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Texas Hold ’em

Texas Hold'em is a difficult poker game to learn, but learning it can be a fun endeavor. In fact, learning Texas Holdem phrases like "bluffing," "having position," and "going all-in" is one of the most intriguing aspects of this style of poker.

Each player is dealt two holes (face down) cards at the start of each hand. All you have to do to win is build the best 5-card hand out of your two hole cards and the five communal cards are known as the board. Three flop cards, one turn card, and one river card make up the five community cards.

There are four betting rounds in the game, with players having the option of check, call, bet, raise, or fold after each round.

This interactive poker guide will teach you how to play Texas Hold'em:

Know your Poker Hand Rankings

Before you learn poker hands, you must understand the basics of poker hand rankings. You'll still need to create the strongest 5-card hand possible to win at a showdown, despite your bluffing and mind games. Players can combine their two hole cards with three of the five community cards (cards dealt in the middle of the table that can be used by all players) or any combination of five cards. When two players have identical hands, their "kickers" (additional cards) are used.

Royal Flush

What is a royal flush?

The royal flush is a poker hand that sits at the very top of the poker ladder. A form of straight flush with A-K-Q-J-10 — all in the same suit – is the strongest poker hand of all.

What does it beat?

A royal flush, as the highest poker hand, defeats any other hand your opponents might have.

Straight Flush

What is a straight flush?

A straight flush is five cards in a row that are all of the same suits. For instance, the numbers 9-8-7-6-5 are all in diamonds.

What does it beat?

Except for a higher straight flush, this beats all other poker hands.


What is four-of-a-kind?

In poker, a four of a kind is simply four cards with the same value. So, if your five-card poker hand ends up with 7-7-7-7-4, you've got 'quads'!

What does it beat?

This is usually a winning poker hand, beating all except a straight or royal flush. If another player at the table has a four-of-a-kind, the rank of the four cards determines the winner. J-J-J-J-4, for example, is a beat. A-7-7-7-7.

Full House

What is a full house?

A full house poker hand has three of a kind that is all the same value, plus a pair of different values. For instance, 10-10-10-8-8 is known as a 'tens full of eights'.

Does a full house beat a straight?

A full house does indeed beat a poker straight. Four-of-a-kind, straight flush, or royal flush are the only hands that can beat a full house. The highest three of a type wins when two people have a full house. If the rank is the same, the hand is won by the person who has the highest matching pair.


What is poker straight?

You'll have a straight if you have five cards in a row that aren't all of the same suits. For instance, 8-7-6-5-4 in several suits. A-K-Q-J-10 is the highest possible straight sequence.

What does it beat?

A straight hand in poker always beats a three-of-a-kind, two-pair, or one-pair hand. A flush or better is unbeatable.


What is three-of-a-kind?

A three-of-a-kind, like its four-card cousin, is made up of three cards of the same rank — for example, your five-card hand comprises 8-8-8-5-2.

What does it beat?

While three-of-a-kind isn't the best poker hand, it still beats two pairs, one pair, and a high card.

Two Pair

What is two pair?

Two pair is exactly what it sounds like — two pairs, each of which represents a distinct rank. Two pairs, for example, would be 8-8-5-5-3.

What does it beat?

Because two pairs are better than one, you'll easily defeat one pair.

One Pair

What is one pair?

Two cards of the same value, such as two kings in your hand, make up a pair.

What does it beat?

A high card or a low card pair can only be defeated by a single pair. It could, however, be a winning poker hand if you bluff hard.

High Card

What is a high card?

The lowest possible hand is the high card, which is made up of five cards that do not produce any of the above.

What does it beat?

If you get a high card, you'll have to hope your opponents get it as well, because even a pair can beat it. When both of your opponents are missing a pair, the highest value card wins.

Tip: When you know which hand beats which, it will help you to decide what should be done at a showdown, whether to push over the top or make that difficult fold.

Getting to Know Table Positions

There are three fundamental table sections in Texas Hold'em poker that you should be familiar with. These are Early Position, Middle Position, and Late Position at a 9-handed table. The Small Blind, Big Blind, and Under-the-Gun are all available in Early Position. The three slots in the Middle Position are filled after the Early positions.

The Dealer (Button) is two seats to the right of the Late Position chairs. The Small and Big Blinds are mandatory bets that must be paid once throughout each betting round.

Tip: The closer you get to the dealer button in Texas Hold'em, the more hands you can play and the more you can bluff.

