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Encyclopedia > Texas hold 'em
Texas hold 'em involves community cards available to all players (pictured here on the left).

Because each player only starts with two cards and the remaining cards are shared, it presents an opportune game for strategic analysis (including mathematical analysis). Hold 'em's simplicity and popularity has inspired a wide variety of strategy books which provide recommendations for proper play. Most of these books recommend a strategy that involves playing relatively few hands but betting and raising often with the hands one plays.[2] Poker strategy is a complex subject. ... In poker, the probability of many events can be determined by direct calculation. ...

## Objective

In Texas hold 'em, like all variants of poker, individuals compete for an amount of money contributed by the players themselves (called the pot). Because the cards are dealt randomly and outside the control of the players, each player attempts to control the amount of money in the pot based on the hand the player holds. It has been suggested that this article or section be merged with Rule variations (poker). ... The pot in poker refers to the sum of money that players wager during a single hand or game, according to the betting rules of the variant being played. ...

The game is divided into a series of hands or deals, at the conclusion of each hand the pot is awarded to one or a few players. A hand ends either at the showdown (when the remaining players compare their hands), or when all but one player have folded and abandoned their claim to the pot. The pot is then awarded to the player(s) who have not folded and have the best hand. (This is usually only one player, but can be more in the case of a tie.) // Wikibooks Poker has more about this subject: Betting This article describes the common terms, rules, and procedures in the game, but does not cover the strategic impact of betting. ... A hand in poker can mean any of the following: A synonym for round, a unit of play consisting of a deal, betting, and possibly a showdown. ... In poker it is sometimes necessary to divide the pot among two or more players rather than awarding it all to a single player. ...

The objective of winning players is not winning every individual hand, but rather making mathematically correct decisions. By making such decisions, winning poker players maximize their long run winnings, which is achieved by maximizing their expected utility on each round of betting.[3] The expected utility hypothesis is the hypothesis in economics that the utility of an agent facing uncertainty is calculated by considering utility in each possible state and constructing a weighted average. ...

## History

Johnny Moss, Chill Wills, Amarillo Slim, Jack Binion, and Puggy Pearson outside of Binion's Horseshoe in 1974

Although little is known about the invention of Texas hold 'em, the Texas State Legislature officially recognizes Robstown, Texas as the game's birthplace, dating the game to the "early 1900s".[4] After its invention and spread throughout Texas, hold 'em was introduced to Las Vegas in 1967 by a group of Texan gamblers and card players, including Crandell Addington, Doyle Brunson, and Amarillo Slim .[5] The game was later introduced to Europe by bookmakers Terry Rogers and Liam Flood.[6] Download high resolution version (600x759, 278 KB)This is a file from the Wikimedia Commons, a repository of free content hosted by the Wikimedia Foundation. ... Download high resolution version (600x759, 278 KB)This is a file from the Wikimedia Commons, a repository of free content hosted by the Wikimedia Foundation. ... The Texas Legislature is the state legislature of the U.S. state of Texas. ... Robstown is a suburb-city in Nueces County, west of Corpus Christi, Texas. ... Official language(s) No official language See languages of Texas Capital Austin Largest city Houston Largest metro area Dallasâ€“Fort Worthâ€“Arlington Area  Ranked 2nd  - Total 261,797 sq mi (678,051 kmÂ²)  - Width 773 miles (1,244 km)  - Length 790 miles (1,270 km)  - % water 2. ... For further information, see Las Vegas metropolitan area and Las Vegas Strip. ... Crandell Addington one of the founders of the World Series of Poker, is one of the old school poker players who cropped up from Texas. ... Doyle Brunson, also known as Texas Dolly, (born August 10, 1933 in Longworth, Fisher County, Texas) is an American poker player who has played professionally for over 50 years. ... Thomas Austin Preston, Jr. ... For other uses, see Europe (disambiguation). ... Terry Red Menace Rogers was an Irish bookmaker, credited with introducing holdem poker to Europe, alongside Gentleman Liam Flood. ... Liam Flood, nicknamed The Gentleman is an Irish professional poker player. ...

For several years the Golden Nugget Casino in Downtown Las Vegas was the only casino in Las Vegas to offer the game. At that time, the Golden Nugget's poker room was "truly a 'sawdust joint,' with... oiled sawdust covering the floors."[7] Because of its location and decor, this poker room did not receive many rich drop-in clients, and as a result, professional players sought a more prominent location. In 1969, the Las Vegas professionals were invited to play Texas hold 'em at the entrance of the now-demolished Dunes Casino on the Las Vegas Strip. This prominent location, and the relative inexperience of poker players with Texas hold 'em, resulted in a very remunerative game for professional players.[7] The Golden Nugget Las Vegas is a casino-hotel located in Las Vegas, Nevada on the Fremont Street Experience. ... The south end of The Strip. ... The Dunes in 1983 The Dunes Hotel was a Las Vegas, Nevada hotel/casino that operated from May 23, 1955 to January 26, 1993, and was the tenth resort to open on the Las Vegas Strip. ... The south end of The Strip; approximately one third of the entire Strip is represented here. ...

