Texas Holdem Poker Rules
This Poker Rules section covers the basics of the game, and if you already know how to play Texas Holdem you can skip it. Texas Holdem is a community card game where each player is dealt two cards. The object is to make the best five card poker hand with the two cards on the hand (called hole cards) combined with a total of five community cards on the board.
Online or in a live game with a dealer a round disc called the dealer button (or just the button) moves clockwise from player to player after every hand. The button shows which player has the dealer position and is last to act in all the betting rounds except the first one.
Texas holdem is usually not played with an ante, instead two players post one forced bet each, called blinds. Before the cards are dealt the two players directly to the left of the dealer button put a predetermined amount of money into the pot, the small blind and the big blind.
The small blind usually posts half the minimum bet, and the big blind posts the full minimum bet.
Each player is dealt two cards face down (hole cards). The object of Texas Holdem is to combine these two cards with the five cards that will be put on the board to make the best five card poker hand.
First Round of Betting
The first betting round starts directly after the deal. The first player to act is the player directly to the left of the big blind. The player that acts first has three options: Fold, Call or Raise.
If he wants to fold the player simply throws the card in the muck and the hand is considered dead.
In order to call the player pays an amount equal to the big blind.
In order to raise the player increases the amount of money. The size of this amount varies depending on what type of game is played, but has to be at least of the same size as the big blind. In limit games the amount is fixed and is usually “capped” after a pre-determined number of rounds (usually four). In pot limit games the raise cannot be larger than the total size of the pot (including the amount needed to call). In no limit games you can bet any amount you want, the only thing that limits the size of the raise is how much you have in front of you.
In the following rounds the players have the same three options (fold, call, raise), and can also re-raise. The size of the re-raise has to be at least as big as the original raise.
When the first round of betting is finished, it’s time for the flop. Three cards are dealt face up in the middle of the table. These community cards are shared among all the players in the hand.
Second Round of Betting
In this round and all the following rounds the player closest to the left of the dealer, still in the game, is first to act. The first player have the option to fold (not a good idea though), bet, or check. To check mean that you stay in the hand without betting until it is your turn to act again and then decide what you want to do. (If everybody checks the next card is dealt.)
If a player has made a bet, the other players can choose to fold, raise, or call. When all the remaining players have contributed an equal amount of money to the pot it is time for the next card.
The Turn (Fourth Street)
A fourth card is dealt face up on the table.
Third Round of Betting
This betting round is equal to the previous one, with one exception; in limit games, the fixed bet is doubled and remains that way in the final betting round.
The River (Fifth Street)
The fifth and last card is dealt face up on the table.
Fourth Round of Betting
It is time for the forth and final round of betting which is followed by the showdown.
When the betting is finished and there are still at least two players in the hand, the cards are revealed. The player who made the last bet is first to reveal his cards and the player with the best five card poker hand wins the pot. The players can use one or both of his hole cards to make a five card hand, or he can choose to use only the five cards that are dealt face up (called playing the board). If two or more players have the best hand, the pot is split between them.