As with all great games, the rules of Texas Hold ‘em are superficially quite simple – but the more you play and become absorbed by the game’s finer points and fascinating strategies, you’ll realise how tactical and diverse this variant of Poker can be.
In simple terms, the rules of Texas Hold ‘em are that each player receives a basic two card hand and is then invited to visually enhance their hand using the Community cards which are dealt face up onto the table in three stages – The Flop, Fourth Street and Fifth Street. In between each deal is a round of betting: Deal-Bet-Flop-Bet-Fourth-Bet-Fifth-Bet.
The two cards the player receives from the dealer are called the Hole cards. The hole cards are the foundation of the players success and a good initial deal will go some way to determining the winner. That said, any hand can be turned into a winner by the draw of the communal cards. With two cards in hand and bets down, the players watch the dealer lay out The Flop. This is where three cards are laid face up on the table and the players study how they can incorporate these cards into their hand. Communal cards always stay in the centre of the table; building a hand is done in the players head.
A round of betting comes next and then Fourth Street where another (fourth) card is added to the Community Line. There are now six cards for each player to ponder: their two Hole cards and the four communal cards on the table.
Another round of betting ensues, and then Fifth Street. A fifth card is added to the community cards and there are now seven cards with which to try to construct a winning five card hand.
With the game slowly unfolding in this manner, the tension and diversity of the game are great. The scope for reading other players’ intentions and predicting outcomes is fascinating.