After a disappointing attempt to establish a "Gambling Fraternity Convention", Tom Moore added the first ever poker tournament to the Second Annual Gambling Fraternity Convention held in 1969. This tournament featured several games including Texas hold 'em. In 1970 Benny and Jack Binion acquired the rights to this convention, renamed it the World Series of Poker, and moved it to their casino Binion's Horseshoe Casino in Las Vegas. After its first year, a journalist, Tom Thackrey, suggested that the main event of this tournament should be no-limit Texas hold 'em. The Binions agreed and ever since no-limit Texas hold 'em has been played as the main event.[7] Interest in the Main Event continued to grow steadily over the next two decades. After receiving only 8 entrants in 1972, the numbers grew to over 100 entrants in 1982, and over 200 in 1991.[8][9][10] Benny Binion at the 1979 World Series of Poker Lester Ben Benny Binion (November 20, 1904 - December 25, 1989) was a well known American casino owner and poker enthusiast. ... Jack Binion (b1937) is an American casino operator. ... The WSOP logo The World Series of Poker is the most prestigious set of poker tournaments in the world. ... To meet Wikipedias quality standards, this article or section may require cleanup. ... // Wikibooks Poker has more about this subject: Betting This article describes the common terms, rules, and procedures in the game, but does not cover the strategic impact of betting. ...

During this time, Doyle Brunson's revolutionary poker strategy guide, Super/System was first published.[11] Despite being self-published and priced at \$100 in 1978, the book revolutionized the way poker was played. It was one of the first books to discuss Texas hold 'em, and is today cited as one of the most important books on this game.[12] A few years later, Al Alvarez published a book detailing an early World Series of Poker event.[13] The first book of its kind, it described the world of professional poker players and the world series of poker. It is credited with beginning the genre of poker literature and with bringing Texas hold 'em (and poker generally), for the first time, to a wider audience.[14] Super/System is one of the most famous and seminal books about how to play poker. ... Al Alvarez (1929-) is an English poet, writer and critic. ... The WSOP logo The World Series of Poker is the most prestigious set of poker tournaments in the world. ...

Interest in hold 'em outside of Nevada began to grow in the 1980s as well. Although California had legal card rooms offering draw poker, Texas hold 'em was prohibited under a statute which made illegal the now unknown game "stud-horse". However in 1988, Texas hold 'em was declared legally distinct from "stud-horse" in Tibbetts v. Van De Kamp, 271 Cal. Rptr. 792 (1990). Almost immediately card rooms across the state offered Texas hold 'em.[15] (It is often presumed that this decision ruled that hold 'em was a skill game,[16] but the distinction between skill and chance has never entered into California jurisprudence regarding poker.[17]) This article is about the U.S. State of Nevada. ... Official language(s) English Capital Sacramento Largest city Los Angeles Largest metro area Greater Los Angeles Area  Ranked 3rd  - Total 158,302 sq mi (410,000 kmÂ²)  - Width 250 miles (400 km)  - Length 770 miles (1,240 km)  - % water 4. ... Draw poker is any poker variant in which each player is dealt a complete hand before the first betting round, and then develops the hand for later rounds by replacing cards. ...

## The hold 'em explosion

In the first decade of the 21st century, Texas hold 'em experienced a surge in popularity worldwide.[1] Many observers attribute this growth to the synergy of five factors: the invention of online poker, the game's appearance in film and on television, the 2004-05 NHL lockout[18], the appearance of television commercials advertising online cardrooms, and the 2003 World Series of Poker championship victory by online qualifier Chris Moneymaker.[19] Online poker is the game of poker played over the Internet. ... This article or section does not cite its references or sources. ... The 2003 World Series of Poker (WSOP) was held at Binions Horseshoe. ... Christopher Bryan Moneymaker (born November 21, 1975 in Atlanta, Georgia) is an American poker player who won the main event at the 2003 World Series of Poker (WSOP). ...

Image File history File links JoeHachem. ... Image File history File links JoeHachem. ... Joseph (Joe) Hachem (pronounced Ha-shem) (Arabic: Ø¬ÙˆØ²Ù Ù‡Ø§Ø´Ù…) (born 3 November 1966 in Lebanon) is a Lebanese-Australian poker player. ... The 2005 World Series of Poker opened play on June 2, continuing through the Main Event No Limit World Championship starting on July 7. ...

### Television and film

Main article: Poker on television

Prior to poker becoming widely televised, the movie Rounders (1998), starring Matt Damon and Edward Norton, gave moviegoers a romantic view of the game as a way of life. Texas hold 'em was the main game played during the movie and the no-limit variety was described, following Doyle Brunson, as the "Cadillac of Poker". A clip of the classic showdown between Johnny Chan and Erik Seidel from the 1988 World Series of Poker was also incorporated into the film.[20] Poker television programs have been extremely popular in the last several years, especially in North America and Europe. ... Rounders is a 1998 film about the underground world of high-stakes poker. ... Matthew Paige Matt Damon (born October 8, 1970) is an American screenwriter and actor. ... Edward Harrison Norton[1] (born August 18, 1969) is a two-time Academy Award-nominated, Golden Globe-winning American film actor and director. ... Doyle Brunson, also known as Texas Dolly, (born August 10, 1933 in Longworth, Fisher County, Texas) is an American poker player who has played professionally for over 50 years. ... For the actor, see Johnny Chan (actor). ... Erik Seidel (born in New York City) is an American professional poker player. ... The 1988 World Series of Poker (WSOP) was held at Binions Horseshoe. ...

