What is Texas Hold'Em?

John J. Jones

Texas Hold'em is a card game played as a variation of poker. Starting with a 52 card deck, each player is dealt two cards face down. These two cards will be referred to as your "pocket cards". Depending on the structure of the betting at your table, two members may have bet before the two cards are dealt. These are called "blinds."

Professional Texas Hold'em players compete for large cash jackpots.
Professional Texas Hold'em players compete for large cash jackpots.

After the cards are dealt, each member has the option of betting. This is sometimes referred to as the "pre-flop betting round." Players may either check (or pass), raise, or fold again, depending on the betting structure. Usually, the dealer will discard the top card of the deck know as the "burn" card.

Next, the dealer will flip over the next three cards face up on the table. This is called the "flop." The cards in the flop are communal and can be used by any player in combination with his or her own cards in an attempt to create the best hand at the table. After the flop, players are again given the option to bet.

The dealer then flips over one more card face up on the table. This fourth card on the table is know as the "turn" card. Another round of betting commences. The fifth and final community card, also called the river, is then dealt on the table. Players must now form the best poker hand using the five communal cards on the table and the two "pocket" cards in their hand. Again, another round of betting commences after which the players reveal their hands. The player with the best five card poker hand wins.

The game is growing in popularity as shows such as "ESPN's World Series of Poker," and "Celebrity Poker," bring in new players each day. In addition to watching the pro's and celebrities play on television, rooms and casinos are popping up all over the internet. New strategies and advice columns can be found on almost every casino site. Now, playing Texas Hold'em is just a click away!

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