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Texas Hold'em Overview

Texas Hold'em is the most popular variety of Poker games. Like most variants of Poker, the goal of Texas Hold'em is to win pots (the amount of money bet by every player in any given hand). A pot is won by the player who has the best five-card hand, using his two hole cards and the five community cards.

Game Types

Limit Poker

In Limit Poker, a maximum of 4 bets is allowed during any betting round. This includes a bet, raise, re-raise, and final raise, but in No Limit Poker and Pot Limit Poker there is no limit to the number of raises that a player can make. In Limit Poker, Bet and Raise amounts are always the same. 

Pot Limit

In Pot Limit Poker, the maximum value of Bet or Raise can never exceed the total amount already in the pot. For example: if the total amount in the pot is 10, the first player to act cannot bet more than 10. However, the second player could bet a total of 30 - 10 for his portion of the call and raise by 20, the total amount of money in the pot when the action got to him, including his call. There is no cap to the number of raises allowed in Pot-Limit Poker games.

No Limit

In any No Limit Poker game, there are no betting limits. Every player can bet any amount at any time, including all his chips (all-in). The minimum bet allowed is equal to the Big Blind.

Game Stages

The game is divided into four rounds of betting. The initial pot is formed by the Blind Bets. The first player who takes place at the table becomes a dealer. The game starts from the position next to the dealer button, a round disk identifies the dealer. If players take place at the table simultaneously, on tournaments for example, each player receives straight one card face up. In this case the deal begins from the player to the left of the virtual dealer, and that player who receives the card of maximum value first, becomes a dealer. A dealer button moves clockwise from player to player with each round.

Blinds

Before a game starts, the two players to the left of the dealer make Blind Bets, so-called because they are made before the players have seen any cards. This is called "posting the blinds". The Blinds ensure that there is some money in the pot to play for at the very start of the game. The Small Blind position is always the seat to the left of the Dealer, and the Big Blind is the seat to the left of the Small Blind. The amounts of the blinds are predetermined, and the Small Blind is usually half the Big Blind. If a player does not have enough chips to put up his blind bet, he must bet all his chips (all-in).

Pre-Flop

Every player receives two cards face down and each player can only see his cards. The player to the left of the Big Blind is the first to act and he can either:

Call - match the Big Blind amount,

Raise - increase the Big Blind amount,

Fold – throw his hand away without putting any chips in the pot.

The action then runs clockwise and, after the biggest bet made is called by at least one player, the initial pot is formed, and the next betting round (Flop) will start.

Flop

In this betting round, three Community Cards are dealt face up in the center of the table, which players can use to make their five-card hand. The player on the Small Blind begins the betting round. If he already folded his hand, the action begins on the first player to the left of the Small Blind who is yet to fold his hand.

The action then runs clockwise and, after the biggest bet made is called by at least one player, the next betting round (Turn) will start.

Turn

In this betting round, a fourth Community Card is dealt face up in the center of the table, which players can use to improve their five-card hand. The player on the Small Blind begins the betting round. If he already folded his hand, the action begins on the first player to the left of the Small Blind who is yet to fold his hand. 

The action then runs clockwise and, after the biggest bet made is called by at least one player, the next betting round (River) will start.

River

In this betting round, a fifth and last Community Card is dealt face up in the center of the table, which players can use to improve their five-card hand. The player on the Small Blind begins the betting round. If he already folded his hand, the action begins on the first player to the left of the Small Blind who is yet to fold his hand.  

 The action then runs clockwise and, after the biggest bet made is called by at least one player, the players who are still in the hand will reveal their cards (showdown).

Showdown

If more than one player remains after the last betting round, the remaining players expose and compare their hands to determine the winner (or winners). This is called the "Showdown".

A showdown can involve anywhere from two players to the entire table, depending on how many players stayed in the game up to this point. All players still in the hand show their cards, starting with the last person to bet. Once this player shows their cards, all other players in the showdown may muck their hand, essentially conceding the pot. By mucking, the players admit they have been beat without having to show their cards.

Tie

If two (or more) players tie a hand, they "chop (split) the pot" evenly among those players. The same holds true if the best possible five-card combination is formed by the community cards. Since the players won’t use their hole cards, they will have the same combination in these situations.

Game-specific

Missed Blinds Policy

To prevent players from entering games in a late position to avoid placing blinds, you will have to post an initial fee, equal to the Big Blind, or you can sit out and wait until Big Blind reaches your position.

If the player chooses to wait for the Big Blind, he will be sitting out and won't be able to join the action until the Big Blind reaches his position. If the player was at the table and then sat out for a while and missed his Big Blind, he will also have to miss Small Blind and the dealer's button. If he missed the small and big blind, he will be required to post a big blind and a 'dead' bet equal to the small blind.

All-In

If a player does not have enough chips to call the biggest bet made, he does not have to fold his hand but instead he can go All-In and bet all his chips. In these situations, the pot is divided into the Main pot (which includes the all-in player) and the Side pot.

The remaining players can keep betting into the Side pot. If the All-In player wins the hand, he wins the Main pot, but the Side pot goes to the player with the second best hand. If several players go All-In, several Side pots can be created.

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