Texas Hold'em is one of the most popular forms of poker in the world today, commonly found in casinos, and featured as the main event in the World Series of Poker and the World Poker Tour. Texas Hold'em can be played by up 22 players, but is generally played with at most 10 people.
Texas Hold'em consists of a series of betting rounds, culminating in a showdown where the player with the best hand collects all bets placed during the hand ("the pot"). Alternately, a hand ends when all players but one fold, abandoning their claims to the pot. In that case, the one remaining player wins the pot.
At the showdown, there are five face-up community cards that each player may use to make a hand. Each player also has two face-down hole cards. The player who can make the best five-card hand using their two hole cards plus the five community cards wins the pot. In the event of a tie, the pot is split.
The Blinds:Hold'em begins with the player to the dealer's left making a small blind bet, and the player two to the dealer's left making a big blind bet. The bets are "blind" because the players have not seen any cards yet. The big blind is equal in value to the minimum bet. Typically, the small blind is half that amount.
Pre-flop:After the blinds have been posted, the dealer deals two cards too each player, and a round of betting begins with the player to the left of the big blind. This is called the pre-flop betting stage.
The Flop:The dealer next sets aside the top card of the deck (face-down), and deals three cards face-up. The face-down card is called a burn card. It's sole purpose is to make it more difficult for players to cheat by knowing what card will come next (such as if they have made a distinctive mark on the backside of a card). The three face-up cards are called the flop. Another round of betting occurs, beginning with the player to the dealer's left. This is know as betting on the flop.
The Turn:The deal burns another card and deals one more card face up, called the turn. Another round of betting occurs, beginning with the player to the dealer's left. This is know as betting on the turn.
The River:The deal burns another card and deals a final face up card, called the river. A final round of betting occurs, beginning with the player to the dealer's left. This is know as betting on the river.
The Showdown:Assuming at least two players remain, a showdown occurs and the players reveal their cards. The player who can make the best five-card hand wins the pot.
Limit Texas Hold'em
In Limit Texas Hold'em, the size of the bets and raises are fixed. As an example, let's consider the game of $1/$2 Limit Texas Hold'em. The $1 and $2 values are the sizes of the small bet and the big bet, respectively. Bets and raises pre-flop and on the flop must be in $1 increments, while bets and raises on the turn and the river must be in $2 increments. Typically, each round of betting is limited to at most three raises.
Pot-Limit Texas Hold'em
In Pot-Limit Texas Hold'em, each bet must be at least the size of the big blind and at most the current size of the pot.
No-Limit Texas Hold'em
In No-Limit Texas Hold'em, each bet must be at least the size of the big blind. The maximum bet is limited only by the amount of money a player has on the table. No-Limit Texas Hold'em is the variant most often used in tournaments.