Ultimate Guide to Texas Hold’em | How to Play Texas Hold’em Poker?Texas Hold’em is by far the most popular variation of poker today. Why is that so? Well, because it’s the most interesting one and it requires a lot of skill to play.
If you want to learn how to play Texas Hold’em and find out everything about Texas Hold’em rules, you are on the right page.
In this article, I am going to go over everything a beginner player like yourself needs to be informed about. Here is a list of things this article will cover:
- Player positioning and blinds
- Card rankings
- Betting rounds, along with some examples
- No limit, pot limit, and limit Texas Hold’em poker differences
- Where to play Texas Hold’em online?
- Why play free Texas Hold’em?
Apart from all the rules, I am also going to provide you with a list of the best online poker sites on the web. These websites will allow you to enjoy real-money Texas Hold’em poker and give you a chance to win some awesome prizes.
But first, let’s get down to the basics, shall we?
Where to Play Texas Hold’em In 2023 Online
My list of the best US poker sites which I consider to be the best rooms to play in 2023:
- BetOnline Poker
- Ignition Poker
- Everygame Poker
- Juicy Stakes Poker
- Americas Cardroom
- Bovada Poker
- BlackChip Poker
- SportsBetting Poker
100% Legal & Licensed Verified Bonus Mobile Friendly Advertiser Disclosure. Must be +18 to participate.
When you’re ready to take down the competition after reading our handy guide, you might try one of many great Texas Hold’em poker websites. These sites specialize in online poker games and offer the best gameplay on the Internet.
I’ve personally tested these poker operators, so you can be sure that you’re playing on official sites with great bonuses.
Starting to play Texas Hold’em poker online is really easy. Just register on one of the sites from my list above, use one of the available banking methods to deposit some money in your account and start playing.
Texas Hold’em Rules – The BasicsTexas Hold’em is a community card game, meaning that the result depends on five community cards shown face-up on the table in combination with two cards each of the players is holding in their hands.
Texas Hold’em poker can feature a minimum of two and a maximum of ten players at one table. It is played with a regular 52-card deck.
You can win the game in two ways – by having the best five-card combination at the showdown or by getting everybody to fold before you.
When a player runs out of chips, they are out of the game. The last player standing wins all the chips and the main prize. However, if you’re playing in a tournament format, a certain number of players who finish below the first place can make a profit as well.
Texas Hold’em poker rules might seem a bit confusing at first, but you will realize that they are not that complicated if you continue to read my guide and checkout our starting hands cheat sheet.
How to Play Texas Hold’em Poker – The Setup
Texas Hold’em can have up to ten players positioned at the table. There is a Dealer button placed in front of one of the players that moves clockwise after each round.
The Dealer button doesn’t necessarily indicate who is dealing the cards. It is just used to indicate where the betting round begins.
If you’re playing online or in a land-based casino, there will always be a professional dealer (or a virtual RNG version of the dealer) shuffling and dealing the cards. If you’re playing in a home setting, you can decide who is going to deal after each round and switch.
A poker round can consist of four betting rounds, although the round can finish earlier if everybody but one player folds their hands.
Pre-FlopOnce all the players receive two cards, the first betting round can begin. The action starts from the player positioned left of the big blind (UTG – under the gun) and moves clockwise around the table.
The under-the-gun player can choose to:
- Fold – Surrender their cards
- Call – Match the amount of the big blind
- Raise – Bet at least twice the amount of the big blind
Of course, a player can choose to go all in (stake all of their chips) in the no-limit version of the game.
Each of the remaining players takes turns using the same options as the UTG player. Of course, in the case of somebody raising, a player who wishes to call must match both the previous player’s bet and the big blind.
If someone wishes to re-raise, they must match the previous bet and put in at least the double of what the big blind was.
For example, if the big blind was $10 and someone bets $20, the next player who wishes to raise must do so with at least $30.
The pre-flop betting round continues until everyone but one player has folded or if two or more players bet the same amount.
The FlopOnce the pre-flop betting round ends, the dealer puts three community cards face-up on the table. Remember, every player who is still in the game can use those three cards in combination with the two cards they’re holding.
The first player to act is the first remaining player situated to the left of the dealer. Since no bets have been made yet, that first player can choose to check and wait to see how other players will react or make a bet themselves.
The other players can also choose to check if no other player has made a bet before them. They can also bet or raise.
The post-flop betting round ends if:
- Everyone but one player folds their hand
- All players check their turns
- All players matched the value of the highest bet
The TurnAfter the flop betting comes to an end, the dealer pulls one more card from the deck and puts it face-up next to the three already revealed community cards.
The betting round then begins with the same rules as the previous one. One exception is that the size of the initial bet on the turn is usually doubled.
The RiverThe river follows the exact rules as the turn. The dealer puts the final fifth card on the table and the players take turns at making bets.
If there are two or more players left standing after this final betting round, everything is ready for the showdown.
The ShowdownThe showdown commences with the player who bet last. If no betting happened on the river (all players checked), the first player who reveals their hand is the first one sitting left from the dealer.
Again, the winner is decided by the best five-hand combination. If a player who is yet to reveal their cards sees that the other player’s revealed hand is better, they may choose not to show their cards.
The two players sitting left of the dealer are called the small and big blind, respectively. The action starts from the third player positioned left of the dealer called Under the Gun.
Before the cards are dealt, each play must put a nominal amount of chips on the table. These nominal amounts are called antes. The small blind usually puts twice as much in the pot, while the big blind goes in for double of what the small blind put.
So, for example, if the blinds are $1/$2, the ante will usually be 50¢.
Antes and blinds are forced bets that create the initial pot. If it weren’t for these nominal bets, some players would have no incentive to risk and they would just fold.
