Texas Holdem has been a favorite of poker players since its inception. Today it is the game of choice for millions. Poker rooms everywhere in the world feature it for cash games, low limit and no limit events.
Players must first purchase poker chips for a fixed buy- in amount. For example a $100 + $25 dollar buy-in may be worth $1000 in poker chips: $100 toward the prize pool and $25 to the house.
For Texas Holdem tournaments all players start with an
equal amount of chips.
The game is played on a table that seats six or nine players and a house dealer.
Before play, the dealer places a white disc called the button in front of the player immediately to his/her left. The button represents a theoretical dealer and holds an advantage because s/he is the last to act during a hand. The button moves one player to the left after each round.
The first player to the left of the button is called the small blind.
The player to the left of the small blind is called the big blind. Both players must put a pre-determined amount of money in the pot before any cards are dealt.(The amount of the big blind bet is twice that of the small blind.) Blinds also move one position to the left after each round. Their purpose is to incite action by ensuring an ample amount of money in the pot prior to play. The amounts increase after pre set timed periods.
Two cards are dealt clockwise face down to each player. The first player to the left of the big blind is under the gun and starts the action with one of three options:
Muck, (fold) the cards to stay out of the hand.
Call, by betting the amount of the big blind.
Raise, by betting twice the amount of the big blind.
The motion continues with each player in turn and ends with the big blind. If all the players only called, the big blind gets a free flop on the next segment.
The dealer burns (discards) one card and flops three cards face up. These community cards can be used by all the players to strengthen their hands. This action starts with the first player to the left of the button who has not mucked his/her hand. Players in turn can check (opt out of betting at that time) or make a bet. If player(s) bet the flop, the player(s) who checked must decide to fold or stay in by betting. In no limit games player(s) can raise any amount including going all in.
After the flop, the dealer burns one
card and turns one up. This is called the turn.
The betting proceeds in the same manner. Then comes the river, the fifth and final community card. In this element position becomes advantageous. If you’re
on the button or in a position where others have to act before you, you have
the favorable opportunity. The action continues until the player with the best
five card poker hand or the best bluffer wins the pot.
A lesser known game of Omaha Poker is also offered at most major poker rooms.
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