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How To Play Texas Holdem

Texas Hold'Em is probably the hottest game on the planet. It seems like every time you turn on the TV there is another tournament with millions of dollars on the line, yet holdem is really one of the purest versions of Poker you can find. It is so simple that anyone can play it. You literally can learn it on Friday morning and win a tournament before the end of the weekend.

Why is holdem so popular?

TV loves it, pro players love it, and even grandma can't wants to get in on the action. No Limit Hold' Em is the featured game at the World Series of Poker. The winner takes home over $10,000,000 and the coveted champion's bracelet. When you consider that anyone can enter and win. It is no wonder that poker and televised tournaments like the World Poker Tour has moved into the number 1 slot for TV audiences.

The Basics of Texas holdem:

Hold 'Em is a very basic form of poker. The object is to form the best five-card hand from a total of seven cards. What makes holdem so unique is that each player is only dealt two cards which are referred to as your pocket cards. The other five cards are common cards that are dealt to the middle of the table and shared by all players. Since there are fewer cards in play, so a typical Hold'Em game usually seats nine or more players at the table. More Players = Bigger Pots

So let's cover the basics:

The dealer in Hold'Em is marked by a disk called the button. Every player will have a chance to be the dealer, which is a big advantage since you get to act last. After every hand, the button rotates to the left so your position at the table will be strongest when you are the dealer, and weakest when you are small blind and have to act first. Unless you are playing in a private game, there is always a house dealer so the button will rotate around the table and be dealt according to the location of the "button". Betting position greatly affects a players how players react and their opportunity to force the action and steal pots, so be aware of the button position.

Small Blind & Big Blind: Holdem uses forced bets or "blinds" instead of an ante which quickly builds the pot. The first player immediately to the dealer's left is the small blind and must bet of the minimum bet ($5 in a $10-$20 game). The player immediately to the left of the small blind is the big blind and must bet the full value of the minimum bet ($10 in a $10-$20).

Texas Holdem Poker

The Opening:

1. The cards are dealt in clockwise rotation around the table starting from l seat #2 (small blind)

2. Each Player receives two cards that are dealt face down

3. Since Seat #2 (small blind) and Seat #3 (big blind) were already forced to bet their "blinds", seat #4 is now "Under The Gun" and must either call, fold or raise (remember: checking is not an option before the flop because of the forced blind bet). This continues around to the Small Blind and finally the Big Blind who are last to act and both have the option of raising.

The Flop:

Once the first round of betting is complete, the dealer deals the first three community cards in the center of the table. This is called the flop.

After the flop, a 2nd betting round begins. The small blind is first to act in every betting round with seat #2 (small blind), or the first remaining player on the dealer's left. Checking is permitted now and for the rest of the hand. Bets are placed at the lower limit ($10 in our example). If it is a pot limit or No Limit game, a player would need to make at least a minimum bet (if they chose to bet) up to all of their chips in No Limit or the total of the pot in Pot Limit.

The Turn:

After the 2nd round of betting is complete, the dealer the deals a fourth community card referred to as "the turn". It is here where the fate of many hands is decided. As always, betting begins with seat #2 (small blind), or the first remaining player on the dealers left. If it is a limit game, betting is now at the higher minimum bet ($20 in a 10-20 game), but as always if you are playing in a no limit game a player can wager all of his/her chips.

The River:

The dealer turns up the fifth and final community card.

This betting round also begins with seat #2 (small blind), or the first remaining player on the dealers left. Checking is permitted now and for the rest of the hand. Bets are placed at the higher limit as discussed above.

The Showdown:

In any variation of poker, the best 5 card hand wins. Players may form their final hands from any combination of the table cards and their own pocket cards, even ignoring the pocket cards and using only the table cards if they wish.

Hope that helps give you a basic understanding of how to play Texas HoldEm. If you want to see what hands beat other hands then Click Here to see the poker hand ranking in order of highest to lowest.

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