By far, Texas Hold’em is the most popular game played in casino poker rooms. It’s growing popularity is largely due to those glitzy televised tournaments, not to mention the fact that the World Series of Poker uses this game to establish the world champion. Although expert play requires much skill, this game is easy to learn. Hold’em is typically played with up to nine or ten players at each table. Often compared to Seven Card Stud, Hold’em is faster-paced and is more action-packed.
Playing Hold’em, two cards are dealt face down to each player, then a round of betting based on those two cards takes place. In the first round, if you do not want to fold, you must call or raise the blind bet. You will find that a majority of the casinos allow a bet and three or four raises with each betting round. However, when only two players compete for the pot there is no limit on the number of raises allowed.
After betting on the first round is complete, three shared cards are dealt face up in the center of the table. These cards are known as the ‘flop’. After the flop is dealt another round of betting takes place. On this and every consecutive round, players can ‘check’ if no one else has bet when it’s their turn to do so. Then, if there is no bet, a player can check or bet. If there is a bet, players can then fold, call, raise, or re-raise.
After that, a fourth shared card is dealt face up in the middle of the table. This card is known as the ‘turn’. After the turn is dealt another round of betting will take place. Then, the fifth and final shared card is dealt face up in the middle of the table. This card is known as the ‘river’. After the river is dealt, the last round of wagering takes place. The winner is defined as the player holding the best five-card poker hand. To achieve the best hand, players are able to use any combination of their two private cards along with the five shared cards.
With the actual lay-out of the game being pretty basic, there is also a certain sophistication to this game that makes it a major target for popularity.