Texas Holdem Poker Rules
Before attempting to comprehend, even the most basic principles of Texas Holdem strategy, it is imperative to completely understand the rules of the game. Texas Holdem is a game where the highest ranked hand, or the uncalled bettor, wins. To review a list of poker hand rankings, please follow this link: Poker Hand Ranking.
The game is played with a 52 card deck. There are no jokers and no cards are considered to be wild. Usually Texas Holdem is played with 2 blind bets, “Blinds” at the beginning of each hand, with the small blind being posted by the first player to the left of the dealer and the big blind posted by the 2nd player to the left of the dealer. Examples of the small and big blind are $1/$2, $2/$4, and so on. Some games also require that each player also post an ante at the beginning of each hand.
In every hand, the first cards are dealt, 1 at a time beginning with the first player to the left of the dealer, until each player has 2 cards that were dealt face down. These cards are called “Hole Cards” and can be used only by the player that has them. Once the hole cards are dealt, the first round of betting begins, starting with the player directly to the left of the player with the big blind. At this time players have the option of calling, raising, or folding. If there is no raise, the big blind will also have the option to check. Players that fold must discard their hold cards, face down, before the action resumes.
After the first round of betting, 3 cards are dealt face up in the middle of the table. This is known as the ”Flop”. All cards dealt up in the middle of the table are community cards and any player remaining in the hand can use them, along with their hole cards, to make the best hand. After the flop is dealt there is another round of betting, however the action now, and for the rest of the hand, begins with the first player remaining to the left of the dealer.
Another card is dealt face up, known as the “Turn”, and it is also a community card and is followed by another round of betting. After this there is another card dealt face up, known as the “River”. This is also a community card that is followed by a round of betting. The final card is dealt face down to each player giving them each 3 hole cards. This is followed by the final round of betting. To summarize, each player that does not fold for the entire hand will get 3 hole cards that only they can see and use, and 5 community cards that any player in the hand can use.
The dealer position moves 1 hand to the previous dealer’s left after, each hand is completing. In home games the actual dealing of the cards is moved to the player sitting to the left but in online or casino Texas Holdem games, where there is a house dealer that is not also a player, the dealer position is marked by the movement of a marker called a Dealer Button.