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After Chris Moneymaker won the WSOP Main Event in 2003 Texas Hold'em became a juggernaut of popularity and it still dominates the poker scene at home games, casinos and online poker rooms. If you never got around to learning, or you need to brush up on the basics in a hurry, this video will teach you to play Texas Hold'em in two minutes flat. One reason Hold'em spread so fast is how simple it is so don't be intimidated. Every hand revolves around the dealer. If there's a dedicated dealer, like in a casino, the dealer is nominally designated by a small dealer button. The dealer button moves one position to the left each hand. The position directly to the left of the dealer is called the small blind. The player in the small blind must pay a mandatory bet to start the hand. The position two to the left of the dealer is called the big blind. They have to pay a mandatory bet as well and it's usually twice the small blind bet. Every player gets two cards, starting with the small blind, and then there's a betting round where players can call, raise or fold. If you're playing No-Limit Hold'em you can bet as much as you want. In Limit Hold'em you can only bet the table limit. After the pre-flop betting round, the dealer "burns" one card face-down followed by three cards face-up. This is called the flop and it comprises three of the five community cards everyone gets to use in conjunction with their two whole cards. There's another round of betting then the dealer burns another card and deals one card face-up next to the flop. This is called the turn. Another betting round follows, then another burn card and the final community card, called the river. There's one final round of betting and then anyone still in the hand turns their cards face-up. The highest ranked five-card hand made up of any combination of the player's two hole cards and the five community cards wins the pot. If two or more players have the exact same hand, the pot is split evenly among them.
They say Texas Hold'em takes five minutes to learn and a lifetime to master. We can't promise you'll ever master it but we can teach you how to play in way less than five minutes. In the latest episode of Poker Basics we run through the fundamentals of how to play Texas Hold'em.
In Hold'em the game revolves around the dealer. It doesn't matter if each person is dealing, or you have a dedicated dealer like in a casino, the dealer button moves one seat to the left each hand and it determines who acts first in each betting round. Before you even deal the cards there are always mandatory bets called blinds.
The player directly to the left of the dealer is known as the small blind and the player to the left of that is the big blind. It's important to know what the big blind is because it determines the minimum opening bet on each betting round. So if you're playing a cash game and the blinds are 1 and 2 dollars, the minimum you can bet on any round is 2 dollars.
Next comes the deal. Each player receives two hole cards and the action begins on the player to the left of the big blind. This position is known as “ under the gun”. Action always moves clockwise around the table and players have the option of folding, calling the big blind, or raising. If more than one player is still in the hand after this round the dealer deals the flop, three of the five community cards. When you deal the flop remember to “burn” one card face down before dealing the three community cards face up in the middle of the table. Now comes another betting round with action starting on the player to the left of the dealer. Players now have the option of checking or betting.
Next comes the fourth community card, known as the turn. Another round of betting follows before the dealer puts down the final community card, known as the river. A final round of betting follows the river and then comes the showdown. The highest ranked hand wins the pot.