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Texas Holdem Basics Part 2

If you’ve read Texas Holdem Part 1, you’ve got some money in the pot (the blind bets) and the hole cards are dealt. What happens next?  This is where the fun starts, the first round of betting.  This is called the Pre-Flop because the bet takes place before, you guessed it, The Flop.  Betting starts with the player to the left of the Big Blind.  In the first round you aren’t allowed to “check” (which means take no action), but you can Bet, Call, Raise, or, if your cards stink, Fold.  Once all the players have put the same amount in the pot, play continues.

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The Flop
The Dealer deals three cards face up on the poker table.  The players use these along with their hole cards to see what kind of hand they have…or could have – with a lucky draw later.  Then there is another round of betting.  The first player to the left of the dealer starts.  If you’re not sure about your chances, you might “check,” which means no bet.  Someone will bet, someone might raise them, and you have to meet the amount of the bet and raises, so again, all players put the same amount into the pot or fold before the round ends.  The same rules for betting and raising apply in every round from now on.

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The Turn
After the excitement of The Flop, the dealer deals out one more community card on the poker table.  All the players have one more card they can use to build their hand.  Another round of betting takes place and then we move on to…

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The River
Sometimes called Fifth Street, because the Fifth and last community card is dealt face up on the table and another round of betting takes place.

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The Showdown
Each player uses five of the seven cards to make the best possible poker hand they can.  You don’t even have to use your hole cards if the community cards make a better hand.  (That’s known as “playing the board.”)  The final bet is called, players show their hands and the winner is revealed.  If you know you’re beaten, you don’t have to show your cards.

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