Rick Rahim:Okay, I am Rick Rahim, Founder of The Executive Poker Tour, back with professional poker player Rhett Butler, and Rhett we are going to talk about how to deal the game of No Limit Texas Hold Em, which starts with a deck of cards.
Rhett Butler:That's exactly right. With Texas hold em, it's the same as the seven card set game, only the dealing is this, each player gets two of their own cards and then they will have what's called community cards in the middle, five cards to be used by all the players.
Rick Rahim:So we are each going to start with two cards down that only we see and no other player knows what we have.
Rhett Butler:That is correct.
Rick Rahim:Okay and for the purposes of example, we are going to deal three hands, even though there is only two of us Rhett, we will deal you, me and the dealer or the button will also get a hand, so we can talk about betting and position as well.
Rhett Butler:That is excellent. Now, also in poker, the one thing you will find that is called antes or blinds. In this case, there are blinds and usually the little blind is one unit and the big blind is two of whatever that unit is, in this case, one red chip and Rick will be required to put in two red chips, the dealer would have position on both of us and he either has to call that fold or raise.
Rick Rahim:So, it is important to talk about Rhett, the dealer usually rotates when you are playing a home game, so if you are playing at home with your buddies, I might deal this hand and then I would pass shuffle and pass the deck and the deal would rotate and the dealer button really just indicates who is dealing at that time, so for purposes of our example today, we are going to pretend that there is a person over here dealing, but in your home game, you may not even use a dealer button because whoever is holding the cards, it tells you who the dealer is and then the blinds are to the left to the dealer, so in this case if the dealer is over there, the small blind is immediately to his left and the big blind is immediately to the small blind's left.
Rhett Butler:Exactly, when we say blinds, all we mean is a unit of bet, so that is the amount that is bet into the pot, automatically by the blinds.
Rick Rahim:So, whether your chips are worth 25 cents or $25, basically the blind would be one chip and the big blind would be two chips and the purpose of the blinds, Rhett is ready to stimulate action right?
Rhett Butler:It's to stimulate action and to start the poker game that forces people to either play, check or fold.
Rick Rahim:So, instead of everybody having crappy cards and not wanting to play, at least two players before they are even dealt cards have money in the game, so we know somebody is going to attempt to win the money that's already in the pot.
Rhett Butler:And this is what is so key about poker, it's the betting aspect and the position, obviously you want good cards, you prefer to start with good cards, but this will lead in to lot of the more advanced plays later on.
Rick Rahim:Okay, so we have established how the blinds start off, who the dealer is, again, in this example, the dealer is over here, we don't have a third person, so I am going to deal, since I am pretending to deal for this person, the first card will go to the dealer's left, it would go to you. Every player in the hand gets two cards, face down, which remains secret, right, so it's up to you to protect your hand and make sure nobody else sees what cards you have.
Rhett Butler:Now an obvious, or a beginning player for example, would not necessarily protect his cards and read them like this, typically they might do this and that's when you know you are up against an amateur player.
Rick Rahim:Yeah, but now I know what you have.
Rhett Butler:Right, so what you try to do is protect your hand at all times, and after you have looked at your cards, it's good to use what we call a chip protector, or your chip to say that they are secured, so that they are protected, so the dealer doesn't take them away.
Rick Rahim:Right, so it's up to you to protect your hand because if somebody were to just toss their cards into the muck, or in to the middle, meaning he folds, it's possible that this guy over here as he tossed his cards, that might sweep my cards up and my cards might end up and they will be a dead hand.
Rhett Butler:And a real, in a tournament or in a cash game in a casino, those cards are then no longer able to be in the hand, they are dead, even if you have money in the pot, once the cards are at the middle, it's no longer being used.
