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 ante.

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.