Casino Games

How to Play Texas Hold’Em Poker

December 4, 2020

What is Texas Holdem Poker?

Before heading to the poker room, you should read up on some of the basic rules for a Texas Holdem game. Texas Hold’em is a popular poker game played against other players. During the game, there will be seven cards in play, including two private hole cards and five board cards laid across the middle of the poker table. The player with the strongest five-card hand will win the game.

Basic Rules for Texas Hold’em Poker

As previously mentioned, the overall goal of the game is to strategically use your hole cards and community cards to make the best possible five-card poker hand.

  • Each player receives two private hole cards as their initial starting hand. After seeing their cards, a player can do one of three things: fold (a player drops out of the hand), call (match the highest bet so far) or raise (increase the previous high bet). This initial wager is called a forced bet.
  • Over the next betting rounds, five more cards will be dealt face up on the poker table. These are called the “community cards” and every player is able to use these cards to make the best possible poker hand.

Betting Rounds

During a game of texas hold ’em, the community cards are dealt in three different stages called “the flop”, “the turn” and “the river”

  • The Flop: after the hole cards are dealt and the initial betting round occurs, the dealer turns over the first 3 community cards
  • The Turn: after the second round of betting occurs after the flop is turned over, the dealer then turns over the fourth community card which is called the turn.
  • The River: this is the fifth and final community card placed by the dealer. Players will once again bet on this final betting round.

Keep in mind, board cards are community cards, and a player may use any five-card combination from both the board and their personal cards. There is no minimum requirement of personal cards you need to use from your hand. For example, you can use one hole care and 4 community cards or a player may even use only board cards and no personal cards, which is called “playing the board.”

Betting in Texas Hold’em Poker

On the poker table, there is a dealer button and everyone takes their turn to be the dealer. The dealer button will move counterclockwise after every hand to the next player.

To the left of the dealer, is the “small blind” or the player that starts the betting off in every poker hand.

Players who sit in consecutive clockwise order from the button post a blind bet. Betting action is initiated on the first betting round by the player on the immediate left of the person who posted the big blind. The betting round then goes around the table to subsequent players in clockwise order.

On all subsequent betting rounds, the betting action is begun by the first active player clockwise from the button.

A bet and three raises are allowed in all limits below 15-30. In 15-30 and above a bet and four raises are allowed.

There is no limit on raises with only two players remaining. Any strange money on that round limits the raises.

In a game which requires a player who wins two consecutive pots to kill the next pot, a marker called a “kill button” indicates which player has won the previous pot. The winner keeps this marker until the poker hand is completed.

If the player who has the kill button wins a second consecutive pot and it qualifies momentarily, that poker player must kill the next pot. There is no pot-sized requirement for the first pot or “leg” of a kill. For the second “leg” to qualify for a kill, the player must win at least 5x the big blind and there must be a flop.

Poker Hand Rankings

There are several different poker hands that apply to different poker games to keep in mind. the hierarchy of hand rankings are below from highest to lowest:

  • Royal Flush: the best possible hand in poker– five cards of the same suit in order of ten, jack, queen, king, and ace
  • Straight Flush: five cards of the same suit in sequential order (ex: cards 5, 6,7, 8,9 all with the same suit)
  • Four of a Kind: any four numerically matching cards
  • Full House: three of a kind with a pair (ex: 3 of hearts, 3 of spades, 3 of clubs, 7 of diamonds, 7 of hearts)
  • Flush: any five cards of the same suit that are not in sequential order
  • Straight: five cards in sequential order but of different suits
  • Three of a kind: any three cards of the same rank
  • Two Pair: two cards of the same rank and two more cars of the same rank
  • Pair: two cards of the same rank
  • High Card: if none of the other hands above are made, the highest card in the hand plays.

“No Limit” Texas Hold’Em Poker

“No Limit” means that the amount wagered is limited only by table stakes rules, so any part or all of a player’s chips may be wagered. With No Limit Texas Hold’em:

  • All bets must be at least equal to the big blind, unless a player is going all-in.
  • All raises must be equal to or greater than the size of the previous bet or raise on that betting round, except for an all-in wager.
  • When raising, a player must either put the amount of the raise out in one motion, or state the raise amount.
  • The number of raises in any betting round is unlimited.

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