One of the most popular poker games is Texas Hold’em.
To begin the game, the two players to the left of the dealer put out blind bets. (Blinds are bets made when you haven’t seen a card yet.) The player to the immediate left of the dealer put out the small blind and the next player puts out the big blind.
All players are dealt two cards, face down. These cards are known as the “hole” cards. Then, the player to the left of the big blind (the 3rd player) calls the bet, raises it or folds. Betting continues around the table, continuing to move to the left. After all betting has finished, three cards are dealt face up in the center of the table. This deal is known as “the flop”. These flop cards are the community cards that everyone will use in combination with their own cards to make the best hand. Betting begins again with the player to the dealer’s left. A fourth card (known as the “turn”) is then delt face up on the board. Betting begins again. The fifth and final card (the “river”) is delt face up on the board. After a final round of betting, the remaining players show their cards and the person who can make the best five card hand by combining their cards with the cards on the board wins. If the five cards on the board make the best hand, everyone left in the hand divides the pot.
Knowing which cards in your hand are the best will improve your Hold’em game. If you’re delt two Aces, you’ve got the best hand possible. Two Kings, Queens or Jacks are also strong hands and difficult to beat. Combinations such as Ace-King/Queen/ Jack are a good hands as long as the flop is good. Combinations like King-Queen or King-Jack are not nearly as strong, but work very well when paired in a suit.
If you like Texas Hold’em, and want a bit of variety in your game, try adding a few variations during the night. Double Flop Hold’em is a variation of Texas Hold’em where two sets of community cards are delt. Each player still delt two cards to make their hand, but will get to make two separate hands, one for each set of community cards. The community cards are delt in two rows of five, just as if you were playing on two tables. Players make their best hand for each row and the pot is split between the winning hand for each board. It is possible for one person to scoop the whole pot by winning both hands.