Texas Hold'em is a game of poker where each player receives two cards face down and then combines them with five face up community cards to make the best possible five card hand.
Texas Hold'em gets the betting started by forcing bets on two players called the blinds. Although antes are used in some tournaments, these two blinds are typically the only forced bets in hold'em. The two players immediately to the left of the dealer post the blinds before anyone receive cards, they are called the small blinds and the big blind. The name blind is used since these players have not yet seen their hole cars, they are betting "blind". Two cards are then dealt face down to each player; these are called the "hole cards." Play proceeds clockwise starting from the person after the big blind. Each player then chooses to call the big blind, raise or fold. The player placing the big blind is the last player to act and may raise, check the bet or fold.
Three community cards are then dealt face up on the table; this is called the "Flop" and all players share these cards. A round of betting takes place, with the action this time starting to the dealer's immediate left; players again choose to check, bet, raise or fold. Another community card is dealt face up; this is called the "Turn" or "Fourth Street." Another round of betting takes place, also starting to the dealer's immediate left. The fifth and final community card, called the "River" or "Fifth Street," is dealt face up and followed by the final round of betting (again starting to the dealer's immediate left).
The remaining players make the best five card hand possible using any of their two hole cards and the five community cards. The winner is either the player with the best hand or the player that is left after every other player has folded. In the case of a tie, a "kicker" card determines the winner. And if both players have the same best five cards out of seven, the pot is split.
In tournament play, all players start at the same time with an equal buy-in and do not leave the tournament until either their chips are lost or they finish in first place. Some tournaments allow players to purchase additional chips called rebuys or add-ons. Prizes are awarded based on the what place each person finished at when they lost their final chip. This is the style of play that has been made so popular on television and is used in DD Poker.
No Limit means that there is no limit to the amount a player may bet in any given round; up to the amount the player has in his stack of chips. A player can choose to go "all-in" and bet everything they have, forcing the other players to either match a very large bet or fold.
No Limit Texas Hold'em is a table stakes game which means that players can not go into their pockets for more money during a hand (if the tournament has rebuys, they can replenish after the hand is over). Table stakes also means that if they cannot match a bet, they can call with everything they have. For example, if a player goes all-in for $500 and the next person only has $400, then the first player's bet is effectively reduced to $400. The first player cannot win more than the second player has in his stack and the second player cannot win more than their remaining chips.
It gets more complicated if multiple people go all-in. Let's say player #1 goes all-in for $500, player #2 calls all-in for $400 and player #3 calls for the full amount. Assume for the sake of simplicity that these are the only bets in the pot. The "main pot" is $1,200, representing 3 times the $400 all-in bet from player #2. Then there is a "side pot" for $200, between player #1 and player #3.
At the show down, the hands of the players with money in the pot are used to determine the winner. All players' hands are considered when deciding the "main pot" but only player #1 and player #3's cards are used to determine the winner of the "side pot."
Of course, DD Poker takes care of all the math for you so you do not have to worry about calculating side pots.
Limit hold'em has fixed betting amounts, so if someone bets, raises, or calls the increments are predefined. The first two betting rounds pre-flop and flop are at the lower limit, the last two rounds, the turn and river, are at the higher limit. For example a 10-20 limit hold'em game. The big blind would be $10, and the small blind would be half of that at $5. You bet and raise in increments of $10 for pre-flop and on the flop, then $20 for the turn and river card. Each round of betting is capped at a maximum number of raises, depending on the rules of the game, typically 3 or 4.
Pot Limit allows players to bet up to the amount of money in the pot at the time of a player's bet. Players must raise at least the amount of the previous bet. The player may bet up to the amount that is in the pot, and may raise any amount up to the amount in the pot plus any bets they must call. There is no limitation on the number of raises. Pot Limit games usually have a maximum buy-in to keep the game competitive. Limit and no limit are popular in the United States, whereas pot limit is mainly played in Europe.
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