Texas holdem is today's most popular card game, thanks to the Travel Channel, ESPN and the World Series of Poker. Texas holdem is the game that is played at the World Series of Poker main event. If you have seen the movie Rounders, you have seen the game of Texas holdem in action.
As it is often said, Texas holdem is easy to learn, and takes a lifetime to master.
To start, two players to the dealer's left post blinds, or forced bets prior to seeing any cards. This ensures action in every pot. There is a big blind and a small blind. The small blind is half the size of the big blind and the blinds gradually increase as the game progresses. The blinds rotate around the table as the hands play out.
After the blinds are posted, all players are dealt two cards, face down. Acting in turn, each player around the table either calls, folds, or raises the big blind. For example, if the blinds are $25/$50, then you will have to "call" by paying the $50 ante to stay in the game. If you have a great hand, you can raise the bet instead of calling and force everyone to pay more to stay in the game.
After the first round of betting is complete, three cards are dealt face up in the middle of the table. These are community cards, known as the "flop". Players use their two personal cards in addition the three community cards to make up their hand.
Another round of betting takes place. A forth community card, known as "the turn" is dealt. Yet another round of betting occurs and one last card, known as "the river" is dealt. A final round of betting takes place.
When the betting is complete, the remaining players turn over their cards. This is known as "the showdown". Whoever has the best five-card hand (taking personal and community cards into consideration) wins the entire pot. That is the game of Texas Holdem. Simple, right?
There is so much more to Texas Holdem than just this simple set of rules. As you play, you will learn that the game is more complex than it appears to be at first glance. There are numerous strategies and techniques to be learned. If you are going to be successful, you will have to sharpen your reasoning and deductive skills. You will need to learn what to do with the hand you are dealt, and how to pick up on other's hands. Most of all, you will have to play! After all, experience is the best teacher.
Good luck on your Texas Holdem journey!