Pre-flop Action

In the pre-flop round (before the first three of five community cards, known as the Flop), each player is given two cards face down. At a time, only one player can act, starting with the person to the left of the huge blind. That Under-the-Gun player has the option to fold (not play the hand), call (match a previous bet or raise), or raise (bet or raise) (add more to increase the size of the current bet or raise). The action rotates around the table in a clockwise direction, and each player has the same possibilities. The Big Blind can also check if there has been no previous rise. The betting round ends when all players have acted and the pot is correct.

Tip: When you're playing, make sure your PC's sound levels are turned up so you get sound notifications as well as the flashing table informing you it's time to act!

What Is Texas Hold'em Poker?

Texas Hold'em is one of the most popular variations of online poker.

The no-limit version of this game is played in all of the major events around the world, including the World Series of Poker, the World Poker Tour, and the European Poker Tour.

Many players will learn Texas hold'em because it is the most popular poker game.

Learning how to play Texas hold'em poker is straightforward, and the game's appeal stems from the game's rules, gameplay, and hand-ranking simplicity.

However, don't be fooled by the game's simplicity.

When played at the highest levels, Texas hold ‘em can be a very complex game due to a large number of potential circumstances and combinations.

If you're new to Texas hold ‘em, it's important to start with the fundamentals of the game. These are not only the simplest to learn, but they are also necessary to comprehend the gameplay and, eventually, the game's basic strategy.

Texas Hold'em Rules

So how do you play poker games like Texas hold'em?

The goal of a Texas hold ‘em is to build the best five-card poker hand possible using your hole card and the community cards.

Other poker games, such as five-card draw, are similar to Hold'em.

Texas hold ‘em, on the other hand, differs from draw poker in terms of how players build their hands.

  • Each player is given two cards face down (i.e., the 'hole cards') in a game of Texas hold 'em.
  • Five more cards are dealt face up in the middle of the table after multiple betting rounds.
  • The 'community cards' are the cards that are placed face-up. Each participant is free to construct a five-card poker hand using the community cards and their hole cards.

While we'll go over each betting round and phase that makes up a Texas hold'em hand, you should be aware that the five community cards are dealt in three stages:

  • The Flop is the first three cards in the communal deck.
  • The fourth community card is The Turn.
  • The River is the community's fifth and final card.

Your goal is to make five-card hands using the best cards available out of the seven total cards (i.e., the two hole cards and the five community cards).

You can achieve this by using both of your hole cards with three community cards, one hole card with four community cards, or no hole cards at all.

You can also play all five communal cards and ignore your own if the cards on the table lead to a better combination.

In a game of Texas Holdem, you can build the best five-card hand by doing whatever you want.

If all but one player folds due to the betting, the remaining player wins the pot without having to show any cards.

As a result, players may not always need to have the best hand in order to win the pot. It's always feasible for a player to 'bluff' and trick other players into folding better hands.

After the last community card is dealt and all bidding is finished, the only chance to win the pot is to have the highest-ranking five-card poker hand.

Now that you've mastered the fundamentals of Texas hold 'em and have a basic grasp of how the game works, it's time to delve into the details.

How to Play

Let's take a look at all of the important features of a Texas Holdem game, including the various table locations and betting rounds.

The Button

The action begins to the left of the dealer button and moves clockwise around the table.

Every hand, the 'button' is a spherical disc that sits in front of the player and rotates one seat to the left.

The player who has the dealer button does not deal with the cards in casinos or poker rooms.

When playing poker with friends at home, the player with the button normally deals with the cards.

To begin the betting, the first two players to the left of the button must post a ‘small blind' and a 'large blind,' respectively.

The action then spreads out across several streets:

  • Preflop
  • Flop
  • Turn
  • River

Each of these situations (or 'streets' in the game's jargon) is described in further detail further below.

The button determines who is the acting dealer at the table.

On all post-flop streets of play in Texas Holdem, the player on the button, or the last active player closest to the button, receives the last action.

The dealer button not only selects which players must post the small and big blinds, but it also controls where the cards are dealt.

The small blind player to the left of the dealer button receives the first card, and the dealer then pitches cards around the table clockwise from player to player until everyone has two starting cards.

The Blinds

Two players at the table are required to post small and big blinds before each new poker hand.

The blinds are the initial forced bets in the game.

The game would be extremely uninteresting without these blinds because no one would be compelled to put any money into the pot, and players could simply wait until they were dealt pocket aces (AA) and then play.

Every hand will have some level of 'activity' thanks to the blinds.

The blinds are raised at regular times in tournaments.

The blinds must increase throughout a tournament as the number of players decreases and the remaining players' stacks grow larger. The blinds in cash games are always the same.

The small blind is posted by the player directly to the left of the button, while the big blind is posted by the player directly to his or her left.

Although this criterion changes from room to room and can also be dependent on the online poker game being played, the small blind is usually half the value of the big blind.

