How to Play Texas Hold ‘Em
The game is played with two ‘hole’ cards, held in each player’s hand, and five community cards on the table. The object of the game is to win the ‘pot’ with the highest hand combining hole and community cards.
Value of Hands
HIGH CARD: a hand with no pair
PAIR: two cards of the same value
TWO PAIRS: double the above
THREE OF A KIND: three cards of matching value
STRAIGHT: consecutive sequence of five cards
FLUSH: five cards in the same suit
FULL HOUSE: three of a kind with a pair
FOUR OF A KIND: four cards of matching value
STRAIGHT FLUSH: consecutive five-card sequence, same suit
ROYAL FLUSH: A,K,Q,J,10, same suit
Order of Play
Play goes clockwise, starting with the player next to the ‘button’, which represents the dealer. The first player makes a compulsory bet, the ‘little blind’, and the next makes another, the ‘big blind’, which is double the value and determines the minimum bet.
The dealer hands out two cards, one at a time. Players then place their bets or ‘fold’, i.e. return their cards without betting. The ’action’, begins with the player after the big blind.
Each player can match the previous bet (‘call’), increase it by at least double (‘raise’) or go ‘all in’. After the first round three cards are dealt face up on the table; this is the ‘flop’. Betting recommences until everyone passes,then the ‘turn’ card is dealt. Players can ‘check’, waiting to see how other bets go. Betting proceeds as before, and the final community card, the ‘river’, is dealt, followed by the final round of betting.