Poker School

Texas Holdem Poker Rules

Texas Hold'em poker-the most popular variant of all poker games has a standard 52-card deck. The minimum number of players to start a Texas Hold'em poker game is 2. While the maximum is 10. In online poker big tournaments are very common that involves hundreds of tables running at the same time.

Texas Holdem Poker Rules

Cards

In Texas Hold'em each player is dealt with two "hole cards", which are totally secret. Afterwards, five "community cards" are dealt face-up on the table to everyone at the table. Community cards are dealt in three different phases of the game, the first three cards are known as the "Flop", the fourth card - "Turn" and the final card - "River". Each player combines their hole cards with the community cards to make the most powerful hand out of it.

Position

Each round of the game contains "Button" and the "Blinds" these. "Button" is also known by the name "Dealer". However, contrary to what the name suggests, the dealers don't deal the cards. Rather, the player who is the dealer helps one to recognize the next two "Blind Bets". "Blind Bets" are the positions from where the actual action kicks off.

Blinds bets are basically forced bets applicable for the first two players to the left of the dealer. The button keeps on rotating one place to the left after each round is over. The first player to the left of the dealer is called the "Big Blind" and the one to the left of "Big Blind" is called the "Small Blind". Typically, the small blind player places half the bet of the big blind player. So for example, if the big blind places a bet of Rs.10 at the table the small blind player would place a bet of Rs.5, which is the minimum bet at a table. In heads-up battles which happen in the final stage of a tournament, the number of players left at table is two, in such cases the dealer will act as the "small blind".

Actions or Acts

The player next to the left of "Big Blind" or the "Small Blind" is also known as the "First to act". Just like the name suggests, he or she is the first player at the table to make a move. The rest of the actions at the table depend upon the move made by the "First to act" player. Typically, the "First to act" player has four options to make a move: Call, Fold, Raise and Check.

When a player clicks the "Call" button, it pushes the forced bet made by the big blind player, which typically is the minimum bet at a table. By clicking on the "Fold" button, a player folds his cards without calling on the bet. The "Raise" button is used when the player intends to make a bet larger than the big blind player. These three options are applicable to all the players on the table except for the big blind player. If no other players at the table make a raise on the minimum bet, the big blind will be offered with an extra (fourth) option called, "Check".

A check made by the big blind player initiates the "Flop" which are the first three cards on the table from the initial five table cards. Once "Flop" is dealt faced-up on the table, all of the above actions or acts will be available to the player making the first move.

Showdown

Once the betting for the fourth round has been finalized, the showdown takes place. The initial two cards of each player who are still in the game will be shown to everyone. The player holding the strongest hand wins the whole pot. In case there is more than one player with the strongest but same hand strength, the pot will be split equally among the players who are in tie.

However, if the final betting round is not finalized, as in case, if one player made a bet or did a raise and no one called, the pot will be awarded to the player who made the uncalled bet. When this happens in the earlier rounds the player wins the pot right away, and no more community cards are dealt.

At times, the players run out of chips even before the betting rounds are over. In such situations, one or more side pots will be made and then distributed to the appropriate player. Remember, even if a player pushes All-in pre-flop, the game continues till the showdown if much higher raises and bets have been made.

Sometimes a player's both hole cards can be included in the best 5-card hand, other times only one card is involved in the best 5-card hand. But rarely, none of the two hole cards are involved in making the best 5-card hand at the table. This is known as playing the board. In case, if all players are playing the board, the pot will be split equally among each players at the table.

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