Hold 'em first caught the public eye as a spectator sport in the United Kingdom with the Late Night Poker TV show in 1999. [21] Fueled by the introduction of lipstick cameras, which allowed spectators to see the players' private cards, hold 'em exploded in popularity as a spectator sport in the United States and Canada in 2003. ESPN's coverage of the 2003 World Series of Poker featured the unexpected victory of Internet player Chris Moneymaker, an amateur player who gained admission to the tournament by winning a series of online tournaments. Moneymaker's victory initiated a sudden surge of interest in the World Series, based on the egalitarian idea that anyone – even a rank novice – can become a world champion.[22] Late Night Poker is a British television show in which Poker players, mostly professionals or strong amateurs, compete in a short series of No-Limit Texas hold em tournament games for a prize of approximately Â£50,000. ... In poker, a hole cam (or pocket cam) is a camera that displays a players hole cards (face-down cards) to television viewers. ... ESPN/ESPN-DT, formerly an acronym for Entertainment and Sports Programming Network, is an [[United States|Amer<nowiki>Insert non-formatted text here--68. ... The 2003 World Series of Poker (WSOP) was held at Binions Horseshoe. ... Christopher Bryan Moneymaker (born November 21, 1975 in Atlanta, Georgia) is an American poker player who won the main event at the 2003 World Series of Poker (WSOP). ... Egalitarianism is the moral doctrine that equality ought to prevail among some group along some dimension. ...

In 2003, there were 839 entrants in the WSOP Main Event,[23]and triple that number in 2004.[24] The crowning of the 2004 WSOP champion, Greg "Fossilman" Raymer, a patent attorney from Connecticut, further fueled the popularity of the event among amateur (and particularly internet) players.[25] In the 2005 Main Event, an unprecedented 5,619 entrants vied for a first prize of \$7,500,000. The winner, Joe Hachem of Australia, was a semi-professional player.[26] This growth continued in 2006, with 8,773 entrants and a first place prize of \$12,000,000 (won by Jamie Gold).[27] The 2004 World Series of Poker (WSOP) was held at Binions Horseshoe after Harrahs Entertainment purchased the casino and the rights to the tournament in January. ... Gregory Raymer (born on June 25, 1964) [1] is a professional poker player. ... A patent attorney is an attorney who has the specialized qualifications necessary for representing clients in obtaining patents and acting in all matters and procedures relating to patent law and practice, such as filing an opposition. ... The 2005 World Series of Poker opened play on June 2, continuing through the Main Event No Limit World Championship starting on July 7. ... Joseph (Joe) Hachem (pronounced Ha-shem) (Arabic: Ø¬ÙˆØ²Ù Ù‡Ø§Ø´Ù…) (born 3 November 1966 in Lebanon) is a Lebanese-Australian poker player. ... Jamie M. Gold (born August 25, 1969)[1] is an American television producer, an experienced talent agent, and poker tournament player, based in Malibu, California. ...

Beyond the World Series, other television shows – including the long running World Poker Tour – are credited with increasing the popularity of Texas hold 'em.[28] In addition to its presence on network and general audience cable television,[29] poker has now become a regular part of sports networks' programming.[30] The World Poker Tour (WPT) is a series of poker tournaments featuring most of the worlds professional players. ...

### Literature

Twenty years after the publication of Alvarez's groundbreaking book, James McManus published a semi-autobiographical book, Positively Fifth Street (2003), which simultaneously describes the trial surrounding the murder of Ted Binion and McManus' own entry into the 2000 World Series of Poker.[31] McManus, a poker amateur, finished 5th in the No-Limit Texas Hold 'em main event, winning over \$200,000.[32] In the book, McManus discusses events surrounding the World Series, the trial of Sandy Murphy and Rick Tabish, poker strategy, and some history of poker and the world series. James McManus is an American poker player, novelist and poet from Chicago, Illinois. ... Ted Binion ( -September 17, 1998) (aka Lonnie Binion) was a wealthy gambling executive and one of the sons of famed Las Vegas casino magnate Lester Ben Benny Binion, owner of Binions Horseshoe. ... The 2000 World Series of Poker (WSOP) was held at Binions Horseshoe. ...

Michael Craig's 2005 book The Professor, the Banker, and the Suicide King details a series of high stakes Texas hold 'em one-on-one games between Texas banker Andy Beal and a rotating group of poker professionals. As of 2006, these games were the highest stakes ever played, reaching \$100,000–\$200,000 fixed limit.[33] Michael Craig is an American lawyer and author best known for his 2005 book, The Professor, the Banker, and the Suicide King. ... The Professor, the Banker, and the Suicide King: Inside the Richest Poker Game of All Time is a 2005 book by Michael Craig detailing billionaire Andrew Beals high stakes poker games with Las Vegass top professional poker players. ... Official language(s) No official language See languages of Texas Capital Austin Largest city Houston Largest metro area Dallasâ€“Fort Worthâ€“Arlington Area  Ranked 2nd  - Total 261,797 sq mi (678,051 kmÂ²)  - Width 773 miles (1,244 km)  - Length 790 miles (1,270 km)  - % water 2. ... For other uses, see Bank (disambiguation). ... Andrew Andy Beal (born 1952) is a billionaire businessman living in Dallas, Texas. ... The game of poker as played today requires that players agree before play on allowable amounts for betting (called limits), and the use and amount of forced bets. ...

### Online poker

Poker revenues from Party Gaming (2002-2006). The drop off in 2006 is due to the UIGEA.
Main article: Online poker

The ability to play cheaply and anonymously online has been credited as a cause of the increase in popularity of Texas hold 'em.[22] Online poker sites both allow people to try out games and also provide an avenue for entry into large tournaments (like the World Series of Poker) via smaller tournaments known as satellites. Both the 2003 and 2004 winners of the World Series qualified by playing in these tournaments.[34][35] Image File history File links This is a lossless scalable vector image. ... Image File history File links This is a lossless scalable vector image. ... PartyGamings best known brand PartyGaming plc is an online gambling company, best known for its online poker room PartyPoker. ... The Security and Accountability For Every Port Act of 2006 (or SAFE Port Act, Pub. ... Online poker is the game of poker played over the Internet. ...

