Gambling Articles -
Texas Hold ‘Em 101: A Basic Explanation
Morne Campher
By Morne Campher
Published on April 9, 2012
An easy explanation of Texas Hold 'Em poker.

 How to play

Deciding who starts the game can be determined by any
method. The dealer button is then placed in front of that player. After each hand the dealer button is moved to the next player in a clockwise direction. The dealer then deals two card, face down, to each player. These cards are
called pocket cards. It is important that each player keeps these cards to himself and not let others see them. Betting now starts. Each player gets an opportunity to place a bet, raise, check or fold.

Now the dealer turns over three community cards. They are
called the flop. This means that each player now has five cards to play with: his own pocket cards as well as the three community cards. A second round of betting now ensues.

After the betting round, the dealer turns over a fourth card
known as the turn. Sometimes this is also known as the fourth street.

The dealer now turns over a fifth and final card known as
the river. The last round of betting starts.

The showdown

Using a combination of the community cards and his pocket cards, a player tries to make the best hand he can. All remaining players (those that have not folded earlier in the game) show their cards. The one with the highest hand wins the pot. If no one has a winning hand and the community cards have the best hand, the remaining players split the pot. If it was decided before hand, the player who holds the highest card wins. This is called a kicker. The kicker also decides the outcome if two or more players hold a winning hand.

How Betting Takes Place

Following a clockwise direction, the first person to start
the betting round is the one sitting on the left-hand side of the dealer. He can then either bet, fold (turn his cards in and drop out of the game) or check (passing the opportunity to bet to the next player). After he is the done, the process repeats itself until all players have had an opportunity to take part. All bets are placed in the middle of the table. This is called the pot. Before the game can move on all players that took part in the betting should have bets equal to the highest bet in the pot. This process repeats itself after each
round of community cards are placed on the table.

If it was decided before the start of the game a player may
bet everything he has. This is called all-in and the game is called no-limit.

To ensure that there is always something in the pot, the
game utilises a big and small blind. The big blind is the person next to the dealer and the small blind is the one next to him. Antes (the minimum amount to be betted) are decided before hand. This means that before he sees his hand, the person next to the dealer already bets 50% of the ante (big blind) and the one next to him bets the ante (small blind). For example, if the ante is 2 the big blind will bet 4 and the small blind bets 2. Normal betting then starts.

Poker Hands: Lowest to Highest
  1. High Card (Ace, King, Queen, Jack, Ten, Nine… Two)
  2. A Pair (Two value matching cards)
  3. Two Pairs (Two value matching pairs)
  4. Three of a Kind (Three value matching cards)
  5. Straight (Five consecutive cards. Aces may used
    in front of a two or after a king)
  6. Flush (Five cards of the same suit)
  7. Full House (Three of a kind and a Pair)
  8. Four of a Kind (Four value matching cards)
  9. Straight Flush (Five consecutive cards of the same
  10. Royal Flush (Ten, Jack, Queen, King, Ace of the same suit)

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