How to Play Texas Hold ’em Poker

As televised poker has risen throughout the years, Texas Hold’em, or commonly known as Hold’em has become the most popular poker game online or even in live casinos. For people who are new to poker, it might seem very complicated, but it’s really simple to learn, and has the potential to earn big on winnings. Here are some highlights on playing Texas Hold’em:

  • Each player is dealt two cards, just for their eyes
  • The dealer spreads five cards – three at once, then another, then another – which can be used by all players to make their most ideal five-card hand
  • When each card(s) is uncovered, players alternate to bet. To stay in the hand and see the following card, all players more likely than not put the same amount of chips in the pot as each other
  • The best poker hand wins the pot

Playing Texas Hold’em Poker

The Blinds

In Hold’em, a marker called ‘the catch’ or ‘the dealer button’ shows which player is the nominal for the present game. Prior to the game starts, the player clockwise from the catch quickly  posts the “little visually impaired”, the first forced bet. The player clockwise from the small blind quickly posts the “big blind”, which is commonly double the size of the small blind, however the blinds can differ depending on the stakes and betting structure being played.

Depending on the structure of the game, every player may also be required to post a ‘ante’ (another sort of forced bet, generally smaller than either blind, posted by all players at the table) into the pot. 

Now, every player gets their two opening cards. Betting action continues clockwise around the table, beginning with the player ‘under the gun’ (quickly clockwise from the big blind).

Betting Options. In Hold’em, similarly as with different types of poker, the available actions are ‘fold’, ‘check’, ‘bet’, ‘call’ or ‘raise’. Exactly which options are available relies upon the actions done by the past players. In the event that no one has yet made a wager, a player may either check (decline to bet, however keep their cards) or bet. If a player has bet, the next players can fold, call or raise. To call is to match the amount the past player has bet. To raise is to not only match past bet, but also to increase it.

Pre-Flop. After seeing their hole cards, every player has the option to play their hand by calling or raising the big blind. The action begins to the left of the big blind, which is viewed as a ‘live’ bet on this round. That player has the option to fold, call or raise. For example, if the big blind was $2, it would cost $2 to call, or at least $4 to raise. Action continues clockwise around the table.

The Flop. Presently, three cards are dealt face-up on the board. This is known as ‘the flop’. In Hold’em, the three cards on the flop are community cards, accessible to all players still in the hand. Betting on the flop starts with the active player immediately clockwise from the button. The betting choices are like pre-flop, in any case if no one has recently placed a bet, players may select to check, passing the activity to the next active player clockwise.

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 Hold’em (and is at times called ‘Fourth Street’). Another round of betting follows, starting with the active player immediately clockwise from the button.

The River. When betting action is completed for the turn round, the ‘river’ or ‘Fifth Street’ is dealt face-up on the board. The river is the fifth and final community card in a Hold’em game. Betting again starts with the active player immediately clockwise from the button, and the same betting rules apply as they do for the flop and turn, as explained previously.

The Showdown. If there is more than one remaining player when the last betting round is finished, the last person to bet or raise shows their cards, except if there was no bet on the last round in which case the player immediately clockwise from the button reveals their card first. The player with the best five-card poker hand wins the pot. In case of identical hands, the pot will be equally between the players with the best hands. Hold’em rules state that all suits are equal. 

After the pot is awarded, another hand of Hold’em is ready to be played. The button now moves clockwise to the next player, blinds and antes are once again posted, and new hands are dealt to every player.

These are just the basics of playing Texas Hold’em poker. You’ll get better as you play more. Best of luck!

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