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Learn To Play Texas Hold'em

Texas Hold'em is the fastest growing card game in the world. With the World Poker Tour, major Texas Hold'em events in Las Vegas and charity events across the country you need to learn how to play Texas Hold'em. 

The rules are not complex but honing your skills can take some time. We recommend getting the basics down by playing online, get software to play, or start playing with your friends for fun. If you already play poker, you'll already have some of basics down.

Texas Hold'em is just like Poker in that it is a game in which players bet into a communal pot during the course of a hand. Those players who continue to betting during the hand then have an opportunity to win the pot, and the player holding the best hand at the end of the betting wins the pot.  

Unlike Poker where everyone receive their own set of cards and can discard if they choose, Texas Hold'em uses community or shared cards to allow cards player to form their best poker hands. Lets run through an example:

The standard Texas Hold'em game is broken down into five main steps

Pre flop
Beginning with the dealer button, each player is dealt one card and then a second card. Both cards are dealt face down and review them. After all players have reviewed their cards (also known as pocket / hole cards) the betting begins. (For betting info see below)

? What is a dealer button? A dealer button is a real button that actually says dealer on it or a "d." It signifies where the dealing is done from and moves around the table after each hand of Texas Hold'em.
After the dealer deals the original cards and the initial betting is complete. The dealer deals 3 cards in the middle of the table and turns them over. This is called the "flop." These are community cards and each player uses them with the 2 card that they were dealt to create the best hand possible. (To determine hand rank see below). After the Texas Hold'em flop another round of betting occurs. 

After betting has been completed, the dealer turns over another community card in the center of the table. This fourth card is called the "turn" and another round of betting occurs.

After the turn betting is complete, then the fifth and final card is turned over, this is the last community card and this card is known as the "River." And the final round of betting occurs.

Once the betting has been completed, the remaining players in the hand show their cards in order of who bet first. Each player determines their best Texas Hold'em hand, (5 cards) by using any combination so even if one card from his pocket cards and four of the community cards creates the best Texas Hold'em hand, it is ok.  If all five of the cards in the community make the best hand then everyone splits the pot.  This is called "the board plays".  

Poker Actions - Betting Options
1. Check: a bet of zero that does not forfeit interest in the pot

2. Bet or Raise: a nonzero bet greater than preceding bets that all successive players must match or exceed or they are out of that game.

3. Call: a nonzero bet equal to a preceding bet that maintains a player's interest in the pot

4. Fold: a surrender of interest in the pot in response to another player's bet, accompanied by the loss of one's cards and previous bets

Betting normally proceeds around the table until each player has either called all bets or folded. Different poker games have various numbers of betting rounds interspersed with the receipt or replacement of cards.

So What Poker Hand Beats Another

The following is the hierarchy of poker hands, from best to worst. 

Straight Flush: All five of your cards are the same suit AND they are all in sequence. Again, a straight flush of a higher - a A,K,Q,J,10 is the highest Straight Flush.

: Four of your cards are the same.

Full House
: This is a combination of a pair and a three-of-a-kind.

Flush: All five of your cards are the same suit. They do not have to be in any sequence, they just have to be of the same suit.

Straight: All five of your cards are in numerical sequence, regardless of the suits of the cards. If there are two straights at the table, then the one of a higher sequence is the better hand.

Three-of-a-kind: Three of your cards are the same.

Two pairs: Fairly self-explanatory.

Pair: Two of your cards are the same, like 2 Jacks.

High card: If you do not have anything in your hand, then your best hand is the highest card in your hand. For example, a King-high means that nothing in your hand matches with anything else, and the King is the highest card in your hand.

Have fun and enjoy.

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