Texas Hold'em is currently the most popular form of poker and also the easiest to learn. The goal is to make the best hand on the table using two pocket cards (the hidden cards dealt to you) and five community cards.
Before the game
Dealer (the one dealing the cards)
The dealer deals the cards clockwise to the players. Representation of the dealer is known as the "dealer button" which changes after each round to a player to the left. It also determines in which order the blinds (forced bets) must be placed.
In online poker, there is of course no dealer; the poker software performs this task automatically.
Blinds (forced bet)
Before each round the player to the left of the dealer (small blind) must post a compulsory bet (blind), for example €5. The player to their left must post the "big blind" which is double the amount of the small blind, so €10.
This ensures that in each round, a certain amount is in the pot. The pot can grow even more throughout the course of the game and will be paid out at the end of every round to whichever player has the best hand or bluffed the best.
Before the flop, each player receives a starting hand consisting of two face down cards (also called "Hole cards" or "Pocket cards"). The player to the left of the big blind, also often referred to as "Under the gun" starts the first betting round. The player can:
- call (place the required minimum bet (big blind))
- raise (increase the size of the bet required to stay in the pot)
- fold (give up their hand and take no further action in the pot)
Each player must now decide one after another for one of the three options. If it's the big blind's turn, they can, unless the stakes have not increased, also check. The player remains in the game and the flop will be dealt.
With the flop, the dealer deals three community cards that are used by players to form their hand. Once that's done, a new betting round will begin and players have the possibility to check, as long as no bet was placed. After that, players can choose any of the three previously mentioned options. Only now it will start with the first player who sits to the left of the dealer button and who is still in the game.
Once the betting round ends, the fourth community card (Turn) will be revealed. After that another betting round will begin.
Once the betting round ends, provided that there are still participants in the game, the fifth and last community card (River) will be revealed. The last betting round follows.
If after the last betting round more than one participant is still in the race, there will be a showdown. All remaining participants show their cards and the best hand will win the entire pot.
The pot will be split if multiple players have the same hand (split pot).