HOW TO PLAY TEXAS HOLD'EM POKER
We will cover the basics of Texas Hold'em poker, game rules, history, strategy, tournaments and more on this page.
Texas Hold‘em is rapidly growing in popularity worldwide and with good reason. It's a very exciting game with many variables and is relatively easy to learn and master. Most poker players around the world agree that Texas Hold’em is easily one of the most strategic of all poker game variations.
Texas Hold’em hands have a tendency to move relatively quickly as do many poker game hands. It's important to pay close attention to what’s going on in a game, as there is a lot happening in addition to the checking, betting, calling and folding. To begin with we will start with the basic structure of a Hold’em play.
HOW THE PLAY GOES DOWN IN TEXAS HOLD'EM
First, the player immediately left of the dealer or dealer button must place a small blind and the player next in turn places a big blind. The deal begins with the small blind and continues clockwise around the table, dealing each player two cards face down. These cards are your hole cards. No one sees these cards but you. Once everyone has been dealt their hole cards, the first round of betting takes place, beginning with the player following the big blind. They must call the big blind with the option to raise or fold. And, so it goes around the table.
Once the betting round has been completed, the next card in the deck is burned (eliminated from the deck, face down) and three cards are dealt to the table face up. These three cards are referred to as the flop and are community cards, shared by all the players to make the best poker hand.
Immediately following the flop comes another round of betting, beginning with the next active player left of the dealer.
When this betting round has been completed, another card is burned and then comes the turn, or the fourth card to the table. Again another betting round takes place and another card is burned from the deck.
Finally comes the river, or the fifth and final card dealt to the table. And once again another betting round takes place. This is the final betting round and afterwards the players show their hands. The best poker hand wins the pot.
All five of the cards in the middle of the table are community cards and used by all players. It is important to remember that. Just because you have made a great hand does not mean that the other players left in the game have not. In general it is best to only play very high card hands with as many ways to win as possible. These high card hands include and consist of such hands as high pairs like aces, kings, queens, jacks and tens. These cards un-paired but suited are not bad to start out with either. The other general rule of thumb is to fold if you haven’t made a significant hand with options to improve after the flop. These are not by any means the only hands to play. If you only play these hands you will eventually find it difficult to entice other players to call your good hands, but these and other strategies are further explored in advanced poker strategies.
Click here for the Omaha Hold'em guide.