Betting and Play

The following describes the betting and play for Texas Holdem. Check out our comprehensive glossary for definitions on all the terms used in poker.

Play always moves clockwise and starts with the players seated after the dealer button (typically represented by a plastic disk). The two players to the left of the ‘dealer’ must post a small blind and big blind respectively. The blind is a bet that is made without players having seen, or even been dealt their cards. This is done to commence betting and build the pot. Player’s hole cards are then dealt (face down), and the player to the left of the big blind proceeds with the play.

Call, Raise or Fold

At this time, players can either call (match the amount of the big blind), raise (increase the bet to a given amount) or fold (return their cards to the dealer and have no more play in this round). Play moves clockwise until all players have placed/matched an equal amount into the pot, or have folded. Once play is complete, the community cards (flop) are dealt.

The Flop

In Texas Holdem three cards are then dealt, face up and players can make their strongest hand using any combination of the community cards and their hole cards. Another round of betting commences.

Check, Raise or Fold

In this (and subsequent) rounds of betting, players can check (effectively make a bet of zero; staying in the pot), raise or fold. Naturally if a player has raised, the following player cannot check, so can either call, raise or fold. After a round of betting, another community card is dealt.

The Turn

After the forth community card is dealt, another round of betting commences. Players can once again, check (if no one has opened the betting), call, raise or fold. After the round of betting is complete a final community card is dealt.

The River

After the fifth and final community card is dealt a final round of betting commences. Once again, players can check, call (if betting has opened), raise or fold.

The Showdown

If, after the final round of betting, there are two or more people left in the pot, all players must declare their hand and show their cards. The player with the strongest hand using the five strongest cards available wins the pot. After the showdown, the cards are collected, the dealer button, and the big and small blinds, move one seating position clockwise and the players now on the big and small blinds must make their forced initial bets. Then the cards are shuffled and dealt for another hand.

If at any time throughout any of the rounds of betting, all players fold leaving only one remaining, then the remaining player wins the pot and does not have to show his/her winning hand.

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