Texas Hold’em is one of the most popular poker variations preferred by offline and online poker players alike. It is a relatively simple game with several betting rounds, making it lucrative and exciting at the same time. Texas Hold’em is a community card game with forced bets – players can form their poker hands using their own cards and the community cards dealt face up on the table, and players have to place blind bets.
Texas Hold’em gameplay is simple. After the dealer shuffles and the cards are cut, each player gets two cards facing down – visible only to them. The first two players on the left of the dealer place the blind bets – the first player places the small blind bet, the next one the big blind bet. Blind bets are called so because they are placed before the players can consult their cards. In fixed limit games the small blind bet is equal to (usually) half of the small betting amount, the big blind being equal to it.
After the cards are dealt and the blind bets are on the table, the real game can begin. Players get the chance to bet based on their initial hand in the pre-flop betting round. The player next to the one placing the big blind bet can open or check, the other players can also check themselves (if the previous player didn’t open) or call the previous bet or raise. Low value starting hands usually lead to a fold.
The player who has placed the small blind bet has to match only the difference between the amount of the small blind bet and the current bet amount.
After the pre-flop betting round the dealer places the first three community cards on the table. This is called the ‘flop’. Another betting round follows. The next community card dealt face up on the table is called the ‘turn’ – this is also followed by a round of betting, but with a twist – in fixed limit games this is the moment when the betting amount grows to double the amount of the big blind bet. Another card – the river – is dealt, followed by a final betting round.
After the final betting round, the remaining active players reveal their cards – this phase of the game is called the ‘showdown’. Players use the two cards in their hand and three cards out of the five on the table to form the best possible poker hand. The player with the highest ranking hand – according to standard poker hand ranking rules – wins the round. And the pot, of course.
Texas Hold’em is a fun game to play, and can also be lucrative – due to the large number of betting rounds the pot can reach considerable amounts.