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Texas Hold'em is the most popular, most exciting and most televised poker game in the world. Now is the time and this is the place to learn all about this great poker variant, which is the main component of the World Series of Poker and other lucrative tournaments.
In every hand of Texas Hold’em, each player is dealt two “pocket cards” (facedown), which only the player sees. Then, five cards are dealt face up in the center of the table (the Flop, the Turn, and the River). These are known as “community cards,” as all players can use them to form a winning five-card hand.
At William Hill Poker, Texas Hold’em is particularly popular among our Canadian members, who enjoy limit and no-limit games, along with pot-limit Hold’em. Blinds begin as low as $.01 and, for the brave of heart, they can reach $600. Learn the basics and play like a winner at William Hill Poker
To participate in a game of Texas Hold’em, every player has to “buy in” and pay a type of entrance fee. The Buy-In affords the player a seat at the table.
For pot-limit and no-limit games of $0.25/$0.50 or less, the lowest buy-in is 20 times the game’s minimum bet limit. Therefore, if the lowest best limit is $0.25, the minimum buy-in is $5 (20X $.25).
For fixed-limit and high-stakes no-limit games, the lowest buy-in is 10 times the minimum bet of the game. Thus, at a table with a $5/$10 minimum, the lowest possible buy-in is $50 (10X $5).
At the start of every hand of Texas Hold’em, the Dealer Button – a round disc that says “Dealer” - is placed in front of a different player, rotating clockwise with every hand. The player seated to the left of the Dealer must post a “Small Blind” and the player seated to the left of the Small Blind places the Big Blind. The “blinds,” which are essentially the first bets of the hand, are put down even before the cards are dealt, hence the name.
After the blinds are placed, every player gets two face-down card, which are also referred to as “hole” cards or “pocket” cards. (Only the player looks at these cards.) The first round of betting begins once these cards are dealt, starting with the player who is seated to the left of the Big Blind. Betting rotates to the left and ends with the Big Blind. During this and all rounds of betting, players can fold (opt not to continue in that hand), call (match the amount already bet), raise (enlarge the previous bet), or check (if no one has already bet). Checking is tantamount to passing.
After the two pocket cards are dealt and the initial round of betting is finished, the first three community cards – referred to as The Flop – are dealt face up in the middle of the table. These are called Community Cards because all the players left in the hand can use them to form a winning combination. After The Flop, there is a second round of betting, and then another community card, called The Turn, is dealt, followed by another round of betting.
The River is the fifth and final community card, and it is followed by the fourth and final round of betting. After this round of betting, all those left in the hand (whoever hasn’t folded yet) show their cards and hands are compared. Hand rankings determine the winner: Whoever has the best-ranked hand, using five cards from the seven available cards, wins the round.
William Hill Poker tables can seat a maximum of 10 players.
In Texas Hold’em, table position is very important, in terms of who bets first (or last), and who posts the big and small blinds. The Dealer Button is put in front of players in a clockwise rotating order, and the person to the left of the Dealer posts the Small Blind.
A “blind” is the opening bet of a hand of Texas Hold’em.
Players post big and small blinds before seeing any cards, which is the derivation of “blind.”
In fixed-limit Texas Hold’em games, the player to the left of the Dealer posts the Small Blind, and the player seated to the left of the Small Blind posts the Big Blind. The amount of the Small Blind is always equal to half of the minimum bet; for example, $4 for an $8/$16 game. The Big Blind is the equivalent of the full amount of the minimum bet, or, for instance, $8 for an $8/$16 game.
After the blinds are posted, each player receives two cards, face down. These two cards, which only the player looks at, are known as Pocket Cards or “hole” cards.
After the pocket cards are dealt and the players assess them, the first round of betting begins with the player who is positioned to the left of the Big Blind. Betting rotates to the left and ends with the Big Blind
The amounts that can be bet are determined by the table stakes. For example, at fixed-limit $10/$20 tables, $10 bets are allowed in the first and second rounds, and $20 bets are allowed in the last two rounds of betting.
In the first three rounds of betting, there cannot be more than three raises. This is also the case in the final round of betting, following the River, if there are three or more players remaining. However, if just two players are left at that point, then there is no limit to the number of raises allowed.
The above are the betting rules for fixed-limit Hold’em; however, in no-limit games, there is no limit to how much players can bet or to the number of bets and raises. The highest permissible bet is the amount that a player starts out with. In pot-limit games, the maximum raise is equal to the amount in the pot.
After the pocket cards are dealt and the first round of betting has taken place, the first community cards are dealt, and they can be used by all the players to form winning hands.
The first three community cards are called the Flop, and after the Flop is dealt, there is a (second) round of betting, starting with the player seated to the left of the Dealer Button.
The Turn is the next community card – the fourth of five. The Turn is followed by another round of betting
The fifth and final community card, which is dealt into the middle of table next to the Flop and the Turn, is called the River. It is followed by the fourth and final round of betting.
After the last round of betting, it is time to determine the winner. Players who are still in the hand show their cards, and the highest-ranked five-card hand wins the hand and takes the pot. If there is a tie – two identical hands – the pot is split equally between the two players. If there is an odd chip, it goes to the first player to the left of the Dealer Button.
After a hand ends, the chips and the cards are cleared away, the Dealer Button moves one position to the left, the big and small blinds are posted, and the next round commences with each player getting two new pocket cards.
Before it is a player’s turn to bet, the player can use the Bet-Ahead buttons:
Once it is the player’s turn to act, the Bet Ahead buttons will no longer be accessible. At that point, however, the player can use the regular Raise, Check and Fold buttons.