How to Play Texas Hold’em Poker

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How to Play Texas Hold’em Poker

The following is a basic set of instructions on getting you started in Texas Hold’em. However, if you’d rather familiarize yourself with the rules of Texas Hold’em first, then read on below.

The Blinds

In Texas Hold’em, a disc known as “the button” serves to indicate which player is the nominal dealer for the current Texas Hold’em game. Before the game begins, the player immediately clockwise the button posts the “small blind”, typically half a small bet (for example, $1 in a $2/$4 game). The player immediately clockwise the small blind posts the “big blind”, which is always a full small bet ($2 in a $2/$4 game). Now, each player receives his or her two hole cards.
Pre-Flop

After seeing his or her pocket cards, each player now has the option to play his or her hand by calling or raising the big bet. As mentioned before, the big bet is the size of a full small bet. Thus in a $2/$4 Texas Hold’em game, it would cost $2 to call in this initial round of betting (known as the “pre-flop”).
In Texas Hold’em the available actions are bet, call or raise. These options are available depending on the action taken by the previous player. Each poker player always has the option to fold. The first player to act has the option to bet, call or raise. Subsequent players have the option of calling or raising. To call is to bet the same amount as the previous player has bet. To raise is to match the previous bet and increase the bet.
Now, the “flop” is dealt face-up on the board. The flop is the first three community poker cards available to all active players. Betting begins with the active player immediately clockwise the button. All bets and raises occur in small bets (increments of $2 in a $2/$4 game). The same rules apply from above to complete this round of poker betting.
Note: The betting structure in Texas Hold’em poker is different for each variation of Texas Hold’em. See the bottom of this page for additional explanation of betting for Pot Limit Texas Hold’em and No Limit Texas Hold’em. (make pot limit Texas Hold’em and no limit Texas Hold’em anchor tags to the respective info at the bottom of page.)
The Flop
Now, three cards are dealt face-up on the board – this is known as the flop. In Texas Hold’em, the three cards on the flop are community cards available to all players still in the hand. Betting begins with the active player immediately clockwise of the button. All bets and raises occur in small bets (increments of $2 in a $2/$4 game).
When betting action is completed for the flop round, the “turn” is dealt face-up on the board. The turn is the fourth community card in a Texas Hold’em poker game. Play begins with the active online player immediately clockwise the button. On this round, Same rules apply as above except that poker betting doubles from the small bet to the big bet. In a $2/$4 game, betting on the turn is done in $4 increments.
The Turn
When the betting action is completed for the flop round, the “turn” is dealt face-up on the board. The turn is the fourth community card in Texas Hold’em. Play begins with the active player immediately clockwise of the button. On this round, the betting doubles from the small bet to the big bet. Thus, in a $2/$4 game, betting on the turn is upped to $4 bets.
The River
When betting action is completed for the turn round, the “river” is dealt face-up on the board. The river is the fifth and final community card in a Texas Hold’em game. Betting begins with the active player immediately clockwise the button and the same poker rules apply as they do in the fourth card explained above.
When betting action is completed for the turn round, the “river” is dealt face-up on the board. The river is the fifth and final community card in a Texas Hold’em game. Betting begins with the active player immediately clockwise of the button and the same hold’em rules apply as they do on the turn.

The Showdown

If there is more than one remaining poker player when the final betting round is complete playing Texas Hold’em, the last bettor or raiser shows his or her cards. If there was no bet on the final round, the player immediately clockwise the button shows his or her cards first. The player with the best five-card hand wins the Texas Hold’em pot. In the event of identical hands, the poker pot will be equally divided between the players with the best hands.
At the end of the final betting round, if there is more than one remaining poker player, the last bettor or raiser shows his or her cards first. If there was no bet on the final round, the player immediately clockwise the button shows his or her cards first. The player with the best five-card hand wins the pot. In the event of identical hands, the pot will be equally divided between the players with the best hands. Texas Hold’em rules state that all suits are equal, so split pots are more common than in other variations of poker.
After the pot is awarded, a new game of Texas Hold’em is ready to be played. The button now moves clockwise to the next player and new hands are dealt to each player.
No Limit Texas Hold’em – Very important things to remember.

Minimum raise: In no limit Texas Hold’em, the raise amount must be at least as much as the previous bet or raise in the same round. As an example, if the first player to act bets $5 then the second player must raise a minimum of $5 (total bet of $10).
Maximum eligible raise: The size of your stack (your chips on the table).