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Get your poker face on! These poker game strategies and tips will have you raking in the chips at your next poker night.
You Will Need
- A standard deck of playing cards
- Poker chips or money to bet with
- A "dealer" button or chip
- A "small blind" button or chip
- A "big blind" button or chip
- A working knowledge of poker hands
- A group of players
- A table or surface to play on
Choose a dealer for the first hand and denote that person with the dealer button, placed on the table.
Shuffle & cut
The dealer shuffles and cuts the deck of cards.
Blinds place bets
The player to the left of the dealer is given the "small blind" button, indicating that he or she posts the small blind bet. The player two places to the left of the dealer is given the "big blind" button and places the big blind bet. These are considered the ante and vary from game to game.
The dealer deals two cards face-down to each player. Everyone assesses his or her hand, and the first round of betting follows, beginning with the player to the left of the big blind and continuing clockwise.
Bet or fold
Each player can call and/or raise the blind bet, or fold their hand. In no-limit games, any player can also go "all-in"—staking all their remaining money or chips at once. It's this chance to win big or go bust that brings No-Limit Hold 'Em games their reputation for high stakes and higher drama.
After the first round of betting, the dealer "burns," or discards, one card, then turns up three communal cards, called the "flop," in the middle of the table.
2nd round of betting
A second round of betting follows the flop, starting with the player to the left of the dealer button and continuing clockwise.
After the second round of betting, the dealer burns another card, then turns up a fourth communal card, called the "turn."
3rd round of betting
A third round of betting follows the turn.
Finally, the dealer burns another card, then turns up a fifth communal card, called the "river."
4th round of betting
A fourth and final round of betting follows the river.
Single player left
If everyone but a single player has folded, that remaining player is the winner and doesn't have to reveal his or her cards.
If two or more players remain, they reveal their cards in what is called the "showdown." The winner is the player with the highest five-card poker hand made up of any combination of the five community cards and his or her two private cards. If two or more players have the same winning hand, the pot is divided evenly.
Begin next hand
When the hand has been played to completion, the dealer, small blind, and big blind buttons rotate clockwise one player to begin the next hand.