What is Texas holdem Poker & how is it played?

Texas Holdem is one of the most popular card games in the world. In this game, five cards are dealt face-up in the middle of the table; hence they are called community cards. Each player has two face-down cards that are their private cards that no other player can see. Combining the private cards with the five community cards, you need to make the best possible 5-card hand.

In the beginning, two cards are dealt face down to each player; these cards are known as "hole cards". This is followed by a round of betting. In Texas Holdem, the betting starts with a small blind, to the left of the dealer that is followed by a big blind. These are compulsory or forced bets that must be made before seeing one's cards. Play runs clockwise starting from the blinds, with each player having the option to fold, call, or raise. The blinds are "live", meaning that they may raise in quantity when the action gets back around to them. Again the next 3 cards are dealt face up in the middle of the table; this is called the "flop". A round of betting follows, with action starting from the first blind, i.e. immediately to the dealers left. Another card is dealt face up (called the "Turn"), followed by another round of betting, again beginning to the dealer's left. Then the final card (the "River") is dealt which is followed by the final round of betting. Texas Holdem is played for high cards only, and each player makes the best five-card combination to win the pot. Players may or may not use both their hole cards to make their best hand. A player may even choose to use all the 5 cards on the table i.e. “play the board” & use no hole cards at all.

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