Poker Texas Hold'em - Rules and How to Play
Poker Texas Hold'em - Rules of the Game
Texas Hold'em is the most popular and played poker format in the world. It is widely played at any online or land-based poker room. Texas Hold'em greatly combines the information all players have, and some hidden info. It is also an action-packed game which only takes few minutes to learn, but a lifetime to master. That is why both professional and amateur players love this game of skill.
In Texas Hold'em, every player is dealt 2 hole cards, which only belong to him and only that player knows what they are. During the game, 5 communal cards are dealt on the table, which are to anyone's disposal. The goal of the game is to make the strongest combination out of the 7 cards (2 hole and 5 communal cards). The combination is always made from 5 cards and a player may use both, single or none of the cards he is holding.
Texas Hold'em is a 4-street betting game, meaning that there are four betting rounds and then a showdown determining the winner(s) depending on their winning combination (see the winning combinations at the end of this article). If only one player remains during any of the betting streets, he is a winner of the hand no matter his holding, which they aren't obliged to show to anyone, unless they choose so.
Paying the Big Blind and the Small Blind
At the stars of the game, one player is dealt a Dealer Button (often called just The Button). One player to his left has to put in The Small Blind, which is a fixed mandatory bet. Another player to the left of The Small Blind has to pay The Big Blind, which is often twice the big blind. After each hand, the button and the blinds rotate one position clockwise, making every player play on the button and pay both the blinds exactly once.
Blinds make the game interesting, because there is something to play for and players want to win the blinds.
Sometimes the game also includes an additional bet called Ante. This bet is paid equally by every single player at the table.
All-in - If a player bets or makes a call for all of their chips, they can no longer fold. One player being all-in does NOT prevent the remaining players from making more bets in the same or additional betting streets. The bets of the continuing players are then placed into a side pot, which can only win one of them. The main pot is there for everyone still in the hand, including the player who is already all-in. If a player is all-in and there cannot be any more betting done, the hole cards are placed face up and the rest of the communal cards are dealt. The one with the strongest combination wins the pot.
1st Street of Betting (Preflop)
The hole cards are dealt, the blinds and/or antes have been paid and we are facing the first street of betting. The first player to act is directly to the left of the big blind. He may choose to fold his hand, call a big blind, or make raise. After they decide their action, the player to their left is to act. Their options are again folding their hand, calling a big blind or a possible raise of a player to their right, or raising themselves.
This goes on untill the big blind is left to act. If everyone in front of the big blind folded their hand, the big blind is automatically a winner. If there was a player or more players just calling the big blind, then the big blind has a choice of simply checking, since his bet is already paid, or making a raise them self. If there was a raise, the player on the big blind must fold, call or make a raise.
If they make a raise, the betting round continues on and the player still in play on the big blinds left is the next to act deciding whether to fold, call or raise. When all of the bets or raises have been called, the remaining players proceed to the next betting street.
2nd Street of Betting (Flop)
When all of the bets or raises have been called, the remaining players proceed to the next betting street, which is the Flop. The dealer deals 3 communal cards face up on the table, giving players more information on the strength of their hand.
The first player to act in every postflop betting round is the one on the small blind. If they already folded, the next player is on the big blind, or on their left etc.
Since all of the bets have already been called, the remaining players in the hand may simply choose to check, opting not to bet. If they want to make a bet, they may, forcing every other player wanting to continue with their hand to either call or raise their bet. Every postflop betting round may proceed without betting and moving on to the next street, if no player wants to make a bet.
3rt Street (Turn) 4th Street (River) of Betting
After the Flop betting round has been concluded, 1 more communal card, called the Turn, is dealt on the table and there is another betting round, again starting with the small blind or the next remaining player to their left.
After the Turn, a 5th communal card, called the River, is deals and the final betting round may proceed. If there are remaining players after the River, they show their hand, and whoever has the strongest combination, wins the pot containing all of the bets from every single betting round.
If two or more players hold the same combination of the same strength, they split the pot.
Limit, Pot Limit, No Limit and Cap Games
Limit: Each bet or raise, and the number of possible raises, is limited. Usually, limit of one bet is set to the size of the big blind preflop and on the flop, and the limit is doubled on the turn and the river. Also a number of raises is limited usually to four raises per betting street.
Cap: The total amount of what each player can bet to a pot per each hand is capped, Once the cap amount is reached, the hand is over and the players must show their hand as if they were all-in
Pot Limit: - Players may only bet or raise the amount that is already in the pot. The total number of bets or the amount of what goes in the pot is unlimited
No Limit: Every player may bet or raise without any limits. There is only a minimum bet usually set to 1 Big Blind. Texas Hold'em is most often played No Limit (abbreviated NLHE as in No Limit Hold'Em)
Strength of Winning Combinations
Player ALWAYS uses exactly five cards to make the best combination possible. They may use both, single or none of the cards in their hand. The lower on the list the combination is, the stronger it is.
High Card: If players haven't any of stronger combinations, the winner is determined by who has the highest card. If more players have the same highest card, the winner is the one with the same second-highest card etc.
One Pair: One Pair is made by 2 cards of the same value. If more players have the same value of a pair, the winner is determined by the high card (usually called a kicker). I case more more players have the same kicker, the winner is determined by the second-highest card
Two Pair: Two Pair is made by two pairs. If more players have Two Pair, the winner is determined by who has the higher of the higher pairs (for example AA332 beats KKQQ2, since AA is higher than KK). If more players have the same higher pair, the winner is derermined by the higher of the smaller of the two pair (for example AAKK2 beats AAQQ2 since KK is higher than QQ). If more players have the same two pair, the winner is determined by the kicker (for example AAKKQ beats AAKKJ since Q is stronger than J)
Three of a Kind: Also called Trips. This combination is made by having three cards of the same value. If more players have the same Three of a Kind, the winner is determined by the kicker
Straight: 5 consecutive cards of different suits. An Ace in this case can be both a high cards (AKQJT) or a low card (A2345). If more players have a straight, the winner is determined by who has a higher straight. There is no kicker in play as in order to make a straight, a player must use 5 cards
Flush: 5 non-consecutive cards of the same suit. If more players have s Flush, the winner is determined by who has the highest card making the flush
Full House: A combination of a Three of a Kind and a One Pair. If more players have a Full House, the winnes is determined by who has the higher Three of a Kind, and then who has the higher One Pair
Four of a Kind: Also called Quads or Poker. Four cards of the same value. If more players hold Quads, the winner is determined by who has the higher Quads. If more have the same Quads, the winned is determined by the kicker
Straight Flush: 5 consecutive cards of the same suit. If more players hold a Straight Flush, the one having the higher one wins
Royal Flush: The rarest and the strongest combination in poker. It is the highest possible Straight Flush. If more players have a Royal Flush, they automatically split the pot (only possible when the Royal Flush in on the table)
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