Texas Hold’ em poker, also known as Hold’em is the most popular poker game in the world. It is a great game from which to start as it is one of the easiest to learn. The three types of Hold’ em games are the Limit Hold’ em, the Pot Hold’ em and the No-limit Hold’ em.
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For online gaming, position in the hand is marked by a dealer button, placed in front of a player to denote the theoretical dealer. The player on the button gets to act last in all betting rounds which provides him/her an advantage over the opponents. The button moves clockwise to the next active player after each hand is completed.
In a brick or mortar set-up, Texas Hold’em is a form of poker that is generally played with at most 10 opponents at a table. Each player is dealt 2 cards known as their “hole cards” and 5 cards are placed on the table designated as “community cards”. All players share the 5 cards on the table and try to make the best 5 card poker hand using any combination of their cards and the community cards. A player has the option to use all, one or none of their cards to make the best hand possible. The person with the best hand at the end of the round takes the pot.
Winning poker hands are ranked from highest to the lowest which consists of the Royal Flush, Straight Flush, 4 of a Kind, Full House, Flush, Straight, 3 of a Kind, 2 Pairs, 1 Pair and High Card. In case of a tie, the holder of the next-highest card wins. If two players have the same combination of cards such as two straights, the player with the highest ranking card wins. If two players have exactly the same cards in different suits, they divide the winnings as suits have no rank in poker.
The dealer button in the actual scenario is a white puck that is moved clockwise to the next player after each hand. As it represents where the dealer would be, this is where the deal begins. The cards will be dealt starting with the player to the immediate left and going around the circle twice giving one card at each pass.
There are two players called “the blinds” who must post a certain amount of money before anyone is given cards. The player to the immediate left of the dealer is known as the “small blind”, while the player to the left of the small blind is known as the “big blind”. This forces at least 2 players to be in the pot and will guarantee action on every hand. The amount of money which these players must post will depend on the type of Hold’ em game. In a $5 to $10 No Limit Hold’ em game, the $5 refers to how much the small blind pays and the $10 refers to how much the big blind pay. The big blind is usually double the small blind.
After the players receive two cards, a round of betting will occur. The 3 cards known as the “flop” will be placed face-up on the table. This will be followed by another round of betting and then 1 more card known as the “turn card” or “4th Street” will be placed face up on the table. Another round of betting follows after which, the 5th and last card known as the “river card” is placed face up on the table. One final round of betting occurs before the remaining players reveal their hands.
Since the blinds are considered to be bets, the first person to act before the flop would be the person to the left of the big blind. This person must put in at least the big blind if he/she wishes to play. The action goes around the circle until the bets are finished. When the game comes down to 2 players left, it is called heads up play. The blind position reverses putting the small blind on the dealer button and the big blind on the role of the other player. This is to prevent giving the dealer an overly unfair advantage preflop and postflop.