Seven Card Stud
Texas Hold Em
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Texas Hold-Em resembles Seven Card Stud only in that a total of seven cards are dealt out in the end, and
that five of the seven cards are used by players to make the best possible hand they can make. But this is
where the similarity ends.
In Texas Hold-Em -- generally known simply as "Hold-Em" -- all players at the table get two cards face
down, which only they can see, but the remaining five cards are dealt out face up, in front of the dealer,
and are common cards to all the players in the game. This means that if these five common cards have
among them, say, two Kings, these two Kings are common to everyone at the who is still in the game at
that point. All players can use these Kings to combine with the two cards they have, plus any of the
remaining cards among the common cards.
Texas Hold-Em tables are usually bigger than Seven Card Stud tables, and generally accommodate from 7
to 12 players. In some casinos games accommodating up to 14 players are also offered. As in all poker
games, dealing begins after the dealer shuffles the cards. The game uses the standard 52 card deck,
without Jokers and no wild cards.
Following the shuffle, the dealer will burn from three to five cards, depending on House rules. He then
begins to deal clockwise. Each player at the Hold-Em table is given a total of two down cards -- dealt one-
by-one to each player in turn -- but only after two of the players have made their mandatory ante bets. For
more information, click here
After these two down cards are dealt to each player the first round of betting takes place. It is only at the
conclusion of this first round of betting -- that the dealer burns a single card and three more cards are
dealt, face up. These three cards are called "the flop" and are common cards to all the players still in the
game. At the conclusion of all betting in this round, the dealer burns another card and then deals one
additional card face up and adds this to the flop. Another round of betting takes place, the process is
repeated, and the final seventh card is then dealt, also face up, and added to the other four. This completes
the total of five common cards. This also begins the final round of betting, and no more cards will be
At the beginning of the game, which player gets the first card out depends on the position of the "dealer's
puck". This dealer's puck is a small, round and white plastic object similar to that used in Craps, except in
Hold-Em it has two white sides and each side has the word "dealer" written on it.
This puck moves from player to player, clockwise, after each deal. This is done so that no single player
will always get the first card out, and to prevent any one player from always having to be the first one to
make a bet. This is also done to make sure that all players at the table will, eventually, have to put up
their mandatory ante bets. For more information, click here.
Whoever holds the puck will get the last card dealt at each turn of the deal. The player sitting to the left
of the player with the dealer's puck gets the first card, player to his left the next card, and so on. The
player to the left of the player holding the puck also has to make an ante bet in an amount equal to the
table minimum, and the player next to him, on his left, has to make a second ante bet equal to 1/3 of that,
both mandatory bets in Hold Em. Technically, these first bets are really blind bets -- that is, bets on your
own cards even before you've see them -- rather than ante bets, but they are nonetheless still called an
These ante amounts vary depending on the table limits. Since the puck moves from player to player
around the table after each hand s completed, eventually all players will have to make such blind bets.
This double-ante requirement is there for three basic reasons: First, because players making such bets are
in the favored spot, getting the first and second card out respectively; second, because the player with the
higher ante bet is now able to see how all the other players play and bet before having to make any further
decisions; and third, to place some action on the table. If there is no action, and all players fold except
one player, that player still gets a small win. In addition, the player who had to make the bigger ante bet
also gets a chance to raise the bets at the end of the first round of betting, This opportunity to so raise the
bets is called an "option".
If you do not make the ante bet when it is your turn, or call yourself out of that hand, or if you were not
present at the table when it was your turn to put up the ante, you get no cards and now have to wait until
the puck comes back around to you in order to be allowed to play again. You can, however, buy yourself
back in the game at any time after you missed your blind bet turn, by betting both ante bets out of turn.
The player making the smaller ante bet will be the first player asked to bet or fold after both initial cards
are dealt to all players, since the player making the higher ante bet is considered to already have made the
minimum required bet. The first round of betting now takes place among the remaining players. When
all players have checked, bet, raised and/or called and/or folded, the flop takes place, and thereafter the
remaining rounds of betting, as indicated earlier.
At the final round, when all the remaining active players have called all the bets, the showdown takes
place. These players turn over their two hole cards -- that is, the two down cards that make up their
individual hands -- and the dealer will make the best comparison between each player's set of two hole
cards and the five common cards. Whichever player has the best five-card Poker hand, using his two hole
cards and any of the five common cards, is declared the winner. He gets the pot.
These sections were written by Victor
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