Texas Hold’em can be played with 2 to 10 players. Players draw cards to determine the Dealing Position – the player who draws the largest card will be the first Dealing Position and a marker will be placed in front of them.
The Player to the left of the Dealing Position places the Small Blind bet, which is equal to ½ of the minimum bet. The player to the left of the Small Blind places the Large Blind bet, which is equal to the full minimum bet.
Two pocket cards are dealt to each Player - face-down.
First round of betting (called the “pre-flop”) starts to the left of the Players who placed the Large and Small Blind bets. Players must make a bet equal to or greater than the amount of the Large Blind in order to stay in the hand. Much like most games of poker, Players can either check, raise or fold. (Note: Players who are not the Large or Small Blinds cannot "check" in the first round, as Blinds are bets - not antes.) Only one Bet and three Raises per Player are allowed in the first round.
One card is burned (or discarded) and then three communal cards (the "Flop") are dealt face-up in the center of the table. All the communal cards are active for all of the Players and can be used in combination with each of the Player's two pocket cards.
Second round of betting begins. The betting from this point till the end of the game will start with the Player to the left of the Dealing Position. The Player's options are to Check, Fold, Bet or Raise.
Another card is burned and the fourth communal card (the "Turn") is dealt face-up.
Third round of betting begins - Players must bet at least twice the amount of the Large Blind during this round and all subsequent rounds until the hand is over. Again the options are to Check, Fold, Bet or Raise.
If, at this point, there are still at least 2 Players still in the hand, the fifth and final communal card (the "River") is dealt face-up.
The final round of betting follows.
All remaining Players then create their best possible five-card hand. They can use any of the following:
- Both of their pocket cards and three of the communal cards.
- One of their pocket cards and four communal cards.
- All five of the communal cards.
The best hand wins the pot. If two or more Players have the same winning hand, the pot is split equally between them.
The Dealing Position then moves clockwise one player and another round of play begins.