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. There are many Texas Holdem poker strategies which may be employed during the game (and I’ve written a book on the subject), but for now let’s just cover the basics.
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. 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 dealt.
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.
Read more in the second part of the article /how-to-play-texas-hold-em-poker-part-ii/