Over the last few years Texas Holdem poker has quicky become the most popular Poker game.
The basics of poker are very simple: At the end of each hand each player will the same amount of cards and the best 'poker hand' (see below ranking poker hands).
It is the betting that makes poker a very interesting and tactical game.
See below for a full explanation of Texas Holdem Poker and the different betting stages.
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The objective of Texas Holdem Poker is to make the best 5 card poker hand from 7 cards available to you. By the end of the hand you will have 2 cards in your hand and 5 cards in the middle of the table (these are 'community cards' and can be used by any or all players). At this point, if yours is the best hand out of all the players then you win the hand.
The interesting bit about poker is that players are allowed to bet on their poker hand at set times in the hand. After each betting round all players still in the game need to have put the same amount in the pot to make it fair.
How the betting works
Each hand starts with the two players to the left of the dealer button (white plastic button), they put a predetermined amount of money into the 'pot' before any cards are dealt, this ensures that there is something to play for on every hand.
Every player is dealt two cards, face down. These are known as the "hole cards."
A round of betting takes place, beginning with the player to the left of the two who posted the blind bets, this goes clockwise round the table with each player having the option of:
'Calling' the bet - Putting the same amount of money in as the person before.
'Raising' the bet - Putting more money in the pot than the previous person.
'Folding' - Throwing their cards in and taking further part in the hand.
Once all players have either placed the same amount of money in the pot or 'Folded' their cards the dealer then deals the 'Flop'. The Flop consists of 1 card face down (just incase anyone saw the top card) and 3 cards face up. The faceup cards are classed as 'community cards' (they are shared cards and anyone can use them).
After the flop, another round of betting takes place, beginning with the player to the left of the dealer (the button). During this and all future rounds of betting, players can check, call, raise, or fold when it's their turn to bet.
Following this betting round the dealer burns another card and plays one more face up onto the table. This is the fourth community card, is called the `Turn'.
The player to the left of the dealer (the button) begins the third round of betting.
The dealer burns another card before placing the final face-up card on the table. This card is called the 'River'.
Final Betting and The Winner
Players can now use any combination of seven cards to form the best 5 card poker hand available to them - the five community cards and the two hole cards known only to them.
The final round of betting starts with the player to the left of the dealer (the button).
After the final betting round, all players who remain in the game reveal their hands. The player who made the initial bet or the player who made the last raise shows their hand first.
After each hand played, the dealer (the button) moves clockwise round the table to the next player and the next hand will be dealt.