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Texas Hold'em Rules

Rules of Hold'em Poker



In Texas Holdem, after players place required blinds or antes (see the Robert's Rules of Poker in the upper right for basic structure rules), all players receive two down cards which remain hidden until the final showdown of hands. After the first two cards are dealt, a round of betting occurs. Next, three community cards are turned over at the same time. This is called the flop. Another round of betting follows. Then a fourth community card is exposed, the turn card, followed by another betting round. Finally a fifth community is dealt, the river card, and a last round of betting ensues.

After the completion of all betting comes the showdown. Players make hands by using the best five-card combination of their two personal cards and the five community cards. A player may use one or both cards out of their hand, or use only the five community cards.

A dealer button rotates around the table so each player is in the dealer's position once a round. Normally two blinds are used, but other structures, including antes instead of or in addition to blinds can be used. (Click for The Basics of Texas Hold'em.)

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Irregularities
If the first card dealt is exposed, a misdeal results, meaning the dealer will reshuffle and re-deal the cards. If during the course of the deal any of the other down cards (hole cards) are exposed due to a dealer error, the deal continues. After completing the deal, the dealer replaces the exposed card with the top card on the deck, and the exposed card is then used for the burn card. If during the deal more than one hole card is exposed, this a misdeal and the cards are re-dealt. There is no option for a player to keep an exposed card.

If the dealer mistakenly deals the first player a third down card, that card is returned to the deck, placed on top, and used as the burn card. If the dealer accidentally deals two or more extra cards, it is a misdeal regardless of any betting that may have already occurred.

If the flop contains too many cards, the cards are retrieved, re-shuffled and the flop is re-dealt -- even if it is possible to surmise which card is the "extra" card.

If the dealer accidentally turns the fourth card before a betting round was completed, the exposed card is taken back out of play, even if the remaining player or players choose to not call any final bets. Once betting is genuinely completed, the dealer burns and exposes what would have been the fifth card in the fourth card's place. After the next round of betting, the dealer will reshuffle the remaining deck, but not burn cards or discards, including the card that had been incorrectly exposed, and then exposes a river card without burning a card. If the river card is exposed prematurely, the deck is reshuffled/re-dealt similarly.

Cards Speak
Cards Speak, which means no matter what a player says about the value of their Texas Holdem hand, the actual value is the best possible hand the combination of cards can make. Player's should protect their own hands, but the casino dealer should read the proper value of what a player's hand is.

To win a pot you must show both your cards. Showing one but discarding the other will cause a player to lose the pot. A player must first declare they want to play the five community cards (play the board) before discarding their hole cards. If a player discards their hand before stating they want to play the board, they relinquish their claim to the pot.


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