Texas Hold'em

Texas Hold'em is the best-known and most popular form of poker. In Texas Hold'em, each player is dealt two cards (their “hole cards”). The table gets five community cards. All active players share the community cards, starting with the flop, then the turn, and then the river. At showdown, each player makes the best five-card poker hand they can from any combination of their hole cards and the community cards.

As with all poker games, a round of betting breaks up the sequence of play. Betting rounds are where strategic decisions are made.

Texas Hold'em Objective

The objective is to make the best possible betting decisions that will allow you to win the most chips over a number of hands. Every potential betting decision has an EV (expected value) and making the decisions with the highest EV over its poker career will determine how good a player is.

Texas Hold'em Rules

Texas Hold'em can be played by between two to thousands of players. In multi-table-tournaments each table will sit 6-9 players typically and they rearrange as players get out. “Heads-up” Hold'em games (1-v-1 games) have become increasingly popular since the early 00s.

In Texas Hold'em, players receive two hole cards face down, then five community cards face up. Players can use any combination of board and hole cards to make the best five-card hand they can.

The general populace tends to view “No Limit” as standard for Texas Hold'em. This indicates that players can bet, raise, and lose anything up to the number of chips that they have on the table.

The dealer then gives each player a starting hand two cards face down. Players can look at their cards from this point on, but may not show them to other players.

A betting round begins, starting to the left of the big blind. Players can either “call” the big blind (i.e. put in chips equal to the big blind), they can “raise” the bet (increasing the stakes), or they can “fold” (in which case they give up their hand).

If the pot is unraised, the big blind has the option to raise their “bet” when the action reaches them or to “check” (which is to pass without folding).

The dealer burns a card, and deals out three community cards face up in the middle of the table (this is the “flop”). A second betting round begins with the first player from the left of the dealer. As there are no blinds, all players may have the additional option to “check,” providing no player has made a bet before them in that round.

The dealer then burns and turns the fourth community card face up (the “turn”). The remaining players partake in another betting round. The dealer burns and turns the fifth card, which is the final community card (the “river”). The final round of betting takes place.

After the final round of betting is finished, the remaining players show down their cards. This starts with the last player to make a bet or raise that round. Or from the left of the dealer if there was no betting.

At showdown, players can use any five of the seven available cards (two hole cards, and five community cards) to make the highest hand and win the pot. After the winning hand, the dealer button then moves one space to the left, and the next hand begins.

Poker hand rankings for Texas Hold'em are shown below:

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