Texas Hold'Em Poker: From Pre-Flop to the River
There are many variations of Poker. Omaha, Stud Poker, Manila, Draw Poker, and the trio that consecutively gained dominance in the modern poker era; 5 Draw Card, 7 Card Stud and last but certainly not the least, Texas Hold 'Em. Nicknamed the "Cadillac of Poker", Texas Hold 'Em has gained tremendous popularity the world over during the last 40 years or so.
Texas Hold 'Em is composed of four betting rounds, divided equally into four phases. These are the Pre-flop, the Flop, the Turn and the River; exactly in that order.
The Pre-flop is where the first round of betting takes place. During this phase, each player is dealt two face down cards. While this is taking place, the player to the left most side of the dealer executes a bet called the "small blind". This is a bet with a pre determined value. Immediately after this is accomplished, the player to the left of the small blind makes a bet called the "big blind".
The first betting decision is then given to the player left of the big blind. This player is the first one allowed to look at that player's hand. That player can then call the big blind or raise it or fold. The order of which the consecutive bets are made is from left to right. Each player is given the chance to call, raise or fold a bet.
If a player decides to raise the big blind, then another round takes place. If however, no one decides to raise the big blind, the last player allowed to bet (the one who made the big blind bet) owes nothing since that player already made the big blind bet. That player is also allowed to raise the big blind, and if that player declines, then that signals the end of the first betting round.
The Flop is the next phase of the game. Three cards from the top of the deck are placed in the middle of the table face up. The cards placed in the center are called the community cards. The first player who is allowed to make a bet is the player who made the small blind bet. This starts the second round of betting.
The Turn follows up after the Flop. The top most card of the deck is placed on the center of the table face up. This card constitutes the fourth community card. Another round of betting occurs, which is again started by the player who made the small blind bet.
The last phase of Texas Hold 'Em poker is called the River. The fifth and last community card is placed in the center of the table very much like how the fourth one is placed. The fourth and final round of betting occurs, started again by the player who made the small blind bet. Once the fourth betting round is over, the winner is determined and all the bets are then handed over to that player.
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