Texas Holdem Rules

Introduction

As in most poker variations, Texas Holdem is quite easy to learn, and will actually take just a few minutes to start playing. Mastering the game, however, requires constant learning and practice. So read this article to understand the underlying rules of the game. If you want to deepen your understanding and expertise in it you will have to move on to the more advanced reading material.

The Game

Players are seated around the table (live or virtual). Each player receives two personal cards, which only he can see – the Hole Cards and 5 Community cards (Flop, Turn, River) placed, face up and shared by all players in the table. Players aim to achieve the highest 5 cards hand by combining 1-2 of their personal cards with the community cards. The player with the highest hand wins the hand and the pot.

The Dealer

To determine the order of the game a single card is dealt to each player. The player with the highest card will be the first dealer. The dealer position is marked by a white plastic chip referred to as the button. After each hand, the dealer button rotates to the left, ensuring that everyone plays in all positions.

The Blinds

Every hand begins with automatic bets called the Small Blind and Big Blind.

The Small Blind: posted by the player located to the left of the dealer. Usually involves posting half the minimum bet at the table

The Big Blind: posted by the player located to the left of the small blind player. Usually involves betting on the full amount of the minimum bet. 

The First Round

After the blinds are posted, the two personal cards, the Hole Cards are dealt, face down, so every player can only see their own cards. Then the first round of betting begins. The players, starting with the player on the left side of the big blind can either FOLD (give up the hand), CALL (match the big blind), or RAISE (increase the bet). 

Flop

After the first round ends, three community cards are revealed. This is the Flop. Then the second round of betting begins, with the first player to the left of the dealer. He has three options: check (remain in the game without posting any bet), bet or fold (leave the hand). The remaining players must then decide whether to call, raise or fold. If no bet has been placed yet in this round, the remaining players can check as well.

Turn and River

After the second round of betting the fourth community card is revealed. This is the Turn. The third round of betting is held, with the same alternatives as before. Then the fifth community card is revealed. This is the River. After all community cards are revealed, the fourth and final round is held, again with the same alternatives.

Showdown

After all rounds of betting are complete, all players must show their cards. The showdown begins with the player who placed the last bet and continues clockwise. The player with the best hand wins the pot. If two players have the exactly same hand, they split the pot.