Texas Hold’em is a variant of traditional poker rules that has gained in popularity since it became the rule-set for the World Series of Poker, a annual televised poker event. Due to the nature of the communal cards, Texas Hold’em has a rewards player skill more than chance.
The game can be played with between 2 and 10 people, and as with normal poker the aim is collect all the chips by winning pots. Pots are won by the person having the best hand, or if all other players fold before the showdown.
Before playing, a person is designated as the dealer. In Texas Hold’em, the dealer rotates, with one player acting as the dealer for one hand and then handing over the role to the person on their left. There are a variety of ways to choose the dealer, such as having all the players choose a card and having the player with the highest card be the dealer. If the game takes place somewhere with a designated dealer (such as a casino), players still receive the dealer button, even if they don’t perform the actions of the dealer.
The reason for having the rotating dealer is to allocate the blinds. The blinds dictate the minimum amount that can be bet and the stakes of the game, with the both blinds having to bet on the hand. The small blind is the player to the left of the dealer, while the big blind is the player to the left of the small blind. Once the blinds have been determined, the actual hand can begin.
The basic flow of a hand is as follows: each player gets dealt two cards (the hole) that make up their hand. They are the only ones that can see these cards. The first round of betting starts, during which players can fold (withdraw from the hand without penalty), call (equal the amount bet by the previous player) or raise (raise the bet set by the previous player). Betting carries on until all players have had a chance to either bet or fold, and until all players who didn’t fold have placed an equal amount of money into the pot. This means that sometimes players will have to place multiple bets per betting round.
After the betting, three cards are dealt in the centre of the table for all players to see. This is called the flop. After the flop, another round of betting occurs. The fourth communal card (the turn) is dealt, with another round of betting, and then the fifth and final card (the river) is dealt. The final round of betting occurs, sometimes called the showdown, and the winner takes the pot.
The winner is decided by the best five-card hand, which can be made of the player’s hole cards, along with the community cards, in whichever way provides the best five card combination. In the unlikely event that there is a tie, the pot is divided equally among st all the winners of the hand. The game ends when all but one player has lost all their chips, and the winner takes all of the chips.