To start playing Texas Hold’em, each player is dealt two private cards in the hole for his or her starting hand. In Holdem, players can make as many as five cards using any combination of five cards as they wish, using zero, one, or both of their private cards. All players use those shared community cards along with their private hole cards to make each of them their best possible five-card poker hands. At showdown, players may make the best possible hand using five of seven available cards (two hole cards and five community cards) and win the pot.
The dealer begins each hand by handing out two hole cards to each player, starting with the player at the smallest blind. Once the blinds are posted, the dealer begins dealing one card to each player, starting with the small blind position. The dealer then gives each player their starting hands, with two cards facing down. Once the cards are dealt, whoever is left standing behind the dealer is allowed to check, bet, or raise.
The hand ends either when all players except for one fold, or after all cards are dealt and the final betting round has ended. Hands may be won after any betting round as long as all players except one have folded, and must not continue past the last betting round, following the deal of the fifth and final Community Card.
If there are still one or more players remaining in a hand after the last round of betting, those players expose their hands. When more than one player remains active, the person who is last to make a bet or raise shows his/her cards, except if no betting is made in the final round, in which case the player immediately clockwise from the button shows his/her cards first.
Once revealed, players will compare three cards on the board to their starting hands, and the second betting round takes place. After each player has two opening cards, the first of four betting rounds begins. In each hand, players try to make the best possible five-card hand according to a poker-hand chart, using their two-hole cards and five community cards, which are revealed over the course of Texas Hold’em.
The player directly left from the button gets the first card, then a rotating dealer flips cards across the table in clockwise order until everyone has received two starting cards. Once a dealer has been chosen, each person puts his or her wager into the pot, then each player is dealt two cards.
The object of Texas hold em is to form the best five-card hand possible using players’ two cards and five community cards dealt down the middle of the table. In the latter case, a player is required to reveal their player’s cards, with the winner being the player who has the better hand.