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Rules Of Playing Texas Holdem Poker
1. The poker game of Texas Holdem can be played with as many as 10 players or as few as two players at a single table.
2. The game starts with the two players seated on the left of the dealer placing an initial bet. The correct term for this is ‘posting the blinds‘. In Texas Holdem poker, there are no antes (forced bets in which each player places an equal amount of money into the pot before the deal begins) but instead, ‘blinds’ as they are known are used.
3. The player seated on the left of the dealer posts a bet which is called the ‘small blind’, and this is usually equal to half of the minimum bet.
4. The person seated on the left of the small blind posts the ‘big blind’, and this is equal to the full minimum bet.
5. The dealer shuffles the full poker deck (52 playing cards)
6. Each of the players in the game is then dealt two cards face down and these are called the ‘hole’ or ‘pocket’ cards.
7. Next comes a round of betting which starts with the person to the left of the two who posted the blinds. The poker term for this particular round is the ‘pre-flop’. From here, Texas Holdem poker is much the same as most other games of poker in that players can choose to check, raise, or fold their cards.
8. Players are allowed to bet, raise or re-raise any amount which is equal or greater than the minimum bet which should also equal the amount of the big blind.
9. In no limit Texas Holdem, you are only limited by the number of chips or amount of money that you have in front of you and this determines your maximum bet. A player may choose to go ‘all-in’ by pushing all their chips toward the centre of the table. When this happens, either or both the player or the dealer should work out the amount of the players all-in bet. If the other players at the table wish to call, they must match the value of the bet.
10. If by any chance a player is not able to match the value of another players bet but would still like to call the bet, then that player is permitted to go all-in and play for a portion of the pot. If this happens, then the dealer should divide the original larger bet into two stacks: the first should match the amount of the caller’s all-in bet and this stack is pushed into the original pot along with the caller’s all-in bet. The second stack can then be placed into a side pot for which the all-in caller is not eligible. In this manner the other players at the table are able to continue play – raising and re-raising as they wish. At the finish of the hand, the all-in bettor is eligible to win the original pot, but not the side pot.
11. After the first betting round ends, the dealer will be seen to get rid of the top card of the deck which is known as the ‘burn’ card. This is a tradition and is always done to prevent cheating.
12. Next, the dealer flips the next three cards face up on the table. These cards are called the ‘flop’ and are communal cards that any player can use in combination with their pocket cards to form a hand of poker.
13. Next comes another round of betting starting with the player seated to the left of the dealer.
14. At the end of all the betting, the dealer burns another card and flips one more card which is called the ‘turn’ card onto the table. Any of the players may now use this sixth card to help form their five card poker hand.
15. Now, the player on the left of the dealer begins another round of betting.
16. Finally the dealer burns yet another card and places a final card face up on the table. This is known as the ‘river’ card and players may now use any of the five cards on the table or the two pocket cards to form their five card poker hand.
17. There now follows one more final round of betting which against starts with the player seated on the left of the dealer.
18. After this final round of betting, all of the remaining players in the game reveal their hands of cards beginning with the player to the left of the last player to call and this is called the ‘showdown’
19. Should the occasion arise when two or more players have the same hand of cards then the next highest card in the player’s hand is used to break the tie. This is called the ‘kicker‘
20. Should it occur that there is no kicker card and the tied players have used both pocket cards or have identical hands of cards, then the pot must be split between them.
21. The position of the dealer then moves clockwise to the next player so that another round of Texas Holdem poker play may begin.
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