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Texas Holdem Poker Rules Exposed

Texas Holdem is by far the most popular game among all poker variations. Texas Holdem tables are typically the most crowded tables in any gaming establishment, online and land-based alike. Texas Holdem poker owns its incredible popularity to massive exposure on television, Internet's virtual world as well as in popular literature. The N/L betting style of Texas Holdem is used it the main event of the prominent World Series of Poker (WSOP) competition.

The rules of Texas Holdem play are quite simple. However, this does not make it an easy game to win. Experienced players are well aware of the fact that there is so much more to the game beyond its basic rules. An spiring winner must get familiar with a wide selection of gaming strategies before he can actually start winning. Although much like many other gambling games Texas Holdem involves some element of luck, the game is mostly based on skill.

There are two mandatory bets in Texas Holdem poker, the Small Blind and the Big Blind. A dealer button is used to indicate the player who represents the dealer. The Small Blind is placed by the player seated to the immediate left of the dealer and is worth half of the big blind. The Big Blind, placed by the player seated to the left of the small blind, is worth the minimum bet. In tournament poker, players are sometimes required to place an ante, an additional forced bet placed by all active players.

The gaming action is launched after each participating player receives two cards face down. These two cards are called the 'pocket' and they are only for the player who holds them to use. The game kicks off with a "pre-flop" round of betting, beginning with the player to the left of the big blind and continuing in a clockwise direction. This betting round continues until every active player has either put in all of their chips, matched the amount put in by all his opponents or simply folded.

When the pre-flop round is over, the dealer places three face up cards in the middle of the table. This is the 'flop.' After the flop, a second betting round takes place. When the flop betting round ends, the dealer places one more face up card in the middle of the table. This is the 'turn.' It is followed by a third round of betting. A final exposed card is dealt on the table. This is the 'river.' It is followed by the final round of betting.

When all the betting action is over and, if two or more players still remain in the game, they are required to reveal their hands in order to establish the winer. This is the final stage of the game and it is called the 'showdown.' The Texas Holdem poker player with the strongest five card hand, comprising his pocket and the Community Cards (the five exposed cards placed in the middle of the table for all players to use), takes the pot. If more than one player share the best five card hand, then the jackpot is divided equally among them.

Some poker lovers believe that it is the ability to play inexpensively over the Internet that makes Texas Holdem poker so popular. Internet card rooms allow players to try out games (whether for free or for a small cost) and also provide them with a cheap access to major live events, such as the WSOP, via satellite tournaments. Both the 2003 and 2004 WSOP champions entered this prestigious competition by winning these tournaments.