These are simple guidelines on how to play Texas Holdem. These rules assume a player knows the fundamentals of poker, including the hand rankings. Each game begins after a dealer shuffles a standard 52-card deck. If playing in a casino, the dealer is not in the game. If playing at home, the dealer is usually a part of the game.
In Texas Holdem, the first two players left of the dealer are required to put in an ante to play in the game. These are called blinds. The small blind player puts up half of what the big blind player puts up. If the blind is 100, the big blind puts up 100 to play and the small blind player must risk 50. The small blind player is to the left of the dealer and gets the first card. The betting order, deal and blinds all rotate around the circle, to the left, or clockwise.
The dealer gives each player two cards face-down. Then the first round of betting begins with the player to the left of the two blinds. A player can either bet, call, raise or fold.
Before each new card is dealt, the dealer is supposed to “burn” or discard the top card of the deck. The top card is discarded to keep things fair in case someone may have seen what the next card is in the deck. Not burning a card is one of the most common mistakes inexperienced Texas Holdem players do.
After the first round of betting, the dealer lays three community-cards face-up in the middle of the table, for all players to use. These three cards are called “the flop”
After the flop another round of betting takes place. During this and all future rounds of betting, a player may fold, check, bet, or raise, when it is their turn. After betting ends a fourth card, called “the turn” is dealt face-up and then the third round of betting begins.
Finally, a fifth card is dealt face-up. This card is called “the river” After “the river”; a final round of betting begins. Eventually, five cards should be on the table face up, these five community-cards will be used by all players in combination with their two cards to form the best possible five-card hand out of the seven cards available to them. When the betting ends in the final round all remaining players show their cards and the player with the best hand wins.