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The Basics of Texas Holdem Poker
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Texas holdem is the most popular form of poker in the world and is incredibly easy to learn. How to play a game of holdem is described below:
1) Each player is dealt 2 cards face down known as their 'hole' or 'pocket' cards.
2) Before the deal, the two players immediately to the left of the dealer must post compulsory bets known as 'blinds'. The player to the dealer's left posts the 'small blind' and the player to his left posts the 'large blind' which is twice the value of the small blind. The dealer position moves round the table one place after every hand so that everyone posts the blinds the same number of times as every other player.
3) The first round of betting begins with the player to the left of the large blind. Players can either fold (throw their cards in face down and play no further part until the next hand), call by betting an equal amount to any previous bet made, or raise to an amount higher than the previous bet made. A round of betting is completed when all players who have not folded have bet an equal amount into the pot.
4) Once the round of betting is complete, the dealer places a 'burn' card face down on the table and then deals the next 3 face up in the middle of the table. These are collectively known as 'the flop'. These are all communal cards and may be used by all players to make the best 5 card poker hand possible.
5) There is now another round of betting, involving only the remaining players. This round, and all subsequent rounds, begins with first player to the left of the dealer who is still in the game. A card is again burnt and the next card is placed face up in the middle of table next to the flop. This is known as the 'turn' card and is also a communal card.
6) Players now have 6 cards with which to make the best 5 card poker hand they can. Another round of betting ensues as before and the next card from the deck is burnt and a fifth community card is dealt face up and placed next to the turn card. This is known as the 'river' card and is the final communal card to be dealt.
7) Remaining players now have 7 cards with which to make the best 5 card hand possible and one last chance to bet. After the final round of betting, all remaining players left in the hand flip over their cards and the best hand wins. This is known as the 'showdown'.
8) The player with the best hand wins all money wagered in that pot, including the initial blind bets and all cards are returned to the deck, which is then shuffled. If two or more players have the same best 5 card hand, the pot is split between those players evenly.
9) The next hand begins with the dealer now moving round one spot to the left and the blind bets once more paid into the pot before any cards are dealt. As mentioned in point #1, the dealer position moves round the table one place after every hand played so that everyone posts the blinds the same number of times as every other player.
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