Poker Texas Hold’em is the most widely played variation of poker in the world. Although the game strategy is complicated, the rules are very simple.
Each player tries to get the best combination using the two cards in their hand and the five cards on the table.
It is played with a 52 card English deck. Usually two decks of different back colours are used, so that while one is in play, the other is left shuffled beside the player who deals next time.
It can be played by two to seven players.
The order of the cards, from highest to lowest, is: ace, king (K), queen (Q), jack (J), ten, nine, eight, seven, six, five, four, three and deuce.
All suits have the same value, with no preference, in any poker hand.
Depending on the player’s financial means and poker skills, they can choose between different limits. There are four betting rounds in the game, the amount bet in the first two rounds is half that of the next two rounds. So at a $1/$2 table, $1 is bet in the first two rounds and $2 in the next two rounds. In each one of these betting rounds, the maximum number of raises is four. In other words, once a player opens with an initial bet, their opponents can raise up to three times more, but always in amounts set by the table. So by following our example of a $1/$2 table, each player can risk a maximum of $4 in each one of the first two rounds, and $8 in each one of the next two.
First of all there are the blinds. blinds are two compulsory bets, the small blind and the big blind, which must be placed during each round of the game by the two players on the dealer’s left. The first player on the dealer’s left has to place the small blind and the player to the left of this one has to place the big blind. The cost of the small blind is half the minimum bet and the big blind costs the equivalent of the minimum bet.
After placing the blinds, the dealer deals each player two cards face down. During the hand, five more cards will be placed face up in the centre of the table, called community cards, shared by all the players. At the end, each player makes their poker hand by using the best combination between their two cards and the five community cards, being able to do this by using with one of their two hole cards, both or neither. With the two hole cards dealt, there is the first round of bets.
The player sitting to the left of the one who placed the big blind starts. The options are fold, call or bet. If they decide to call, they must equal the amount of the big blind. With bet, they must raise by the minimum bet, i.e., $1 on a $1/$2 table. The betting round continues clockwise, ending with the player who placed the big blind.
If the first player has bet, the next player to speak can fold, call or raise. The turn passes to their left, concluding when all of the players have contributed the same amount of money to the pot, with those who have decided to fold having done so. If one player raises and no other players match the bet, they automatically win the hand and take the money from the pot.
The Flop. Those players who continue in the game then see the Flop, which are the first three community cards of the five from which the hand will be made. Next, there is another round of betting. This time the player who is sitting immediately to the left of the dealer starts. They can choose to check or bet. If the player checks, they retain the right to call or raise during their next turn in the same round. With bet, they must place a minimum bet in the pot. The betting round continues in the same way as the previous round, now ending with the player who is acting as dealer.
The Turn. The players who continue in the game now get to see the fourth card, called The Turn or Fourth Street. The betting round works the same way as with the Flop, with the difference that the bets are now double in value. On a $1/$2 table, after seeing the fourth card the bets go to $2.
The River The players who continue in the game now see the fifth and last card, called The River or Fifth Street, and the betting round continues as before. At the end of the turn, those players who remain in the game compare their hands and whoever has the best hand takes the pot.
In the next hand, the turn to be dealer passes to the player on left.
The only difference in the rules for Fixed Limit Texas Hold’em and No Limit Texas Hold’em is the amount of money that can be bet. In No-Limit, there is no maximum bet and a player can bet whatever they have in front of them at any time.
The minimum bet, however, is a little more complicated. When a player wants to raise, the minimum bet that they are allowed to make is the amount of the previous bet or raise in that betting round.
So, in a game where the big blind is $5, the minimum bet to raise would be $10, i.e., $5 to match the bet and $5 to raise. If the player makes this $10 raise, then the next player in turn can either fold, call the bet by $10 or raise a minimum of $15, i.e., $10 to match the bet and $5 raise, or raise a higher amount.
If the player chooses the last option and decides to bet $50 ($10 to match the bet and $40 to raise), the next player can make a minimum raise of $90 ($50 to match the bet and $40 to raise).
There is only one case in which it is possible to make a raise that is less than the amount of the previous bet, and that is when the player does not have enough money left to cover the minimum bet. When this occurs, the player can simply put in the rest of their chips. If betting continues after their raise, a separate pot is created in which they do not participate.
The rules of Pot-limit poker only differ from those of No Limit Poker in that in Pot-limit, the maximum amount that can be bet is the amount of money in the pot at the time of placing the bet. In case of a raise, the maximum amount that is allowed to be bet is obtained by adding the amount needed to call to the amount in the pot.
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