Poker is one of those games just about everyone learned to play as a kid. Depending on how old you are, chances are you started out playing 5 Card Draw or maybe 7 Card Stud. For our younger generations, Texas Hold’em is the new poker game of our time. If you want to learn how to play poker, you’ll want to start here.
Texas Hold’em Poker Rules – The Basics
Texas Hold’em Poker is a community-card based poker game. Community cards are cards dealt face up in the middle of the table for all players to combine with their own hole cards (the player’s personal hand). In a traditional poker game, all players received their own cards. The community-card system quickens the pace of the game, and changes the element of strategy dramatically.
Texas Hold’em Poker is a game for up to 10 players using a standard 52-card deck with no wild cards.
Texas Hold’em Poker Rules – Objective
Each player receives 2 hole cards. The board will eventually contain 5 community cards, giving all players a total of 7 cards to work with. Each player uses their 7 cards to develop the strongest ranking 5-card poker hand. The highest hand wins.
Texas Hold’em Poker Rules – Betting System
Texas Hold’em Poker doesn’t use the classic Ante bets you see in those old western films. This poker game applies a “Blind Betting Structure”. There are two blind bets – the Small Blind and the Big Blind.
The small blind is a minimal wager placed before any cards are dealt by the player left of the dealer button*.
The big blind is a slightly larger wager, generally equal to 2x the small blind. He player left of the small blind must post the big blind before any cards are dealt.
*The Dealer Button is a small white chip marked “Dealer” that signifies the position of the dealer. This button is used in games where a professional dealer handles the cards, rather than a player in the game (or in online poker rooms where no dealer is required).
Fixed Limit: A betting structure that maintains a minimum/maximum betting limit at all times. In a Fixed Limit betting structure, the small blind is equal to Â½ the low-end stakes; the big blind equal to the low-end stakes. For the first two rounds of betting, all bets/raises must match the low-end stakes, doubling to meet the high end stakes in the final two rounds.
No Limit: In No Limit and Pot Limit games, the small blind equals the low-end stakes; the big blind equal to the high-end stakes. There is no maximum bet/raise limit. The minimum bet/raise is the high-end stakes.
Pot Limit: this betting structure enforces the same rules as No Limit except that there is a maximum bet/raise that is always equal to the current size of the pot.
Texas Hold’em Poker Rules – Game Play
This section will give you an idea of how a single hand Texas Hold’em Poker plays out, start to finish.
Hole Cards: Once all blind bets are made, each player is dealt 2 hole cards. The first betting round commences, starting with the player left of the big blind.
Flop: The first 3 of 5 community cards are dealt, known as the Flop. Another betting round takes place.
Turn: The 4th of 5 community cards are dealt, called the Turn, followed by another round of betting.
River: The 5th community card is revealed, known as the River. A final betting round takes place.
Showdown: When two or more players remain active in the hand, a showdown takes place. This is when each active player (those who did not fold) will reveal their best 5-card poker hand. The highest ranking hand wins.