First Betting Round: Preflop

After each player has been dealt two hole cards, the first round of betting begins.

The player to the left of the huge blind is the first to act.

Because the player must act first, this position is known as "under the gun." There are three alternatives for the first player:

  • Call: match the large blind's amount.
  • Raise: raise the stakes within the game's parameters.
  • Fold: is the act of removing one's hand from a situation.

If a player chooses to fold, he or she is no longer in the game and is not eligible to win the current hand.

The maximum amount a player can raise is determined by the game being played.

The minimum initial raise in a game of no-limit Texas Holdem must be at least twice the large blind, while the maximum raise can be all of the chips in a player's stack (an "all-in" bet).

In hold'em poker, there are a variety of betting options.

A raise in fixed-limit hold ‘em (or simply "limit hold'em") is always twice the big blind.

Pot-limit hold ‘em (which is played far less frequently than the other versions) allows players to wager anything from the large blind (the smallest bet permitted) to the total amount in the current pot.

The action moves clockwise around the table after the first player ('under the gun') acts, with each player having the same three options – to call, raise, or fold.

The preflop round is over once the last bet is called and the action is 'closed,' and play continues on to the "flop."

Second Betting Round: The Flop

Following the completion of the first preflop betting round, the first three community cards are dealt with, followed by a second betting round including only those players who have not yet folded.

The action begins with the first active player to the left of the button in this betting round (and the following ones).

In addition to the options to bet, call, fold, or raise, a player can now 'check' if no betting action has taken place previously.

A check signifies that the action is passed to the next player in the hand.

The betting will continue until the final bet or raise is called (which closes the action).

It's also possible that every player decides not to be and checks around the table, bringing the betting round to a close.

Third Betting Round: The Turn

Following all betting action on the flop, the fourth community card, known as the turn, is dealt face-up.

Another round of betting, similar to the previous street of play, takes place.

Players have the choice to check, bet, call, fold, or raise once more.

Final Betting Round: The River

Following all betting action on the turn, the fifth communal card, known as the river, is dealt face-up.

After that, another round of betting takes place, similar to what happened on the preceding street of play.

The remaining players have the option of check, bet, call, fold, or raise once more.

In the conclusion of all betting activity, the remaining players in the hand with hole cards reveal their holdings to decide a winner. The showdown is what it's called.

The Showdown

The remaining players reveal their hole cards, and a winning hand is decided with the help of the dealer. According to the official poker hand rankings, the player with the greatest five-card combination wins the pot.

How to Play Texas Hold 'em Games Online

Now that you understand how Texas Holdem works, it's time to put your knowledge to the test and understand how to play poker.

The ideal method to get started playing Texas hold 'em is to start with the free poker games accessible online and just move up to the real money action when you're ready.

All of the must-have poker venues listed below provide free online practice games.

If you're new to the game, you should start with the play money alternatives. These risk-free games with fictitious money are a great way to get a feel for the various stages of play and betting rounds.

Playing money games is an excellent method to learn more about poker hand rankings and to practice reading the board quickly enough to make all of the correct decisions at the proper moment.

Following that, you should focus on poker freerolls. These are real-money free poker tournaments with real-money prizes ranging from free money to free entries into more expensive real-money tournaments.

Texas Holdem FAQs:

1. What's the best strategy for Texas Holdem?

Best Texas Holdem Strategy Tips are:

  • Choose an opening hand that will profit you in any situation.
  • To accurately size your stake, keep an eye on what's going on at your table.
  • Limping is harmful to your health. Avoid limping at all costs!
  • Increase your profits by folding the right way.
  • "Have the upper hand" on your opponent.

2. Is Texas Holdem 5 or 7 cards?

A succession of three cards ("the flop"), followed by a single card ("the turn" or "fourth street"), and finally a single card ("the river") ("the river" or "fifth street"). Each participant tries to make the finest five-card poker hand possible using any combination of the seven cards available to them: the five community cards and their two hole cards.

3. Why is it called Texas Holdem?

This is a wild game of Texas Holdem. Four hole cards are dealt with each player. Before the flop, one card is discarded, and after the flop, another is discarded. The name of the game comes from the world-famous Aviation Club in Paris, France, where it was born.

4. Where can I play Texas Holdem for real money online?

If you are interested in playing online and are a beginner then, you can log in to gaming websites like PokerHigh and start with promotional offers slowly moving towards tournaments to win big and multiple rewards.

5. How many hands are in Texas Holdem?

In hold 'em, there are 1326 different ways poker hand rankings to combine two hole cards from a typical 52-card deck, but because suits have no relative value in this poker variant, many of these hands are worth the same before the flop.

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