Texas Hold’em Poker: How to Play

Texas Hold’em Poker is a beloved card game enjoyed in both live and online casinos. Many live poker tournaments have adopted Texas Hold’em as their game of choice, while online poker rooms are also dealing a lot of cash games and tournaments on this poker variation. In this article, we’ll take an in-depth look at the rules and gameplay of Texas Hold’em Poker.

Objective of the Game

In Texas Hold’em Poker, your goal is to win the pot – that is, all bets made by players in a hand. A hand is determined by either having the best five-card poker hand at showdown or forcing all other players to fold theirs.

Basic Rules of the Game

texas holdem pokerTexas Hold’em is played with a standard deck of 52 cards and can accommodate anywhere from 2 to 10 players. Each player is dealt two face down cards – known as “hole cards”. Five community cards are dealt face up in the middle of the table that are shared by all players and used to form the best possible hand.

Texas Hold’em offers four rounds of betting: pre-flop, flop, turn, and river. After each round has been completed, the next community card is revealed and the player with the best five-card hand at the end of the river wins the pot.

Pre-flop Round

The pre-flop round begins with the player to the left of the big blind, known as “under the gun”. This player has three options: fold, call the big blind or raise their bet.

Play then moves clockwise around the table, with each player having equal options to fold, call, or raise. When all bets have been wagered or folded, play concludes and everyone has either matched or folded their highest bet on the table.

Flop Round

Following the pre-flop round, the dealer reveals three community cards in the middle of the table – this is known as “the flop”. A new round of betting then commences starting with the player to the left of the dealer.

Players have two choices: they can check, meaning they don’t wager any chips; or make a bet or raise. Once someone places an initial bet, all other participants must either call it, raise it, or fold their hand.

Turn Round

Once the betting round for the flop has been completed, the dealer reveals the fourth community card – known as “the turn.” Another round of betting then commences with the player to your left of the dealer.

Players now have the option to check, bet or fold based on their hand and other players’ bets.

River Round

Once the turn round has concluded, the dealer reveals the fifth and final community card – known as “the river”. Another round of betting ensues with players having the option to check, bet or fold based on their hand and what other people have betted on.


After the river round of betting, if there are still two or more players left, a showdown occurs. This is when everyone reveals their hole cards and the person with the best five-card hand using any combination of their hole cards and community cards wins the pot.

If two or more players possess the same five-card hand, the pot is divided evenly between them. However, if all other players fold before showdown, only one remaining player wins without needing to reveal their hole cards.


In Texas Hold’em, two mandatory bets known as blinds are placed to create the initial pot. The player immediately left of the dealer is known as the small blind and their counterpart to their left is known as the big blind.

The small blind is typically half the size of the big blind and both move clockwise around the table after each hand. As time goes on, players must place larger bets to keep up with increasing blinds at a steady pace.


Texas Hold’em Poker is an thrilling game that requires strategy, skill, and some luck. To succeed, players must constantly assess their hand, read their opponents, and make calculated bets in order to win the pot.

One of the most essential skills in Texas Hold’em is knowing when to fold. Players must be able to recognize when their hand isn’t strong enough for further betting and be willing to fold and save their chips for a better opportunity.

Another essential skill is bluffing. Bluffing involves making a bet or raise with an inferior hand in an attempt to con other players into folding, and can be highly successful when used correctly. However, it should only be employed sparingly and against certain types of opponents since experienced players often detect bluffs and call them out on them.

Texas Hold’em Poker is a game that rewards patience, discipline and sound decision-making. Although luck plays its part, skilled players will ultimately come out ahead in the long run. With practice and experience, anyone can learn the intricacies of Texas Hold’em and become successful at it.

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