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Texas Holdem

Meanwhile, the most popular variant of poker is Texas Hold'em. When poker is broadcast on television, it is almost exclusively Texas Holdem. The main tournament of the World Series of Poker (WSOP) is also a No Limit Texas Holdem poker tournament. For this reason, we will limit ourselves here to the description of the poker rules of this variant. Hold'em refers to all those poker variations where five face-up cards (community cards) are placed in the center of the table, which can be used by each player to form his poker hand, and where each player may not use more than two of his hand cards (pocket cards, hole cards).

Start of the game

At the beginning of the game, each player receives one card. The dealer button is assigned to the player with the highest card. If two players have the same card, the order of colours (highest colour first) known from the bridge decides:
Peak Peak, Spades, Heart Heart, Hearts, Diamonds, Diamonds, Cross of Clubs, Clubs. This is the only case where the colors have a meaning in relation to the winning decision.

Blinds

The player to the left of the dealer (where the dealer button is located) must place a mandatory bet, called the 'small blind' (for example, $5), his neighbour the 'big blind', generally twice the value of the small blind (for our example, $10). The remaining players do not have to make a basic bet before they receive their first cards.

Deal cards

The dealer's role changes clockwise after each game. Of course, the same person (e.g. the dealer in the casino) can always deal the cards, the player with the dealer button only fictitiously assumes the role of dealer. The player who has posted the small blind receives the first card at the deal, then the others receive a card. If all players have one card, the second card is dealt in the same order. All players now have their hand cards face down (pocket cards, hole cards).

Before the dealer deals the hole cards, or before he reveals the flop and later the turn or river cards, he always puts aside one card, a so-called burn card, face down. The purpose of this rule is that a player may be able to see the top card and take advantage of it if the dealer is negligent in holding the cards.

First Betting Round (Betting Round, Bidding Round, Betting Interval)

The player to the left of the big blind is the first to speak and opens the first betting round. He can now either:

  • call, i.e. post an amount equal to the big blind, or
  • raise or
  • get out (fold).

The other players continue this betting round in the same way. A player may not raise the bet twice in a row in the same Betting Round unless another player has raised between the two Commandments. So, if a player opens the round with a bet or raises, and all subsequent players either hold or fold, that betting round is over, and the player who raised the bet last may not raise again in that betting round.

Limits

In Texas Hold'em Poker, there are three types of limits:

  • No limit: There is only a minimum for a bet or raise but no maximum.
  • Pot limit: You can only bet as much as you currently have in the pot.
  • Split limit: In the first two betting rounds you can bet up to the lower limit, in the third betting round you can bet up to the higher limit. If the small blind is $5 and the big blind $10, the lower limit is $10 and the higher limit is $20. In each betting round, the stake may be increased no more than three times, i.e. a player opens the round with a bet, which can now be raised, further raised and the betting round concluded with a final raise. If there are only two players left in the game, the raise may continue until one player either calls or folds.

In No limit and Pot limit, the number of raises per betting round is not limited.

Flop and Second Betting Round

At the end of the first betting round, the dealer lays three cards face up on the table. These three cards are called flops. This is followed by the second round of betting. The player in first position, i.e. the player to the left of the dealer, i.e. the player who had to post the small blind, must act first in this and all subsequent betting rounds.

From this betting round on, the player who must act first can also wait (check) and not make a bet. If the player waits in first position, the next player may also wait or bet, etc. If all players check, the next community card is dealt without further betting. However, once a player has placed a bet, the following players can only either

  • call and put the same amount into the pot, or
  • raise and bet a higher amount than the previous player, or
  • fold - in which case the player discards his cards face down and gives up the game.

If one or more players have bet, the betting continues until all players have either

  • have held the mission or
  • have left the game.

Turn and third betting round

The dealer then places the fourth community card on the table. This card is called the turn. This is followed by the third betting round. If split limit is played, the higher limit applies from now on. The betting round is the same as the '6th flop and second betting round'.

River and Fourth Betting Round

At the end, the dealer places the fifth community card on the table. This last card is called the River. The fourth and final betting round takes place.

The Showdown

If there is more than one player left in the game after the last betting round, there is a showdown. Each player creates the best five-card poker combination from their two hand and five community cards. The sixth or seventh card is meaningless for the winning decision. The player,

  • who raised last in the last betting round, or,
  • if no one has raised, the player who bet first in the last betting round, or
  • if no one has placed a bet, the one who is in first position,

must fully show his hand (his hand).

All players remaining in the game can now show their cards one after the other. The player with the highest hand wins the pot. In the case of equal combinations, the pot is divided among the winners.

All in

The previous rounds of operations did not take anything into account. What happens if a player only has $50 left but would have to make $100 for a call? In this case he bets the rest and goes 'all in'. For the other players, this betting round and the following ones continue normally. But, of course, the player who went 'all in' cannot win the bets of his opponents in excess of his bet. Therefore, with the additional bets of the other players, a side pot is formed. The showdown then looks to see who has the best hand for the normal pot (where the 'all in' player is) and who has the best hand for the side pot of the remaining players. It may be that both pots are won by the same player (but not by the 'all in' player), or that the normal pot is won by the 'all in' player, and the side pot is won by the player with the second highest hand.

Special Case Heads-Up

When there are only two players left at the table, this is called 'Heads Up'. In this case, there is a special rule regarding the blinds. The player who has the dealer button must post the small blind, the other player the big blind. So before the flop the player with the small blind can act first, after the flop the player with the big blind can act.