There is something special in having the opportunity to beat your friends, coworkers, or neighbors in poker home games and then go on to mention it on every occasion you get.
The joy of beating people you know in poker seems to be far superior to the one we get when we take a pot from a stranger in a casino.
However, to have the opportunity to play home games, most of us must take upon ourselves the dealer duties.
Often overlooked in traditional casinos and online games, the dealer role is inevitable for players in home games.
Today, we take a look at the less popular role at the poker table and explain how to deal poker.
Knowing Texas Hold’em Rules Before Dealing
Although some home games have their own rules when it comes to the format of specific hands, the general rules of Texas Hold’em apply in most cases.
Without knowing Texas Hold’em rules, chances are that you won’t get far in dealing cards, so our first advice is to learn the rules of the game.
If you already know the rules, the article will be enough for you to take on dealing in Texas Hold’em hands starting from your next home game.
Of course, there are also the props that are necessary for every home game:
- Deck of 52 cards
- The dealer button
How to Deal Poker Hands – Dealer Duties
Let’s start from the beginning. You and your friend just sat at the table, you are first to deal, so all eyes are on you. What is the first thing you should do?
The first thing is to check the deck, to make sure that it has 52 cards and that no cards are missing.
If you have played in the casino, you probably know that dealers do this by spreading the whole deck across the table so that all players can see the cards with their own eyes. You should do the same.
After you make sure that the structure of the deck is as it should be, the next thing to do to maintain the integrity of the game is to shuffle the cards.
If you are starting with a new deck of cards, you should shuffle them at least three times before you start dealing them out to players.
Now after you shuffle the cards three times, the next step is to determine which player will get the Dealer Button (which player will act last in each betting round after the flop) on the first hand.
Preparations Before the Cards Are Dealt
To do this, you need to deal each player one card. The player whose card has the highest ranking will get the Dealer Button on the first hand.
If one or more players happen to have cards with the same ranking, the winner is decided based on the suit of the cards.
In this situation, the strongest suit is spades, followed by hearts and diamonds. The weakest suit is clubs.
For example, if one of the players receives A♣ and the other player receives A♦, the player with the A♦ will get the Dealer Button on the first hand.
After you determine the placement of the Dealer Button, your next task is to make sure that the blinds are posted.
In Texas Hold’em, the players that place blinds in each hand are the small blind and the big blind.
The player who sits on the direct left of the button is the small blind, and the player who sits on the direct left of the small blind is the big blind.
As the name suggests, these two players place half a blind and one blind, respectively. This means that if you are playing 5/10 No Limit Hold’em, the player in the small blind should post, $5 and the player in the big blind should post $10 before the cards are dealt.
After you have established which player will have the Dealer Button and after the blinds have been posted, it is time to deal the hole cards.
Dealing Hole Cards in Texas Holdem
The “Hole Cards” is a term used in Texas Hold’em to describe the two cards each individual player gets and which are known only to him throughout the hand.
After you shuffle the cards, you can start dealing the hole cards. The first hole card goes to the player in the first position clockwise from the player who has the Dealer Button, the player who will be the small blind in that hand.
You continue to deal in the clockwise direction, dealing each player one card turned face down at a time.
The dealing ends when each of the players at the table has two hole cards. If you have done everything right, the last cards should be dealt to the player on the Dealer Button.
While you are dealing the hole cards in Texas Hold’em, make sure to pay attention that each player takes the card that is meant for them and not for some of the other players.
Now that each player has two hole cards, the first round of betting also known as preflop, can begin.
In the preflop round of betting, the first player that acts is the player in the first position clockwise from the big blind, this position is called Under The Gun (UTG).
The betting continues clockwise, with the big blind being the last player to act preflop.
Each of the players at the table, apart from the big blind, has three options: fold, call, or raise. If one or more players just call without raising, the big blind also gets the option to check.
After the preflop betting rounds finishes, the dealer places all of the folded cards onto one pile (usually on the dealer’s left).
Before you start dealing the flop, you should pull all the poker chips with which the betting was done during the round towards one pile closer to you (the chips are usually placed on the dealer’s right).
Now the second round of betting, called the flop, can begin.
