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How to Play Texas Holdem

What You Need to Play Texas Holdem

A deck of 52 cards 9-10 players (though fewer is possible) A large table A small disk or some other object Playing chips

Texas Holdem Rules

Before playing, set a minimum betting limit and a maximum, say $1. The playing chips can represent any amount of money you bet; they are just symbols. A $1 chip can stand for a half dollar if you like. Finally, set one or two players as judges to settle disputes.

Each Texas Holdem game is called a hand. To begin a hand, players sit around the table. Each player has his or her chips in front of him or her. Place the disk or button on whoever is going to be the dealer. The dealer will give the cards and be the last to act every time.

Now the player on the dealer's left side must post half the minimum bet. This is the small blind. After this, the player on their left posts the full minimum bet of $1. This is the big blind. Both blinds put the right amount of chips in the center of the table, the pot.

All players are now dealt two cards each face-down. They have several betting choices to make. The next to decide is the player on the big blind's left, and so on in a clockwise manner.


Call. If they want to play on after seeing their cards, they must add the same amount of money as the last bet made (in this case, the big blind).

Fold. If they do not want to play, they must forfeit their cards and remain out of play until the next hand.

Raise. A confident or aggressive player can double the last bet - say, to $2 - challenging the others to do he same. A raise would require all previous betters (except those who folded) to decide again if they will call or re-raise. In a limit Texas Holdem game, the pot can be raised only four times the minimum per round.

The Flop, Turn and River

After everyone has either called or folded, Texas Holdem moves to the flop. Three cards are dealt openly on the table. These cards belong to everyone. That means players are free to combine these cards (mentally) with their two hidden cards to make their poker hand.

A betting round similar to the first one follows. Your opinion of your hand might change now depending on how the flop affected it. Since no one makes a blind bet here, the first player (small blind) can "check" or pass to the big blind if they like; the big blind can also check to the next player and so on until someone says "bet" (then everyone is again obligated to decide). If no one bets, the betting round ends without money being added to the pot.

A fourth open card is dealt - the turn. More betting follows.

A fifth open card is dealt - the river. A last round of betting.

There are now five community cards and two secret cards for each player. A player must make the highest-ranking poker hand they can out of these cards.

If two or more players remain, the game ends in a showdown. The players' hands are compared and the player with the best hand wins the whole pot.