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Texas Poker - Texas Hold Em Rules

A game of Texas Poker must be played by between two and ten players seated around the poker table.

Every player takes his or her turn as the dealer and to signify this position, in front of the dealer is placed a small white disc which is known as the dealer button although it is more commonly known to poker players simply as 'The Button

texas poker dealer markerBefore the cards are dealt, the player sitting on the dealers left side must place what is known as the 'Small Blind'. This is a small but mandatory bet. The player seated to the left of the small blind must place a bet equal to twice the size of the small blind and this is known logically enough as the 'Big Blind '. In subsequent games, as the dealer button moves one place to the left after each hand, each player will get a turn in placing the small and the big blind.The only reason that these bets are placed is so that there is some money in the pot to start the game. Once the game has commenced, anyone wishing to stay in will have to match the highest bet thus far which will of course initially be the big blind.

As the game begins, each player will be dealt two cards face down and these are known as the hole or pocket cards. Because everything at the poker table always rotates in the clockwise manner, once the deal is completed, it will be the turn of the player to the left of the big blind to decide what he or she wants to do. This player can decide either to match the big blind bet and stay in the game or to fold which basically means to get out of the hand. If this player decides to match the big blind bet then they will generally say 'Call' this simply means that they are matching the bet and want to continue in the game. As play moves clockwise around the table, each player in turn will have the opportunity to call, raise the bet or fold.

Following this first round of betting, three communal cards known as the 'Flop' are dealt face up in the middle of the table and the second round of betting begins during which once again each player can decide whether to stay in the game or to fold. Next, a fourth communal card is dealt face up on the table followed by yet another betting round. This fourth card is known as the 'turn'. A fifth card known as the 'river' is the final communal card to be dealt face up on the table and the final round of betting takes place. After this final round of betting, if two or more players still remain in the pot than the players now show their hands will stop this is known as the 'Showdown'. After the Showdown, naturally the player with the highest ranking hand takes the entire pot.

If at any time in the game, a single player makes a bet that is not matched by at least one other player then this player will win the pot without having to show his hand at all and it is worthy of note that as a general rule you should never show your hand unless you have to!

The above is just a basic explanation of Texas Hold Em Poker rules. There are many subtleties in the game of Texas Hold Em and it is worth studying the rules in more detail - eg. in Wikipedia's Texas Poker Rules page.


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The Showdown

During the showdown in the final stage of a Texas Hold Em game, the winning hand of cards will comprise the best possible five card combination of the players hole cards and the five communal cards.

It should be obvious that allowing for the fact that players do not have to use either or both of their hole cards, if the five communal cards comprised for example, King, Queen, Jack and 10 of hearts that no matter what cards the various players hold, the pot would be split between all the players as they would all in common be holding a Royal Flush!