Texas Hold ’em
Easily the most popular poker game of all. If you are learning the game of poker, you simply have to know how to play this one.
Number of Players
A standard deck of 52 playing cards with jokers removed.
Each player is dealt 2 “hole” cards face-down to start.
Once the hole cards have been dealt, there is a round of betting (starting with the player to the left of either the dealer or the big blind). When all bets have been resolved, the dealer “burns” a card off the top of the deck face-down (a tactic to discourage cheating), and deals 3 cards face-up in the center of the table. This is called the “flop.” The cards in the flop are common to every player’s hand, meaning each player makes a 5-card poker hand out of the 3 cards in the flop, and the 2 in their hand. Another round of betting follows. When the betting resolves, the dealer again burns a card, and deals one more card face-up next to the flop. This card is called the “turn” (or sometimes “fourth street”). This card is also common to every player’s hand. Another round of betting follows. When this round of betting resolves, the dealer “burns and turns” one final card face-up next to the others. This card is called the “river” (or sometimes fifth street), and like the others is common to each player’s hand. All players remaining now make the best 5-card poker hand possible out of any combination of the five face-up cards on the table and the two in their hand. The highest ranking hand (or highest uncalled bet) wins the pot.
For a single round of Hold ‘em, the goal is of course to win the pot. For tournament play, the goal is to collect all of the chips in the tournament and to be the last player remaining after all others have been eliminated.