Texas Hold'em can be played with as little as two players and up to a maximum of ten players. A 52 card deck without jokers is used. Each player receives two cards, face down, known as hole cards. The dealer then hands out five community cards face up. Players can use any five cards to form the combination. The best five-card combination wins the pot.
The game is divided into four rounds of betting. The initial pot is formed of small blinds. The first player who sits at the table becomes the dealer. The game starts from the position next to the dealer button, a round disk marks the dealer. The dealer button moves clockwise from player to player with each hand.
Before a game starts, the two players to the left of the dealer make blind bets, so-called because they are made before the players have seen any cards. This is called 'posting the blinds'. The blinds ensure that there is some money in the pot to play for at the very start of the game. The player to the left of the dealer posts the small blind. The second player to the left of the dealer posts the big blind which is exactly twice the small blind
Each player receives two cards face down. Each player can see only see his own cards. The player to the left of the player who posted the big blind begins a round of betting. This player can:
Call - match the amount bet in the big blind,
Raise - increase the amount bet,
Fold - surrender his cards and stake in the game.
The same actions may be made by each player when it is his turn to bet. When the betting returns to the player who made the big blind, that player can decide not to raise, i.e. to make a check, if no other player raises. However, if an opponent has raised, the player has three options: he can call, raise or fold. When all bets are equal, the initial pot is formed and the game turns to the next round (Flop).
Three cards are dealt face up. This is called the Flop. Anyone may use these three cards, we call them Community cards. The player who posted the Small Blind begins this betting round. When all bets get equal, the game goes to the next round (Turn).
A fourth Community Card is dealt face up on the table. The third round of betting begins.
The fifth and final Community Card is dealt, and the final betting round begins.
When all bets are of equal value, it is possible to show the cards. The last player to bet or raise during the final betting round shows his cards first. If during the last betting round all the remaining players check (nobody bets), the first player to the dealer's left, who did not fold is to show his cards first. The other players reveal their cards moving clockwise around the table. If the player's current hand is weaker than the winning hand shown, he has the option to show or muck his cards. The best five-card hand takes the pot. If two players share an identical hand, the pot is split. Each player may claim the part of the pot in forming of which he took part. Please see the "All-In" section.
In Limit Poker the maximum raise is agreed in advance. For example, in a 1/2 Limit game, both bet and raise must be equal to 1. In the last two rounds bet and raise must be equal to 2.
In a game with Pot Limit the maximum value of bet or raise must not exceed the current total amount in the pot. For example: if the total amount in the pot is 10, the first player to act in the betting round bets 10, the second player could bet a total of 30 - 10 for his portion of the call and raise by 20, the total amount of money in the pot when the action reaches him, including his call. There is no cap to the number of raises in Pot Limit poker games.
In the No Limit game there is no bet limit. All players can make any bet in any betting round. The minimum bet is equal to the big blind.