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Poker

Texas holdŽem rules

Pre-flop

Before cards are dealt the forced bets must be paid, which are called the big blind and the little blind. The little blind is sometimes called the small blind as well. A bet is when money is put into the pot for the first time in a round. The amounts of the bets and blinds are predetermined, and the little blind is always half the big blind. The little blind position is always the seat to the left of the dealer, and the big blind is the seat to the left of the little blind. The dealer will then deal two cards (referred to as pocket cards or hole cards) face down to each player, one at a time, starting with the player on his left. Once the cards are dealt, each player looks at their cards; on their action they must then decide if they wish to call the current bet (the big blind, which is the highest amount bet at this point) which means to match it, fold their hand with out betting if they don't like their cards, or raise the bet by putting in more money. Each player, starting with the seat to the left of the big blind, makes their choice and acts. If a player raises the bet, each player must now call the new amount, including those who may have already acted. At any time a player may re-raise, meaning that they raise it again beyond the amount it was raised previously. If no player raises the big blind, then the player in that position may check, meaning they do not want to put more money in, or raise. It is important to note that if a players raises he may not raise again unless he was re-raised, as opposed to called. The round of betting stops when all players have either folded or called the last raise.

Flop

The dealer burns a card, which means they deal it to one side and it is not used in play, and then deals three cards face down. The dealer then turns the thee cards face up simultaneously; this is called the Flop. These are the first of five community cards that all players can use, along with their pocket cards, to make the best possible poker hand. The standard poker hand ranks are used. The player in the little blind position (once again, the first seat to the left of the dealer) is now UTG, or Under The Gun, meaning they are first to act now and on every subsequent round of betting. They must make a decision as in pre-flop play, with one change: they can choose to check if they don't want to bet or fold. Many experts advise players to stop here if they do not improve their hand, as they have now seen five of the seven cards they will use. Once again, the betting round ends only when all players have folded or called the last bet or raise.

Turn

The dealer burns another card and then deals a fourth community card, called the Turn, face up. There is another round of betting, exactly as after the flop, with the small blind.

River

After a final burn card, the dealer turns over the fifth and last community card, called the River. There is one final round of betting. At this point (or before) if all but one player folds, the last player who didn't fold wins the pot. This player may muck his hand, which means to toss it into the discard pile by the dealer without showing anyone what it was.

Showdown

A showdown occurs when a player is called after the River, and could involve anywhere from two players to the entire table, depending on how many stayed in to this point. All players still in the hand show their cards, starting with the last person to bet. The best five-card poker hand wins.