What is Texas Hold ‘em Poker in a Nutshell?
If anybody has ever seen a game of poker being played out at a live televised tournament, the chances are that they were watching a game of Texas Hold ‘em Poker. Texas Hold ‘em has taken the gambling industry by storm and is the most popular variation of the game at casinos today. This community card game has also been adopted as the official poker version of the annual World Series of Poker event.
What is the Object of Texas Hold ‘em Poker?
The player who manages to create the best poker hand, using traditional poker rankings, from five cards on the board and two cards in hand is declared the winner and grabs the pot.
What are the Typical Betting Structures in Texas Hold ‘em Poker?
There are two kinds of betting options available during a traditional game of Texas Hold ‘em Poker: antes and blinds.
- Antes: This betting structure is usually adopted in tournament frameworks. Essentially, an agreed upon amount is deposited into a pot at the start of each hand during a game of Texas Hold ‘em Poker.
- Blinds: This betting structure takes the form of two compulsory (‘forced’) bets that are made with every hand. The player to the left of the dealer traditionally places the bet known as the small blind – the amount of which is usually half the low limit bet. The person to the left of the player who placed the small blind, places the big blind. This is usually the equivalent to the low limit bet amount.
How is a Game of Texas Hold ‘em Poker Played out?
- Two cards are dealt face down to players around the table after the pack is shuffled. These initial cards are called ‘hole’ or ‘pocket’ cards.
- Round number one – the Preflop Round – now begins. The player to the left of those who placed the blinds starts betting. Players around the table, in turn, can choose their move – to fold, call or raise.
- The dealer burns (ie. removes) the top card in the deck.
- Round number two – the Flop Round – now begins. The top three cards in the deck are placed face up on the table. These are known as communal cards and can be used by players to create poker hands (together with the cards initially dealt to them). Betting recommences and, again, players can fold, call or raise.
- The dealer burns the top card in the deck again.
- The dealer flips another card onto the table to join the other three communal cards and another round of betting begins.
- Round number three – the River – now begins. The dealer burns one more card from the top of the deck and flips over a final card (the ‘river’) to make a total of five communal cards.
- A final round of wagering begins with the player to the left of the dealer.
- The final round – the Showdown – now begins. All players left in the game show their hands, which have been created by combining their own two dealt cards with the five communal cards.
- The player who manages to create the highest-ranking hand wins the game.