Although online poker grew from its inception in 1998 until 2003, Moneymaker's win and the appearance of televisions advertisements in 2003 contributed to a tripling of industry revenues in 2004.[36][37]

## Rules

The descriptions below assume a familiarity with the general game play of poker, and with poker hands. For a general introduction to these topics, see poker, poker hands, poker probability, and poker jargon.

The poker room at the Trump Taj Mahal, Atlantic City, NJ. Poker is a card game, the most popular of a class of games called vying games, in which players with fully or partially concealed cards make wagers into a central pot, after which the pot is awarded to the... A hand in poker can mean any of the following: A synonym for round, a unit of play consisting of a deal, betting, and possibly a showdown. ... For the domestic fireplace tool, see fireplace poker. ... // This article refers to standard poker hands only, otherwise refer to non-standard poker hand In poker, certain combinations of cards, or hands, outrank other hands, based on the frequency with which these combinations appear. ... In poker, the probability of each type of 5-card hand can be computed by calculating the proportion of hands of that type among all possible hands. ... The large and growing jargon of poker includes many terms. ...

### Betting structures

See the article on betting for a detailed explanation of betting in these variations of hold 'em.
A standard hold 'em game showing the position of the blinds relative to the dealer button

When only two players remain, special 'head-to-head' or 'heads up' rules are enforced and the blinds are posted differently. In this case, the person with the dealer button posts the small blind, while his/her opponent places the big blind. The dealer acts first before the flop. After the flop, the dealer acts last for the remainder of the hand. The flop in poker refers to the dealing of the first three face-up cards to the board, or to those three cards themselves. ...

Most casinos that offer hold 'em also allow the player to the left of the big blind to post an optional live straddle, usually double the amount of the big blind, which then acts as the big blind. No-limit games may also allow multiple re-straddles, in any amount that would be a legal raise.[11] // Wikibooks Poker has more about this subject: Betting This article describes the common terms, rules, and procedures in the game, but does not cover the strategic impact of betting. ...

### Play of the hand

There are only two private cards in hold 'em. They are dealt first.

Play begins with each player being dealt two cards face down. (Like most poker games, the deck is a standard 52 card deck, no jokers.) These cards are the player's hole or pocket cards. These are the only cards each player will receive individually, and they will only (possibly) be revealed at the showdown, making Texas hold 'em a closed poker game. Image File history File linksMetadata Size of this preview: 800 Ã— 600 pixelsFull resolution (1600 Ã— 1200 pixel, file size: 705 KB, MIME type: image/jpeg) File history Legend: (cur) = this is the current file, (del) = delete this old version, (rev) = revert to this old version. ... Image File history File linksMetadata Size of this preview: 800 Ã— 600 pixelsFull resolution (1600 Ã— 1200 pixel, file size: 705 KB, MIME type: image/jpeg) File history Legend: (cur) = this is the current file, (del) = delete this old version, (rev) = revert to this old version. ... For the Russian group of artists, see Jack of Diamonds (artists). ... In all poker games, if more than one player remains after the last betting round, all of the players expose and compare their hands to determine the winner or winners. ... In the game of poker, a betting round is said to be closed if no player will have the right to raise in the round. ...

The hand begins with a "pre-flop" betting round, beginning with the player to the left of the big blind (or the player to the left of the dealer, if no blinds are used) and continuing clockwise. A round of betting continues until every player has either folded, put in all of their chips, or matched the amount put in by all other active players. See betting for a detailed account. Note that the blinds are considered "live" in the pre-flop betting round, meaning that they contribute to the amount that the blind player must contribute, and that, if all players call around to the player in the big blind position, that player may either check or raise. The Clockwise direction A clockwise motion is one that proceeds like the clocks hands: from the top to the right, then down and then to the left, and back to the top. ... // Wikibooks Poker has more about this subject: Betting This article describes the common terms, rules, and procedures in the game, but does not cover the strategic impact of betting. ...

After the pre-flop betting round, assuming there remain at least two players taking part in the hand, the dealer deals a flop, three face-up community cards. The flop is followed by a second betting round. This and all subsequent betting rounds begin with the player to the dealer's left and continue clockwise. The flop in poker refers to the dealing of the first three face-up cards to the board, or to those three cards themselves. ... This article needs to be wikified. ...

After the flop betting round ends, a single community card (called the turn or fourth street) is dealt, followed by a third betting round. A final single community card (called the river or fifth street) is then dealt, followed by a fourth betting round and the showdown, if necessary. The turn, or fourth street, in poker is the fourth of five cards dealt to the board, constituting one face-up community cards that each of the players in the game can use to make up their final hand. ... The river is the final card dealt in a poker hand, to be followed by a final round of betting and, if necessary, a showdown. ...

In all casinos, the dealer will burn a card before the flop, turn, and river. Because of this burn, players who are betting cannot see the back of the next community card to come, which might be marked. [11] In card games, a burn card is a playing card dealt from the top of a deck, and discarded (burned), unused by the players. ...

