Wanna become a Poker Pro?! Basics and info you can’t afford to overlook!

About Texas Hold ‘Em Poker

Played regularly in the World Series of Poker tournaments, Texas Hold ‘Em has emerged as the most popular variant of the poker game in the entire world today. So much so that if someone asks you whether you play poker, he/she is generally referring to Texas Hold ‘Em! This is all courtesy WSOP tournaments and the Hollywood movies like ‘Rounders!’

Let’s tell you how Texas Hold ‘Em poker is played.

Dealing of cards - The dealer hands out 2 face-down cards to all the players at the poker table. This is followed by placement of 5 face-up community cards on the table, one after the other, interspersed by rounds of betting. The idea is to enable players to make the best 5-card hands possible out of the total 7 cards available to them – 2 personal cards + 5 community cards. Every player gets the opportunity to become the dealer in the game.

Blinds - In Texas Hold ‘Em poker, ante is replaced by forced blinds. The player sitting to the left of the dealer is made the small blind, and the one sitting next to that one is made the big blind. It is mandatory for the big blind to place the minimum bet amount in the pot, while the small blind must place half of that figure.

Start of play - The play starts from the first player sitting to the left of the big blind player. He/she either folds his/her cards, matches the big blind by placing the minimum bet amount in the pot, or raises the bet by placing a higher amount in the pot. If none of the players raises the bet amount, the big blind is allowed to raise or check (pass) the amount before the start of the next round.

Flop - Once the first betting round is over, the dealer places first 3 of the 5 community cards on the table in the face-up position. This placement is referred to as the flop. Before placing the flop cards, the dealer removes the top card from the deck and places it face-down on the board. This card is discarded and is referred to as the burn card. At this point, every player at the table has 2 personal cards and 3 community cards available to him/her. Now, the next round of betting begins starting from the player sitting to the left side of the dealer.

Turn - The dealer once again discards or burns the top card from the deck after the second round of betting is over. He/she then reveals and places the 4th community card face-up on the table. This card is called the turn. It’s followed by another round of betting, starting from the player sitting to the left side of the dealer.

River - Once the third betting round is also over, the dealer discards the next card from the deck, followed by revealing the final and 5th community card face-up on the table. Players now have a total of seven cards available to them – 2 personal cards and 5 community cards. Another round of betting begins and the winner is decided based on the best 5-card hand.