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Texas Holdem Rules for Beginners – How to Play Texas Holdem

Texas Holdem can be considered without a doubt the most popular variant of poker. Therefore, it is the official rules, we will now learn. And although at first glance Holdem seems rather complicated, do not worry – we will give you a complete review of all the subtleties of the game and will teach you how to play Texas Hold’em for a few minutes.

How to Play Texas Holdem

The main goal of the game

The main objective of poker player is to win money that is in the pot. Pot is the money contributed by the players, starting with the first card dealing and until the showdown. There are several ways to win the pot:

  1. To collect a hand higher than your opponents have, and win the pot at a showdown;
  2. To make other players fold their cards. For example, via high stakes or a bluff. In such case the pot is awarded to the player that remained in the game, regardless of his hand ranking.

» Learn poker hands

The essence of poker: to increase profits with good cards, and reduce losses with bad cards.

What you need to know before you start playing

In poker fifty-two cards deck is used. The highest card is an ace, and the lowest – a deuce. All suits are equal in Texas Holdem – there is neither highest nor lowest suit! And although to play Holdem seven cards are used, the hand will always consist only of five cards.

From two to ten people can play Texas Holdem at one table.

Beginning of the game

A dealer (D) – the player who deals the cards – is chosen. Two players sitting clockwise from the dealer make blind bets:

  • Small Blind (SB) – the first player to the left of the dealer. As a rule, he places half of the bet established in the game;
  • Big Blind (BB) – the second player to the left of the dealer. He places blind bet established in the game.

Texas Holdem rules - blinds

Cards are being dealt.

» Cards dealing in poker


Preflop is the first betting round in Holdem. All the players receive two cards that only they can see. The game starts. A player to the left of the big blind is the first to act, and so on in a clockwise direction until all the players enter the pot with an equal amount of money (chips).

Texas Holdem rules - preflop

What bets can you make in Texas Hold’em

  • Bet – a bet for a certain amount of money. You can make it in case no one bet or raised;
  • Call – acceptance of the bet. It means that you want to stay in the game and just match the previous bet;
  • Check – skip of the turn. You can do it if no one before bet or raised, and you have already entered the pot. The game is often accompanied by tapping the table;
  • Raise – raise of the bet. It means that the player calls a bet and increases it in order to increase the pot and make the other players put in more money;
  • Fold – discard of the hand. It means refusal to call the bet and participate in the current hand. Thus, a player is eliminated from the hand and does not have the right to claim the pot.


Flop is the second betting round in Holdem. The dealer deals three cards from the deck and puts them on the table, face up. These three cards are considered to be community cards and belong to all players at the table. According to the rules of poker, the first player to the left of the dealer starts betting. Once all the other players entered the pot with equal amount of money, this betting round is completed.

Texas Holdem rules - flop


Turn is the third betting round in Texas Holdem. Dealer puts one more community card on the table – the fourth card. A new round begins. Opening lead normally belongs to the player sitting to the left of the dealer. The gameplay is the same as in the previous rounds.

Texas Holdem rules - turn


River is the final betting round. Dealer puts the fifth community card on the table and other players begin betting again. Bets are placed, as well as in the previous rounds – the opening lead again belongs to the player left of the dealer. The game lasts as long as all the players that bet contribute equal amount of money to the pot.

Texas Holdem rules - river


Showdown is the final point of the game. All the remaining players lay their cards on the table and determine the winner – the player with the highest hand. If two or more players have the same hand – the pot is divided between them.

Texas Holdem rules - showdown

All the pictures are made on William Hill Poker training simulator.