Texas Hold Em – How to Play

Rules and strategy how to play poker Rules and strategy how to play poker

Online and land based Texas Hold Em games consist of several stages that are essential to know for better efficiency when playing. Essentially both online and land based poker games are the same. Several actions must be met to complete a round and the game, both before and after the cards are dealt to everyone by the dealer.

Texas Hold Em – Typical Gameplay

Firstly, the two players who are on the left of the dealer button must pay a forced bet called a blind. One of them pays what’s known as a small blind (e.g. $2) while the second pays a big blind (e.g. $4). Next the dealer will distribute two cards face down to each player. These cards are only visible to the player to whom they are dealt. Once all players have looked at their cards, they can begin placing their bets on the table.

The player to the left of the big blind commences the round of betting. At this point players can call (minimum value is usually the value of the big blind), raise or fold. Once this initial round of betting is complete, the dealer burns a card from the top of the deck and places three cards face up on the table. This is called the flop and these cards are community cards, i.e. they can be used by all players at the table to complete their hand. Betting starts again from the same position left of the big blind.

Once this round of betting is complete the dealer burns another card and puts the fourth community card, called the turn card, on the table. At this point we’re at the penultimate round of betting, and once this is complete the dealer burns another card and places the fifth community card, called the river, onto the table.

After the river, a final round of betting takes place. It was at that point that a lot of players go all in, that is, bet their entire chip stack. Sometimes this is because they know they have the strongest hand and sometimes this can be a bluff, and a way to psychologically intimidate the remaining players to fold. Next is the showdown, the point at which all the players still in contention compare their hands. It is the player that possesses the most powerful hand that will win the pot. Remember, a hand is composed of your two individual cards and plus any three of the five community cards to make a five card hand. In the event of a tie, both winners split the pot evenly.

Texas Hold Em – Hand Rankings Reference

Below you can see a reference table for all the different playable hands in Texas Hold Em. We’ve ranked the list from the strongest hand (Royal Flush) to the weakest (1 Pair).

Royal FlushA suited straight from 10 to Ace e.g. (10♥, J♥, Q♥, K♥, A♥)
Straight FlushFive suited cards suit in numerical order e.g. (2♠, 3♠, 4♠, 5♠, 6♠)
Four of a KindFour cards of the same value e.g. (Q♣, Q♥, Q♦, Q♠)
Full HouseThree matching cards + two matching cards e.g. (10♥, 10♣, 10♦) + (J♣, J♠)
FlushFive suited cards not in numerical order e.g. (3♦, 10♦ 7♦, 8♦, A♦)
StraightFive cards in numerical order, not suited e.g. (9♠, 10♥, J♦, Q♣, K♠)
Three of a KindThree cards of the same value e.g. (7♥, 7♠, 7♣)
2 Pairs2x Two cards of the same value e.g. (A♦, A♣) + (J♠, J♥)
1 PairTwo cards of the same value e.g (5♥, 5♣)

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