Board cards is a term used in community card games; that is, games that use shared (or community or window) cards. Texas Hold'em is probably the best known of all community card games. Players use a mix of their 'hole cards' (private to each player) and board cards (shared by all) to make the best 5 card hand. It means that in any one hand, players will be trying to work out the private cards held by each player.
In the example (pictured), you can see player one has 10-J and player two has A-K. These hole cards are dealt before any shared cards. In Hold'em, after a round of betting, the first three community cards are dealt (also known as the flop). There's then a round of betting and players would be basing their hand using any combination of the two in hand and three on the board. Two more community cards are dealt, each with their own betting rounds (also known as 'the Turn' and 'River'. The objective is to use the 5 available community cards and the two in hand to make the best possible 5 card hand.
The area where these shared cards are dealt is known as 'the board' and board cards simply refer to the community cards that are dealt to it. It's normal for these cards to be dealt in a straight line however there are variants that use more complex methods of dealing the cards - a good example is Elevator Poker.
In any community card game, the first decision you will face will be whether to get involved in the hand. It is important to know you starting hand range. As the community cards are dealt you will start to be able to work out the strength of your hand and your chances for improving, which will help you determine how to play the hand.
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Important Beginners Guides..
Read this no nonsense guide on how to play poker - covering the basics and game play. Perfect for those starting out.
A no nonsense guide on how to play poker. Ideal for beginners looking to learn how to play Texas Hold'em.
Check out this set of rules. It's as close to universal as you will get! Most card rooms use a variation of these.
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