Rick Rahim:Okay, so the cards are dealt, you are the small blind, and I am the big blind, we already have money in the game, so in terms of the betting action, the first person to bet or to have to make a decision would be the player immediately to the left of the small blind, we already have money in the game, so we are actually going to be the last people to act. In this particular example, we only have three players, since Rhett's committed to the pot and so am I, the first person to act would be the player to the left of the big blind, which would be this hand right here. So in this situation, this player might look at his hand and decide, he has got a queen ten, now we will talk later about whether that's a good hand or not, but let's for the moment decide that he thinks it's a good hand. His options now are fold, call or raise. If he folds, he would simply throw the hand in to the muck, which is considered the setter and he is saying, I am out, I am not betting any money, but I can't play any further until the next shuffle. If he likes the hand, he has two other options, he can say, I like my hand and I would like to play, the big blind is now two chips, he could call the bet without raising and simply say, okay, I will play, I have to put in the at least however the next biggest bet is, so I simply call the two chips and then the action would pass to the next player, or if he really decides he likes his hand, he could raise, now by raising, Rhett, what are you really telling the other players? Rhett Butler:Well, there is two things you are telling the other players, there is one, either you are trying to tell them that you have a good hand and you want them out, or at least you are saying, I want to see what you have, so position betting and betting is key in every part of the game but most importantly, when you have the dealer or the button, so if he raises, now I have to decide how good is my hand and do I want to put additional money into the pot or do I just fold my hand. In this case, I have a reasonable hand, if he did not raise too much, I would probably call.
Rick Rahim:Okay, so let's assume that he likes his hand or that he thinks that by raising he might force both of us to fold in any event. Let's say he decides to raise, he must raise at least double whatever the next biggest bet has been so far, so if the blind is two chips Rhett, what's the most, the minimum he must raise.
Rhett Butler:The minimum he must raise at least four chips to make it to complete the bet, so that would be, in this case, since the fives or five dollars, or the reds or five dollars, he would have to put at least $20 in the pot.
Rick Rahim:So, he have to put at least four chips in. Now, with only a minimum raise knowing that I already have two chips in, that bet probably won't make me fold necessarily because it will be very few more chips for me to continue playing.
Rhett Butler:He is inducing action as what we call, he wants you to call, or at least he wants us to make us think he wants us to call, there is a lot of strategy involved in that bet.
Rick Rahim:Okay, so just for purposes of seeing how the game is dealt, we won't talk about strategy, we will just assume for the moment that he calls the bet, he likes his cards and he wants to continue to play with us, so the big blind is two chips, he calls with his two chips, now the action is to the next player, Rhett, you have only got one chip in the game so far so now you have a decision to make.
Rhett Butler:Well, I am obviously going to call because the king, Jack is not a bad hand, especially with not that many players. In this case, I would probably raise to three times the big blinds, I will put out the original bet and say raise and then may get six chips to go.
Rick Rahim:Okay so Rhett is saying, hey that guy only called, maybe he doesn't like his hand that much and wants to continue to play as cheaply as possible, I like my hand guys, now you guys have to decide if you are going to put lot more money in the pot or not, it's possible that the both of us would fold and Rhett would win what's in the pot, all by himself, now Rhett raised, I am going to have to make a decision because so far I only have two chips in the pot, I happen to have a very good hand that I like and of course I have seen their cards, but in a normal hand I would not know what their cards are but I can assure you my hand is better than any of those two cards, so my choice would be either to simply call Rhett's raise or to re-raise him, for simplicity, I am just going to call his bet and I will also put in six chips, so now I am calling Rhett's bet of six chips and, we actually go back to the player that's still only got two chips in and at this point Rhett, his decision is going to be put a four more and make it a six bet total, he could fold his hand, he could decide, that's too expensive, I don't want to play any more, but by folding he would lose whatever money he had already put in the pot, or he has one other option doesn't he? Rhett Butler:He has the other option of re-raising and sometimes you will see that if he had a very, very good hand or trying to make a play he would re-raise a lot of chips and try to get us to throw our hands away, most likely he would call or fold in this situation, a good player, trying to start with good quality poker hands.
Rick Rahim:Okay, so if he is only got two chips in the pot, it's gotten pretty expensive, two other players have put a lot of money in the pot representing that they probably have a good hand, so he is probably going to fold at this point, so for this example, let's say he folds, by folding he puts his cards in the middle and any money he has bet so far, goes into the middle of the pot and he has basically lost that money and never recovers it, he has folded, I only called your bet, so you have no further opportunity to re-raise me, so all of the money we have bet so far goes into the middle of the pot, we now have a pot and the first round of dealing and betting has ended.
Rhett Butler:And what we will do in the next segment, is we are going to discuss how the poker cards are now dealt, which is called the flop then the turn and then the river.