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How to host a no-limit Texas Hold'em poker tournament in your home

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How To Play Hold'em

Learn to deal Texas Hold'em like a pro with this poker dealing course
  1. The player to the left of the button posts the small blind.
  2. The player to the left of the small blind posts the big blind.
  3. Each player, beginning with the player to the left of the button, is dealt two cards face-down (The Pocket Cards).
  4. The first betting round begins with the player to the left of the big blind. The small and big blinds may fold, check, call, or raise, as appropriate, when called upon to act. Poker rule book
  5. The dealer burns one card and turns three community cards face-up (The Flop).
  6. The second betting round begins with the player to the left of the button.
  7. The dealer burns one card and turns one community card face-up (The Turn).
  8. The third betting round begins with the player to the left of the button.
  9. The dealer burns one card and turns one community card face-up (The River).
  10. The fourth, and final, betting round begins with the player to the left of the button.
  11. Card showdown with the pot being awarded to the winner(s).
  12. The dealer button is advanced clockwise one player.

Playing No-limit Texas Hold'em

Texas Hold’em uses a dealer button to indicate the theoretical dealer. After each hand is complete, the button moves clockwise to the next active player. This player is referred to as "the button" and is considered to be “the dealer” for that hand.

The First Round

The player to the left of the button is required to post the small blind. The small blind is usually equal to half the amount of the big blind. The player to the left of the small blind is required to post the big blind. All blinds in hold’em poker are considered live bets and the players who posted them have the option of checking, calling, raising or folding when the betting returns to their position.

After the blinds have been posted, two hole cards are dealt to each active player, after which the first betting round begins with the player to the left of the big blind. There is no limit to the number, or quantity, of raises that a player may make in any round.

A player who does not have enough chips to call a bet is declared "All-In". That player is eligible for the portion of the pot to the point of his final wager, the "main pot". All further betting action involving other players takes place in a "side pot", which is unavailable to the player who has already gone All-In.

The Second Round

After the first round of betting, the dealer burns one card and turns three community cards (The Flop) face-up on the table. The community cards are common to all the players participating in the hand.

The second betting round begins with the first active player to the left of the button.

The Third Round

After the second round of betting, the dealer burns one card and turns the fourth community card (The Turn) face-up on the table.

The third betting round begins with the first active player to the left of the button.

The Fourth Round

After the third round of betting, the dealer burns one card and turns the fifth community card (The River) face-up on the table.

The fourth, and final, betting round begins with the first active player to the left of the button.

The Showdown

After the final round of betting, there is a card showdown. Each player displays their cards and one or more winners are declared. All five cards must be shown to win. A combination of any of the following may be used:

  • Both hole cards and three community cards.
  • One hole card and four community cards.
  • All five community cards (playing the board).

The last player to bet or raise, or to check first if no one else bets, is required to show their cards first at the showdown. The remaining players may or may not show their cards as they wish.

If two or more hands are the same ranking, the winner is the one having the higher cards. If the hands are tied, the highest card not being held in common (the kicker) determines the winner. The suit order of the cards is not taken into account while determining the winning hand(s). Should poker hands be absolutely identical in ranking, the pot will be split evenly between the winning players. If there is an odd chip, the winning player to the left of the button will receive it.

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See also: How to Deal, How To Shuffle

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