Poker has been a popular game for a long time, but over the last five or ten years, the popularity of poker has especially exploded – and when it comes to poker, the form of the game you are most likely to see nowadays is Texas Hold Em; Texas Hold Em is a complicated game to master – but if you are simply wanting to learn it in order to enjoy it at home with your friends, the good news is that the basics are really quite simple!
Unlike 5 Card Draw, which is the old staple of poker, each player starts with only two cards in their hand during Texas Hold Em; once each player has their two cards, a round of betting takes place, with players essentially betting based on the likelihood that they will end up with a good finishing hand (in much the same way players bet before turning in their cards in a game of 5 Card Draw).
After the round of betting has concluded, three community cards – cards that each player can use their two “hole” cards in combination with – are placed face-up in the center of the board, after which a second round of betting takes place.
If there are still players remaining in the hand once this point has been reached, a fourth card (called the “turn”) is placed on the board, followed by a third round of betting, and followed by the fifth and final card (the “river”) and the fourth and final round of betting; at the conclusion of this fourth round of betting, the players remaining in the hand engage in a “showdown” – showing their hand, with the best five-card combination (from the community cards and the cards in a player’s hand) taking the money!
Of course, the greater one’s understanding of the game, the more they will know when they have a good hand before the community cards fall on the board, and after cards start going out there – and the more they will understand the best way to bet each hand in order to maximize their winnings – but the only way to learn these things is to start playing, and with this basic understanding of the game, you will be able to do just that!