Hold'em is a poker
game for two to ten players with fairly simple rules. The object is
to make the best 5-card poker hand using any combination of the 2
cards dealt face down to you and the 5 common cards dealt face up on
the table. Here is the flow of play:
Cards are dealt from the position of Dealer, which rotates
clockwise around the table after each hand. The player
designated as Dealer for a given hand is identified by a round
"D" marker on the table. The software will automatically deal
cards on behalf of the Dealer.
To start the game, the player to the left of the Dealer puts up
the Small Blind (which is usually half the minimum bet) and the
player to his left posts the Big Blind (equal to the minimum
bet). This gets the pot started and encourages other players to
place bets. They are called "blinds" because these bets are made
before any cards are seen.
Each player is dealt two cards, called Pocket Cards, which are
visible only to the player holding them.
After all players have received their two pocket cards, there is
a Round of Betting starting with the player to the left of the
player who posted the Big Blind. Depending on prior activity in
the current hand of play, a player can fold, check, call, bet,
raise or re-raise within the bounds of the Game Limits and Table
Stakes. A round of betting may circle the table several times if
there are raises and re-raises. The round ends when all players
have either called the last bet or folded.
Next comes the Flop, where 3 cards are dealt face-up in the
common area of the table, followed by another round of betting.
Then comes the Turn, where a 4th common card is dealt face-up
next to the Flop, and a third round of betting occurs.
The final common card, called the River, is placed face-up next
to the Turn and is followed by the last round of betting.
The Showdown occurs after betting concludes. The remaining
players compare the best five-card poker hands they make using
any combination of their 2 pocket cards and the 5 common cards.
The player with the highest hand rank takes the pot.
Occasionally, two or more players will have hands of equal rank
or the best possible hand is comprised using all 5 common cards.
In these cases, the players involved share the pot.
After the pot is distributed, the Dealer button moves to the
next player on the left (clockwise around the table), and the
players to the left of the new Dealer post blinds so the deal
for a new hand can start.
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