How to Play Texas Hold’em Poker

How to Play Texas Hold’em Poker

Here you can learn how to play Texas Hold’em Poker and understand its rules.

The aim of Texas Hold’em Poker is to build the strongest hand of five cards from the seven that have been dealt.

Playing Texas Hold’em – The Pre-Flop

To begin playing Texas Hold’em, the two people to the left of the dealer will place money on the table called blinds. Each player is dealt two cards, which only they can see, face down, called hole or pocket cards.

You then have a round of betting beginning to the left of the two people who posted the blinds. This is called a pre-flop bet. The amount of the bet depends on the type of game you are playing:

  • No Limit Texas Hold’em: you can bet any amount of chips.
  • Pot Limit Texas Hold’em: you can only bet the size of the pot (including all bets and raises in the current round).
  • Limit Texas Hold’em: there are betting limits on each round.

Playing Texas Hold’em – The Flop

Once the pre-flop betting round is over, 3 cards will be put in the middle of the table (community cards). This part of the game is called ‘the flop’. At this point, these cards can be used by all the players to make their hands. This next round is another betting round where players have the option of folding (leaving the game), calling (to see a bet) or raising the bets in each round.

Playing Texas Hold’em – The Turn

The fourth community card, called the “turn card” is put on the table. All players can use the “turn card” to form their hand. The betting starts again.

Playing Texas Hold’em – The River

The last community card (the fifth card) is placed on the table; this card is known as the ‘river’. Again, all players can use this card to form their hand. There is then a last round of betting, starting to the left of the dealer. In this round the limit is the same as the previous round (depending on your game limit) though if you see, say, a £50 bet, it would be a raise total of £100.

Playing Texas Hold’em – The Showdown

After the betting round, players begin to show their hands. This is called ‘the showdown’. Once this is completed, the player with the best hand wins the game.

Value of Hands/When to bet

To play Texas Hold’em Poker you need to know the following hand rankings, starting from the highest and finishing with the lowest:

  • The Royal Flush – sometimes called the Royal Straight Flush; five cards of the same suit in sequence, starting with a Ten and ending with an Ace (AKQJ10)
  • Straight Flush – five cards of the same suit in sequence, such as 76543 of hearts
  • Four of a kind – four cards of the same rank accompanied by an extra card or kicker (7777K)
  • Full house – three cards of one rank with two of another (99955)
  • Flush – five cards of the same suit such as (AJ942) of spades
  • Straight – five cards in sequence, with aces high or low (AKQJ10)
  • 3 of a kind – three cards of same rank with two kickers (KKK84)
  • Two pair – two cards of one rank, two of another rank and 1 kicker (KK993)
  • One pair – two cards of one rank with three kickers (88472)
  • High card – where the highest card only counts, such as KJ349 would be King high.

Check out the Glossary of Texas Hold’em Terms

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