The cornerstone of success in any game is a thorough knowledge of its rules. To a new player, the Texas Holdem poker rules may appear overwhelming, so let’s try and explain everything step by step – from the basic gameplay stages to the nuances of betting.
Basic Texas Holdem Poker Rules For Beginners
A game of Texas Holdem starts with forced bets (blinds), after which the card dealing begins:
- Opening deal (pre-flop). 2 facedown cards (“pocket” or “hole” cards) are delivered to every player at the table.
- 1st betting round. Your options are calling the previous bet, folding your cards, or raising the previous bet. The player positioned on the big blind’s left opens the round.
- Flop. After discarding the top card from the deck (the so-called “burn card”), the dealer puts forward three faceup cards.
- 2nd betting round. The person on the dealer’s left is the first to act. Initially, the betting options are check or bet. Once there’s a bet, each person can choose among folding, calling, or raising.
- Turn. After discarding another burn card, the dealer places the fourth faceup cards on the poker table.
- 3rd betting round. According to the Texas Holdem casino rules, the bets are made similarly to the 2nd betting round, but their size is typically doubled.
- River. Another burn card is discarded. The dealer puts forward the fifth faceup card. Collectively, the five community cards are referred to as the “board”.
- 4th betting round. Its format is identical to the 2nd and 3rd rounds.
- Showdown. Each player opens their cards, showing their strongest 5-card combinations composed of the hole and community cards.
The holder of the highest-ranking combination wins the pot. Should the showdown result in a tie, the pot will be divided into equal portions among the winners.
Specific Texas Holdem Poker Rules For Betting
Let’s have a closer look at the betting actions envisaged by the rules of Texas Holdem, as well as the types of forced bets made at the start of a game.
Blinds And Antes – What’s The Difference?
The forced bets put forward by two players at the start of the game are called blinds. The big blind amounts to the smallest allowed bet, and the small blind is half that amount. The small blind is put forward by the person on the dealer’s left; the next player places the big blind. The latter is considered a “live” bet – other players will have to place a matching or raised bet.
Antes are forced bets from everyone at the table. Their amount is small, and they aren’t considered live bets. The purpose of both antes and blinds is to create the pot and motivate the players.
Betting Actions In Texas Holdem Poker Rules
As a player at a Texas Holdem table, you have several options when it’s your turn to act:
- Calling – your bet equals the bet or raised bet that preceded yours.
- Raising – you bet more than the previous bettor or raiser. Players who act after you will have to match or exceed your bet.
- Folding – you push your cards away and quit the ongoing hand.
- Checking – you bet nothing and pass the right to act to the next person. In Texas Holdem poker rules, checking is only an option when there was no open bet or raise preceding your action.
The action at the table moves in a clockwise fashion until everyone has had a chance to act.