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How to Play Texas Hold'em

Fortune Jack Poker

Texas Hold'em is a very popular community card poker game played all over the world. It is played using a standard deck of 52 cards and is generally played with between 2 to 11 players.

Like many other poker games, the objective of Texas Hold'em is to win the pot - the sum of money contributed by all the players through the many rounds of betting.

Note that the rest of this article is written with the assumption that you are familiar with the basics of poker hands and betting. If not, you may wish to  read the article on poker hands and poker betting basics either now or later to reinforce your understanding of the game.

Texas Hold'em Game Rules

The Setup

  • A dealer button is used to represent the player in the dealer position - the position where the first card will be dealt.
  • The player to the immediate left of the dealer button is forced to post the small blind - a forced bet whose size is equal to half the small bet.
  • The player to the left of the player who had just posted the small blind is required to post the big blind - a forced bet whose size is equal to the small bet.

Preflop

  • Once the blinds have been posted, each player is then dealt 2 pocket/hole cards in clockwise direction starting from the dealer button.
  • The 1st round of betting begins and this is when standard betting actions like bet, fold, call and raise are taken. If you are unfamiliar with these terms, read this article to learn about the betting procedures.
  • During the betting round, each player may choose to fold and forfeit the hand.
  • The remaining players who have not folded will continue to the next stage - The Flop.

The Flop

  • The dealer turns over the first 3 community cards in the center of the table. This is also called the flop.
  • Another round of betting begins. During the betting round, each player may choose to fold and forfeit the hand.
  • The remaining players who have not folded will proceed to the next stage - The Turn.

The Turn

  • The dealer turns over the fourth community card. This is also sometimes called the turn or the fourth street.
  • Another round of betting begins. During the betting round, each player may choose to fold and forfeit the hand.
  • The remaining players who have not folded will proceed to the next stage - The River.

The River

  • The dealer turns over the fifth and final community card. This is also known as the fifth street or the river.
  • The last round of betting begins. Again, during the betting round, each player may choose to fold and forfeit the hand.
  • The remaining players who have not folded will proceed to the last stage of the hand - The Showdown.

The Showdown

  • Each remaining player can now use any 5 cards out of the 2 hole/finger cards and the 5 community cards to build the best possible 5-card poker hand.
  • Starting from the player who bet first, each player will proceed to show his best possible poker hand. However, if a preceding player has already shown a higher ranking hand, the player may choose to hide (muck) his or her cards, but will then have to forfeit any claim to the pot.
  • The player with the highest ranking poker hand wins and the winner takes the pot. The pot is split equally when the hands are tied.
  • The dealer button is then moved one position in the clockwise direction and the next hand begins.

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