The basics of Texas Hold’em

Texas Hold’em is a form of poker where each player is dealt a pair of cards and then is gradually shown five more cards and bets based on the best hand they can create using the five face up cards and their own two secret cards.

The sequence of the game is played out as follows:

Each player is dealt two cards that they hold in secret. Betting begins based on the utility of the cards the players were dealt. Once initial bets have been cast, then the dealer deals three cards face up. This is called the flop. Bets are again placed based on the impact the flop has on the two cards already held by each player. Two more cards are revealed, one at a time with betting in between. These two more cards are called ‘the turn’ and ‘the river’ respectively. After the river there is one more opportunity for betting before those still playing reveal their cards and the best hand is determined. At any time in the process a player may decide to ‘fold’ which means they will stop playing the current hand and forfeit any bets that they have so far placed. If all the players have folded except one, that one is the winner and does not have to show his hand.

There are two kinds of bets, a ‘raise’ and a ‘call’. A Raise will raise the current amount required of subsequent betters to stay in the game and a call means the bet is met, but not increased. If all players call then the round of betting ends and the next stage of the game takes place.