Legal poker is one the most popular forms of gambling, and Texas Hold’em is one of the most popular of all the legal poker games. Texas Hold’em is also called Holdem, and is a poker game of immense strategy, and also immense fun. Learning how to play Texas Hold’em is easy, but mastering the strategy of the game can take a lifetime.
Tournament style is how Texas Hold’em is most often played. Legal tournament play is when the poker game starts with a table full of players, and play is continued until each person at the table has run out of money and only one is left. That remaining player is the winner.
Now for a description of how to play legal Texas Hold’em poker:
One player is selected as the dealer for the first hand, the dealer will rotate to a new player with each new hand. The player to the left of the dealer posts the small blind, and the next player at the table is the big blind. Blinds are forced legal bets that keep the pot growing and the action moving. The dealer then deals two cards to each player at the tournament table face down. Each player will use their pocket cards in creating their final five-card hand at the end. The action then moves to the player to the left of the big blind for the initial betting. That player can either call the blind’s bet, raise, or fold. Betting continues from that point around the table, ending with the big blind.
The next step is the dealer places three cards face up in the center of the tournament table. The first three community cards in Texas Hold’em are called the flop, and each player at the table can use any of these cards to make their final hand. How each player makes their hand, plays the hand, and guesses which cards are going to come next are all part of the fun of legal Texas Hold’em.
Betting begins with the player immediately to the dealers left from now on. The small blind can now either check or bet. Betting continues counter-clockwise around the table and ends back at the dealer who is the last to act in each subsequent betting round. The dealer burns (deals face down and not in play) the next card on the deck then flips over the next card face up in the center of the table. This card is called the turn. A third round of betting begins with the small blind again and ends with the dealer.
The dealer then burns another card and deals a fifth card to the community cards in the center of the table. This fifth card is called the river and rounds out the community cards available to each player at the legal tournament table. Every player at the table now has their hand from the five community cards and two pocket cards they were dealt at the beginning, and they try and make the best five-card poker hand they can. A final round of betting begins, at the end of which each player still in the game shows their cards. The player who has made the best five-card hand wins the pot, and the dealer button is passed to the left to the next player at the table.
Now you’ve learned how to play legal Texas Hold’em at a live tournament table, and there is a lot of strategy left to learn. And of course the best way to learn poker strategy, especially with Texas Hold’em, is to play play play.