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Playing Texas Hold'em

Texas Hold'em is a poker variant that has made its mark as one of the most popular poker games in the world. It is played across Europe, North America, and even online. Often, Texas Hold'em is the actual game that is referred to when people say they want to play poker, since poker isn't actually a single gambling game, but an entire family of gambling card games. A big part of Texas Hold'em's surge in popularity can be attributed to the fact that the game was -and continues to be- the main event in the widely-televised World Series of Poker, held in Las Vegas in Nevada.

Texas Hold'em is an example of a community card poker game. In this card game, two hole cards are dealt out to each player, and then a forced bet is made to open the pot. The two cards that the players are dealt are called "hole" cards or "pocket" cards. These cards are dealt face-down, and only the players themselves can see these cards.

Five "community" cards are dealt out face-down, and these cards are used to complete a five-card hand by all of the players in the game. While the community cards are eventually revealed throughout the course of the game and are available for all of the players, the hole cards of each individual player are usually only ever revealed during the final round, or "showdown," which means that Texas Hold'em is a "closed" poker game.

After the community cards have been dealt, there is a round of betting that proceeds clockwise, until all of the players have made the required contributions into the pot to remain in the hand, or until all of the players have folded. After this round of betting, if there is more than one player left in contention, the dealer turns three of the community cards face-up. This move is called a "flop." After the flop, there is second betting round, and if more than one player remains in the pot, another card is revealed. Revealing the one community card after the flop is called the "turn" or the "fourth street." There is another round of betting after the turn; and the "fifth street," or river is dealt. Now that all of the community cards have been revealed, should there still be two or more players in the game; a fourth round of betting is done, followed by the showdown. In the showdown, each of the remaining players' hole cards is revealed, and the one with the highest hand wins the pot.