So how do you play Texas Hold’em? In Texas Holdem, players try to make the best five card poker hand according to traditional poker rankings. In this regard, Hold’em is no different from other poker games like five-card draw. These face up cards are called “community cards” because each player uses them to form a five card poker hand.
Players build their five card poker hand with the best five cards available from the seven total cards (the two hole cards and the five community cards). This can be achieved by using both hole cards combined with three community cards, one hole card combined with four community cards, or no hole cards and playing all five community cards – whatever works to make the best five card hand to obtain.
If all but one player folds by betting, the only remaining player wins the pot without showing any cards. Because of this , players don’t always have the best hand to win the pot.
Let’s cover a few specifics, including how to deal Texas Hold’em and how the betting works. A great way to explain the order of play is to talk about some of the key positions at the table – the button and the blinds (small blind and big blind).
The game moves clockwise around the table and begins with an action to the left of the dealer button. The button is a round disc that lies in front of a player and each hand is passed one seat to the left. When playing in casinos and poker rooms, the player with the dealer button doesn’t actually deal the cards (the poker room hires someone to do that). In home games with friends, on the other hand, the player with the button usually deals out the hands.
Generally, the first two players immediately to the left of the button must post a small blind and a big blind to initiate the bet. From there, the action takes place on several streets: preflop, flop, turn and river (see below).
While the dealer button determines which players should post the small and big blinds, it also determines where the deal begins.
As already mentioned, two players at the table are required to post small and large blinds before each new hand. These are forced bets that start with wagering. Without these blinds, the game would be very boring because no one would be required to put money into the pot. Players could simply wait for pocket aces to be dealt and only then play. However, the blinds ensure that there is “action” in every hand.
In tournaments, the blinds are increased at regular intervals. As the number of players keeps getting smaller and the stacks of remaining players get bigger, it is necessary that the blinds keep increasing during a tournament. In cash games, the blinds are always the same.