Poker Texas Hold’em Rules
Texas Hold’em is the most popular form of poker worldwide. When people talk about poker, they usually talk about Texas Hold’em. In this article you will find the rules of this popular poker game and learn how to play Texas Hold’em.
General rules of Texas Hold’em poker
- Texas Hold’em is usually played with 2 to 8 players. When 2 players compete against each other, this is called heads up. A full table with 8 players is called full ring.
- The game is played with all 52 playing cards, excluding the jokers.
- At dealing time, each player receives 2 cards. Cards are dealt one at a time.
- The ace is both the lowest card and the highest card in the deck.
- A player tries to form the highest possible combination of 5 cards with their own cards and community cards. A player may use 2, 1 or even none of their own cards for a card combination.
- A player can win in 2 ways:
- By having the highest card combination at a showdown.
- By betting or raising after which all opponents pass.
How to play Texas Hold’em poker
- Before the dealer deals, the two players to the left of the dealer lay down the small blind and big blind. These are fixed amounts that are intended to build the pot before the round begins. The big blind is normally 2 times higher than the small blind.
- After each player receives 2 cards, the bidding round starts. This starts from the player to the left of the big blind.
- A player has 3 options during a bidding round:
- Check. This means that a player decides to do nothing. The next player may then perform an action.
- Bet/raise. A player decides to bet. If no bet has been made during a bidding round, it is called a bet. If betting has already occurred and a player decides to raise, it is called a raise.
- Call. If an opponent has already bet or raised and you want to call. You bet the same amount that the other player(s) have bet.
- Fold. If you fold, you turn your cards over to the dealer and you are out of the round. You cannot win the round.
- After the first round of bidding, the dealer turns 3 cards open from the deck. This is called the flop. The face up cards are called community cards. These are cards that each player can use to combine with their own cards to form the highest possible combination. This is followed by another round of bidding with the players still in the game. The bidding round now starts from the player still in play sitting directly to the left of the dealer.
- After the second round of bidding, the dealer turns another card: the turn. There are now 4 community cards. This is followed by another round of bidding with the remaining players.
- After the third round of bidding the dealer turns another card: the river. There are now 5 community cards. This is followed by the final round of bidding between the remaining players. The game ends after the last player passes or with a showdown.
Poker hand rankings
In Texas Hold’em and other poker games, at a showdown the player with the highest card combination wins. Card combinations are also called hand rankings, Below are the combinations from high to low.
|Street of 10 through ace of the same suit, for example 10h, Jh, Qh, Kh, Ah
|5 consecutive cards of the same suit, for example 3h, 4h, 5h, 6h, 7h
|4 of a kind (quads)
|4 cards of the same rank, for example 10h, 10d, 10c, 10s
|3 cards of the same rank combined with 2 cards of the same rank, for example 10h, 10d, 10c, 9h, 9c
|5 cards of the same suit, e.g. 2h, 5h, 6h, 10h, Qh
|5 consecutive cards of not-same suit, for example, 8h, 9c, 10s, Jh, Qc
|Three of a kind
3 cards of the same rank, for example, 10h, 10d, 10c
|2 cards of the same rank combined with 2 other cards of the same rank, e.g. 10h, 10c, 9h, 9c
|2 cards of the same rank, e.g. 10h, 10c
|The highest card, for example Ah. With a high card, a player with five cards cannot form a (better) card combination.
If multiple players can form the same combination, the player with the highest card(s) wins. For example, an ace high flush wins over a king high flush. Four kings win over four jacks, for example. If multiple players form equally high winning combinations, then the pot is shared by the winning players. This is called a split pot.
Limit, No Limit & Pot Limit Texas Hold’em Poker
The amount players are allowed to bet depends on the variant of Texas Hold’em. There are 3 variants:
Limit Texas Hold’em
In Limit poker, players may only bet and raise with fixed bet sizes. The bet sizes on the turn and river are double bet sizes preflop and on the flop. In €1/€2 Limit Texas Hold’em poker, players may bet and raise with €1 preflop and on the flop, and bet and raise with €2 on the turn and river.
No Limit Texas Hold’em
In No Limit Texas Hold’em players can bet as small or large as they wish at any time. There is no limit here. A player can bet his full stack if he wants to. If you bet all of your money, you go all-in.
Pot Limit Texas Hold’em
In Pot Limit Texas Hold’em, players may bet as small as they wish at any time and max out the size of the pot at that time. If the pot is $100, then a player may bet or raise up to $100.
A player can win by showing the highest card combination at showdown or by making all other players fold. So by feigning a strong hand you can win a round. Bluffing is therefore an important part of poker.
Are you new to the game of poker? Read then our list of poker terms.