Diving into the nuts and bolts of Texas Hold ‘Em with a look at the button, blinds and how betting works in the game. These are all pretty simple concepts that look like a huge mess when taken as one thing. Instead, we’re going to dissect them one by one.
The button represents the dealer’s position in the rotation. This represents the last person to play and originates from the game being played in a casual environment. In casino and online poker games, the dealer or software acts in that capacity so we use a button to denote that person in the rotation. The button moves around the table clockwise after each hand is played. Keeping up with the current location of the button is key to any kind of poker strategy.
Unlike the poker games that came before it, Texas Hold ‘Em has no ante. In order to force the play without any kind of bet from everyone, blinds are used to seed the pot. The first two players to the left of the button are forced to put in the blind bets. The first player puts in the small blind, which is 1/2 of the minimum bet while the second player puts in the big blind, equal to the minimum bet amount. In other words, in a game of $2/$4 limit Texas Hold ‘Em poker, the small blind is $1 and the big blind is $2.
The Deal and Betting Rounds
Starting with the first player to the left of the button, each player is dealt a pair of cards, face down. These are the pocket cards. After the cards are dealt and the first two players to the left of the button post the blinds, the first round of betting ensues. After the deal, the first action is taken by the player to the left of the big blind. He and the others can choose to call the big blinds bet, fold or raise. While the big blind has to bet, they also have the advantage of acting last after the dealing of pocket cards.
After the first round of betting, the flop takes place. The flop is 3 cards laid face up in the center of the table. In Texas Hold ‘Em, these are community cards and can be used by every player in any combination with their own. Another round of betting ensues, with the first remaining player to the left of the button starting the action.
In The Turn, a single card is laid face up, next to the flop, for a total of four community cards. After this, another betting round occurs, starting with the first player remaining to the left of the button.
With the final card placed on the board, the last round of betting occurs, starting with the first player remaining to the left of the button.
After the betting rounds are finished and if more than two players remain, a showdown takes place. The winner is determined by the best five-card hand possible using any combination of their pocket cards and the board. In Texas Hold ‘Em, it’s entirely possible for the best hand to be right on the board, in which place, players will split the pot evenly.
After the showdown, the button moves one person clockwise, and the next hand is dealt and it starts all over again.