Perhaps the most popular card game today is Texas Hold’em. It’s perfect for VIP Poker tournaments, fundraisers, corporate events, or as just an addition to your Las Vegas themed Casino party. The basic rules of Texas Hold’em are easy to learn and once you begin playing, you’ll pick up the intricacies and strategies that make it even more and more fun!
A game of Texas Hold’em consists of 2 to 10 players. A dealer “button”, denoted by a “D” on the table, is selected with the player to his immediate left being the “small blind” and to his left, the “big blind”. If your game involves a professional dealer, the “button” will still act in the same manner, though not doing the actual dealing.
The small blind and big blind must place “blinds”, or forced bets so that the pot is never empty for any hand.
Note: For our purposes, all betting is done using chips.
Betting can be set to “limited” or “no limit”, which will affect the value of the blinds (forced bets). Let’s say it’s a 2-4 limit game. Then the small blind would post 1 dollar and the big blind would post 2 dollars. If it were a 1-3 no-limit game, then the small blind would post 1 dollar and the big blind would post 3 dollars. The big blind is typically double the amount of the small blind. The value of the blinds determines the stakes in your game.
In normal dealing fashion, each player is dealt 2 “hole” cards (face down).
Play begins as the player left of the “big blind” either calls, folds, or raises.
5 community cards are then dealt in the center of the table for all players to use with their hole cards to create the best hand of 5 cards. Betting continues in a clockwise fashion with the next player to the left, who calls, folds or raises.
The first 3 community cards, referred to as “the flop”, are then dealt followed by a second round of betting.
The next community card dealt, “the turn”, is followed by the next betting round, with the last card dealt, “the river”, leading to the final betting.
Betting after each round of cards are dealt is based on the betting amounts mentioned earlier. For example, in a 1-3 limit game, the “pre-flop” and “post-flop” amounts would be in 1 dollar increments and the bets following “the turn” and “the river” being in increments of 3 dollars.
During the betting rounds, a player may choose to “check”, or pass to the next player. If that player bets, however, the “checking” player must call, fold, or raise the stakes.
As the “betting rounds” conclude, we finally arrive at “the showdown”, where the remaining players (those that haven’t folded) show their best 5 cards. The winner is, of course, the player with the strongest hand.
Royal flush: A, K, Q, J, 10, all the same suit.
Straight flush: Five cards in sequence, all in the same suit.
Four of a kind: All four cards of the same rank.
Full house: Three of a kind with a pair.
Flush: Any five cards of the same suit, but not in a sequence.
Straight: Five cards in sequence, but not of the same suit.
Three of a kind: Three cards of the same rank.
Two pair: Two different pairs.
One pair: Two cards of the same rank.
High Card: When you haven’t made any of the hands above, the highest card plays.
The deal is then passed in the standard clockwise fashion to the next player to the left to begin the next game.
So there you have it folks!