How to Play Texas Hold'emTexas Hold’em is by far the most popular and exciting form of poker available to players today. With the explosion and success of major televised tournament events, No Limit Texas Hold’em has become the player’s favorite type of poker.
BlindsThe closest player to the left of the button is first to be dealt a card and is required to post a small blind equal to half the lower limit bet. The player to the immediate left of the small blind is required to post what is called a big blind.
Example: In a $5-$10 game the small blind would be $5 and the big blind would be $10.Both blinds in Texas Hold'em poker are considered live bets and therefore, according to poker rules, have the option of checking, calling, raising or folding when the betting action returns to their position.
What if I miss a blind?
Texas Hold'em Betting RoundsFirst Round (Pre-Flop) - After the Hold'em players in the two blind positions place their blinds into the pot, the dealer deals two hole cards to each player. At this time each player can see his own cards but not those of his opponents. After seeing their hole cards, players now have the option to play their hands by calling, raising or folding. During the first round, players must call the big blind if they wish to continue playing the hand and the action starts with the first active player to the left of the big blind. (The maximum dollar value and number of raises per round depends on version of Hold'em being played.)
Second Round (The Flop) - Three boardcards are dealt face-up so all active players can see them. In this round play begins with the first active player to the immediate left of the dealer button, who has one of three choices, check, bet, or fold. Until there is a bet, each succeeding active player has, in turn,(clockwise) one of three choices; call, raise, or fold. Bets and raises occur in lower limit bet increments. Therefore in a $5/$10 Hold'em game the bet would cost a minimum of $5.
Third Round (The Turn) - When betting action is completed for the flop round, one card is dealt face-up on the board. The turn is the fourth community card in an Texas Hold'em poker game. Play once again begins with the active player immediately left (clockwise) of the dealer button and the same rules apply as the second round.
Fourth Round (The River)- When betting action is completed for the turn round, one river card is dealt face-up on the board. The river is the fifth and final community card in an Texas Hold'em game. Play once again begins with the firts active player immediately left (clockwise) of the dealer button as explained above.
Final Round (The Showdown) - When all the betting is done, if more than one player is still in for the pot then the showdown determines who wins the game. In Texas Hold'em, it is possible that one or more betting rounds do not take place if only one active player has any chips left with all other active players having bet all their chips (all-in). When this occurs, any remaining community cards will be dealt face up and a showdown will take place. The last player to raise the bet is required to show their cards first and anyone else can fold / muck. 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.
There are three different types of Texas Hold'em (High) Poker games, made different by their betting structures: