Texas Hold'em Poker Rules
Introduction to Texas Hold'em
Texas Hold'em is the most popular poker game in newer time. Texas Hold'em became popular in the early 2000's due to the huge media exposure from tournaments such as the World Series of Poker (WSOP), World Poker Tour (WPT) and the European Poker Tour (EPT).
Texas Hold'em is a relatively new game, invented around the early 1900's. The game was supposedly invented Robstown Texas and was given its name after that.
What makes Texas Hold'em attractive to new players is that the game is very easy to learn. The saying goes that Texas Hold'em takes two minutes to learn, but a lifetime to master, which is very true since Texas Hold'em is more difficult to play than meets the eye.
The complexity of Texas Hold'em is what makes the players continue to play it. Trying to put your opponent on a hand, bluffing and learning the dynamics of the game is so intriguing that you will be hooked instantly.
You can play Texas Hold'em on all online poker sites and in all casino's that have a poker room.
Basic Game play
When you start to play Texas Hold'em you will need to know the basic game play rules.
A player will be assigned to the button, meaning that he will act as the dealer. The dealer will deal two cards to each player facedown, starting with the player on his immediate left. The dealing is done rotating clockwise around the table until all players have two cards each.
The first two players to the left of the dealer are forced to post the first bets - A small blind and a big blind. After the players have posted the blinds, the next player has to choose his action. The action goes around the table in a clockwise rotation until everybody has made their decision.
In Texas Hold'em the dealer will deal up to five community cards - Flop, Turn and River. The goal is to create the best possible hand with five out of the 7 cards.
There can be up from 2 - 10 players seated at a poker table at the same time, depending on what kind of game format is being played.
The Button and Posting Blinds
In every hand of Texas Hold'em there has to be an assigned dealer. When starting up a new table, the dealer is decided by who gets the highest card on the table. When that person is found he will be assigned the "button". The button is a button which shows who the current dealer is. The button is an important part of any Texas Hold'em game as it determines who gets cards first, who has to act first and who has to act last. When you play online, all of these things are done automatically by the poker software. When a hand is finished, the dealer button will rotate to the next player on the left, making him the new dealer and so forth.
The two players to the left of the dealer are forced to post blinds. The first player to the left of the dealer has to post a small blind and the second player to the left of the dealer has to post a big blind. The blinds are posted to ensure there will be a reason for players to act in the game, making it more interesting to play. When you play online poker, blinds will be posted automatically by the software and you only have to worry about playing your cards.
Pre-flop (First Betting Round)
In the pre-flop round, players will be dealt their cards. All players will receive two hole cards facedown. The players now have to take a look at their cards and decide which action they want to do.
The first player to act in the pre-flop betting round is the player to the left of the big blind.
There are 3 different options to choose for this player pre-flop:
Fold: When you do not wish to play your cards
Call: You want to see a flop and pay the big blind amount
Raise: When you have a good hand and want to get more money in the pot, you raise. In No Limit Texas Hold'em players can raise their entire stack, but there are some rules for the minimum raise.
After the first player has made his decision, the turn goes clockwise and all players at the table will have the same options. If a player raises his hand, the following players have the choices of folding, calling the raise or re-raise. Should a player want to re-raise a raise, he will need to raise with the same amount as the initial raiser raised with.
Let's give you an example of what that means:
4 players are playing a $10/$20 game.
First player to act raises to $120, $100 more than the big blind.
The third player wants to re-raise the first player and have to raise to a minimum of $220. The reason for this is that the first player raised with $100 more than the big blind and by that set the minimum raise amount.
The Flop (Second Betting Round)
The second betting round is known as "The Flop". On the flop the dealer deals the first three community cards and a new round of betting begins.
Unlike pre-flop, the first player to act is now the player to the left of the button. The last to act is the button. This pattern continues for the rest of the betting rounds (Turn and River).
Players have the choices of betting, calling and folding like they had pre-flop, but now they also have the opportunity to check. To check means that you pass your turn to the next player, without putting any money in the pot. Players can only check if no one has bet any money into the pot. As soon as someone has put any bets in the betting round, the checking option eliminates. If every player checks in a betting round, the game moves on to the next betting round.
Turn (Third Betting Round)
The third betting round is known as "The Turn". On the turn the dealer deals the fourth community card and another betting round begins.
The betting works the same way as it did on the flop, with the option to bet, call, fold and check.
River (Fourth and Final Betting Round)
The fourth and final betting round is known as "The River". On the river, the dealer deals the fifth and last community card.
The river betting round is similar to the flop and turn betting rounds, except from this is the final round to bet. When the betting round has finished, the players go to "Showdown".
The players that are left after the final betting round will reveal their 2 hole cards. The player with the best five card combination wins the hand and all the money in the pot.