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What is Texas Holdem?

Texas Holdem is the iconic community card poker game and considered to be the most widely-played variant of poker.

Each deal has 4 betting rounds. First, each player is dealt two cards face down called the "hole" or "pocket" cards. This is followed by a round of betting. Most Hold'em games get the betting started with one or two "blind bets" to the left of the dealer. These are forced bets which must be made before seeing one's cards. Play proceeds clockwise from the blinds, with each player free to fold, call the blind bet, or raise. Usually the blinds are "live", meaning that they may raise themselves when the action gets back around to them.

Once all bets have been made three cards are placed face up on the table for all to see (called "the Flop") and use in order to improve their two "hole" cards.

After another round of betting, a fourth card is placed face up on the table. This card is called "the Turn" or "Fourth Street". Another round of betting occurs and the fifth and final card is then placed face up on the table. This card is called "the River" or "Fifth Street".

Using the two cards in the player's hand and the five face up on the table, the player creates his best five card hand and then compare them to his opponents. The best five card hand wins the pot.

The game is usually played for high only, and each player makes the best five-card combination to compete for the pot. Players usually use both their hole cards to make their best hand, but this is not required. A player may even choose to "play the board" and use no hole cards at all. Identical five-card hands split the pot; the sixth and seventh cards are not used to break ties.

Variants of Texas Holdem

There are two notable variants of Texas Holdem.

Pineapple (and Crazy Pineapple, Tahoe)

These are variants of Texas Holdem in which each player is initially dealt three cards instead of two. In Pineapple, each player then immediately discards one of the three cards he is dealt, and the game proceeds exactly as in Texas Holdem. In Crazy Pineapple, the players discard their third card after the second betting round, before the fourth community card is dealt. In Tahoe, players keep all three cards through showdown, but may not use all three of them to make a hand-each player may use none, one, or two cards from his hand, combined with those on the board, to make his final five-card hand.

Crazy Pineapple and Tahoe are often played high-low split, and play reasonably well that way, though plain Pineapple does not.

Double-Board Holdem

A split-pot variant that can be applied to many games (but that is generally only applied to normal hold' em) is "double-board". For double-board hold 'em, two separate five-card boards are dealt, and the high hand using each board takes half of the pot. For example, after the first betting round, three community cards are dealt to each of two separate boards; after the second round, another community card is dealt to each board; and before the final round, a fifth community card is dealt to each board (so there will be in total ten community cards, comprising two separate five-card hold 'em boards).

This variant of Texas Holdem is sometimes called "double-flop hold 'em", which is a bit of a misnomer, since there are not just two flops, but also two turns and two rivers.

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POKER RULES

Texas Holdem is a Poker game in which players with fully or partially-concealed cards make wagers into a communal pot during the course of a hand, after which the pot is awarded to the player or players with the best combination of cards.

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