Beginner’s Guide to Texas Hold’em Poker
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In Texas Hold Em, the Action always rotates clockwise around the poker table.
On every hand there is a Dealer and two forced bets, called the Small Blind and Big Blind.
The first player to the left of the Dealer is always the Small Blind, the second player the Big Blind.
After every hand, the Dealer button rotates to the next player, as well as the Blinds.
Cards are dealt from left to right, one at a time, twice around the table.
If the Dealer does not receive the last card dealt, the hand is considered a misdeal if there has been action prior to the last card being dealt.
To begin, all players are dealt two down cards, which are called Hole Cards.
It is then up to the player Under the Gun (first person to the left of the Big Blind) to either call the minimum blind required to play the hand, fold, or raise.
The minimum Raise a player may make is the size of the Big Blind. Next, it is up to the player to the left of Under the Gun to call, fold, or raise.
The action continues around the table until it reaches the Small Blind, who only has to pay the difference between their forced bet and the Big Blind (i.e. 15/30 Blinds means that the Small Blind would owe 15 more to call the Blind). The Small Blind may fold or raise as well.
If there are no raises, the Big Blind may check and see the Flop, or raise.
Now the Dealer burns one card face down and places the next three cards off the top of the deck face up in a row. These cards are called the Flop, or Community Cards because every player who is in the hand will use them to make the best five card hand.
The Small Blind is always first to act after the Flop. If the Small Blind is not in the hand, the first player to the left of the Dealer who is in the hand must act first. They may choose to Check or Bet. If they Check, the next player in the hand may Check as well. It is possible for everyone to Check around the table. If this happens, the Dealer moves on to the next card. Otherwise, any player may bet when the action is on them. The minimum bet is the size of the Big Blind.
Once a player bets, all players must choose to either Call the bet, Fold their hand, or Raise (the minimum raise is the size of the Bet made).
After the Flop round is over, the Dealer burns another card and places another card face up. This is called the Turn, or Fourth Street.
Another round of betting occurs where players Check, Bet, or Fold. Next, the Dealer burns one final card and places the next card face up. This is called Fifth Street, or The River.
After a final round of betting all remaining players in the hand must make the best five card poker hand to determine who wins the pot.
Players must use one of the following combinations to make the best five card hand: – Both Hole Cards and 3 Community Cards – One Hole Card and 4 Community Cards – No Hole Cards and 5 Community Cards.
Finally, there is a Showdown to determine who wins the pot. The first player to Bet on the River Round must show their cards first. The action then goes around the table. If the next player cannot beat the previous player’s hand, they may Muck (fold their hand without showing) their cards.
To be determined the winner of a poker hand, both hole cards must be exposed for the whole table to see. If there was not betting on the River Round, the closest player to the left of the Dealer Button that is in the hand must show their cards first.