Texas Holdem Rules

Today’s most famous poker variant, Texas Holdem is easy to learn and difficult to master. You can learn to play Holdem in one hour or less but it can take years to truly grasp most of its secrets.

Texas Holdem rules

At the beginning of each hand, two players are required to post blinds, one player the small blind, and the other one the big blind. Each time blinds are posted by different players and the blind positions rotate clockwise from one hand to another. These positions determine the order of action during a hand.

Betting rounds

Every Texas Holdem hand can consist of up to 4 betting rounds:

 Preflop – every player is dealt two hole cards. They are invisible to others. The player immediately to the left of the big blind is first to act, followed by a player to his left, and so on. The first player can fold, call the big blind, or raise. This is one of the most important betting rounds during the whole hand. Every mistake made preflop will only be magnified in later betting rounds so take it very seriously.
 Flop – the dealer deals three community cards in the middle of the table, available for everyone. This time, and in every subsequent betting round, the small blind acts first and can either check or bet. The number of active players should be lower now as many folded their hands preflop. This is the most crucial betting round in No-Limit Texas Holdem.
 Turn – another, fourth community card is dealt. The number of active players should be even lower. Depending on the stakes, chances are you are already heads-up with one opponent.
 River – the final betting round starts, when the dealer places the last, fifth community card on the table. This is the last chance to put more chips into the pot.

In reality, most poker hands finish preflop or on the flop. Players usually will fold their garbage hands as soon as possible and garbage is the hand you will be dealt most of the time. In case there are at least two players after the river, they reveal their hands in the showdown and the player with the best hand wins the pot.

Important note – you can use any five cards to make your best hand out of the seven available. You can use your two hole cards and three community cards, one hole card and four community cards, or none of your hole cards and all the five community cards.

Texas Holdem example

No-Limit Texas Holdem, $1/$2 blinds, 6 players at the table, each has a $200 stack. You are Player 4. Player 5 posts the small blind ($1). Player 6 posts the big blind ($2).

Preflop (6 players, pot - $3)

You are dealt AA. Player 1 folds, Player 2 calls ($2), Player 3 calls ($2), and you raise to $11, Player 5 folds, Player 6 calls ($9), Player 2 calls ($9), and Player 3 folds.

Flop (3 players, pot - $32)

AK7 is dealt in the middle of the table. Player 6 checks, Player 2 bets $12, you raise to $36, Player 6 folds, and Player 2 calls ($24).

Turn (2 players, pot - $108)

7 is dealt. Player 2 checks, you bet $70 and Player 2 calls ($70).

River (2 players, pot - $248)

8 is dealt. Player 2 bets all-in ($83) and you call ($83).

Showdown (final pot - $414)

Player 2 shows QJ. Your full house (AAA77) beats his flush (KQJ87) and you win $414 ($214 profit).

More articles on poker rules:

 Poker rules
 Poker hand ranking
 Poker variants
 Omaha rules
 7 Card Stud rules
 Betting limits
 High-low variants
 Table types

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