How to Play
Texas Hold ‘em starts out by dealing out two cards to every player (called
pocket cards), followed by a round of betting. Then the dealer takes the top card from the deck and puts it aside. This is called a burn card. After the top card is burned, the dealer places the next three cards face up on the table. This is known as the flop. These cards are community cards, which mean that everyone can use them to make their best possible hand. Then there is another round of betting. The dealer then burns another card and flips the next community card from the deck face up. This card is known as the turn card. Another round of betting. Finally the dealer burns another card, and flips over the last community card. This card is known as the river card. The players have one last round of betting, and the high hand wins it.
You can specify just about any kind of betting limits that your group of poker players is comfortable with, but the ultimate version of this game is called no limit. This means that there is no limit on the betting in the game, but you cannot bet more than someone has to match. If someone bets all of their money, this is called going all in, and it becomes the last bet of that game, at which point the players that have called may flip their cards over and the dealer turns up any remaining cards to find out who wins the big pot.
Blinds are a form of betting in Texas Hold ‘em. Quite literally, they mean “blind betting”, which means that certain players are betting regardless of what cards they hold. These players are always to the left of the dealer. Before the cards are even dealt the player to the left of the poker dealer will put in his blind. After the cards are dealt, the next player in line will then be forced to call, raise, or fold as if the first player bet the blind. When the action comes back around the table the player who put in the blind has the option of raising his blind if it wasn’t raised already. After the flop, betting starts left of the dealer as normal. Obviously, when you are using blinds, it gives certain advantages to the position of each player. That is why it is important that the deal moves around the table, giving each player a chance to be in the blind position. If you are playing at a Casino, they will use a button to simulate the dealer position. When you are using blinds, there is no ante. The amount of the blind can be anything the players agree on.
If you are playing with five or more poker players, it can be a good idea to use a double blind. In this case the person to the left of the dealer puts up the small blind, and the next player puts up the big blind. The small blind is always half of the big blind.