Betting Rounds

Hold'em has four betting rounds, each corresponding to a different stage of the deal. You start with two cards dealt face down. These are the only two cards that will be yours, hidden from other players. All other cards dealt face up in the middle of the table. There will be five community cards face up at the showdown. These are the cards placed at the middle of the table and shared by all the players. The community cards are called as the board and are dealt face up in three stages:

1. Three cards are dealt at once, known as flop.
2. Then the fourth card is dealt, known as turn.
3. And the last and fifth card is dealt, known as the river.

Before each of the three stages, the dealer will burn a card, that is, he discards a card face down. After each stage of dealing, there is a betting round.

Your hand is formed from the best five cards chosen from any combination of your two-card hand and the five-card board. You can use zero, one or both of your cards in your final poker hand.

Your Hand and the First Betting Round

Each player is dealt with his two-card hand. The first round of betting starts with posting of the blinds. These blinds bets are required; they are automatic and must be posted by the first two players to the left of the button. The first player to the left of the big blind is the first player with discretionary action. Each player in turn can fold; call the big blind bet, or raise. The play proceeds around the table to the blinds. The small blind can fold, call the difference between the current bet and his small blind amount or raise. When it reaches the big blind, if there has been a raise he can either fold, or call the raise, or re-raise. If there has not been a raise, he can either check or raise - his blind is already the amount of the first bet.

If no one calls the big blind then the big blind wins the pot, consisting of the two blinds.

The Flop and the Second Betting Round

After the first round of betting, three community cards are dealt face up in the middle of the table. These three community cards are known as the "flop." Once they are spread face up, the second round of betting begins with the first active player to the left of the button. The bet size is generally the same size as it had been on the flop betting round. In Hold'em the flop defines your hand. During the first round of betting, you have only two cards and the different two-card combinations have different potentials. The combinations (AA), (AK) and (T6) all have some potential to develop into different poker hands (the potential of T6 is very weak). Once you have seen the flop, you know something about whether any of the potential is likely to be realized.

The Turn and Third Betting Round

The fourth community card also known as "turn" is put face up on the board after the flop betting round is completed. Then new round of betting begins. In structured betting games, the bet size doubles on the turn betting round.

The River and the Last Betting Round

The river card is the fifth and last community card. After the card is dealt, there is a round of betting and a showdown.

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