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Fort Hays State University
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Texas Hold 'em


The goal of Texas hold 'em is to simply make the best 5 card poker hand possible using your "pocket cards" and the 5 face-up "community cards". The game structure is as follows:

1. Each player is dealt two cards face-down called the "pocket cards" followed by the first round of betting. You may fold at anytime.

2. The Dealer turns over three community board cards ("the flop") face-up followed by a second betting round.

3. Dealer turns over 1 more community board card ("the turn") followed by a final betting round.

4. Dealer turns over 1 final community board card ("the river") followed by a final betting round.

5. Showdown. At the shutdown for Texas Hold 'em, poker rules indicate that players may use either:

  1. Both pocket cards & three board cards
  2. One pocket card & four board cards
  3. All five board cards (playing the board)

Betting Structure and Rules

There are four possible betting rounds in Texas Hold 'em poker, shown in the poker rules above.

6. Texas Hold 'em games generally have a stakes structure with two levels. Each bet and raise during the first two rounds (after "pocket cards" are dealt and "the flop") is set at the lower limit of the stakes structure. For example in a $5/$10 Texas Hold 'em game, all bets and raises are $5 for the first two rounds. Betting and raising during the last two rounds (after "the turn" and "the river") is set at the higher limit of the stakes structure. In a $5/$10 game all bets after the turn card is dealt are $10.

7. The maximum allowable number of bets per player during any betting round in Texas Hold 'em poker is four. This includes a (1) bet, (2) raise, (3) re-raise, and (4) cap. The term cap is used to describe the 3rd raise in a round since betting is then capped and can't be raised further. Once capped, players will have only the option of calling of folding.

8. After each hand has completed, as with standard poker rules, the button (the position that bets last) moves clockwise to the next active player. This player will be considered to be playing "the button" for that hand. In Texas Hold 'em the player to the left of the button is first to receive a card and is required to post a small blind. The small blind is equal to half the lower limit bet rounded down to the nearest dollar. The player to the left of the small blind is required to post the big blind, equal to the lower limit bet. The term "blind" refers to the fact that you must bet before seeing your cards. Everyone takes a turn being the small and big blind. the blind bet keeps the game moving along and prevents someone from sitting out for hours waiting for a pair of pocket kings or aces.

9. Both blinds in Texas Hold 'em poker are considered live bets and therefore, according to poker rules, have the option of checking, calling, raising or folding when the betting action returns to their position. After the flop and each subsequent betting round, the first active Texas Hold 'em player to the left of the button is first to act. The button bets last throughout the entire hand.

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