Texas Hold’em Basic rules
Ever wanted to try your hand at some Texas Hold’em poker? This popular spin on the age-old game is a smash hit with beginners. However, it does pay to know your way around the Texas Hold’em rules before you dive in. Keep reading for the complete lowdown and learn how to play this exciting game.
How to play Texas Hold’em
The aim of Texas Hold’em, like other poker styles, is to outplay your opponent one of two ways. You should either try to outwit them with a more valuable hand of cards or trick them into folding a valuable hand early. They’re out of the game, and you take the chips!
Texas Hold’em takes a 52-card deck and up to ten players. You’ll play with two “hole” or “private” cards across four betting rounds. You’ll have access to three “community” cards in the middle of the table, from which you can make hands.
More cards are added during each round of play, meaning your hands can drastically change throughout the game. What may seem like a lousy hand on five cards might seem fantastic by round four!
Texas Hold’em rules
The rules of Texas Hold’em are refreshingly simple. At each round of play, each cardholder places a bet on whether or not they think their hand will be stronger than the others at the table. They’ll use the community cards with their private pair to create a potentially winning hand.
If they can’t make a winning hand on the first round of betting, they may choose to fold (and exit the game) or hide the fact and bet to go through to round two.
With each betting round, an extra card is added to the community line, therefore altering players’ chances of making winning hands. Each card added to the community has a name, which we’ll take you through below).
In the event of a tie, the strongest or highest card in hand wins. That’s why it might pay to risk a bet if you have an ace or a king, the two highest cards in the deck.
Texas Hold’em game play
Let’s take you through how a game might work in practice. Round one is where you receive your two private cards, and you’ll need to make a bet. Of course, this is very early in the game – and anything can happen from the flop onwards!
After bet one, three community cards are placed face-up in the middle of the table. The three basic cards in the community line make up the flop. These cards are usable by all players at the table, but they stay in place so that players make hypothetical hands each betting round.
You’ll check these cards along with your own and decide whether or not to risk a bet. The higher you bet, the more confident you will appear. This can be a fantastic strategy if you want to try and push others out of the game!
You’re betting on whether or not you think your hand is stronger than everyone else’s. Of course, there’s no way to tell for certain, so you’ll need to read other “poker faces” at the table!
Everyone takes their turn betting or folding (leaving the game and their chips to the victor). At the end of the round, it’s time for the turn.
The turn refers to card number four, which gets flipped into the community line. Now, there are four cards you can use to make a winning hand. This now gives you a maximum of six cards to choose from!
This can make all the difference. At the turn, you may flip over the last card you need to make a straight flush (e.g., if you have 7-6-5-4-2 in hearts and need a 3).
After the turn, players make a third round of bets. Some players may leave the game entirely at this point. Only the brave venture into the river!
The river is crunch time for players left at the table. It’s the flip of the fifth card into the community line. The river provides players with seven cards to create a winning hand. That means, as with the turn, that everything can change on this final flip.
You’ll probably want to bet again if you have a strong enough hand to win the final showdown. Or, if you’re unsure, you could bluff the remaining players and bet higher, hoping they might fold.
End of game
If all players, barring one, fold at the river, the remaining player is declared the winner, and they claim the chips. This means they don’t even need a winning hand (or the best hand) to win the game!
Alternatively, a showdown occurs when players are still in the game after the river. At this point, they reveal their hands, and the winner is the player with the most powerful hand left in.
But how do you know if your hand in Texas Hold’em will likely be a winning play?
Winning hands in Texas Hold’em
The following hands can all win in Texas Hold’em at the final showdown, ranked from most to least powerful:
- Royal flush (a straight run of cards spanning 10-J-Q-K-A in the same suit)
- Straight flush (a five-card sequence, rank order, in the same suit)
- Four-of-a-kind (four of the same card in all suits)
- Full house (a pair alongside a three-of-a-kind)
- Flush (five cards from the same suit, not consecutive)
- Straight (five consecutive cards, different suits)
- Three-of-a-kind (three cards of the same rank)
- Two-pair (two rank pairs)
- One-pair (a single pair of ranked cards)
- High card (when no other hand is available, you play your highest-value card)
As you can see, there are plenty of Texas Hold’em hands to keep in mind. Why not try some free poker at Resorts Casino to see what you might draw?
Whether you’re a hold position poker fan or new to the world of Texas Hold’em, it’s easier than you might think to get started.
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