Dealing The Flop In Poker
Dealing the flop is done by discarding the top card from the deck and placing it in front of the dealer face down and then taking the next three cards from the deck and placing them face up from the left to right in the center of the table.
These three cards are community cards, also known as the flop. The players can use these cards in combination with their hole cards to make the best possible poker hand.
After these three cards have been revealed, the second round of betting can begin, and here is where things change when it comes to the order of action.
In the preflop betting round, the UTG is the first player to act, but after the flop, the action starts with the small blind and continues clockwise. (Or the first player clockwise from the small blind if the small blind is not in the hand).
The last player to act in each betting round after the flop is the button. (Or, if the button is not in the hand, the first still active player to his right).
If only one player is left with hole cards during the hand, he is pronounced the winner, and they win all the chips in the middle.
The hand continues to the next betting round if two or more players still have their hole cards after the second round of betting is done.
Dealing The Turn Card In Texas Hold’em
The turn is the third round of betting in Texas Hold’em, and from the dealer’s perspective, it starts similarly to the previous round.
You should discard the top card from the deck and place it face down on the previously discarded card.
Then instead of taking the top three cards from the deck, like you did when you were dealing the flop, you should take only the first card and place it face up to the right of the three flop cards.
After the turn card is revealed, the third round of betting begins with the small blind (or the first player clockwise to the small blind) and ends with the button (or the first player to the button’s right still holding hole cards).
If there are still two or more players with hole cards after this round of betting, all of the chips with which the bets were made on the turn are placed on the same pile of chips as in previous rounds.
How to Deal Texas Hold’em: The River
The fifth and final community card in Texas Hold’em is called the river. To properly deal the river, you need to once again discard the top card from the deck and place it on the pile with the rest of the cards you previously discarded.
After this, you take the top card from the deck and place it face up to the right of the four community cards already on the table.
The final placement of all five community cards should look like this.
After you deal the river card, you should spread the rest of the deck in front of you with all cards facing down, signifying that all cards have been dealt.
The fourth and final round of betting starts with the player in the small blind once again opening the action and the player on the button ending the action.
This round of betting can end in one of two ways:
- All players except one fold
- One or more players make a call facing the last bet
If the first scenario happens, all of the chips from the four betting rounds are shoved toward the player who still has his hole cards.
All of the cards are put back into the deck, and the deck is shuffled. At the same time, the Dealer Button is moved one spot in the clockwise position, the blinds are posted, and a new hand can begin.
If the second scenario happens, the hand goes to showdown.
Dealer Poker Rules: Showdown In Texas Holde’em
In Texas Holdem dealing, the showdown is a term used to describe a situation where two or more players remain in the hand after the last round of betting.
If more than one player is still active, they will show their cards in a given order, which depends on river action.
- If there was no action on the river, the player closest to the small blind would reveal their cards first.
- On the other hand, if there was action, the player who made the last aggressive action reveals their cards first.
After the first player exposes his cards, all other players still in the hand have the option to admit defeat and muck their hands without showing their cards or prove that they have a better hand by turning their cards face up.
If one or more players show their cards, the poker dealer’s job is to clearly indicate the winning hand by making the best possible five-card combination on the table for everyone to see.
After the winning hand has been clearly displayed, the dealer takes all of the chips and puts them in front of the player with the best hand. Then, he puts all of the cards back into the deck and shuffles them so a new hand can start. In the meantime, the Dealer Button is moved one spot to the right, and the blinds are posted.
Poker Dealer Rules: Counting the Pot and Taking Rake
In casino games and some private games, the dealer is asked to charge rake from cash game pots.
If this is the case in your game, you will need to know the size of the pot every time to take the appropriate amount of rake from the pot.
Experienced dealers count the pot while players are making their bets, and they know the exact size of the pot by showdown.
If you are not that fast with calculating the pot size just yet, you can always count the pot at the end of the hand, but you should do it as quickly as possible.
Players generally don’t like to wait for the next hand too long, and the last reason they want to wait for is that the dealer is too busy taking rake from the pot.
Ideally, you will want to practice counting the pot on the go and charge the rake without taking any extra time away from the players.