Poker Portal Asia

How the game works (Texas Hold’em)

Texas Hold’em is the most well known form of poker worldwide. It is a community card poker game played by two to ten players per table. All players are dealt two cards at the beginning of the game (hole cards). The objective is to make the best possible five-card combination using what you are given and what is on the community board and, in the process, win as many chips as you can.

Positions

Legends:

Photo courtesy of Dafa Heaven.

Dealer/Button

Hold’em is played with a rotating dealer. The Dealer/Button position moves to the left after every hand. The Dealer/Button position is the position on the poker table through which all other positions are distinguished. This is also considered the best position as the player on this position will be the last to act.

Blinds

Blinds are forced/required bets. There are two Blind positions: the Small Blind and the Big Blind. The first player seated immediately to the left of the Dealer/Button is the Small Blind, and the player immediately to the left of the Small Blind is the Big Blind. At these early positions, players are required to post (put chips in play) a pre-set amount of bet before the cards are dealt. The Small Blind bet is usually half of the Big Blind’s pre-set bet.

Under The Gun (UTG)

UTG is the seat immediately after the Big Blind. This is considered an Early Position seat. A player on this position has to act first once the hole cards are dealt.

Middle Position

Players on the middle seats of the table.

Lowjack and Hijack

These are considered better positions than those in front so the range of hands players feel comfortable calling or betting with here is wider.

Cutoff

Cutoff position is one of the Late Position seats. It is the seat to the right of the Dealer/Button. At this position, you can “cut off” the Dealer/Button from having the last to act position. This is considered the second best position in poker.

Now shuffle up and deal!

Pre Flop

First Round of Betting:

The Act: Check, Call, Raise or Fold

After the blinds are posted, two cards are dealt face down to each of the players. These are called “pocket cards” or “hole cards”. In accordance to position, the players are then required to act. Because there is already a bet at the table (the Big Blind bet), players can either:

Call (match the bet on the table)
Raise (increase the amount of the bet by at least double)
Fold (give their cards back to the dealer and not be eligible in playing for the given round)

If there is no raise and players who wish to stay in the round only called the big blind bet, then the Big Blind has the option to either:

Check (stay in the pot without having to raise or fold)
Raise (increase the amount of required bet by at least double)

Flop

Once the initial betting round is complete, the dealer lays down the Flop. The Flop is made up of three cards, dealt face-up in the middle of the table. These are community cards used by everyone still in the hand to form the best possible card combinations.

Second Round of Betting:

The Act: Check, Bet, Call, Raise or Fold

After the flop is dealt, players who have not yet folded in the previous betting round are made to act again. Players are given the option to either:

Check (stay in the pot without having to bet)
Bet (put more chips into the pot)

If a player checks then the action moves to the next player who also has the option to Check or Bet. Once there is a Bet on the table, then the remaining players in the hand now have the option to Call, Raise or Fold.

Turn

After the remaining players have acted and there are still players who have not yet folded, then the fourth community card is dealt. This is called the Turn card. Players are then made to participate in the third round of betting.

Third Round of Betting:

The Act: Check, Bet, Call, Raise or Fold

Just like the second round of betting, players can opt to Check or Bet. Once a bet is made, the remaining players can either Call, Raise, or Fold.

River

After the third round of betting has ended and there are still players who have not folded, then the last card, the fifth community card, is dealt. This is called the River card. It marks the start of the final round of betting.

Final Round of Betting:

The Act: Check, Bet, Call, Raise or Fold

For the last time, players can opt to Check or Bet. Once a bet is made, the remaining players can either Call, Raise or Fold.

Showdown

In the event that two or more players are left in the pot after the final round of betting has ended, then the remaining players must show their cards to see who amongst them holds the highest ranking combination. The player with the highest ranking hand wins the pot.

Winning the Pot

In addition to winning a pot through a showdown, a player can also win the pot when all other opponents have folded. This can happen at any stage of the betting rounds.

Dealer/Button

Hold’em is played with a rotating dealer. The Dealer/Button position moves to the left after every hand. The Dealer/Button position is the position on the poker table through which all other positions are distinguished. This is also considered the best position as the player on this position will be the last to act.

Blinds

Blinds are forced/required bets. There are two Blind positions: the Small Blind and the Big Blind. The first player seated immediately to the left of the Dealer/Button is the Small Blind, and the player immediately to the left of the Small Blind is the Big Blind. At these early positions, players are required to post (put chips in play) a pre-set amount of bet before the cards are dealt. The Small Blind bet is usually half of the Big Blind’s pre-set bet.

Under The Gun (UTG)

UTG is the seat immediately after the Big Blind. This is considered an Early Position seat. A player on this position has to act first once the hole cards are dealt.

Middle Position

Players on the middle seats of the table.

Lowjack and Hijack

These are considered better positions than those in front so the range of hands players feel comfortable calling or betting with here is wider.

Cutoff

Cutoff position is one of the Late Position seats. It is the seat to the right of the Dealer/Button. At this position, you can “cut off” the Dealer/Button from having the last to act position. This is considered the second best position in poker.

Now shuffle up and deal!