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How To Play Texas Hold 'Em

Object of the Game

The object of Texas Hold 'Em is to form the best hand out of all participating players from your 2 pocket cards and the 5 community cards on the table and collect the entire pot.

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Before You Begin

Before you begin a game of Texas Hold 'Em be sure to establish:

  • Who will deal and place the "dealer button" in front of them
  • The amount of the minimum bet
  • The number of raises and re-raises allowed per round

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Sequence of Play

  • Posting the Blinds
    • Blinds are mandatory bets made by the 1st and 2nd players (to the left of the dealer) before the initial hand is dealt. These bets ensure that there is always money in the pot.
    • Before looking at their pocket cards, the first player to the left of the dealer must place ½ of the minimum bet into the pot (small blind).
    • The second player must then place the total amount of the minimum bet into the pot (big blind).
  • Initial Deal
    • To begin the game the dealer gives 2 cards, face down, to each player (pocket cards).
  • Betting - Round 1
    • Betting begins with the player to the left of the player who placed the big blind and moves clockwise around the table.
    • Players have the option to bet, fold (drop out of the hand), raise (bet more than the previous player) or check (bet zero).
    • The round of betting ends when all players have had a chance to act at least once (refer to the rules you set at the beginning of the game for the number of raises and re-raises allowed).
  • Community Cards 1-3 (Flop)
    • The dealer now lays down 3 community cards face up on the table.
    • The remaining players use these cards and their 2 pocket cards to determine their best hand.
  • Betting - Round 2
    • Starting with the first remaining player to the left of the dealer and continuing clockwise each remaining player must bet, fold, raise or check.
  • Community Card 4 (Turn or Fourth Street)
    • The dealer now lays down 1 more community card face up on the table.
    • The remaining players use this card along with the previous 3 community cards and their 2 pocket cards to determine their best hand.
  • Betting - Round 3
    • Starting with the first remaining player to the left of the dealer and continuing clockwise each remaining player must bet, fold, raise or check.
  • Community Card 5 (River)
    • The dealer now lays down 1 more community card face up on the table.
    • The remaining players use this card along with the previous 4 community cards and their 2 pocket cards to determine their best hand.
  • Final Betting
    • Starting with the first remaining player to the left of the dealer and continuing clockwise each remaining player makes their 4th and final move towards collecting the pot.
    • Each remaining player must bet, fold, raise or check at this time.
  • The Showdown
    • Once the final round of betting has taken place the players determine their best hand using any combination of 5 cards from their 2 pocket cards and the 5 community cards.
    • All remaining players now turn over their pocket cards and show their hands.
    • The best hand out of all the remaining players wins the pot.
    • If the community cards make up the best hand then all the remaining players split the pot.

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Poker Hands

HandDescriptionExample
Royal FlushAce-high straight of the same suit
Straight Flush5 consecutive cards of the same suit
4 of a Kind4 cards of the same value
Full House3 of a kind and a pair
FlushAny 5 cards of the same suit
Straight5 cards in sequence, not the same suit
3 of a Kind3 cards of the same value
2 Pair*2 sets of 2 cards of the same value
Pair**2 cards of the same value

*2 Pair - the highest pair wins. The highest 5th card wins in the event of a tie.

**Pair - the highest pair wins. The highest 3rd card wins in the event of a tie.

Note: If your hand does not contain any of the above, your highest card determines your hand.

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