### The showdown

If a player bets and all other players fold, then the remaining player is awarded the pot and is not required to show his hole cards. If two or more players remain after the final betting round, a showdown occurs. On the showdown, each player plays the best five-card poker hand he can make from the seven cards comprising his two hole cards and the five community cards. A player may use both of his own two hole cards, only one, or none at all, to form his final five-card hand. If the five community cards form the player's best hand, then the player is said to be playing the board and can only hope to split the pot, since each other player can also use the same five cards to construct the same hand.[11] In all poker games, if more than one player remains after the last betting round, all of the players expose and compare their hands to determine the winner or winners. ... A hand in poker can mean any of the following: A synonym for round, a unit of play consisting of a deal, betting, and possibly a showdown. ... In poker it is sometimes necessary to divide the pot among two or more players rather than awarding it all to a single player. ...

If the best hand is shared by more than one player, then the pot is split equally among them, with any extra chips going to the first players after the button in clockwise order. It is common for players to have closely-valued, but not identically ranked hands. Nevertheless, one must be careful in determining the best hand; if the hand involves fewer than five cards, (such as two pair or three of a kind), then kickers are used to settle ties (see the second example below). Note that the card's numerical rank is of sole importance; suit values are irrelevant in Hold'em. In poker, certain combinations of cards, or hands, outrank other hands, based on the frequency with which these combinations appear. ... In poker, certain combinations of cards, or hands, outrank other hands, based on the frequency with which these combinations appear. ... A kicker, also called a side card, is a card in a poker hand that does not itself take part in determining the rank of the hand, but that may be used to break ties between hands of the same rank. ... High card by suit refers to assigning relative values to playing cards of equal rank based on their suit. ...

## Examples

### Sample showdown

Here's a sample showdown:

Board
4♣ K♠ 4♥ 8♠ 7♠
Bob
A♣ 4♦
Carol
A♠ 9♠
Ted
K♥ K♦
Alice
5♦ 6♦

Each player plays the best 5-card hand they can make with the seven cards available. They have

 Bob 4♣ 4♥ 4♦ A♣ K♠ Three fours, with an ace-king kicker Carol A♠ K♠ 9♠ 8♠ 7♠ Ace-high flush Ted K♠ K♥ K♦ 4♣ 4♥ Full house, kings full of fours Alice 8♠ 7♠ 6♦ 5♦ 4♥ 8-high straight

In this case, Ted's full house is the best hand, with Carol in 2nd, Alice in 3rd and Bob last.

### Sample hand

The blinds for this example hand

Here is a sample game involving four players. The players' individual hands will not be revealed until the showdown, to give a better sense of what happens during play: Image File history File links Example_Hold'em. ... Image File history File links Example_Hold'em. ...

Compulsory bets: Alice is the dealer. Bob, to Alice's left, posts a small blind of \$1, and Carol posts a big blind of \$2.

Pre-flop: Alice deals two hole cards face down to each player, beginning with Bob and ending with herself. Ted must act first because he is the first player after the big blind. He cannot check, since the \$2 big blind plays as a bet, so he folds. Alice calls the \$2. Bob adds an additional \$1 to his \$1 small blind to call the \$2 total. Carol's blind is "live" (see blind), so she has the option to raise here, but she checks instead, ending the first betting round. The pot now contains \$6, \$2 from each of three players. // Wikibooks Poker has more about this subject: Betting This article describes the common terms, rules, and procedures in the game, but does not cover the strategic impact of betting. ... The game of poker as played today requires that players agree before play on allowable amounts for betting (called limits), and the use and amount of forced bets. ...

Flop: Alice now burns a card and deals the flop of three face-up community cards, 9♣ K♣ 3♥. On this round, as on all subsequent rounds, the player on the dealer's left begins the betting. In this case it is Bob, who checks. Carol opens for \$2, Ted has already folded and Alice raises another \$2 (puts in \$4, \$2 to match Carol and \$2 to raise), making the total bet now facing Bob \$4. He calls (puts in \$4, \$2 to match Carol's initial bet and \$2 to match Alice's raise). Carol calls as well, putting in her \$2. The pot now contains \$18, \$6 from the last round and \$12 from three players this round.

Turn: Alice now burns another card and deals the turn card face up. It is the 5♠. Bob checks, Carol checks, and Alice checks; the turn has been checked around. The pot still contains \$18.

River: Alice burns another card and deals the final river card, the 9♦, making the final board 9♣ K♣ 3♥ 5♠ 9♦. Bob bets \$4, Carol calls, and Alice folds (Alice's holding was A♣ 7♣; she was hoping the river card would be a club to make her hand a flush). In poker, certain combinations of cards, or hands, outrank other hands, based on the frequency with which these combinations appear. ...

Showdown: Bob shows his hand of Q♠ 9♥, so the best five-card hand he can make is 9♣ 9♦ 9♥ K♣ Q♠, for three nines, with a king-queen kicker. Carol shows her cards of K♠ J♥, making her final hand K♣ K♠ 9♣ 9♦ J♥ for two pair, kings and nines, with a jack kicker. Bob wins the showdown and the \$26 pot. In poker, certain combinations of cards, or hands, outrank other hands, based on the frequency with which these combinations appear. ... In poker, certain combinations of cards, or hands, outrank other hands, based on the frequency with which these combinations appear. ...

