Texas Holdem Rules

Texas holdem is the most commonly played poker game today. It is played in casinos, home games and on the internet. One of the big reasons for its popularity is it is very easy to play, as Doyle Brunson once said, it takes a moment to learn but a lifetime to master.

If you are going to the casino to play poker, the first thing you will do when you arrive is find the poker board. The poker board is where all the games are listed and players put their names in order of next to play.

Depending on where you are playing, the poker board can be as simple as a piece of paper in the floor persons pocket or a large desk with computers and televisions around the room showing the lists. Your goal is to find the list, learn what games are going and get on the lists for the games you wish to play.

Online poker has the same system, only it is completely self service. You find the tables you like, if there is no open seats, you add yourself to the list.

Once there is an open seat for you your name will be called. You will usually have to report to the board and learn what table to go to. If you do not know where the table is just ask, they will be happy to help.

To begin playing you will need chips. If you are playing at a casino you usually have two options, you can get them from a chip cage, or a chip runner will get them for you at the table. You can ask the board when you sign up how poker players get chip, they will be glad to help. If you are playing online you will need an account balance, and you will buy in as you sit down. Each online poker site has a cashier and options for deposits, most have live support to help if you encounter any issues.

Now, finally you are at the table and ready to play. Texas holdem is a community card game, meaning there are cards all players share. These are commonly referred to as board cards. In Texas holdem each hand is started with blinds, small bets placed before the cards are dealt.

A newly seated players options in regards to the blinds varies among card rooms. In some card rooms player must post a big blind on their first hand. If this is the case the best course of action is to wait for the hand when you will be the big blind. In some card rooms players can “get in for free” and not have to post a big blind the first hand they play. In this situation the best course of action is to begin play after the blinds have passed, behind the button.

After the cards are shuffled and cut, the dealer will disperse two cards to each player, one at a time starting with the small blind. The action starts on the player to the left of the big blind. Think of it as the small blind made a bet and the big blind raised. Now the third player can call, raise or fold. The action moves clockwise around the table until everyone has called or folded all bets and raises.

In most card rooms and online poker sites there is a cap to the number of bets made in a round. It is usually four or five, but can be higher or lower. There is usually a provision for heads up play that allows for unlimited bets.

When the first betting round is completed, the dealer will burn a card and deal the flop. The flop is three cards flipped face up in the center of the table. These are community cards and can be used by all active players.

Burning a card is a move a dealer will make before dealing cards. The dealer will remove the top card and place it in a burn card pile, and deal using the cards below it. It is an age old combatant against a marked deck, by simply removing the card whose back was exposed.

In Texas holdem you are trying to create the best five card hand using any combination of pocket and board cards. After the flop all active players have five cards total. A betting round begins with the active player first to the left of the button. The player can check or bet, and then it moves to the next player. The action moves around the table with player having the option to check or bet, ad after a bet the option to fold, call or raise, until the action is completed.

Once all the players have either called all bets or folded the dealer will burn a card and deal the turn card. The turn card is a single card dealt and added to the community cards. After this card all remaining active players in the hand will have six cards, two hole cards and four community cards.

After the turn card is dealt there is a betting round the same as after the flop, starting with the first active player left of the button. Once the action is complete the final card is dealt.

The final card in Texas holdem poker is called the river. The river is dealt face up and is the fifth and final community card. After the river card is dealt a final betting round is started with the player left of the button.

When all final bets are called the game enters showdown phase. The first player to the left of the button must show their cards first. The next player may show their cards or muck them, but in most card rooms a player still in the hand could ask to see them and the player would be obligated to show. This process works its way around the table until all hands are revealed and the dealer determines the winner. In most hands all players will simply show their cards, helping the game move faster.

Most card rooms use a rule called “cards speak”, it means if you flip your cards over you get the best possible hand. You are not required to say what you have, and even if you say the wrong thing the cards speak, so you have what you have. Novice players should remember this and if in any way are unsure if they have a winner just flip your cards over.

It is worth noting in medium and higher stakes poker many hands do not get to showdown. The higher the stakes, the less likely to see a showdown. More experienced players lay down their hands and put their money in when the odds are with them, creating overall tighter games.