a minimum of one large bet.

Making a hand

  • Each player must use one , two or none of his hole cards, combined with the community cards, to make the best five card poker hand possible. See Hand Rankings.

Deciding the winner (the Showdown)

  • The first player to show their hole cards is the player who made the first bet in the last round of betting.
  • Going clockwise around the table every other player shows their card if they have a better hand or may choose to 'muck' (not show and return the cards to the dealer) if they are beaten.
  • If everybody checked on the river then the player to the left of the dealer has to show first.


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