Texas Holdem (or Hold’em) is arguably most popular version of the card game collectively known as poker.
As with all poker games the gameplay is focused as much on the betting as on the cards being played.
There are notably two ways to play the game, the first being a “Cash Game” and the second being a “Tournament”. Apart from the end goal, the rules and gameplay remain pretty much exactly the same in both games.
For more detailed information regarding holdem tournaments please visit the Hold’’em Tournaments page.
Each Game of Texas Holdem is played on a single table with two to 10 players. The goal is simple: WIN AS MANY CHIPS AS YOU CAN!!!
There are two ways to win a hand (hand).
Have a greater Hand than your opponents
Have ALL your opponents Fold before the final showdown.
We at Casino Tips Online understand that when starting out it can be a bit overwhelming. Because no only do you have to learn game rules and strategies. But there is almost a whole new language to learn.
Therefore, we have put together a quick glossary of some of the most used words you will hear whilst playing Texas Holdem.
Blinds: also called “blind bets,” these are the bets that are made before the cards are dealt. In Texas Holdem, blinds are used instead of the classic term “ante.”
Button: Is the name for the player who is acting as the dealer in the current hand
Call: (players may also say “I see your bet” or “I match your bet”) Meaning to bet the same amount as the previous player
Check: Similar to a call but no money is bet. If there is no raise preflop, the big blind may check.
Fifth Street: See River.
Flop: The first three community cards dealt.
Fourth Street: See Turn.
Preflop: Anything that occurs before the flop is dealt is preflop.
River: The final (5th) community card dealt; also known as fifth street.
Showdown: When players reveal their hands to discover the pot’s winner.
Turn: The fourth community card dealt; also known as fourth street.
Below are a list of all Texas Holdem Poker hand “types” in order of strength.
The best possible hand in Poker,
Consists of the Ace, King, Queen, Jack and Ten of a suit.
A Royal Flush is an unbeatable hand.
ANY five cards of the same suit in numerical order.
In the event of a tie: Highest rank at the top of the sequence wins.
Four of a Kind
Four cards of the same rank.
In the event of a tie: Highest Four of a Kind wins. – If more than one player has the same “four of a kind”, the highest ‘kicker’ (fifth card) wins.
Three cards of the same rank, and two cards of a different, matching rank (essentially Three of a Kind & Two of a Kind).
In the event of a tie: The hand containing the highest ranked Three of a kind wins, should more than one player have the same Three of a Kind then the hand with the highest ranked pair wins
Any Five cards of the same suit.
In the event of a tie: The player holding the highest ranked card wins. (If still a tie the highest ranking second card, then third and so on, If all five cards are the same ranks, the pot is split).
The suit itself has no waiting.
Five cards in sequence.
In the event of a tie: Highest ranking card at the top of the sequence wins.
(If all five cards are the same ranks, the pot is split)
Three of a Kind
Three cards of the same rank,
In the event of a tie: Highest ranking three of a kind wins.
(If more than one player has the same “Three of a kind”, the highest side card wins should the also be the same the highest second side card wins).
Two cards of a matching rank, another two cards of a different matching rank, and one side card.
In the event of a tie: Highest pair wins.
(If players have the same highest pair, highest second pair wins. If both players have two identical pairs, highest kicker wins.)
Two cards of a matching rank.
In the event of a tie: Highest pair wins.
(If players have the same pair, the highest side card wins, – If players have the same pair, highest side card wins, if still the same highest second side card wins and so on)
Any hand that does not qualify under a category listed above.
In the game of Texas Holdem, there are 5 stages to each hand (round)
- Blinds (Pre-flop)
- and Showdown
Before the any cards are dealt, the two of the players to the left of the Dealer (see below) are to put in the blinds (one Small Blind, and one Big Blind)
the size of the blinds depends on the individual game/tournament rules, however, in most cases, the Big Blind is usually equal to the minimum bet. and the “Small Blind” is typically half the Big Blind.
Once Blinds have been placed, the Dealer, starting from the left will hand out cards to each player in a clockwise motion twice.
These cards are known as your “pocket” cards. At this point each player reviews their cards making sure that no other player sees them.
We have now arrived at the first round of betting.
Starting with the player left of the “Big Blind” each player can decide to Fold, Call or Raise the previous bet.
(Note some Games/Tables have specific betting rules and limits, we will get on to these later on)
Once all bets are equal (no more raises) the hand can progress to the “Flop”
The “Dealer Button”
In each hand (round) one of the players “acts” as the dealer. after each hand (round) the dealer “button” moves one place to the left
By adopting this method the game becomes fair, as no one player has advantage of being the last to bet.
In some formal house games, there will be a designated dealer who will have control of the cards at all times. introducing the “Button” which signifies which player is the “dealer” for that hand.
The dealer deals 3 communal cards face up in the middle of the table.
These are the first of 5 community cards to be dealt that all players are able touse to make the best 5 card hand possible (Poker Hands).
These cards remain on the table throughout the hand
We have now arrived at the second round of betting, as before (starting with the player to the left of the dealer) each player decides whether to Bet, Fold or for the first time “Check”this means the player wishes to stay in the hand, but no bet is made (check can only be called in there is no previous bet, example, the first player in a hand, or if the previous player/players have also checked)
The dealer places another card (4th of 5) face up on the table.
This is now the third round of betting, rules the same as above
The dealer now places the 5th and final community card face up on the table.
After the River card has been dealt, the final round of betting commences as before.
Once all community cards have been dealt and all bets are matched (or seen), The remaining players (who have not folded) show their cards.
Standard rules dictate that the last person to make a bet is to show their cards first.
As mentioned earlier the winner of the hand is the player who can make the strongest 5 card combinations (poker hands)
Not every Hand results in a Showdown (in fact more often than not), If you remember earlier on we said that there was two ways to win at Texas Holdem. The first being to hold the best cards at the showdown, and the second to make your opponents Fold their cards before the end