Texas Hold'em Poker: Rules and Description
Up to 10 players plus a dealer are seated around a table.
In front of one of the players is a round disk or button. This dealer button determines the order of betting (explained later) and moves to the left one player at a time, after each hand.
Before the cards are dealt at the beginning of each hand, the two players directly to the left of the dealer button must post "blinds". To post a blind is to place a bet before getting cards. The player to the immediate left of the dealer button posts the "small blind," equal to half of the minimum bet (e.g. $5 for a 10-20 game). The player to the left of the small blind posts the "big blind," equal to the amount of the minimum bet (e.g. $10 for a 10-20 game).
Once the blinds have been posted, the first round of cards are dealt. These consist of two cards face down to each player and are called the "pocket" cards. Each player can see their own pocket cards. Then the first round of betting takes place, beginning with the player immediately to the left of the big blind and continuing in a clockwise direction around the table.
Bet amounts are fixed by the table stakes. For example, in a 3/6 table, bets are $3 in the first two rounds and $6 in the last two. The bet amount can climb a maximum of 3 times in each round of betting. In other words, there can be one bet and three raises in each round.
The Flop Cards
Next, three cards are dealt face up in the middle of the table. These cards are called the "Flop". All three cards are "community" cards and can be used by all the players at the table to make up their hand.
After the flop is dealt, a second round of betting takes place -- again, beginning with the player immediately to the left of the dealer button. (All subsequent rounds of betting begin with the player to left of the dealer button).
The Turn Card
Following this, a fourth "community" card is dealt face up in the middle of the table. This card is called the "Turn card" and can also be used by all players. It is followed by a third round of betting.
The River Card
Finally, a fifth and final "community" card is dealt face up in the middle of the table. It is called the "River card" and is followed by a fourth and final round of betting.
Once all betting is complete, players determine the best five-card hand that they can make using any combination of their "pocket" cards and the "community" cards. The player with the best five-card poker hand wins the pot.
After a hand is completed and the pot taken by the winner, the dealer button is moved one player to the left, and the next hand begins.