How to Play Texas Hold’em
In the early twentieth century, a new variation of poker known as Hold’em was born in Robstown, Texas. This new poker variation called for its players to share five common cards and combine them with two private hole cards to make the best possible 5-card hand. Some of the earliest players called Hold’em a “thinking man’s game” because this new way of playing allowed poker players to take control of their own fates and utilize a wide variety of strategies.
Texas Hold’em quickly spread throughout Texas and in 1967 it became accepted in some Las Vegas casinos. For decades, Texas Hold’em was popular among professional poker players, but it remained relatively unknown to the general public. It would take three more decades before Texas Hold’em could finally exploded into the mainstream culture and become one of the most popular poker games in the world. Texas Holdem poker sites are the most common form of poker played online.
Rules for Playing Texas Hold’em
Texas Hold’em typically accommodates up to 9-10 players, but as few as two can play the game at a time. There is a dealer chip, known as the ‘button’, that is passed clockwise after each round to designate player position for the blinds or antes. Typically the player sitting to the left of the dealer chip pays the ‘small blind’ and the player sitting to their left pays the ‘big blind’. The big blind is generally twice the size of the small blind. Once both blinds have been posted, every player is dealt two cards, face down (known as ‘hole cards’), and the game begins.
After all of the hole cards have been dealt, the player to the left of the big blind can start the initial, ‘pre-flop’ round of betting. These first bets must be at least the size of the table’s minimum bet and the betting continues clockwise until each player has either:
- Bet as much as every other player by ‘calling’ bets and raises.
- Bet their entire bankroll.
- Folded their cards and withdrawn from the hand.
The two players who posted blinds can apply the value of these blinds towards their pre-flop bets. Assuming there are still two or more players remaining in the game after the pre-flop round of betting, the dealer will proceed to burn the card on the top of the deck (remove it from play) and deal the first three community cards, face up, in the center of the table. These first three cards are known as the ‘flop’ and are part of every player’s hand. After the flop is dealt, the second round of betting takes place.
This pattern of burning a card, dealing to the community hand, and completing a round of betting continues throughout the game. After the flop, the ‘turn’ card (fourth community card) is dealt, and finally the ‘river’ (fifth and final community card) is dealt; in total there are four rounds of betting. After the final round of betting, if more than one player is still in the game, all players must flip their hole cards and the player with the best five card hand is awarded the pot. If two or more players have equally valued hands, then they split the pot evenly.
Going All-In in Texas Holdem No Limit
If you don’t have enough money to call a previous bet or if you want to put your full bankroll on the table in the form of a raise, you can choose to go ‘all-in’. When you go all-in, you can remain in the round without having to make any further wagers. Often tournaments require any player who goes all-in to flip their hole cards face up, though cash games generally do not have this rule.
After you go all in, any further bets placed by your opponents are placed in a side pot. Only players who contribute to the side pot are eligible to win these funds. If you win a hand after going all in, players who wagered more money than you, in the form of a side pot, get the difference returned to them.