Texas Hold'em Poker Game Rules

Texas Hold ‘em poker has taken the gambling world by storm and is considered the most popular and mainstream form of poker today. Its popularity is based largely on the fact that it is one of the simpler versions of poker to learn and follows an easy, uncomplicated structure. While this community card game is easy to learn, players need a lot of practice to get a feel for Texas Hold ‘em poker.

The Objective of Texas Hold'em

Players need to make the best possible hand out of two cards in their hand and five cards on the board. The player with the best hand wins the pot.

Betting Structures

Texas Hold ‘em Poker usually has two common forms of bets: antes and blinds :

Antes are usually only used in tournament games where players need to deposit a certain, agreed upon amount of money into a pot at the start of each hand.

Blinds are two forced bets that are placed with every hand. The small blind, placed by the player to the left of the dealer, is usually half of the low limit bet amount. The big blind, placed by the person to the left of the player who placed the small blind, is equal to the low limit bet size.

Playing out a Game of Texas Hold ‘em Poker

A typical game of Texas Hold ‘em comprises of four betting rounds – the Preflop, the Flop, the River and the Showdown. The game is played out in the following way:

  • After shuffling the cards, the dealer deals two cards – known as ‘hole cards’ or ‘pocket cards’ - to each player around the table. These are dealt face down.
  • The Preflop round begins. The player to the left of the two players who placed the blind bets, begins by betting. Subsequent players, in turn, can choose to either fold, call or raise, depending on their dealt cards.
  • The top card of the deck is ‘burned’ (removed) to ensure that no cheating is taking place in the game.
  • The Flop round begins. The next three cards in the deck are placed face up on the poker table. Players can use these communal flop cards to create their best poker hand, combined with their own two cards. A new betting round begins, this time initiated by the player sitting to the left of the dealer. Again, players can fold, call or raise.
  • When betting ends, another card is burned from the top of the deck.
  • A fourth card is flipped over onto the table.
  • A further round of betting commences.
  • The River round begins. After burning a card off the top of the deck, the dealer flips over one final card – known as the river - onto the table.
  • The player to the left of the dealer begins a final round of wagering.
  • The Showdown round begins. Players left in the game now need to show their hands. They form poker hands by combining the five community cards with their own hole cards.
  • The player who reveals the best hand overall, takes home the pot.