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AskLindaReporterJack from Henderson writes, “I was playing blackjack on Saturday night and I heard an announcement for open seats on Texas Hold’em. Since I have never played Texas Hold’em before, I was wondering if you can give me a few pointers on how to play as well as any Player’s Club benefits for playing poker."

Hi Jack. Texas Hold’em is a fun and easy game to play and is offered at both the Cannery and Eastside Cannery. Both casinos offer low limit games, usually $2, $4 limit Texas Hold’em, or $2-$4-$6 limit Texas Hold’em.

First, unlike other table games, Texas Hold’em is played against the other players and not against the dealer.

The game is usually played with 10 player positions. One position will be designated as the “dealer”, but you won’t need to deal the cards. This button only represents which player will be last to act on each hand. The player one spot left of the “dealer” is known as the “small blind” (usually $1) and the second spot left of the “dealer” is known as the “big blind” (usually $2). Each player will receive 2 cards dealt face down. These cards are called “hole cards.”

After you have looked at your cards, you will have the option to do one of three things; “call” the bet (match the amount of the big blind or any subsequent raises), “raise” the bet, or “fold.” Betting always starts with the “small blind” and continues clockwise around the table until it comes back to the “dealer.”

When all betting is complete, three community cards will be exposed in the center of the table; this is known as the “flop.” Another round of betting will occur. A fourth community card will be exposed. This is called the “turn.” Another round of betting will occur. A fifth and final community card will be exposed. This is called the “river.” You may use any combination of your “hole cards” and the five “community cards” to complete the highest-ranking hand (see ranking of poker hands below). A final round of betting will occur. When betting is complete, you will expose your “hole cards.” The person with the highest-ranking hand will win the “pot.”

The winner will receive the “pot” and the “dealer” button will move one spot to the left. The spot will become the “dealer” for the next hand. If you ever need any help, the dealer will be glad to offer assistance.

I hope that helps you understand how to play Texas Hold’em. As far as the second part of your question, our CAN Club offers poker players very competitive benefits that include:
•    $1 in comps for every hour of play •    Monthly Free-Roll poker tournament •    Monthly promotions only available to poker players •    Eligibility for our weekly casino giveaways

Poker Hand Rankings: (from highest to lowest)
Royal Flush – 5 cards in order from 10 to Ace in the same suit
Straight Flush – 5 cards in order in the same suit
4 of a Kind – Any 4 cards of the same rank
Full House – Any 3 cards of the same rank along with any pair
Flush – Any 5 non-consecutive cards of the same suit
Straight – Any 5 consecutive cards of different suits
3 of a Kind – Any 3 cards of the same rank
Two Pair – Any 2 cards of the same rank with another two cards of the same rank
One Pair – Any 2 cards of the same rank
High Card – Any hand not containing a hand mentioned above