Texas Hold’em

Over the past years Texas Hold'em (or Hold'em in short) has become the world’s most popular poker game, both in live casinos and online. In Hold'em, each player is dealt two private cards (hole cards). Five community cards are dealt face-up. A player may use any combination of the seven cards available to him. He may or may not use his hole cards to create the best five-card poker hand.

The Blinds

The dealer button indicates a dealer for the current game. Before the game begins, the players clockwise from the dealer post forced bets, known as the small and big blind. Depending on the exact structure of the game, each player may also be required to post an ante bet (another type of forced bet, usually smaller than either blind, posted by all players at the table) into the pot. Then, each player receives two hole cards.

Player Betting Options

In Hold'em, as with other forms of poker, the available actions are fold, check, bet, call or raise. Each poker player has the option to fold, to discard their cards and give up any interest in the pot. If nobody has yet made a bet, then a player may either check (decline to bet, but keep their cards), or bet. If a player has bet, then the remaining players can fold, call or raise. To call is to match the amount the previous player has bet. To raise is to not only match the previous bet, but to also increase it. Players then see their hole cards and start betting. The third player from the dealer button can fold, call or raise. If the big blind was €1, it would cost €1 to call or at least €2 to raise. Betting continues on each betting round until all active players (who have not folded) have placed equal bets in the pot.

The Flop

The flop is the point of the game in which three community cards are dealt face-up. Betting on the flop begins with the active player clockwise from the button.

The Turn

When the betting action is completed for the flop round, the turn is dealt face-up on the board. The turn is the fourth community card in Hold'em (also called Fourth Street). Next round of betting commences.

The River

When betting action is completed for the turn round, the river (also Fifth Street) is dealt face-up on the board. The river is the fifth and final community card in a Hold'em game. The last round of betting commences.

The Showdown

At the end of the final round, the last person to bet or raise shows the cards first. If there was no bet on the final round, the player clockwise from the button shows the cards first. The player with the best five-card poker hand wins the pot. In the event of identical hands, the pot will be equally divided between the players with the best hands. In Hold'em all suits are equal.

Hand Ranking

  • Royal Flush: The best hand in poker: the sequence of the ace, king, queen, jack and ten of the same suit.
  • Straight Flush: Five cards in sequence, of the same suit.
  • Four of a kind: Four cards of the same rank.
  • Full House: Three cards of the same rank, and two cards of a different, matching rank.
  • Flush: Five cards of the same suit.
  • Straight: Five cards in sequence.
  • Three of a kind: Three cards of the same rank.
  • Two pair: Two cards of a matching rank plus two cards of a different matching rank.
  • One pair: Two cards of a matching rank.
  • High card: Any hand that does not qualify under a category listed above.
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