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Texas Hold’em rules

One of the most popular forms of poker today is Texas Hold’em. In Texas Hold’em each player receives two hole-cards and five subsequent cards are dealt face-up in the middle of the table, also known as the “flop”, “turn”, and “river”. The object of the game is to make the best five-card poker hand possible using your two hole-cards and the five community cards.

Basic rules

The game of Texas Hold’em is actually very easy to understand. Each player is dealt two face-down poker cards, the so called hole cards. After this a total of five cards are dealt face-up on the table; first three cards, then one more and finally a last one. These are called community cards, because everyone can use them in conjunction with their own two cards to form a hand. In between the dealing of these cards, there are four rounds of betting in which you can either bet chips, or fold your hand. TWO PLAYERS POST A BLIND

Pre-flop

Two players post a blind

Before the cards are dealt, two players must post a blind bet. These bets are called blinds, because they are posted by players who haven't seen their cards yet. There is one small bet, the small blind, and one big bet, the big blind. The big blind is usually double the small blind.

These bets aren't posted by just anyone, but always by the two players sitting to the left of the dealer. Since the dealer position moves around the table in a clockwise fashion, so does the responsibility of posting the blinds. In order to recognize the current dealer, a special chip is placed in front of the current dealer. This chip is called the button, or dealer button.

Everyone receives two cards

Now each player is dealt two cards and the first round of betting begins. Do you have strong enough cards to invest chips or money, or should you throw away your cards? How the betting works is explained in the next section.

What are your options in a betting round?

Fold

If you don't want to continue in the hand, you can throw your cards away and "leave" the current round.

Bet

When no-one before you has bet anything, you can do so yourself. You would say, for example: "I bet 10 chips" and place your chips in the pot, so that anyone who wants to continue playing must match your bet. If they don't, because it is too expensive or they don’t have a good hand, they can fold. Betting all of one's chips is called going all-in. Once you are all-in, you can't bet anything more, but also cannot be forced to fold anymore. Indeed, when you are all-in, you will automatically be in the hand until its end, giving you the possibility to win by showing the best cards.

Raise

You can also raise a bet; for example, raise an opponent's bet of 10 chips to 20 chips. By doing this you are making the bet more expensive to call for anyone who wants to play on. If they don't want to pay extra, they have to fold.

Check

If no-one has bet yet, then you can check. This means that you don't place any bets and let the next player act. It is like saying "I'll wait and see what happens".

WHEN IS IT YOUR TURN?

To keep betting rounds organised, there are a few rules to know whose turn it is. Basically, the action goes round the table clockwise. When one player has acted, the player to his left is next to act.

In the first round of betting the player to the left of the Big Blind is first to act. From the second round on, it is always the first player to the left of the Button.

Once everyone has acted, all the bets are collected and placed in the middle of the table. This is called the pot. Whoever wins the hand, wins the pot.

The next step is to learn about the community cards.

The Flop

After the initial round of betting the dealer deals three cards face up on the table, so that everyone can see them. They do not belong to one particular player - indeed everyone can use them to create their 5-card poker hand. This is why they are called community cards.

Now begins the second round of betting, during which you can bet additional chips on your hand. At the end of the round, the bets are collected as usual and put into the pot.

The Turn

Next, a fourth community card, the turn, is dealt on the table. It is also used in combination with the other cards to form your poker hand.

The players who are still in the hand enter into a third round of betting, at the end of which the bets are collected and placed in the pot. Once the betting is completed, the river card is dealt.

The River

The river is the fifth and final community card to be dealt. Just like the other cards, it can also be used in combination with each player’s hole cards to form the respective player's hand.

In the ensuing fourth round of betting you can bet once more. After this round of betting, the players who are still in the hand show their cards. This is called the showdown, and is explained in detail in the next section.

The Showdown

A poker hand always consists of five cards. Not four, not seven, but exactly five. You construct your hand from your two hole cards which were dealt to you and the community cards. You won't always need both of your hole cards to form your poker hand, though. Indeed, you can use four of the community cards, or even all five, it doesn't matter. The only requirement is that your hand consists of five cards.

There are a number of different combinations that can form a hand in poker. For example, if you have five clubs, then you have a flush. All the possible hands are explained on the following table.

Summary

Now you know the rules of Texas Hold'em. You know that in a game there are four rounds of betting, one before the flop, one on the flop, one on the turn, and the last one after the river card is dealt. The flop, turn, and river are the betting rounds in which the so-called community cards are dealt face-up on the table.

While it appears to be a fairly simple game, appearances can be deceiving. Texas Hold'em can present some very complex situations, which is why inexperienced players often lose very quickly. It is a game that one can quickly learn, but which takes a lot of time to truly master. In the following chapters, you will learn the fundamental strategies for No-Limit Hold’em which will allow you to get started with your poker career.

Poker Basics
Tehas hold’em rules
  • Basic rules
  • Pre-flop
  • What are your options in a betting round?
  • WHEN IS IT YOUR TURN?
  • The Flop
  • The Turn
  • The River
  • The Showdown
  • Summary
Pot limit omaha rules
  • Basic information
  • How is Omaha played?
  • Ranking of Omaha Hands
  • Pre-flop
  • What are your options in a betting round?
  • When is it your turn?
  • The Flop
  • The Turn
  • The River
  • The Showdown
  • How does Pot Limit work?
  • Building a hand
Poker Glossary