Texas hold’em is a variation of poker that has grown significantly in popularity since it became the game of choice for large televised poker tournaments such as the World Series of Poker (WSOP) and World Poker Tour (WPT).
The game has straightforward rules and a face pace, making it popular with amateur and professional players. The majority of poker tables at any only poker room are Texas hold’em tables.
The Aim of the Game
The aim of the game of Texas hold’em poker is to achieve the best five-card poker hand possible using your two hole cards or pocket cards and five community cards. There are four betting rounds in the game, which follow the placing of the blind bets. Following the final betting round, there is a showdown where all the players’ cards are revealed and the player with the highest ranking hand wins.
Step 1 – The Pre-Flop Bets
The pre-flop consists of two bets – the big blind and the small blind. The player sitting to the left of the dealer places the small blind – half the lower limit stake of the table. The next player to the left places the big blind – equal to the lower limit stake of the table. These bets are to ensure there will be money in the pot.
Step 2 – The Pocket (Hole) Cards
The dealer deals two cards, face down, to each player. Cards are dealt one at a time in a clockwise manner, starting with the player on the left of the big blind.
Step 3 – The First Betting Round
Each active player (those that have not folded) takes part in the betting round. The round begins with the player to the left of the dealer and moves clockwise. Players can choose to call, raise or fold. The betting round is set at the lower limit stake of the table.
Step 4 – The Flop
The dealer burns one card and deals the first three of the community cards. These cards are dealt face up into the middle of the table.
Step 5 – The Second Betting Round
The second betting round commences in much the same way as the first with the first active player to the left of the dealer beginning the round and the betting moving in a clockwise direction. Players can call, raise or fold.
Step 6 – The Turn
The dealer burns one card and deals the fourth community card face up into the center of the table. This round is also known as Fourth Street.
Step 7 – The Third Betting Round
The third betting round commences with the first active player to the left of the dealer and continues clockwise. The betting round is set at the higher limit stake of the table.
Step 8 – The River
The dealer burns one card and deals the fifth and final community card, face up in the center of the table. This round is also known as Fifth Street
Step 9 – The Fourth Betting Round
The fourth and final betting round begins with the first active player to the left of the dealer and continues clockwise around the table. Players are able to call, raise or fold. If only one player remains at this stage, he collects the pot.
Step 10 – The Showdown
If more than one player remains in the game, a showdown takes place. Players can fold at any stage of this round. Each player has a turn to show his hand, made up of a combination of his hole cards and the community cards. The player with the highest ranking hand wins the pot. If none of the remaining players hold a ranking poker hand, their highest cards are compared to determine the winner.