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Poker - Texas Holdem Poker Rules
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Intro: The basic rules of the famous Texas Holdem poker game.
Written on Saturday 3rd of November 2012

Texas Hold'em Rules

Texas Hold'em is a really simple poker game to learn how to play, however it is a difficult game to master. In this article, we'll explain the basics of the game, the rules and how to play.

Texas Hold'em starts with each player being dealt two cards face down. There are five community cards that are eventually turned up on the board. Each player uses the five community cards, plus their two cards, to make the best five-card hand using any seven of the cards.

BasicsTexas Holdem Poker
To begin playing Texas Hold'em, you will want to start at a low limit table – some common low limit tables are $2/4, $3/6 and $4/8. There are four betting rounds in a game of Texas Hold'em, and with the betting structure, the first two rounds have a limit of the first amount, the last two rounds with a limit of the second amount. For example, in a $3/6, the first two rounds have a limit of $3; the last two rounds a limit of $6. There are higher limit tables, as well as no-limit, but to start off with as a player, you want to stick to the lower limit tables.

When a new hand of Texas Hold'em starts, there are two 'blind' bets that are added to get the betting going – the small blind and the big blind. The small blind is added by the person who is immediately left of the dealer. The small blind is half the minimum bet. The player to the left of the person who posts the small blind will add the big blind, which is equal to the minimum bet for the game. The other players at the table do not have to place a bet to start the game, as the dealer position changes, the big and small blind positions will also change, meaning everyone will have their turn to post the big and small blinds and be the dealer.

The dealer deals out two cards face down in Texas Hold'em, starting with the player to his left (that posted the small blind) and working his way around the table, taking the last card for himself. Once the two cards are dealt to each player, the first betting round starts with the player to the left of the player who posted the big blind. The player can either 'call' the blind bet by placing the minimum, or raising by betting double. The betting proceeds around the table, in clockwise manner, until it reaches the player who placed the small blind. The player who posted the small blind can bet with half the small amount, then moving to the player who posted the big blind. If none of the other players raised, the big blind poster can check, and not bet anything because they've already posted the big blind, or he can raise the stakes.

The Flop
The flop in Texas Hold'em is the first round of community cards that is dealt after the first betting round. Three cards are dealt face up in the middle of the table – these cards are called the flop. The second betting round begins with the first player to the left of the dealer. The bet for this round is the low bet.

The Turn
After the second betting round after the flop, one more card is turned face up in the center of the table – this is called the turn. In Texas Hold'em the bet starts again with the player to the immediate left of the dealer; however the bid is now the higher number.

The River
After the third betting round following the turn, the dealer turns the fifth and final card face up in the center of the table, thusly completing the five community cards. This last card turn in Texas Hold'em is called the river. The final betting round starts with the player to the left of the dealer, the bid amount the higher bid number and continues around the table.

The Showdown
The showdown is as it sounds - it is the part of the hand in Texas Hold'em where the winner is determined. Each player, who is still in the game (has not folded) may use any of the community cards, combined with their two cards to form the highest five-card hand possible. If there is a tie, or if the five cards on the table are the high hand for all the active players, the pot will be split – a sixth card is never used to break a tie in Texas Hold'em poker.

A Few More Rules To Follow
You must wait your turn in Texas Hold'em poker – to bet, raise or fold your hand. Many rookies make the mistake of trying to fold their hands when it's not their turn. Another key mistake that new players to the game make is in the big blind position. Some players will fold their hand, not realizing that all they have to do is say 'check', and that they are already in the game, having placed the big blind.

Once again, it's important that you understand the betting structure of the table that you are sitting at.

If you are sitting at a low table with a $2/4 bet, the first two rounds are bet at $2, the last two rounds at $4. The low blind on this table would be $1, the big blind $2.

If you are sitting at a low table with a $3/6 bet, the first two rounds are bet at $3, the last two rounds at $6. The low blind on this table would be $1.5, the big blind $3

If you are sitting at a low table with a $4/8 bet, the first two rounds are bet at $4, the last two rounds at $8. The low blind on this table would be $2, the big blind $4.

The most important thing you can do when first starting out playing Texas Hold'em poker is to stand and watch a game or two before you sit down to play. Understanding how the table works, and where you will fall into the play of the table will help you learn how to play the game more proficiently. Then you may want to get some strategy together to increase your chances of winning. If you are totally new then you might want to have a look over our guide to playing online poker for some tips on where to start.