In simple terms, is a card game played with a standard, 52-card deck of cards, in which players bet on the value of their hands. The value of a hand is inversely correlated to the likelihood of that combination of cards occurring, such that three of a kind ranks higher than a pair, and so on. Numerous variants of poker exist, but in all cases players have the option of calling, or matching, a bet, raising, or increasing, a bet, or folding, which means that they take no further part in the hand being played.
Since the early Seventies, when it became the featured game in the World Series of Poker, Texas Hold’em has risen to become the dominant variant of poker worldwide. In casino poker, where a non-playing dealer does the actual dealing, a round disk, known as the ‘dealer button’, indicates which player has the dealer position. The two players to the left of the dealer button post ‘forced’ bets, known respectively as the ‘small blind’ and ‘big blind’, to ‘seed’ the pot and each player is dealt two cards, known as ‘hole cards’, face down.
The first round of betting follows, after which three shared or ‘community’ cards, collectively known as the ‘flop’, are dealt, face up, in the middle of the table. A second round of betting follows, after which two further community cards, known respectively as the ‘turn’ and ‘river’ cards, are dealt one at a time and followed by further rounds of betting. The winner is the remaining player who can form the highest-ranking five-card hand using a combination of hole and/or community cards.