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Texas Hold’em for Dummies

Texas Hold’em is the most popular format of online poker, which begins the acquaintance of those who want to comprehend this amazing and intelligent card game. If you want to learn poker, then you have come to the right place. In our article, we will reveal the basic rules of the game.

Texas Hold'em rules

Texas Hold’em: what is it?

Texas Hold’em is one of the simplest formats of virtual poker, but at the same time, it can be difficult to understand it. As one famous quote says: it takes time to learn how to play Texas Hold’em, but it will take a lifetime to master it. And this is absolutely true if you want to become a professional. In real poker, intelligence and constant working out of various combinations are valued.

Texas poker is a priori included in all poker tournaments from world to European; no poker room is also complete without this format, so you will definitely find a suitable room for games. By the way, our website presents only the best and proven poker rooms for online poker games for real money. Our detailed reviews will help you find exactly what you are looking for.

Texas Hold’em rules of the game

The goal of the Texas Hold’em game is to use your closed cards to create the best combination with the community cards laid out on the game table. However, in total, the hand in Texas Hold’em consists of five cards.

Initially, all players are dealt two closed cards. This is followed by trading rounds, during which cards are dealt on the table.

In total, three card stages are played in Texas Hold’em:

  • The Flop – at this stage, three community open cards are laid out on the table.
  • The Turn – the fourth community card is added here.
  • The River is the fifth card that completes the combination.

The player’s mission is to collect his five-card hand using the five best cards out of seven available: 5 on the table and 2 in hand.

Combinations in Texas Hold’em poker can be completely different:

  • You can use both closed cards in combination with three community ones.
  • You can use one closed card in combination with four community ones.
  • Or you can do without closed cards altogether if the final combination of cards on the table gives the best hand.

If the players (from two or more) reach the last round, that is, the showdown, after the last card is played and all bets are made, then the only way to win the pot will be to have the five-card best hand among the remaining poker players.

So, let’s fix the main theses – Texas Hold’em rules of the game:

  • The game of Texas Hold’em involves several rounds of betting or, in other words, bidding.
  • Players receive two closed cards in their hands at the very beginning of the game.
  • Up to five community cards are laid out on the table.
  • If all the players do not quit the game (that is, they do not fold their cards) before the showdown on the last round, then you need to collect the strongest poker combination to win.

More or less, the process has been outlined. Now let’s see how to play Texas Hold’em.

Texas Hold’em: Players’ positions

The game of Texas Hold’em begins with the distribution of the players’ positions at the table. There are three of them in total:

  • Button (dealer).
  • Small blind.
  • Big blind.

Each player at the table will be in all the positions, so let’s figure out how they are distributed among the players.

What is a button in poker?

Texas Hold’em is played clockwise around the table (we are now referring to the players’ moves). The actions start from the button. The button is a special position that goes to all participants in turn. A special chip indicates it. It is the button that determines which player at the table is the current dealer.

The first two players, who are to the left of the button, occupy the positions of the small and big blind. Before starting trading, they must put small and big blinds (if literally translated into Russian, it means “blind bets” because they are made before the cards are dealt).

After the bets are placed, the distribution of cards begins. The small blind gets the first card, and then the distribution goes clockwise one card at a time. In total, players, as we have already said, receive two closed cards in their hands.


Blinds are forced bets from which the wagering begins. Before starting each new hand, two players at the table must put up small and big blinds. In tournaments, the blinds increase at certain intervals, and in cash games, they always remain at the same level.

The small blind is usually half the amount of the big blind. But it should be understood that each poker room has its own rules, so the conditions may change.

If you see that the tournament schedule of the poker room says “Texas Hold’em 1$ / 2$”, it means that the small blind is equal to one dollar, and the big one is two.

Texas Hold’em for Beginners: how to play

Texas Hold’em consists of five rounds:

  • The first round is the Preflop.
  • The second round is the Flop.
  • The third round is the Turn.
  • The fourth round is the River.
  • The fifth round is the Showdown.

Let’s analyze each one separately in more detail.

Texas Hold’em: the Preflop – the First Round

Two closed cards are dealt to the players in the Preflop, and after that, the bidding round begins. The poker player who is to the left of the big blind makes the first bet.

Players have three options for action:

  • Call – support the big blind bet.
  • Raise – increase the big blind bet.
  • Fold – fold the cards. In other words, to refuse to continue playing.

Players can bet on any amount from the big blind (this is the minimum allowed bet) to the total amount in the current pot.

According to the rates, Texas Hold’em is distinguished:

  • Unlimited Hold’em. The minimum raise must be twice the amount of the big blind. The maximum raise can be all the chips that the player has.
  • Hold’em with a fixed limit. The raise is always twice the big blind.
  • Pot-limit Hold’em. Poker players can place bets in any amount from the big blind to the current amount in the bank.

After the last bet has been made, the players enter the second round.

Texas Hold’em: the Flop – the Second Round

Three community cards are dealt face down on the table. After that, a new round of trading begins. Players who have discarded their cards in the first round do not participate in the Flop. In principle, they will not participate anywhere else. The game is over for them.

In this round, the player can also check – skip your move. It may happen that all the players at the table will announce a check. In this case, the trading round will also be considered valid.

Texas Hold’em: the Turn – the Third Round

In the Turn, the fourth community card is laid out on the table. After that, the next stage of trading begins. Here, poker players can also raise, check, call or fold.

Texas Hold’em: the River – the Fourth Round

The last fifth card placed on the poker table is called the River. After that, the next and last round of bidding takes place. After that comes the last round – the Showdown.

Texas Hold’em: the Showdown – the Fifth Round

In the last round of Texas Hold’em, players reveal their cards by choosing the best hand from seven available cards (five on the table and two in hand). The player with the best five-card hand wins the pot.

Texas Hold’em Poker Combinations: Hand rating

The best hand is determined according to the generally recognized rating of hands in poker:

  1. A royal flush is a combination of five cards of the same suit from ace to ten. Example: A♥K♥Q♥J♥10♥.
  2. A straight flush is a combination of five consecutive cards of the same suit. Example: 9♣8♣7♣6♣5♣.
  3. A four is a combination of four cards of one rank. Example: Q♣Q♥Q♦Q♠4♦.
  4. A full house is a combination of three cards of one rank + a combination of two cards of another rank. Example: J♣J♥J♠8♦8♥.
  5. A flush is a combination of any five cards of the same suit. Example: A♠J♠8♠5♠2♠.
  6. Straight is a combination of five sequential cards of any suit. Example: Q♣J♦10♥9♠8♦.
  7. Three of a kind is a combination of three cards of one rank. Example: 8♣8♠8♦K♣4♥.
  8. Two pair is a combination of two cards of one rank + another two cards of one rank. Example: A♠A♣J♦J♣7♠.
  9. One pair is a combination of two cards of one rank. Example: 10♥10♣9♥4♦2♦.
  10. The high card is a combination of five cards in descending order, where the ace is the highest card. Example: A♣J♦10♠5♣2♥.

Of course, Texas Hold’em is not limited to this. We have told only about the tip of the poker iceberg; at the initial stage, this knowledge will help you understand the gameplay. And then, you need to study strategies that include a fundamental understanding of good hands, chances and probabilities during tournaments.

Online Poker Texas Hold’em

If you have no one to play poker with for some reason, you can always start playing Texas Hold’em online. We advise beginners to play free games for real money for the first time to avoid possible risks and money losses and not be disappointed ahead of time in poker.

As soon as you feel that you are ready to conquer new peaks, go to online poker for real money. Just start with small limits. You need to gain both experience and appetite. We wish you good luck!

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