### Kickers and ties

Because of the presence of community cards in Texas hold 'em, different players' hands can often run very close in value. As a result, it is not uncommon for kickers to be used to determine the winning hand and also for two hands to tie. A kicker is a card which is part of the five card poker hand, but is not used in determining a hand's rank. For instance, in the hand A-A-A-K-Q, the king and queen are kickers. A kicker, also called a side card, is a card in a poker hand that does not itself take part in determining the rank of the hand, but that may be used to break ties between hands of the same rank. ... A hand in poker can mean any of the following: A unit of play consisting of a deal, one or more rounds of betting, and possibly a showdown. ...

The following situation illustrates the importance of breaking ties with kickers and card ranks, as well as the use of the five-card rule. After the turn, the board and players' hole cards are as follows.

Board (after the turn)
8♠ Q♣ 8♥ 4♣
Bob
K♥ Q♠
Carol
Q♥ 10♦

At the moment, Bob is in the lead with a hand of Q♠ Q♣ 8♠ 8♥ K♥, making two pair, queens and eights, with a king kicker. This beats Carol's hand of Q♥ Q♣ 8♠ 8♥ 10♦ by virtue of his king kicker.

Suppose the final card was the A♠, making the final board 8♠ Q♣ 8♥ 4♣ A♠. Bob and Carol still each have two pair (Queens and eights), but both of them are now entitled to play the final ace as their fifth card, making their hands both two pair, queens and eights, with an ace kicker. Bob's king no longer plays, because the ace on the board plays as the fifth card in both hands, and a hand is only composed of five cards. They therefore tie and split the pot.

## Strategy

Doyle Brunson is credited with bringing poker strategy to a wider audience
See Poker strategy for a more detailed discussion of general poker strategy

Most poker authors recommend a tight-aggressive approach to playing Texas hold 'em. This strategy involves playing relatively few hands (tight), but betting and raising often with those that one does play (aggressive).[2] Although this strategy is often recommended, some professional players successfully employ other strategies as well.[2] Image File history File links DoyleBrunson1976. ... Image File history File links DoyleBrunson1976. ... Doyle Brunson, also known as Texas Dolly, (born August 10, 1933 in Longworth, Fisher County, Texas) is an American poker player who has played professionally for over 50 years. ... Poker strategy is a complex subject. ... In the game of poker, opens and raises are considered aggressive plays, while calls and checks are considered passive (though a check-raise would be considered a very aggressive play). ...

Almost all authors agree that where a player sits in the order of play (known as position) is an important element of Texas hold 'em strategy, particularly in no-limit hold'em.[3] Players who act later have more information than players who act earlier. As a result, players typically play fewer hands from early positions than later positions. Position in poker refers to the order in which players are seated around the table and the related poker strategy implications. ...

Because of the game's level of complexity, it has received some attention from academics. One attempt to develop a quantitative model of a Texas hold'em tournament as an isolated complex system has had some success,[38] although the full consequences for optimal strategies remain to be explored. In addition, a group at the University of Alberta is developing a poker playing program utilizing techniques in game theory and artificial intelligence.[39] The University of Alberta (U of A) is a public coeducational research university located in Edmonton, Alberta, Canada. ... Game theory is a branch of applied mathematics that is often used in the context of economics. ... AI redirects here. ...

### Starting hands

A pair of aces is the best hand to be dealt in Texas Hold'em Poker

While most poker authors focus on playing primarily premium starting hands, some authors claim that the importance of starting hands is overstated.[40] Because there are only two cards dealt to each player, it is easy to characterize all of the starting hands. There are (52 × 51) ÷ 2 = 1,326 distinct possible combinations of two cards from a standard 52-card deck. Because no suit is more powerful than another, many of these can be equated for the analysis of starting-hand strategy. For example, although J♥ J♣ and J♦ J♠ are distinct combinations of cards, they are of equal value as starting hands. In the poker game Texas hold em, a players starting hand consists of two hole cards, which belong solely to the player and remain hidden from the other players. ... Image File history File links No higher resolution available. ... Image File history File links No higher resolution available. ... This article does not cite any references or sources. ... For other uses, see Combination (disambiguation). ... High card by suit refers to assigning relative values to playing cards of equal rank based on their suit. ...

Viewed this way there are only 169 different hole-card combinations. Thirteen of those hands would be pairs, from 2 through ace. There are 78 ways to have two cards of dissimilar rank (12 possible hands containing an ace, 11 possible hands containing a king and no ace, 10 possible hands containing a queen and no ace or king, etc.). Hole cards can both be used in a flush if they are suited, but pairs are never suited, so there would be 13 possible pairs, 78 possible suited non-pairs, and 78 possible unsuited non-pairs, for a total of 169 possible hands.[41] Suited starting cards are usually considered stronger than unsuited hands,[40] although the magnitude of this strength in different games is debated.[42] In poker, certain combinations of cards, or hands, outrank other hands, based on the frequency with which these combinations appear. ...

Because of this limited number of starting hands, most strategy guides involve a detailed discussion of each of these 169 starting hands. This separates hold 'em from other poker games where the number of starting card combinations forces strategy guides to group hands into broad categories.[40] Also, the small number has led to many colloquial names for individual hands.[43]

### Cash games

Main article: Ring game

Prior to the invention of poker tournaments, poker games were played with real money where players bet actual currency (or chips which represented currency). Games which feature wagering actual money on individual hands are still very common and are referred to as "cash games" or "ring games". Ring games, also called cash games, are live poker games played with real chips and money on the line, usually with no predetermined end time. ... An amateur poker tournament in progress. ...

