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The basic understanding of the game...
Selecting a Dealer
On a new table, the very first thing that usually happens is the drawing of who will be the dealer. This is chosen by everyone receiving a card face up. The player with the highest valued card to first receive it gets chosen as the dealer.
The first two players after the dealer have to post blinds. The Big blind and small blind. The difference between the big blind and small blind is basically that the small blind is half of that of the big blind. In a game of $2/1 blinds, the big blind is $2 while the small blind is $1. Blinds are there to ensure every hand receives some action
Every player gets dealt two cards face down. These are your pocket or hole cards.
Depending on the hole cards you receive and the combination you can make with them on the flop, you could have a winning hand. In order to play a hand, you have to call the big blind, if someone raises the big blind before the flop, you have to call it to see the flop. If you don’t want to call the big blind, or the raise of the big blind you have the options to fold your hand. We are going to assume you chose to call.
One card gets discarded from the top and three other cards get placed faced up on the table. It is with these cards you have to make a combination totaling five cards in order to win. Typically the small blind in the first round is the first one to act in terms of betting or checking as he is the first person to the left of the dealer.
To check means that the player does not make a bet, and instead wants to see a fourth card before he places more money into the pot. If you bet after a player has checked, he has to call it in order to see the next card. Once everyone has called the bets the fourth card is revealed.
This is the card that could change it all, make the winning hand of the flop turn to the loosing hand, hence its called the turn card. Once again the top card from the deck is discarded but this time, instead of placing three cards face up, you only place one card face up. A round of betting begins with the player to the left of the dealer first to act, everyone who calls the bets or potential raises will be on for the final river card.
The River Card
This is the final of the cards placed on the table, no other cards will be shown after this one and it is your job to make the best combination of the two hole cards in your hand versus the five cards on the center of the table, the strongest hand according to the hand strengths will win. The player to the left of the dealer is the first to act followed by the big blind and every player after that to the left. If the dealer chooses to raise lets say for example, a raise by 100 chips, then every player to the left of him have three choices.
- Call – paying the raise of 100
- fold – throwing his or her hand away
- Raising, do this when you think the player might fold or if you think you have the best five card combination with the flop.
Regardless if someone raises or not, the end result is usually for one player to win and collect all the chips in the middle, or for two or more players to split the pot in the middle as they have exactly the same hand in terms of hand strenght.