Texas Hold'em Rules
Before and after each card(s) is revealed, players take turns to bet. To stay in the hand and see the next card, all players must have put the same amount of chips in the pot as each other.
The best poker hand wins the pot.
The objective of winning players is not to win every individual hand, but rather to win over the longer term by making mathematically and psychologically better decisions regarding when and how much to bet, raise, call or fold. Winning poker players work to enhance their opponents' betting and maximize their own expected gain on each round of betting, to thereby increase their long-term winnings.
Every player is dealt two cards, from the dealer's left to right.
The dealer spreads five cards - three at once, then another, then another - which can be used by all players to make their best possible five-card hand.
In Hold'em, a marker called ‘the button’ or ‘the dealer button’ indicates which player is the dealer for the current game. Before the game begins, the player immediately clockwise from the button posts the "small blind", the first forced bet. The player immediately clockwise from the small blind posts the "big blind", which is typically twice the size of the small blind, but the blinds can vary depending on the stakes and betting structure being played.
Depending on the exact structure of the game, each player may also be required to post an ‘ante’ (another type of forced bet, usually smaller than either blind, posted by all players at the table) into the pot.
The hand begins with a "pre-flop" betting round, beginning with the player to the left of the big blind (or the player to the left of the dealer, if no blinds are used) and continuing clockwise. A round of betting continues until every player has folded, put in all of their chips, or matched the amount put in by all other active players.
After the pre-flop betting round, assuming there remain at least two players taking part in the hand, the dealer deals a flop: three face-up community cards. The flop is followed by a second betting round. This and all subsequent betting rounds begin with the player to the dealer's left and continue clockwise.
After the flop betting round ends, a single community card (called the turn or fourth street) is dealt, followed by a third betting round. A final single community card (called the river or fifth street) is then dealt, followed by a fourth betting round and the showdown, if necessary.
In all casinos, the dealer will burn a card before the flop, turn, and river. Because of this burn, players who are betting cannot see the back of the next community card to come. This is done for traditional reasons, to avoid any possibility of a player knowing in advance the next card to be dealt due to its being marked.
If a player bets and all other players fold, then the remaining player is awarded the pot and is not required to show their hole cards. If two or more players remain after the final betting round, a showdown occurs. On the showdown, each player plays the best poker hand they can make from the seven cards comprising their two hole cards and the five community cards.
A player may use both of their own two hole cards, only one, or none at all, to form their final five-card hand. If the five community cards form the player's best hand, then the player is said to be playing the board and can only hope to split the pot, because each other player can also use the same five cards to construct the same hand.
If the best hand is shared by more than one player, then the pot is split equally among them, with any extra chips going to the first players after the button in clockwise order. It is common for players to have closely valued, but not identically ranked hands. Nevertheless, one must be careful in determining the best hand; if the hand involves fewer than five cards, (such as two pair or three of a kind), then kickers are used to settle ties (see the second example below). The card's numerical rank is of sole importance; suit values are irrelevant in hold 'em.