Once the antes and the blinds have been collected, the dealer starts dealing the cards. Each player gets two face-down cards before the first betting round begins.
Texas Hold’em Card RankingsAs I mentioned before, the player with the best five-card hand wins the round of Texas Hold’em. But how do we decide which hand is better?
Here is a table that contains all card ranks in Texas Hold’em from least to most powerful.
|High Card||If no one has at least a pair, the player with the highest-ranking card wins. The highest card in the game is an Ace.|
|Pair||Any two cards with the same value, like AA, KK, 22…|
|Two-Pair||Two sets of pairs. If two or more players have a two-pair, then the player with the highest-valued pair wins.|
|Three of a Kind||Three cards with the same value.|
|Straight||,a Five cards with a consecutive value. For example 7, 8, 9, 10, J.|
|Flush||Five cards with the same suit. For example 2, 4, 7, J, Q.|
|Full House||A combination of three of a kind and a pair. For example: Q, Q, Q, 7, 7. If two or more players have a full house, then the player with the best three of a kind wins.|
|Four of a Kind||Four cards with the same value.|
|Straight Flush||Five consecutive cards with the same value. For example 3, 4, 5, 6, 7.|
|Royal Flush||The highest possible straight flush. For example 10, J, Q, K, A.|
Texas Hold’em Betting Rules Example
I know that even with these explanations, Texas Hold’em rules might seem a bit confusing and hard to follow, but I hope that the following example will make things easier to understand.
In this example, I am going to show what a typical round of Texas Hold’em looks like using three fictional players.
Player 1 – Q, Q
Player 2 (small blind $1) – 2, 7
Player 3 (big blind $2) – 10, K
Player 1 bets $3.
Player 2 calls.
Player 3 calls.
Three community cards reveal 5, J, and Q.
Player 1 bets $6.
Player 2 folds.
Player 3 calls.
The fourth community card is 9.
Player 1 bets $15.
Player 2 calls.
The fifth and final community card is 3.
Player 1 checks.
Player 2 checks.
Player 2 wins the pot because they have the best five-hand combination with a straight (9, 10, J, Q, K). Player 1 only has three of a kind (Q, Q, Q).
No Limit, Pot Limit, and Limit Texas Hold’em RulesThe table limit of Texas Hold’em poker depends on the house/game rules and relates to how much each player is allowed to bet.
- No-limit – The players can bet and/or raise from big blind upwards as much as they want and in all betting rounds.
- Pot-limit – The players in pot-limit Texas Hold’em are only allowed to bet and/or raise between the big blind and the current size of the pot.
- Limit – Limit poker is the most restricted version of the three. The bets for each betting round are limited according to a predetermined amount.
Cash Games, Sit ‘n’ Go’s, Tournaments, Free-RollsThere are multiple ways to play Texas Hold’em poker online. You can choose to just try out a few hands with a quick cash game or you can spend several hours at a multi-table tournament chasing that big jackpot.
- Cash Game – If you’re not patient, you can try a few hands in a cash game at any time. You just secure a seat at the table with a buy-in and join as the next round begins. The players can come and go as they please and the table doesn’t have to be full in order for the game to begin. If you lose all your chips, you can just buy more and continue.
- Sit ‘n’ Go – The game of sit ‘n’ go begins once all the seats have been filled. The players are eliminated one by one until there’s a winner. You cannot buy yourself in after you’ve been eliminated; once you lose – you’re out.
- Multi-Table Tournament – Online poker sites often organize big tournaments with massive prizes. Unlike cash games and sit ‘n’ go’s that start as soon as enough players enter the table, multi-table tournaments are pre-scheduled. There could be hundreds of players joining.
- Free-Rolls – Free-roll tournaments allow you to enter for free, but you still have a chance to win actual money. Except for monetary prizes, free-rolls can also win you a ticket to one of the real-money multi-table tournaments.
Play Texas Hold’em Poker for FreeReading about Texas Hold’em poker rules and watching a game or two on YouTube is one thing, but playing the actual game is something else. Sitting down at the table and facing more experienced players usually results in a quick loss of your entire chip stack.
The best way to go about this game is to practice, and you can do so completely without risk by playing some free Texas Hold’em poker.
Of course, you can always gather a couple of friends around and play at home, but it’s better to have 24/7 access and practice on some great free poker websites.
Once you figure out all the Texas Hold’em poker rules, you will realize how interesting this game really is. I hope that this guide was helpful and that you had as much fun reading it as I did writing it.
Before you start your Texas Hold’em poker campaign, I would like to hear what you have to say. What did you think of my article? Was there something I failed to mention? Do you have any additional questions about Texas Hold’em rules?
Feel free to express your thoughts in the Comment section below and I will make sure to reply ASAP.
Can Texas Hold’em poker be played online?
Is online Texas Hold’em legal to play?
Texas Hold’em poker is usually treated like any other gambling game. Whether it’s legal or not depends on the laws of your country of residence. You should know that all websites I listed here are legal and have proper licensing, although that doesn’t mean it will be legal for you to play on them. Check your country’s/state’s laws about online poker before you start playing.
Is Texas Hold’em a game of luck or a game of chance?
Unlike many other casino games, Texas Hold’em poker is mostly a game of skill, with a little bit of luck involved as well. The player with the best hand doesn’t necessarily win, and you will always have great chances if you come up with a proper strategy.
What is the best possible hand at Texas Hold’em?
The best hand in Texas Hold’em is the royal flush – 10, J, Q, K, A, all in the same suit.
Are online poker games rigged?
To avoid rigged games, only play on legitimate websites. The list I provided includes officially certified operators that guarantee fair outcomes.