The most popular and probably the best type of poker game for a novice to try his hand at is texas hold em poker. In a matter of minutes, anyone can learn the rules, which usually begins with the two players to the left of the dealer placing blind bets. Two face down cards are then dealt to each player. A round of betting ensues, this time beginning with the person to the left of the first two people who put the blinds in the beginning. Players can choose to check, raise, or fold when the turn to bet comes to them. Later, the dealer places three cards face up on the table. Called a flop, players can use these cards with the two that they already have to form their hands. Following this is another round of betting, after which the dealer places another card, known as the turn card, face up on the table. This card can be used to create a five card hand,if it improves the hand they already hold. The players place their bets, and the dealer show a final card on the table. Known as the river card, players can now use this as well as the other four on the table and the two that they have to create their final poker hands. After one last round of betting, the players still in the game reveal their cards this is called the showdown. With a few rounds of practice, anyone can master the rules. However, mastering the game of poker itself is another story. Not merely an exercise in luck, texas hold em, despite its simplicity involves both brains and practice, thereby, continually challenging those who play it. texas hold em poker has become increasingly popular as a growing number of online sites attract people to play from the comfort of their homes. More and more people are starting to play the game competitively, brushing up on their skills and strategies, often in the hopes of earning some extra money. Many pepole participate in online texas hold em tournaments where the cash prizes can be very high. Numerous sites and other resources have also sprung up to help people perfect their game, offering winning tips and proven strategies, as well as directing them towards the top sites at which to play. Organizations that bring together players are also gaining prominence. Television shows, such as “Celebrity Poker” on the Bravo network, where celebrities compete with each other playing texas hold em has proven to be a ratings success. This too has helped to raise the profile of a game once relegated to the casinos or to male bonding activities. A broader, more diverse range of people are getting involved, from Ivy League college students to stay at home moms, many from the comfort of their homes as they log into the thousands of online sites. Sales of poker paraphernalia have seen a rise as well, as people are either taking the game much more seriously than they once used to or they are discovering it for the first time. Nonetheless, it remains to be seen whether this resurgence of texas hold em is merely a passing fad or one that will prove to have strong staying power.