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There is no doubt that Texas Hold'em is the most popular poker game on the planet. Texas Hold'em is a community based poker game that features cards that are shared by all players to create the best five-card hand. The players are dealt two cards each to combine with the five community cards to make the best five-card hand. The dealer deals two cards to each player first, a round of betting commences and then one card, another round of betting and the final card with the last round of betting.
Three major versions of Texas Hold'em are available at CarbonPoker (These versions differentiate by betting limits):
Limit Texas Hold'em (a betting limit is specified in each game and round)
Pot Limit Texas Hold'em (a player can only bet a maximum of what is in the pot)
No Limit Texas Hold'em (a player can bet as much or all of their chips as they like)
In Texas Hold'em a small disc or puck is used as a uses a "dealer button" to indicate which of the competing players is the dealer of each hand. Once the hand or game is completed, the dealer button moves clockwise to the next player. This makes sure that each player has the opportunity to play early or late in the betting cycle and that every player gets a chance to dictate the action and post the "blind bets".
Note: In Single Table Tournaments the dealer button is determined through a high card draw. (each player is dealt a card; the player with the highest card is the dealer first. If two or more players have the same value of card then they are in order of suit - high to low - spades, hearts, diamonds, clubs).
The player to the left of the button is required to place what is called the "small blind" (usually equal to or half of the lower stake) and the next player to the left is required to place the "big blind" (equal to the lower stake limit). Once blind bets have been made pre deal, the cards are dealt and the player to the left of the blinds starts the first round of betting.
Both the small and big blinds are basically considered live bets and because of this the player has the option of checking (reserving their right of not placing a bet to see what the next player/players does), calling, raising or folding when the action comes back to their position. After the flop and after each following betting round, the first active player left of the dealer button is the first to act.
Beginning with the player to the left of the "big blind", the player has the option to bet, raise or fold. All other following players can then call, raise or fold. To "call" is to match the same wager as the previous player. If the first player folds, the next player will have the option to bet /raise while the remaining players can then call.
The bets in the first round are set to a lower limit of the stakes structure, so in a $10/$20 game the value of a bet is $10 while the raise is $20 (a raise includes a call of the previous bet plus an additional bet).
After the flop (the first 3 cards that have been dealt), the second round of betting begins.
The first player to the left of the button is the first to act (whether it be a bet, raise, check or fold). Checking is to decide to see what the field does by choosing not to place a bet but refraining from folding and is only available if no bet has yet been made in the betting round. Once a bet has been made, remaining players will only have the option to call, raise or fold. Like in round one, the second also limits the bets and raises to the lower limit of the stakes structure.
The third round of betting begins after the Turn (when the fourth shared community card has been dealt).
Again, the player to the left of the dealer button begins the round of betting (bet, check or fold). However, this time, the bets and raises are capped at the upper limit of the stakes structure. Each subsequent player can then call, check, raise or fold (a player can only check if no bet has been made).
The final round of betting happens after the River card (the final single community card) has been dealt.
The player to the left of the dealer button can bet, check, raise or fold. Bets and raises are limited to the upper limit of the stakes structure. Remaining players can then call, check, raise or fold (a player can only check if no bets have been made).
Any remaining players will now display their two cards to reveal their best five card hand incorporating the community cards and the player who has the best hand wins.
If two or more players have the same hand then the pot is chopped in half and split equally between them.
In Limit Texas Hold'em an absolute maximum of four bets is allowed per player in a round of betting - (1) bet, (2) raise, (3) re-raise and (4) cap. In No Limit and Pot Limit Texas Hold'em the number of times a player can raise the stakes is not limited or capped. However, a player cannot raise themselves (if a player raises and then all the remaining players call or fold, then the player who raised would not get an option to raise because they were the last to raise).
A player is declared All-In if they do not have enough chips to call. This player is eligible for the portion of the pot to the point of their final bet.
All further bets by other players go to a "side pot" which any All-In players are excluded from.
See poker hands, for card rankings and definitions.