How to Play Texas Hold'em
Texas Hold’em is by far the most popular and exciting form of poker
available to players today. With the explosion and success of major televised
tournament events, No Limit Texas Hold’em has become the player’s
favorite type of poker.
Texas Hold’em, also known simply as Hold'em, is a poker game in
which each player receives two cards (hole cards) dealt face down, while
five community cards are dealt face up on the table throughout four betting
rounds. The object of the game is to win the pot that players invest in
by betting during the various rounds. All players play their best five
cards using any combination of their two hole cards and the five community
cards on the table. The best five-card poker hand among those in contention
for the pot wins.
How to Play Texas Hold'em
In Texas Hold'em, a disc known as the dealer “button” serves
to recognize which player sitting at the table is the dealer for that
particular hand. The cards are dealt in a clockwise direction from the
dealer button. Each time the cards are dealt, a new betting round begins.
A Texas Hold'em hand starts when the first card is dealt and ends when
a winner is declared. After each hand has been completed, as with standard
poker rules, the “button” moves clockwise to the next active
player. This is done because there is an advantage to having to act last
and therefore each player will get his fair share of early, late and middle
positions. This player will be considered to be “playing the button"
for that hand.
The player to the immediate left of the button is first to receive a
card and is required to post a “small blind”. The small blind
is equal to half the lower limit bet rounded down to the nearest dollar
(For example, in a $4-$8 game, the small blind is $2; in a $3-$6 game,
the small blind is $1. The player to the immediate left of the small blind
is required to post the “big blind”, equal to the lower limit
bet (For example, in a $3-$6 game, the big blind is $3.). When a new player
sits down at a Texas Hold'em poker game, he must either post the equivalent
of the big blind or wait for their turn in the big blind. This prevents
players from gaining an advantage by avoiding the blinds and jumping in
and out of games. If you have missed one or both blinds, our software
will prompt you if to put in the correct amount. You can also wait for
the blind to get to your position. This is called coming in on the blind.
Both blinds in Texas Hold’em poker are considered live bets and
therefore, according to poker rules, have the option of checking, calling,
raising or folding when the betting action returns to their position.
First Round (Pre-Flop) - After the Texas Hold'em players in the blind
positions put their blinds into the pot the dealer deals two cards called
“hole cards” to each player. At this time each player can
see his own cards but not those of his opponents. After seeing their hole
cards, players now have the option to play their hands by calling, raising
or folding. On the first round only, a player cannot check (make no bet)
and still retain his hand. On the first round only, the betting starts
with the first active player to the immediate left of the big blind. The
minimum bet in this round is the size of the small blind. Thus in a $5/$10
No Limit Texas Hold'em game, it would cost a minimum of $5 for the player
who acts first to call in this initial round of betting. (The maximum
dollar value and number of raises per round depends on version of Texas
Hold’em being played as described below.)
Second Round (Flop) – Next, three cards are dealt face-up on the
board also known as the “flop”. These three community cards
are available to all active players. In this round play begins with the
first active player to the immediate left (clockwise) of the dealer button,
who has one of three choices, check, bet, or fold. Until there is a bet,
each succeeding active player has the same choices. Once a bet is made,
each succeeding Texas Hold'em player then has, in turn, one of three choices;
call, raise, or fold. Bets and raises occur in lower limit bet increments.
Therefore in a $5/$10 No Limit Texas Hold'em game the bet would cost a
minimum of $5.
Third Round (Turn) - When betting action is completed for the flop round,
the “turn” is dealt face-up on the board. The turn is the
fourth community card in a Texas Hold'em poker game. Play once again begins
with the active player immediately left (clockwise) of the dealer button
and the same rules apply as the second round except that poker betting
doubles from the lower limit bet to the higher limit bet. In a $5/$10
game, betting on the turn is done in $10 increments.
Fourth Round (River) - When betting action is completed for the turn
round, the “river” is dealt face-up on the board. The river
is the fifth and final community card in a Texas Hold'em game. Play once
again begins with the active player immediately left (clockwise) of the
dealer button as explained above.
Showdown - When all the betting is done, and if more than one player
is still in for the pot, then the showdown determines who wins the game
of Texas Hold'em. In No Limit Texas Hold’em, it is possible that
one or more betting rounds not take place if only one active player has
any chips left with all other active players having bet all their chips
(all-in). When this occurs, any remaining community cards will be dealt
face up and a showdown will take place. The last player to open with a
bet or raise is required to show their cards first and anyone else can
fold. Players who elect to fold do not have to show their cards. (i.e.
muck his cards if he decides he has lost. However the hole cards of all
players who stay in to the showdown are included in the hand history,
even if they choose to muck). The player with the best five-card hand
wins the pot. In the event of identical hands, the pot will be equally
divided between the players with the best hands. Texas Hold'em rules state
that all suits are equal, so split pots are more common than in other
variations of poker.
There are three different types of Texas Hold’em Poker games,
made different by their betting structures
- No Limit: Players may bet all of their chips at any time.
- Pot Limit: Players may bet an amount equal to the pot size.
- Limit: Players may bet a fixed amount for each round.
No Limit Texas Hold’em
In No Limit Texas Hold’em, the minimum amount a player can bet
must be equal or greater than the big blind and a raise must equal or
be greater then the last bet or raise within the same round. There is
no maximum amount to bet, a player may bet his entire stack at any time.
The number of raises is only limited to a player’s chips total.
Pot Limit Texas Hold’em
In Pot Limit Texas Hold’em, the minimum amount a player can raise
must equal or be greater than the last bet or raise within the same round.
The maximum a player may bet is equal to the amount in the pot including
his call before making the raise. (Example; a player‘s call is $5
and the pot is $20, he may raise to a maximum of $50. His call of $5 brings
the pot to $25 and he may raise the amount equal to the pot of $25, thus
the raise is $25.)
Limit Texas Hold’em
In Limit Texas Hold’em, players must bet a pre-determined fixed
amount per each round. The betting amount is equal to the big blind for
the first two rounds of betting and doubles up for the last two rounds
of betting. A maximum of 4 bets is allowed per round which includes a
bet and three raises. (Example; in a $5/$10 Limit Texas Hold'em game,
players must bet $5 and raise by $5 up to a maximum of $20 for the pre-flop
and flop rounds, they must bet $10 and raise by $10 up to a maximum of
$40 for the turn and river round).