How to Play Texas Hold ‘em Poker

How to Play Texas Hold ‘em Poker

Before starting your adventure with this remarkable card game, you should familiarise yourself with a few phrases that will help you understand the rules:

  • Poker hand – this means the strength of the cards drawn by a player
  • Button – the player who deals the cards and handles all actions to the end of the game
  • Check – do not add to, or raise, a winning pot
  • Coin flip – if at the end of a hand each player has an equal chance of winning, the situation is similar to the toss of a coin

Rules and Order of Play:

First stage

Each player must pay the “blinds” before they see the cards dealt. The two players on the left of the dealer place the blinds (the first is the small blind, the second is the big blind).

Second stage

The dealer lays down two overlapping cards for each player, starting with the first player on their left, and continuing clockwise. The position of the dealer is marked with a special token placed in front of them.

Third stage

Each player can check the cards dealt to them. Then betting starts. Possible moves are:

FOLD – the player does not continue playing. They leave the betting and exit the round in question

BET –One player can make a Texas Hold ‘em bet, for example by putting 10 chips into the pot. All other players must do the same. Failure to do so means folding.

A bet involving all a player’s chips – all-in

RAISE – Another player can raise someone’s bet, for example from 10 to 20 chips, meaning the game goes to the next level and the players are playing for a higher stake. If they do not add to the pot, they will have to fold.

CALL – Each player may check another (who made a bet) by adding the same amount to the pot.

CHECK – When no bet has been made, none of the players may add chips to the pot (in this manner, one player allows another to move).

Fourth stage

When all players have made their move, the accumulated chips (the pot) is moved to the centre of the table.

Fifth stage

This is the “flop”, in which three community cards are dealt onto the table. They belong to no single player, and any can use them to create a hand.

Sixth stage

The second round of betting, starting with the player to the left of the dealer. Players can bet or fold as before. At the end of the round, all newly-added chips are moved to the centre of the table and added to the pot.

Seventh stage

The fourth community card, the “turn”, is dealt onto the table. Every player may use this to build their Hold ‘em Poker hand.

Eighth stage

The next round of betting starts, after which the fifth and final community card is dealt onto the table. This card is called the “river”.

Ninth stage

The final round of betting, after which comes the showdown – which means laying all cards on the table. Every player may use any of the seven available cards (their own two and the five community cards) to build their five-card hand. The player’s hands are laid out clockwise, starting with the person to the left of the dealer. The winner is the person who builds the strongest hand – and collects all the winnings.

Texas hold’em for beginners

Nowadays, it’s almost embarrassing if you don’t have a clue what the gameplay of the most popular poker variant looks like – that is, Texas Hold’Em. So if you’re not sure how to get started with your first ever poker game, get a hold of some tips on texas hold’em for beginners.

Texas hold’em set – what you need to get started

This poker variant is played with a deck of 52 cards. Advanced players sometimes add variety to the game by adding jokers to the deck. The standard texas hold’em set includes rectangular cards with dimensions of 63 x 88 millimeters. They are also used for other varieties of poker.

When preparing for the game, you can’t forget about texas hold’em chips. The amount of chips depends on the number of players. It is also important whether you are playing a standard game or a tournament modus. In the first case, you should have around 80 – 100 texas hold’em chips per person. This amount is enough to play all varieties of poker. However, if you decide on a tournament modus, you will need much less texas hold’em chips. All you need is 20 – 30 chips per person. During the game, remember to exchange lower denominations for higher ones so you need fewer tokens, but they must be more varied in color.

You can buy a suitcase in which there is a ready-to-play Texas hold’em set. Such sets contain the appropriate deck of cards and chips. Pay attention to the number because these suitcases are designed for a different number of players and contain different amounts of chips.

When buying texas hold’em chips, pay attention to the way they are made. Chips made from various materials do not differ in appearance, but their quality is completely different. The cheapest and least durable chips are made of plastic or polypropylene. The Clay Composites, a mixture of plastic and ceramic clay, will be better in quality. They are more pleasant to touch and allow for easy set-up. Good quality texas hold’em chips from clay make a special sound when setting them. Ceramic chips are also available. The color on the cheapest ones can be wiped off quickly, so if you want to use them for as long as possible, invest in a slightly more expensive texas hold’em set.

How to prepare for the game?

There are between 2 and 10 players in a texas hold’em game. The tables where only two players are sitting are called heads up, up to 6 players – short-handed tables, and more than 6 players – full ring tables.

In a game of poker at the casino, the croupiers are the ones who deal with shuffling and dealing the cards. However, if you play at home, this role will go to each player in turn. Often, in a clockwise direction, the players move a special disc on the table which is called the dealer button. The person who holds the dealer button acts as the croupier for that given round.

Remember about the rules

Before you start your first game, you must know the poker card arrangements by heart and the rules of texas hold’em. For beginners, the best way to learn them is to watch poker tournaments and play online games. When choosing an online game, check if it reflects the real game well. Thanks to this you will gain all the necessary information you need in an almost effortless way.

You can also find books and articles on the Internet that will explain all the nuances of the poker game. Also, learn a bit about the strategies used in texas hold’em. For beginners, complicated strategies may turn out to be too difficult, but it is worth knowing the simplest ones.