Lower stakes games also exhibit different properties than higher stakes games. Small stakes games often involve more players in each hand and can vary from extremely passive (little raising and betting) to extremely aggressive (many raises). The difference of small stakes games have resulted in several books dedicated to only those games.[44]

### Tournaments

Main article: Poker tournament

Texas hold 'em is often commonly associated with poker tournaments largely because it is played as the main event in many of the famous tournaments, including the World Series of Poker's Main Event, and is the most common tournament overall.[45] Traditionally, a poker tournament is played with chips that represent a player's stake in the tournament. Standard play allows all entrants to "buy-in" a fixed amount and all players begin with an equal value of chips. Play proceeds until one player has accumulated all the chips in play. The money pool is redistributed to the players in relation to the place they finished in the tournament. Usually only a small percentage of the players receive any money, with the majority receiving nothing. As a result the strategy in poker tournaments can be very different from a cash game. An amateur poker tournament in progress. ... The WSOP logo The World Series of Poker is the most prestigious set of poker tournaments in the world. ... Harry Trumans poker chips Casino poker chips are special tokens representing a fixed amount of money. ...

Proper strategy in tournaments can vary widely depending in the amount of chips one has, the stage of the tournament, the amount of chips others have, and the playing styles of one's opponents.[2] Although some authors still recommend a tight playing style, others recommend looser play (playing more hands) in tournaments than one would otherwise play in cash games. In tournaments the blinds and antes increase regularly, and can become much larger near end of the tournament. This can force players to play hands that they would not normally play when the blinds were small, which can warrant both more loose and more aggressive play. [46]

## Similar games

There are several other poker variants which resemble Texas hold 'em. Hold 'em is a member of a class of poker games known as community card games, where some cards are available for use by all the players. There are several other games that use five community cards in addition to some private cards and are thus similar to Texas hold 'em. Royal hold 'em has the same structure as Texas hold 'em, but the deck contains only Aces, Kings, Queens, Jacks, and Tens.[47] Pineapple and Omaha hold 'em both vary the number of cards an individual receives before the flop, but are dealt identically afterward.[48][49] Alternatively, in Double-board hold'em all players receive the same number of private cards, but there are two sets of community cards. The winner is either selected for each individual board with each receiving half of the pot, or the best overall hand takes the entire pot, depending on the rules agreed upon by the players.[50] // Probably starting about the time of World War II, many modern poker games used Community cards (also called shared cards or window cards), which are cards dealt face up to the center of the table and shared by all players. ... Royal hold em (also holdem, holdem) is a deviation of Limit Texas holdem played without deuces through nines, leaving only the Tens, Jacks, Queens, Kings, and Aces. ... // Probably starting about the time of World War II, many modern poker games used Community cards (also called shared cards or window cards), which are cards dealt face up to the center of the table and shared by all players. ... Omaha hold em (or Omaha holdem or simply Omaha) is a community card poker game (often referred to as a flop game) similar to Texas hold em, where each player is dealt four cards and must make his best hand using exactly two of them, plus exactly three of the... // Probably starting about the time of World War II, many modern poker games used Community cards (also called shared cards or window cards), which are cards dealt face up to the center of the table and shared by all players. ...

Manila is a hold'em variant popular in Australia. In Manila, players receive two private cards from a reduced deck (containing no cards lower than 7). A five card board is dealt, unlike Texas hold 'em, one card at a time; there is a betting round after each card. Manila has several variations of its own, similar to the variants listed above.[51] // Probably starting about the time of World War II, many modern poker games used Community cards (also called shared cards or window cards), which are cards dealt face up to the center of the table and shared by all players. ...

