Texas Hold ‘Em

Enjoy the Challenge and Allure of Holdem Poker

Many people enjoy playing Texas Hold ‘Em in the form of an easy-to-play cash game. When playing in groups, however, this popular card game is often played tournament-style with each player allotted an equal number of chips at the start. Each player is eliminated from the game after using all their chips. The objective of Texas Hold ‘Em played tournament-style is to acquire as many chips as possible, and the last player holding chips wins the game. The ranking of hands is the same as in standard poker. Prior to the dealing of each hand, two designated players ante the “small blind” and the “big blind.” Traditionally, when players are seated at a table, these two are the first two seated to the left of the dealer. The small blind is usually equal to either two-thirds or one-half of the big blind’s value. To keep it simple, begin the game with a small blind of one chip (or ten chips) and a big blind of two (or fifteen or twenty) chips. Following each deal, the two blinds rotate left one position.

Dealing begins with each player receiving two cards, placed face-down. Starting with the player positioned directly left of the big blind, all players pick from a choice of three betting moves. They then “fold” their hands, turning in their cards, “call” by duplicating the low bet (big blind), or “raise” as they bet, exceeding the big blind. The dealer then places three cards (“the flop”) in the middle of the table, face-up. After all players bet, the dealer places one more card to the flop (“the turn”). The players bet again, and the dealer adds the final card to the flop known as “the river.”

The aim of each player is to acquire the best poker hand of five cards. There is another round of betting. The highest better is the winner, unless there is a tie. In that case, the player holding the better hand of cards will win. Ultimately, the player with the highest stack of chips is the winner of the game.