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How to Play

The beauty of Texas Hold em is that anyone can win - It doesnt matter if you have two aces or a two or a three. The game is very easy to learn but as many will find out difficult to master.

The Rules

The descriptions below assume that you are familiar with the general game play of poker, and with poker hands. They also make no assumptions about what Betting structure is used. In casino play, it is common to use a Fixed limit and two Blinds, one for half of the first-round betting limit and one for a full bet. The limit for the third and fourth betting rounds is generally double that of the first two rounds. It is also not uncommon for the fourth bet to be larger still, and for the big blind to be less than the normal first-round bet, in which case it is treated the same way a sub-minimum Bring-in is treated in stud poker. Antes may be used instead of or in addition to blinds. The game also plays very well at No limit, and many Tournaments (including the above mentioned World Series championship event) are played that way.

Play begins with each player being dealt two cards face down. These are the only cards each player will receive individually, and they will not be revealed until showdown, making Texas hold'em a Closed poker game. A first "pre-flop" betting round now happens, beginning with the player to the left of the big blind (or the dealer, if no blinds are used). Now the dealer deals a burn card, followed by three face-up Community cards called the Flop, followed by a second betting round. This and all subsequent betting rounds begin with the player to the dealer's left. After this round, a burn card and single community card called the Turn are dealt, followed by a third betting round. Finally, a burn and a single community card called the River are dealt, followed by a fourth betting round and Showdown if necessary.

On showdown, each player plays the best five-card hand he can make from the seven cards comprising his two and the Board (the five community cards). A player may use both of his own two downcards, only one, or none at all to form his final five-card hand. If the best five-card hand he can make is to play the five community cards, then he is said to be playing the board, and is entitled to split the pot with others playing the board if no one can play a better hand. It is common for players to have closely-valued hands. In particular, Kickers often are needed to break ties (but one must be careful not to break the only-five-cards rule from Poker hand), straights often split the pot, and multiple flushes may occur (where the ranks of the cards in each flush must be counted carefully to determine a winner).



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