1. The dealer shuffles the cards. Also decide the minimum and maximum bets allowed.
2. From here, before the cards are dealt, you can do one of two things. Have each player put in an ante, which is the minimum bet for the table, or, use the small blind, big blind method. With the latter method, the player to the left of the dealer puts in half as much as the minimum betting amount for the table and the player to the left of that player puts in the minimum betting amount. These players are the small blind and big blind, respectively. When the first round is played and its time for all players to bet, the big blind and small blind players subtract the money they’ve already put in. So if the big blind put in $5 before the cards were dealt, when the first round of betting comes along he/she can claim that $5 as his bet. If the player wanted to bet $10, then he/she would only have to throw in $5, since he/she already put in $5 before the dealing.
3. The dealer now deals out two cards to each player, face side down. They are dealt one at a time, that is, the player gets one card, the next player one card, etc.. then a second card for everyone after each player has received their first card. Standard poker dealing.
4. Players are allowed to look at their own cards, and you should. Once the first two cards are dealt, there is a round of betting.
5. Each player can bet, check, or fold. Betting begins with the person left of the big blind and continues around the table past the dealer to the big blind who has the “option” to increase (raise) the bet or check. That is, they can bet money on their hand or decide to bet nothing but stay in the game, or quit the round all together.
6. Now the dealer takes the first card off the top of the deck, and discards it. This serves the same purpose as cutting the deck after shuffling; it prevents cheating.
7. Now the dealer places the next three cards off the top of the deck in front of him/her, face up. This is called the flop.
8. There is another round of betting. Players are betting on the total of the two cards they have face down in front of them, and the three cards face up in front of the dealer. Example:
- Three cards in front of the dealer: A – J – 3
- Two cards each player has:
- Player 1 A – 4
- Player 2 J – 3
- Player 3 4 – 10
- So Player 1 has: A – A – 4 – J – 3
- Player 2 has: J – J – A – 3 – 3
- Player 3 has: 4 -10 – A – J – 3
As you can see, each player is using their own two cards, and the three cards in front of the dealer, to build their hands.
9. After the round of betting, the dealer discards the card on the top of the deck, to prevent cheating, and then lays 1 more card face up next to the three already in front of him. This is called the turn or 4th street.
10. Just like before, players are using their own 2 cards, plus the cards in front of the dealer to build their hands. BUT, you can only build hands with 5 cards, and you must use the two in your hand. There are now 6 cards altogether; the two in front of the player, and the 4 in front of the dealer. You can only pick 5 to build your hand.
11. There is a round of betting.
12. Now the dealer discards the top card, and lays 1 more card face up in front of him. This is the last card the dealer will put out. This is known as the river or 5th street. These 5 cards are referred to as The Board.
13. Players build their hands, in their heads, using only 5 of the cards in their hand and on the table, and there is another round of betting.
14. It is now time for all remaining players to show their hands by turning over their two cards. Players take turns turning their cards over counter clockwise, starting with the player that made the last bet. Since there are 7 cards to each player, but each player can only use 5 of them, each player needs to announce what their hand is.
15. The player with the highest hand wins the pot, which is the chips that were bet during each round of the game.