A quick overview of No-Limit Hold ’Em poker.
Beginning with the player seated to the left of the dealer button, the cards are dealt clockwise. Each player at the table is dealt two cards. These are known as the player’s “hole cards.” Only you know your hole cards.
The Pre-Flop Betting Round
The player immediately to the left of the dealer button posts the “small blind” and the player two seats to the left of the dealer button posts the “big blind.” The big blind is always double the amount of the small blind. For example, at the $1/$2 blind level of a No-Limit Hold ’Em game, the small blind is forced to post $1 in chips, and the big blind is forced to post $2 in chips.
The player immediately to the left of the big blind is first to act. That player’s options are to:
- fold and throw the hole cards away
- call and match the amount of the big blind
- raise and bet any amount ranging from double the big blind to all of the chips in the player’s stack. This is called “All In”.
Moving clockwise around the table, all subsequent players have the same options: fold, call, or raise. The pre-flop betting round concludes when either only one player is still in the hand or all players remaining in the hand have committed the same amount of chips.
Three “community cards” are dealt. These cards are used by all players at the table, in combination with their two hole cards, to make a five card hand.
There is another betting round, beginning on the left of the dealer button. The minimum amount that a player can bet is the amount of the big blind. All subsequent raises during this betting round must be equal or greater to the size of the previous bet. As in all betting rounds in No-Limit Texas Hold ’Em Poker, the maximum amount that a player can bet is all of the chips in the player’s stack. Going “All In”.
A fourth community card is dealt. All players now have six cards, of which they use five to make the best possible hand. Using the same rules as on the flop, there is another round of betting.
A fifth and final community card is dealt. All players now have seven cards, of which they use five to make the best possible hand. They can use both of their hole cards, one of their hole cards, or zero of their hole cards.
There is another betting round, using the same rules as on the flop and turn. At the end of this betting round, all players still in the hand flip over their cards, and the best five-card hand wins the pot.
If multiple players hold five-card hands of the same value meaning they tie for the best hand, the players “chop” the pot and divide it evenly among them.
At the end of the hand, the dealer button moves one seat to the left and it starts again.