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Texas Hold’em Poker Rules

Betting Rounds

The Game of Texas Holdem starts with the dealer dealing two cards face down to participating players. This makes up the first round of betting where each player must choose to call or raise the blind bet, or fold their cards.
Texas Hold'em Rules

The Flop in Holdem

When the first round of betting is done, the dealer shells out 3 community cards also known as the flop. The community cards are turned face up in the center of the table and contribute to the value of every player’s hand. After the flop is analyzed another round of betting ensues. If there is no bet, a player may check. If there is a bet, then players either, fold, call, raise, or re-raise.

The Turn in Hold’em

After the second round of betting, a fourth community card is dealt—known as the turn. Another Round of betting then takes place.

The River in Hold’em

The fifth and final community card is dealt. This card is known as the river card. A final round of betting takes place and then the best five-card poker is the winner. The value of the hand is determined by combing a player’s two hole cards with any of the 5 community cards to form a hand ranking.

Blinds

A “blind bet” refers to a player placing a forced bet before he sees the value of his or her cards. The installation of blinds forces a player to get in the action instead of waiting all day for the best cards. Before cards are dealt, the first two players to the left of the dealer position are required to post blind bets to get the action going. The blind bets are considered “live” which means that they count as a bet unlike antes, which is dead money.

How Holdem Plays

In Texas Holdem, 71 percent of your hand is present at the flop. You get the most for your money up front because you get to see 71 percent of your hand for a single round of betting. If you’re staying in for the turn and river you need to already have a strong hand, be drawing towards a potentially winning hand, or reason to believe that bluffing in the future round will cause your opponents to fold.

Your Hole Cards

Poker is a game of odds and probability. While it may be true that any two cards can win, weak starting hands will not win a majority of the time. A strong player will choose his played hands wisely. Players who lack starting hand standards will have trouble consistently winning at poker.

Flop Play

You may be dealt a great hand, but a faulty flop can make them nearly worthless. If the flop doesn’t strengthen your hand or present a draw to a potentially winning hand, you should let your cards go.

Position is key

Your position is so important that some hole card combinations which can’t be profitably played from early position, are cards you might raise with when you’re the last player to act. In a normal nine-handed game, early position consists of both blinds and the two players to their left. The fifth, sixth, and seventh players to act are in middle position, and the rest are in late position. Your position is determined from your relation to the dealer which is marked by the button, which is a marker shaped like a puck. The button rotates clockwise around the table with each dealt hand. The player marked with the button is last to act.

The Turn and River Cards

Generally, you shouldn’t play beyond the flop unless you have a strong pair and a decent kicker, or a draw leading to a straight or flush with at least two opponents. Otherwise the pot won’t be big enough to make it worthwhile. Of course, there are also situational factors to consider in your decision to play. Consider the relative aggressiveness or passiveness shown by the players. Also consider tells or signs that may lead you to believe players have a weak or strong hand. A winning player is consistently patient, observant and counts all factors into whether or not he or she should play.

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