Texas Hold'Em Poker

In this game, the dealer deals two cards at the start of each round (not to be shown) and there are five cards face-up on the table. Each player then uses their two cards (or one or none of those cards) in combination with five face-up cards to make a best possible hand. The player with the best hand wins the round.

Learn to Play Video

Basic rules of the game

In a nutshell, each player is dealt two private cards ('Hole Cards' or 'Pocket Cards'), after which there is a betting round. Then three community cards are dealt face up (the 'Flop'), followed by a second betting round. A fourth community card is dealt face up (the 'Turn'), followed by a third betting round. A fifth community card is dealt face up (the 'River') and the the fourth and final betting round. At the Showdown, each player plays the best five-card hand they can make using any five cards from the two pocket cards and the five community cards (or 'Board Cards'). A player with the best hand as per the hand ranking rules wins the round i.e. the Pot (Pot is the sum of money that players bet during each hand. After each betting round, all bets go into the Pot until the Showdown).

To begin the game, the dealer deals two cards at the start of each hand (round), which are not meant to be shown to the opponents. In poker, action moves to the left. Two forced bets, known as the ‘blinds’ will have to be placed into the ‘Pot’ (potential winning amount). Big blinds are always double the amount of small blinds. The player sitting left of the dealer places the small blind on the table and the player sitting left of him places the big blind.

Once the blinds are placed, the person on the left of the big blind will have to decide whether they want to play the hand. Players have 3 options to choose from. They can:

  • Fold – This is when the player doesn’t want to participate in the hand and gives up the cards i.e. Surrenders.
  • Call – This simply involves matching the big blind as a signal of participation in the hand
  • Raise – This involves raising the bet at a minimum of double the big blinds and it’s a clear sign of a strong hand.


Once the initial bets are placed, it’s time for the dealer to deal the first 3 cards, known as ‘the flop’. After the flop, another betting round takes place, starting from the player who placed the small blind, always moving to the left. Players are not obliged to bet, as they also have an option to ‘check’, which simply means they are not placing a bet and would like to see the next card for free. If everyone checks, the next card is dealt. If one player bets, once again, everyone will wait their turn to decide whether they decide to fold, call or raise.

The next card to be dealt is called ‘the turn’. This is the 4th card and another betting round occurs, giving players another chance to decide whether they want to stay in the hand. The last and final card is called the ‘river’. After the last round of betting, the action ends there, where players will have to reveal their hole cards. To make a poker hand, players must combine their hole cards with any 3 of the 5 cards dealt by the dealer or use the cards dealt by the dealer to make a hand. The player with the best hand wins the pot.

 

Poker hands from highest to lowest:

1. Royal flush
A, K, Q, J, 10, all the same suit.

Royal Flush


2. Straight flush
Five cards in a sequence, all in the same suit.

Straight flush


3. Four of a kind
All four cards of the same rank.

Four of a kind

 


4. Full house
Three of a kind with a pair.

Full house


5. Flush
Any five cards of the same suit, but not in a sequence.

Flush

 


6. Straight
Five cards in a sequence, but not of the same suit.

Straight

 


7. Three of a kind
Three cards of the same rank.

Three of a kind

 


8. Two pair
Two different pairs.

Two pair

 


9. Pair
Two cards of the same rank.

Pair

 


10. High Card
When you haven't made any of the hands above, the highest card plays.
In the example below, the jack plays as the highest card.

High Card

 

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