Texas holdem is one of the most popular card games and the most beloved poker game all over the world. A standard 52-card deck without jokers, a special table, and some additional components are used in this game. From two to ten players may participate in the game at the same table.
Aim of the GameThe aim of the game is to receive a pot by collecting the best poker hand of five community and two pocket cards, or by staying the only participant of the round.
Standard poker hands, except for the ace-king, are valid in Texas hold'em. We are going to list them in descending order: a royal flush, straight flush, four of a kind, full house, flush, straight, three of a kind (tris), two pairs, pair, and high card.
Comparison of Hands
Only five cards take part in the formation of a hand. Values of other cards are irrelevant. For example, 4, 5, 6, 7, 10 are in the flop, and the players have an 8 and 4, and an 8 and J. It is a draw.
Suits of cards are not taken into account during the comparison.
If the five highest-ranking cards that form a hand are common for players, a draw is announced. For example, 2, 2, 2, 2, A are in the flop, and players have a 10 and 9, and a 6 and 5.
A draw is also announced if the highest-ranking hand is formed from community cards, and high cards of players that are included in it are equal. For example, 2, 2, 3, 3, 6 are in the flop, and players have a 10 and 8, and a 10 and 6.
The comparison of hands of the same rank (pair, three of a kind, straight, etc.) takes place according to generally adopted poker rules.
Types of Bets
- Small blind is a bet that is equal to half the minimum bet determined by the table limit. It has to be made by the player who is sitting clockwise next to the dealer (the dealer button).
- Big blind is a bet that is equal to the minimum bet determined by the table limit. It has to be made by the player to the left of the small blind.
- Ante is a forced initial bet that is primarily made during tournaments. It is made by all players before each deal.
A special marker called button, which determines the dealer in each individual round, is used in Texas hold'em. If the croupier does not participate in the game, this player deals the cards. The player who is sitting next to him clockwise must make a small blind before the beginning of the deal, and the next player wagers a big blind.
- Pre-flop. As soon as the blinds are made, players receive two pocket cards face down. Then the first round of betting starts. This round is called pre-flop. The first decision is made by the player next to the big blind. He or she may fold, call (make a bet equal to the big bland), or raise. If one of the players raises, his or her opponents may re-raise. The next stage of the game starts when all players call.
- Flop is a next stage that starts when three face-up cards are placed on the table. They are called flop. They are community cards that can be used to form hands. Then the second round of betting starts. The first decision is made by the player who is sitting next to the button. He can bet within the limits of a given table, fold, or check, i.e. he does not fold but delegates power to decide to the next player. If a player makes a bet, his opponents may fold, call, or raise. It is not allowed to check in this case. This round ends when all contestants call.
- Turn is a round in which another community card called turn is revealed. Betting occurs in the same way as in the previous round.
- River is the last community card, which is revealed in this round. Then the last round of betting starts.
- Showdown is a round when all players who are still in game reveal their cards. The winner is determined. He or she collects the entire pot. If hands of players are equal, they share the pot.
If only one player is left in any round, he or she becomes the owner of the pot.
Then the button is transferred to the next player clockwise, the new deal starts.
Texas Hold'em has several versions of rules that regulate the upper limits of bet sizes:
- Fixed limit is a certain bet size established for each round. Four stages of betting are available: bet, raise, re-raise, and cap (final raise).
- Pot limit. The minimum bet size can not be smaller that a big blind, and the maximum one should not exceed the pot size. A re-raise can not be smaller than the previous raise unless the player goes all-in. The number of rounds of betting is not limited.
- No-limit. The minimum bet size is equal to the big blind, and the maximum one is unlimited. A re-raise can not be smaller than the previous raise unless the player goes all-in. The number of rounds of betting is not limited.
- Mixed limit. The maximum bet size is limited only in some rounds.