How to Play Texas Hold 'Em
Texas Hold 'Em is a poker game and one of the newest table games sweeping across Las Vegas casino floors. The game is simple and Texas Hold 'Em rules are easy to follow. Texas Hold em can be learned in a few minutes by anyone, and you can be playing fairly well with a few hours practice. No matter your skill level, when you arrive in Las Vegas, we recommend sitting in on one of the free Texas Hold em lessons offered by the casinos.
In Texas Hold 'Em, two cards are dealt to each player, two cards to the dealer and five community cards are dealt face-up in the center of the table. Each player will use his or her two hole cards along with the five community cards to form the best five-card (highest ranked) poker hand.
A dealer button (which is a round disk) moves clockwise from player to player with each hand. The button marks which player would be the dealer if the deal were advanced from player to player as the game went along.
The game starts with two players to the left of the dealer (the button) putting a predetermined amount of money into the pot before any cards are dealt, to make sure there's something to play for on every hand. This is called "posting the blinds."
The first player (the player to the left of the dealer) posting this predetermined amount is called the "small blind". The next person in order posts the "big blind". In most cases, the the "first blind" puts up half the minimum bet, and the "second blind" puts up the full minimum bet.
The board cards are then dealt in three sequences known as the flop, the turn, and the river.
Note: Players are allowed to call, raise, or fold when it's their turn to bet.
There are four rounds of betting in Texas Hold 'Em. Two at at the smaller limit and two at the larger limit.
The first round of betting takes place after each player has been dealt his initial two-card hand.
The second round of betting takes place after the flop has been dealt.
The third round takes place after the turn card has been dealt
The fourth and final round takes place after the river card has been dealt.
After the first betting round, the dealer discards the top card of the deck. This is called burning the card and is done to help prevent cheating by making sure no one accidentally saw the top card.
The dealer then flips the next three cards face up on the table simultaneously. These cards are called the "flop." These are the first of five community cards that all players can use, along with their pocket cards, to make the best possible poker hand.
The dealer burns another card and plays one more face up onto the table. This fourth community card is called the "turn" or "Fourth Street."
There is then another round of betting, exactly as after the flop. The player to the left of the dealer (the button) begins this third round of betting.
The dealer burns another card before placing the fifth and last community card face-up on the table. This card is called the "River" or "Fifth Street." Anytime before or after the river, if all but one player folds, the last player who didn't fold wins the pot.
At this point, if everyone has folded but you, you become the winner. If that's not the case then the only way to win a hand is in a showdown. In a showdown, players can use any combination of seven cards. The five community cards and the two hole cards known only to them to form the best possible five-card Poker hand.
All players still in the hand show their cards, starting with the player who made the initial bet or the player who made the last raise. At any point after this player showed his cards other players in the showdown may muck their hand.
The player with the best hand then wins.
This website encourages you to play responsibly by betting within your limits and by recognizing that over time the house will come out ahead.
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Share your Texas Hold 'Em Strategy
A player may use any combination of five cards to determine his or her best hand.
Two cards from his hand and three from the board
One card from his hand and four from the board
No Card from his hand and all five from the board. This is referred to as "playing the board"
Keep your eyes open for your opponents' straight and flush possibilities
Remember to remain emotionless (Poker Face) when you look at your cards
After seeing the flop, don't be afraid to cut your losses.
Consider folding before the flop if you have two non-pair cards, both less than 10
Where you sit at a Texas Hold'em table is a very important factor in how you play. The dealer position is considered the strongest and early position being the weakest.
Burning the card
Did you know...
Each king in a deck of playing cards represents a great king from history: Spades = David ; Clubs = Alexander the Great ; Hearts = Charlemagne ; Diamonds = Caesar. Click here for more Las Vegas Facts.