on texas holdem

Texas Holdem Rules



The basic rules and game play for Texas Hold'em Poker.

Texas Holdem Basics


Number of Players
  • 2 - 10
I find the fun really begins with four players -- fewer than that can be good for learning, but not a very interesting game.

Supplies
  • One Standard deck of 52 cards (jokers removed)
  • Poker Chips or any objects (such as matchsticks or pennies) that can be used for tracking bets and winnings.
  • A flat surface (such as a table) for play. Specially designed poker or game tables/table toppers are a nice touch, but not a requirement.
Winning Hands
Texas Hold'em uses standard poker hand rankings.

It's A "Community Card" game
Texas Holdem is a "community card" game -- meaning some of the cards used to make up your hand are cards dealt face up on the table ("board") which are shared by all players.

Standard Order of Play

I. Pre-flop

The Blinds
Before the first card is dealt, two mandatory bets (called the little blind and the big blind) are placed by the first two players to the left of the dealer. These bets ensure there is money in the pot to encourage play. For more information on the blinds, review Texas Holdem Betting Structures.

pre-flop Once the blinds are in, the first cards are dealt. Starting one person to the left of the dealer (or "dealer button", see below for additional information), one card is dealt face down to each player. Then, proceeding in the same order, a second card is dealt face down to each player.

These two cards are called "pocket" or "hole" cards. You may view your cards at this stage, but care should be used to ensure that other players never see your pocket/hole cards.

After reviewing your cards, you place your bet. What type of bet you place is, in part, dependent on the betting structure you're using. For additional information on the details of betting, review Texas Holdem Betting Structures.

The Dealer Button
When playing in a casino or some formal home games, one person acts as the dealer and does not participate in card play. However, because there are advantages and disadvantages to each seat, it would be unfair to always deal one person to the left of this stationary dealer. Enter the "dealer button" -- the "dealer button" is a marker that is passed one person to the left each hand. The dealer deals each hand as if they were sitting in the seat where the dealer button rests.

In a home game where everyone is playing and everyone takes a turn at dealing, dealing simply starts to the person seated left of the dealer and continues clockwise, ending with the dealer dealing a card to himself. If you have a "dealer button", it can be passed along to keep track of who is dealing.

II. Flop

flop The dealer places three cards face up in the middle of the table (the "flop"). These three cards are the first of the "community cards" (see above) that are shared by all players. These cards remain on the table throughout the hand.

After reviewing the flop, you place your bet. What type of bet you place is, in part, dependent on the betting structure you're using. For additional information on the details of betting, review Texas Holdem Betting Structures.

III. Turn

turn The dealer places another card face up on the table. Placement of the fourth community card is called "the turn".

After reviewing the turn card, you place your bet. What type of bet you place is, in part, dependent on the betting structure you're using. For additional information on the details of betting, review Texas Holdem Betting Structures.

IV. River

river The dealer places the fifth and final community card face up on the table. Placement of this card is called "the river".

After reviewing the river card, you place your bet. What type of bet you place is, in part, dependent on the betting structure you're using. For additional information on the details of betting, review Texas Holdem Betting Structures.

V. Showdown

Players who have not folded show their hands. The person who placed the first bet is the first to show and show continues to that person's left until all players have shown their cards.

Using the community cards (which remain on the table) and their pocket cards, each player announces their best possible hand (see Poker Hand Rankings for additional information). You may use one or both cards in your hand and 0 - 5 of the community cards.

When the best hand possible (for everyone) is made up of just "community cards" (no pocket/hole cards), then the pot is split by everyone still in the game (everyone who hasn't folded).

© 2005 - 2007 Barbara Neil, All Rights Reserved.