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Texas Hold'em

Texas Hold'Em is the favourite of professional Poker players. It's an aggressive, flashy, excited and unpredictable game that gets the dollars on the table and changing hands like no other form of Poker. Some of the old hard-nut players prefer 7-Card Stud but everyone else is in love with Hold'Em. It is the game that players at the World Series of Poker play to determine who takes home $1,000,000 and the champion's custom 14-karat gold bracelet.

In Hold'Em players form a five-card hand from seven available cards. Only two cards are actually held by the player as pocket cards. The other five are open, dealt to the middle of the table and shared by all players. This means there are less cards in play, which is why Hold'Em typically seats nine or more players at the table.

The Seats

The dealer is marked by a disk called the button. For each hand the button rotates to the left. Players are identified by their seat position. The dealer is seat one, the player to the dealer's left is seat two and so on, clockwise around the table to the player on the dealer's right.

Casino Hold'Em has a fixed dealer and the button rotates around the table simply to mark the rotation of theoretical dealer. Betting position significantly affects a player's opportunities so the button's position in not simply symbolic.

Beginner Hold'Em games typically starts with $1-$2 or $2-$4, but the highest can be as much as $500-$1000 or even more. Instead of a small ante in 7-Stud, Hold'Em uses two forced bets, the blinds, to get Bets on the table right from the beginning of the game.

The Open

The first player to the dealer's left - seat two - is the small blind and must kick in half the lower limit, $5 in a $10-$20 game. Seat three is the big blind and must kick in the full value of the lower limit or $10 in a $10-$20 game.

The deal rotates clockwise around the table beginning with the player to the big blind's left. Each player is dealt their first card in turn, then their second, and so on.
Since the blinds opened with their forced bets, seat four, the player to the big blind's right, bets first. They Call by matching the big blind ($10, the lower limit) and may also Raise by kicking in the big limit, $20 in the $10-$20 example game. In this round Checking is not permitted. The blinds in Hold'Em are live in that they can Call, Raise or Fold.

The Flop

Once the first betting round has completed, the dealer lays out the first three community cards in the center of the table. This is called the flop. This betting round begins with the blinds, or the first remaining seat on the dealer's left. Checking is permitted now and for the rest of the hand. Bets are placed at the lower limit ($10).
A fourth community card it dealt onto the table. Betting begins with the blinds, as before. Now, and for the rest of this game, Bets and Raises are at the high limit ($20). The turn becomes the first expensive street.
The fifth and final community card is dealt. This is also an expensive street: Bets and Raises are all at the high limit ($20).

The Showdown

As in 7 Card Stud, the best 5 card hand wins. Players may form their final hands from any combination of the table cards and their own pocket cards, even ignoring the pocket cards and using only the table cards.
In Hold'Em any player has option to see another player's pocket cards once they've been mucked. Provided the requesting player has Called or Raised the last Bet made, they simply ask the dealer and the mucked cards will be retrieved and shown.

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