Texas Hold'em Rules

Texas Hold'em reigns as the king of poker games because its rules are simple, but the strategy for the game is quite deep. It only takes a few minutes to learn the basic rules, but nobody ever completely masters Texas Hold'em.

A large part of Texas Hold'em's popularity is how well-balanced the game is. It reveals just enough information to make educated guesses about our opponents’ hands, but it keeps enough information hidden to keep everyone guessing.

Texas Hold'em is classified as a community card game because some of the cards are dealt in the middle of the table and shared by all the players. Each player receives two hidden cards and then combines those cards with any of the five board cards to make the best possible five card poker hand.

Each player may use any combination of hole cards and board cards to make the best hand possible. This includes the use of one, two, or none of the player’s hole cards. If the best hand possible is simply composed of the community cards, then the player can use none of his or her hole cards.

Blinds and Dealer

Texas Hold'em uses a blinds system instead of antes to get each pot started with a little money. The two players to the left of the dealer pay the small blind and big blind. As the dealer’s position moves each hand, the position of the blinds moves around the table. This way each player must take a turn paying the blinds.

The payer directly to the left of the dealer pays the small blind while the player to the left of the small blind pays the big blind. The blinds are sized so that the small blind is equal to half a minimum bet, and the big blind is equal to one minimum bet. For example, the blinds in a $10/$20 Limit Hold'em game would be $5.00 and $10.00.

If you are playing No Limit Texas Hold'em however, the stakes of the game are the blinds. So if you are playing a $10/$20 No Limit Hold'em game, the small blind would be $10 and the big blind would be $20.

In games that employ the use of a full time dealer, a small round disc called the “dealer’s button” is used to represent the position of the dealer each hand. At the beginning of each hand, the dealer’s button moves one seat to the left.


After the blinds have been paid, each player is dealt two cards face down, one at a time. The dealers begins with the player to his left and then deals clockwise around the table until each player has two cards.

Next, there is a betting round that begins with the player to the left of the big blind. This player may call the minimum bet to stay in, raise it or fold. After that player acts, the action continues clockwise around the table. If anyone makes a bet or raise, the other players at the table must at least match that bet or fold.

When it comes time for the blinds to act, their forced bets are considered a part of the cost of staying in. So if there is no raise, the big blind may simply check to stay in, since he has already paid one minimum bet.


Now the flop, or the first three community cards, is dealt face up in the middle of the table. There is another betting round, but this time it starts with the first player to the left of the dealer. This person may check, bet, or fold. The action then continues clockwise.


One more card is dealt face up next to the flop. This is called the “turn” card. There is another round of betting just like the last round. If it’s a fixed limit game, the upper betting limit would be used from here on out.


One final card is dealt face up next to the turn. This is called the “river” card. Now there is a final round of betting. If there is more than one player remaining after this round of betting, the play proceeds to a showdown to determine the winner. If there is only 1 player left after this round, that player may collect the pot without showing his cards.


Any players still in the hand now reveal their hole cards. The player with the best five card poker hand, using any combination of hole cards and community cards, wins the pot.

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