Texas Hold’em – the basics
Every player is dealt two cards face down – these are called your 'hole cards'. Then there is a round of betting where you can Check, Bet or Fold. This stage of the game is known as pre-flop and what you should do is quite dependent on those hole cards, or starting hand.
When all the betting has finished three shared cards are dealt face up in the middle of the table. This is called the flop.
After this there is another round of betting, then a fourth shared card – called the turn – is dealt.
There is another round of betting then a final shared card – called the river – and a final round of betting.
Your best hand will be made by using your hole cards and the five cards in the middle to make the best possible five card poker hand. Not sure what the best poker hands are? Check out the poker hand rankings here.
So, for example, if you have 9-9 and the shared cards are 9-9-A-5-2 you have four-of-a-kind. If the shared cards were J-Q-K-7-2 you would only have two nines.
Sometimes the best hand is made by the five shared cards on their own. If they were 10-10-10-10-A and you had 9-9 your hole cards would not play as there is a four-of-a-kind of higher value already showing.
There are two ways a hand can end.
One is when the players in a hand turn over their hole cards and the player with the best hand wins. This is known as a showdown.
The other is that someone will bet enough that everyone else folds. This is how most hands end in Texas Hold'em and that's the magic of the game – you don't always need the best hand to win.
Now let's recap...
Okay, let's go over how a hand works using only poker slang and see if you can keep up.
Firstly, you are dealt your hole cards. Then there is a round of betting. Then the players remaining see a flop. Then there is another round of betting. Then you see a turn card. Then another round of betting. Then a final river card. Then one more round of betting. The best five card hand wins. Clear? Excellent. If not, have a read of our Poker Glossary.