Texas Hold 'Em Poker Rules

Texas Hold'Em is probably the most popular version of Poker being played today. Its a little more complicated than 5-card stud or 7-card draw. But you'll find it at every poker room, on TV, and online.

Basics
This game starts with a single 52-card deck. Up to 10 players can play.

In leiu of the traditional poker "ante", where every player would kick in a small initial bet, Texas Hold 'Em uses "blinds". Only two players pay "blinds" on each hand. Other players play the hand for free. The blind represents the minimum bet for the hand of poker.

Initially, the two players to the left of the dealer post "the blinds". The player directly to the left pays the "single blind", and the player two from the left pays the "double blind". With each hand of poker dealt, responsibility to pay the blinds rotates around the table.

Card Play
Each player receives two cards, face down. Players compete to build the best possible 5-card poker hand using their two cards plus the 5 cards which will be shared.

The first round of cards deals 2 cards, face down, to each player.

The second round, called "the flop", deals 3 cards, face up, which are common cards to all players.

The third round, called "the turn", deals 1 card, face up, which is a common card to all players.

The fourth round, called "the river", deals 1 card, face up, which is a common card to all players.

Betting

The first bets are the posting of the blinds by two of the players, as described above. After that, each round of cards is followed with another round of betting. Betting starts with the player to the left of the player that posted the single blind.

The minimum bet is the amount of the single blind.

In the first round, players that did not post double blind must at least match the double blind in order to remain in the hand; otherwise they must fold. If no players bet higher than the double blind, the player that paid the single blind must increase his bet to match the double blind in order to stay in. Finally, the player that posted the double blind has the opportunity to raise the bet if desired.

After each round of cards, betting begins with the player to the left of the dealer.

After all rounds of betting, if more than one player remains in the game, the players show their cards to see who wins. If only one player remains, he collects the pot for himself.

All-in
One unique aspect of Texas Hold'Em is the notion of betting "all-in". At any time, a player may elect to bet "all-in". At this point, that player will be able to stay in the hand until the hand is completed. Another player does *not* kick out the player that is all-in by simply betting more chips.

If one player bets "all-in" and other players continue to bet beyond the amount of the "all-in" player, then, if the all-in player wins, he will not receive the full pot. He will only receive the amount proportional to what he bet. For example, say the "all-in" bet was for $10 to player Joe. If players Tom and Sue continue to bet up to $20, and yet Joe wins the hand, then Joe would receive $30 (his $10 plus a matched $10 from Tom and Sue), and then the better hand of Tom & Sue would win the remainder of the pot.

Poker Hands
Here is a chart with all the 5-card poker hands.

Need more help? Visit the Poker Books page.

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