Basic Texas Hold’em Rules:
GET STARTED: The Dealer will give each Player the same amount of chips. The Dealer will begin the game by dealing to the Player on his farthest left – this will be the first dealing position. To make things fair, after each finished hand the Dealer moves the dealing position one seat clockwise. Before dealing the first cards, the two Players to the left of the dealing position must place their small blind and large blind bets. The Dealer will instruct you on how to do this. The Dealer will then deal each Player two cards face down – these are called their HOLE cards.
EVALUATE YOUR HAND: Betting is also done in clockwise order, and the betting rounds begin with the Player to the left of the dealing position on each hand. Consequently, this gives the Player who is dealt to first a chance to see what all the other Players do before deciding how to bet his own hand. Each Player must “call” (make a bet equal to the amount of the large blind) in order to stay in the hand. A Player can decide to “fold” if they aren’t happy with their first two cards or they can “raise” the bet if they wish. If a Player raises, all the other Players must make a bet equal to the amount of the raise in order to stay in the hand.
SEE THE FLOP: After all the initial betting is finished, the Dealer will burn one card and then turn over three cards at once and place them in the middle of the table. This is called the FLOP, and these cards are shared by all the Players (i.e. everyone pretends they are in their hand).
BET AGAIN: Reevaluate your cards, considering your two HOLE cards in combination with the FLOP. If you’re still building a good hand, stay in the game. If not, you should “fold” at this time. As always, the Player on the left of the dealing position begins the betting. That Player can “fold,” “call” (which is adding a bet equal to the large blind) or “raise.” That Player can also “check” which means they’re passing on betting but want to stay in the game. Checking can either mean a Player is unsure of their hand or they don’t want to add any money to the pot. If the first Player betting does check, each subsequent Player can also check, but if one of the Players decide to make a bet, all the rest of the Players must match his bet (“call”) or they can “raise” or “fold.”
SEE THE TURN: The Dealer burns another card and then deals a fourth card in the center of the table. This is called the TURN. If this card gives you a Straight Flush or a Full House you should go “all in” (which means you are betting all of your chips). This is risky, but it can scare others into folding. You can also psych other Players out by “bluffing” and making them think your hand is better or worse than it is by raising or checking.
SEE THE RIVER: A final shared card, the RIVER, is added to those on the table. You now use the five cards on the table and the two cards in your hand to make your best poker hand and place your bets accordingly. After all the bets are in, everyone shows their cards. The person with the best combination of five cards wins. If no one has even a pair, the Player with the highest card wins the pot. If there is a tie, those Players will split the pot. Whoever has chips left will continue in the game and the dealing position moves one hand clockwise.