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2. ^ a b c d Harrington, Dan and Bill Robertie (2004). Harrington on Hold'em: Expert Strategy For No-Limit Tournaments; Volume I: Strategic Play. Two Plus Two Publications. ISBN 1-880685-33-7.
3. ^ a b Sklansky, David (2005). The Theory of Poker, Fourth, Las Vegas: Two plus two.
4. ^ Texas State Legislature - House (May 11, 2007). 80(R) HCR 109. House Resolution. Retrieved on 2007-05-12.
5. ^ Brunson, Doyle (2005). Doyle Brunson's Super System II. Cardoza.
6. ^ McCloskey, Mick (June 22, 2005). Poker in Ireland a Little History. Retrieved on May 19, 2006.
7. ^ a b c Addington, Crandell (2005). "The History of No-Limit Texas Hold'em", in Doyle Brunson: Super/System 2. New York: Cardoza Publishing, 75–84. ISBN 1-58042-136-9.
8. ^ 3rd World Series of Poker (WSOP) 1972. The Hendon Mob Poker Database. Retrieved on 2007-05-14.
9. ^ 13th World Series of Poker (WSOP) 1982. The Hendon Mob Poker Database. Retrieved on 2007-05-14.
10. ^ 22nd World Series of Poker (WSOP) 1991. The Hendon Mob Poker Database. Retrieved on 2007-05-14.
11. ^ a b c d e f Brunson, Doyle (1978). Super/System: A course in power poker. B&G Publishing Company. , emphasis in original
12. ^ Blount, Chuck. "ON POKER; Brunson's first book shed light on poker's secrets", San Antonio Express-News, 2006-05-25. Retrieved on 2007-05-14.
13. ^ Alvarez, Al (1983). The Biggest Game in Town. Houghton Mifflin. ISBN 978-0395339640.
14. ^ Christenson, Nick. Biggest Game in Town Reviewed. Ready Bet Go!. Retrieved on 2007-01-08.
15. ^ Singsen, Michael Pierce (1988). "Where Will the Buck Stop on California Penal Code 330? Solving the Stud-Horse Conundrum". Hastings Communications and Entertainment Law Journal 11: 95-148.
16. ^ See, e.g., Junker, Matthew (December 8 2004). Legal questions surround Texas hold 'em. Tribune-Review Publishing Co.. Retrieved on 2007-09-13.
17. ^ Humphrey, Chuck. California Lottery v. Gambling. Gambling-law-US.com. Retrieved on 2007-05-13.
18. ^ Van Harten, Peter (2006-11-07). Televised poker filled hockey void: Mac prof. Hamilton Spectator. Retrieved on 2007-10-25.
19. ^ Chechitelli, John. World Series Of Poker, A Young Man's Affair?. All In Magazine. All In. Retrieved on 2007-06-25.
20. ^ Rounders (1998). IMDb. Retrieved on October 27, 2006.
21. ^ Late Night Poker: About the Show. Chanel 4. Retrieved on October 27, 2006.
22. ^ a b Krieger, Lou (July 30, 2004). "How Big Can the World Series of Poker Become?". Card Player Magazine 17 (16): 36–38.
23. ^ \$10,000 World Championship Event. Hendon Mob. Retrieved on October 27, 2006.
24. ^ \$10,000 World Championship Event. Hendon Mob. Retrieved on October 27, 2006.
25. ^ Greg Raymer. Poker Stars. Retrieved on October 27, 2006.
26. ^ \$10,000 No Limit Texas Hold'em – World Championship Event. Hendon Mob. Retrieved on October 27, 2006.
27. ^ \$10,000 No Limit Texas Hold'em – World Championship Event. Hendon Mob. Retrieved on October 27, 2006.
28. ^ Stutz, Howard (July 20 2006). "WPT hit with lawsuit". Knight-Ridder Tribune Business News: Lexis-Nexis. Retrieved on 2007-06-25.
29. ^ Examples of poker on general audience television include Poker After Dark (NBC), High Stakes Poker (GSN), and the aforementioned World Poker Tour (formerly The Travel Channel, now GSN)
30. ^ Lewis, Christian (September 5 2006). "FSN Bulks Up on Bowls". Multichannel News: 24. Retrieved on 2007-06-25.
31. ^ McManus, James (2003). Positively Fifth Street: Murderers, Cheetahs and Binion's World Series. Farrar, Straus and Giroux. ISBN 978-0374236489.
32. ^ James McManus:Hendon Mob Poker Database. The Hendon Mob Poker Database. Retrieved on 2007-01-08.
33. ^ Craig, Michael (2005). The Professor, the Banker, and the Suicide King: Inside the Richest Poker Game of All Time. Warner Books. ISBN 978-0446577694.
34. ^ Kaplan, Michael (2006). People Profile - Greg Raymer. Cigar Aficionado. Retrieved on 2007-01-08.
35. ^ Moneymaker, Chris. Chris Moneymaker Poker Biography. ChrisMoneymaker.com. Retrieved on 2007-01-08.
36. ^ Cook, Steve (January 12, 2005). Punters warm to online poker. The Register. Retrieved on 2007-01-05.
37. ^ Poker History: Online Poker. PokerTips. Retrieved on October 27, 2006.
38. ^ Christopher Mims (2007). Physicist Unlocks Secrets of Texas Hold 'Em. Science News. Scientific American, Inc. Retrieved on 2007-04-08.
39. ^ A list of publication from this group can be found at [1].
40. ^ a b c Miller, Ed, David Sklansky and Mason Malmuth (2004). Small Stakes Hold'em. Two Plus Two Publications. ISBN 1-880685-32-9.
41. ^ Alspach, Brian (2005). Counting starting poker hands (pdf). Retrieved on May 19, 2006.
42. ^ Cloutier, T.J. and Tom McEvoy (1997). Championship No-Limit & Pot-Limit Hold'em. Cardoza. 1-58042-127-X.
43. ^ Bochan, Toby. Slang for Poker Hands. About.com. Retrieved on 2007-07-16.
44. ^ Miller, Sklansky, and Malmuth op cit. and Jones, Lee (1994). Winning Low-Limit Hold-em. Conjelco. ISBN 1-886070-15-6.
45. ^ Gregorich, Mark (April 27, 2005). "The Future of Tournaments". Card Player Magazine 18c (8c): 26, 110.
46. ^ Sexton, Mike (February 5, 2005). "Tournament Tips". Card Player Magazine 18c (3c): 18.
47. ^ Royal Hold'em - Poker Rules Variant. Pokertips.org. Retrieved on 2007-01-08.
48. ^ Pineapple - Poker Rules Variant. Pokertips.org. Retrieved on 2007-01-08.
49. ^ Arneson, Erik. Omaha Hold 'Em Poker Rules. About.com. Retrieved on 2007-01-08.
50. ^ Double Flop Holdem Rules. Pokernews.com. Retrieved on 2007-01-08.
51. ^ Honest Casinos. Manila Poker. Pokerpistols.com. Retrieved on 2007-01-08.

Results from FactBites:

 Texas hold 'em - Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia (2979 words) Hold 'em is commonly played outside of the United States, but seven-card stud, Omaha hold 'em and other games may be more popular in some places. Texas hold 'em was introduced to Las Vegas by a group of Texan gamblers and card players, including Crandall Addington, Doyle Brunson, and Amarillo Slim. Hold 'em is normally played using small and big blind bets.
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