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Texas Holdem

Poker has a long history that most people are not even aware of, for years people have played one or another variation of the game and many fortunes have been won and lost with just a single hand.

The actual game variation that we know as Texas Hold’em did not evolve until the 1970’s, up until this time the most popular form of poker was 7 Card Stud. When Texas Hold’em began more and more people began to switch over and to this day it stands as the most popular variation of online poker.

This is all thanks to the televised versions of the World Series Of Poker (WSOP). Using Texas Hold’em as the main event attracted worldwide attention to the game as well as the overall skill necessary to play poker. People were learning that there was more to poker then just the luck of the draw.

The Basics

Texas Hold’em has a very specific rule set that must be followed as well as a standard protocol for the game itself. There are things that must be remembered and through this the game becomes more interesting.

First off there is the way the game is dealt, in standard tournament play the dealer is a constantly changing person at the table, this is where you will find the dealer button, this is a round disc that sits in front of the person who is pegged as the dealer. However, this person does not actually deal the cards at all. The dealer is normally a professional from the casino or if playing online the computer will deal.

Placing the dealer button in front of the different players simply tells them where the bets will be placed and in what order. With this style the first person to bet is always changing and it makes for a more even chip spread. This also makes it much harder for one person to simply sit out the game and wait for poor moves by the other players.

Bet Setup

The way betting works in Texas Hold’em is sometimes confusing to the newer players, this is because it differs from the standard five card draw poker and other variations that are common in the poker world.

First you will have the blinds. These are bets that are placed before any cards are dealt., you will have two blinds every hand, a small blind and the big blind.

The player that is seated directly to the left of the player that has the dealer button will place the small blind, then the player that is seated directly to the left of the small blind player will post the big blind.

In poker circles this is known as posting. The idea behind the blinds is simple, players must stay active in the game and it prevents those that will simply sit through a game and wait the other players out, this way all players are at risk of losing chips on the hand.

First Round

Once the blinds have been placed the cards will be dealt. In Texas Hold’em the dealer will give each player two cards face down starting with the player to their left. These are known as the hole cards and will remain with the player for the entire round.

The first round consists of the players having three choices: Fold, Bet, or Raise.

If a player chooses to fold then they will surrender their cards and be out of the hand, a player that chooses to bet must match the total amount of the big blind, and to raise the player must bet an amount over the big blind.

The first player to bet is the player directly to the left of the big blind player.

Flop Bet

Now the flop will be dealt. In this the dealer will take one card from the top of the deck and burn it, which means to discard it. Then they will lay three cards face up on the table.

These are the community cards that anyone at the table can use to create the best possible poker hand.

Now we go back to the person that started the betting. Again this is the player directly to the left of the big blind player. They have the option to Fold, Bet, or check.

The check bet is simply a pass. When a player checks they are allowing the next player and so on to make a bet. In order to stay in the game they will eventually have to bet whatever the other players have bet.

Turn and River Bet

The turn card is the fourth card that will be placed on the table. Once again the dealer will burn a card then reveal the turn. This results in another round of betting by all players left in the game.

Following the completion of those bets the dealer will burn a card and reveal the river or the last community card to be revealed. Once the card is revealed the last round of betting will begin.

Completion

Once the final round of betting is complete the players must reveal their hands to determine the winner. The player with the highest five card poker hand wins the combined pot.