How To Play

Texas Holdem Rules

Hand Rankings - Poker Terms

Texas hold'em is a community card game. Every player is dealt two cards face down, and then five community cards are dealt in the middle of the table. The five community cards may be used by every player.

When played in casinos, texas hold'em is played with a dealer button to mark who the dealer would be if the casino weren't providing one for the table. The button rotates clockwise around the table between every hand. This is important as the "dealer" is the last to act, and thus has the greatest advantage for that hand.


The Objective of Texas Hold’em

To make your best five card hand using any combination of the five community cards on the board and the two cards that were dealt to you at the beginning of play.

Texas Hold’em Rules - Forced Bets

Blinds

Texas Hold’em rules dictate that there be two forced bets every hand, called blinds. There is a small blind, which is 1/2 of the low limit bet size, and a big blind, which is equal to the low limit bet size. Before the hand begins, the player to the immediate left of the dealer button is forced to post the small blind, and the player to the left of that person is forced to post the big blind. These bets count towards that player's first round bet, and are considered live, meaning the player may choose to raise the bet even if nobody else has.

Texas Hold’em Rules - Betting Rounds

There are four rounds of betting. In fixed limit Texas Hold'em game, in the first two rounds of betting, all bets must be equal to the size of the low limit bet. In the last two rounds of betting, all bets must be equal to the highest limit bet. If, for example, you're playing in a 2-4 Texas Hold’em tournament, all bets in the first two rounds will be in increments of 2 dollars, and all bets in the last two rounds must be in increments of 4 dollars. A maximum of 3 raises can occur in any given betting round.

1. Pre-flop - The player to the immediate left of the dealer button is forced to post the Small Blind. The player to the left of him, or two seat positions to the left of the dealer button, is forced to post the Big Blind. Two cards are dealt to every player face down, starting with the small blind. The action begins with the player to the immediate left of the big blind, who must decide to fold, call (by putting in the low limit bet), or raise, (by putting in twice the low limit bet). Action proceeds clockwise around the table. The Small Blind may call (assuming nobody has raised) by adding the other 1/2 of the low limit bet he was already forced to put in. The big blind may simply check (assuming nobody has raised), as he has already put in the full size of the first round bet.

2. The Flop - Three cards are dealt face up in the middle of the table. In this round, and in the following two rounds, the player to the immediate left of the dealer button is the first to act. Play proceeds in a clockwise manner around the table. All bets and raises must be equal to the low limit bet size.

3. The Turn - A fourth card is dealt face up in the middle of the table. Play proceeds as in the previous round, except now all bets and raises must be equal to the high limit bet size.

4. The River - A fifth and final card is dealt face up in the middle of the table. Play proceeds as in the previous round. All bets and raises must be equal to the high limit bet size.

Showdown
Anyone who has not folded after the last round of betting will now have the option of showing their hand and possibly winning the pot. The person who bet last is the first to show their hand, and then it proceeds clockwise from there, with each remaining player either choosing to show their hand, or muck it. Often times a player will muck their hand if they aren't going to win the pot, and don't want their opponents to see what they played.


No Limit
No limit Texas Hold’em rules are the same as fixed limit Texas Hold'em rules, with the exception that there is no maximum bet. A player may bet or raise any amount they wish, up to the amount they have in front of them. There are still minimum bets, however. If you're playing 5-10 no limit Texas Hold’em, then you have to bet at least 5 dollars in the first two rounds, and at least 10 dollars in the latter two rounds. In addition, all bets and raises must be greater than or equal to the previous bet or raise, with the exception of a player that is raising, “All In. If a player does raise and go, “All In”, and that bet is not greater than or equal to the previous raise, then the original raiser is prohibited from performing a re-raise. For example, if Player A bets 10 dollars, Player B calls, and Player C raises, “All In”, for a total less than the combination of the raise and call, Player A is unable to re-raise that bet. In some casinos, when playing no limit, the number of raises per betting round is unlimited.