Introduction to Texas Hold 'Em

Texas Hold 'Em is currently one of the most popular games out there. While the game might sound complex to those who have never played it, it is actually based on a set of fundamental rules that can be grasped quite easily. While it's not as easy to master the game as it is to get started, with practice you'll be able to improve your technique.

The Set-Up

The number of players in any given Texas Hold 'Em game can vary between two (a heads up game) and ten (a full ring game). When you first sit down at a table, you will be given two cards, also called hole cards, which you can look at but must keep hidden from other players. The dealer will then put out five cards, which are called "community cards."

The Goal

The goal of Texas Hold 'Em is to come up with a five card hand that beats the hands of all other players in the game. To do this, you can use a combination of your own hidden cards and the five cards displayed on the table. Before you can play your hand, however, you must participate in four betting rounds, wherein you can start to guess what cards other players might be holding--and whether or not your hand is better.

Throughout the course of each round, the dealer will turn over more of the community cards. Observing how players react (i.e. whether they raise, call, or check) in light of these newly visible cards can help you determine your implied odds of winning.

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