Full Tilt Poker
Roland De Wolfe
Texas Hold'em Rules
Texas Hold'em is the most popular form of poker game played today. The rules of Texas Hold’em are pretty simple and it’s just a task of getting to know the basics before you shuffle up and deal. Texas Hold’em is played with the usual 52 card deck, 13 cards of 4 suits. Hold'em games can be played with only two players or if your unfortunate enough to sit at a cramp poker table with a max 11 players.
The action starts with the dealer button. The dealer button signifies who is supposed to act as the dealer. The 2 players to the left of the dealer button post the blinds. 1 seat to the left posts the small blind, and the player 2 seats left of the button posts a big blind. The big blind is normally double the amount small blind (e.g. $5-10). In some games, especially Texas Hold’em tournaments an ante is introduced. The ante is put in to the pot by all players. So before the cards are dealt, players have a pot made up of blinds (& sometimes antes) in the middle of the table.
The cards are then dealt facing downwards, starting with the small blind and moving clockwise around the table. Each player receives 2 cards face down, which only they can see and use. These are known as ‘hole cards’.
The action starts with the player sitting left of the big blind, referred to as ‘under the gun’ (UTG). UTG decides whether to call (the big blind), raise or fold based on the strength of their pre-flop starting hands. After UTG has made their decision, the action moves clockwise and every player has the option of calling, raising or folding. If 2 or more players put in the same amount of chips, we go to the flop.
The dealer places 3 cards facing upwards in the middle of the table. This is known as ‘the flop‘. These 3 cards are community cards, meaning that each player can use them to create the best 5-card hand possible out of the hole cards and the community. Betting starts with the player on the left closest to the button. This person has the option of checking, betting or folding (though folding makes little sense at this point.). A check is passing the option of betting to the next player. If 2 or more players meet each others bets or the action is checked around, we go to the turn.
The dealer turns over the 4th community card. This is known as "the turn". The betting sequence is the same as the flop, whereby the player closest to the button on the left-side has the first option. Now players have to make the best 5-card hand out of 6 cards, the 2 hole cards a the 4 community cards. If 2 or more players put the same amount of chips in the pot, we go to the river.
The dealer places the 5th and final community card face up on the table. This is called "the river" or "5th street". All 5 community cards together are called ‘the board’. Betting occurs for the last time and if 2 or more players match each others bets, we go to the showdown.
The remaining players in the hand show their cards in order from the person who bet first (or in some casinos whoever is closet to the dealer button). Players use their 2 hole cards, and the 5 community cards to create the best 5-card hand possible. Players can use any combination from their hole cards and the board. For example, if a player’s hole cards are the Ace of Spades and the King of Hearts and the board contains 5 uncoordinated Spades, the player uses 1 of his hole cards (the Ace of Spades) and 4 of the community cards to make his/her best possible 5-card hand, the Ace-high flush. When all 5 of the cards in the community make the best hand then everyone splits the pot.