I was introduced to poker a decade ago, and we have been “best friends” ever since. I personally find poker to be a very appealing and addicting game because it offers me something that most activities don’t offer these days – actual fun! In addition, my favorite poker game is undoubtedly Texas Hold ‘Em and not just because it’s the most popular version!

It is estimated that 14% of the total US population play poker, either online or offline. The figures are constantly growing so it’s “advisable” to learn the basic Texas Hold ‘Em rules so that you can fit in as well. Best of all, the rules are not as tricky as they might sound – you can master the Texas Hold ‘Em game within a few hours.

Let us begin with getting a general idea about what Texas Hold ‘Em is all about. Prior to dealing any cards, the two players located to the left of the card dealer have to place bets known as “Small Blind” and “Big Blind”. The “Big Blind” is twice as much as the “Small Blind”. The “pot” is the center of the poker table where the money is put. Afterwards, all players are dealt two cards faced down, also known as “hole cards”.

The player on the left of the Big Blind has to begin the betting. The lowest amount the player can bet has to meet the Big Blind. The player might decide to raise the amount, and this will become the new minimum betting amount. Then, each player has to declare whether they want to ‘call’ (bet the current amount of money), ‘raise’ (bet more), ‘check’ (pass to the other player to make decision) or ‘fold’ (leave the round).

After all players declare, the dealer places three faced-up cards known as the “community cards”. The next round of betting takes place. All declare whether they want to call, raise, check or fold. Nevertheless, in this round there is no minimum betting amount, unlike the ‘blind’ on the first round. If everything is set, we can move to the other round.

The dealer places another faced-up community card on the table and a betting round takes place just as it did before. They have to declare if they want to call, raise, check or fold so that the final round can take place. Lastly, the dealer places the final community card called “the river”. The players declare whether to bet or withdraw, a.k.a. fold.

This is the part where the game nearly comes to an end. There are a total of five community cards on the table, and each player has two cards on their hands from the beginning of the game. Using the five community cards and the two cards on their hands (known as hole cards) they have to make the best poker hand.

The player with the best poker hand wins, or in the event of two players having the same hand, they share the victory equally. I believe this concludes the basic rules of Texas Hold ‘Em and with a little practice you might learn these rules much quicker than you think!

By Maya