Texas Hold’Em is one of the most popular forms of Poker worldwide. Learn how to play Texas Hold’Em Poker with our easy step by step guide.
Last Updated on June 3, 2023 by Dave Hall
Learning how to play Texas Hold’Em Poker is a common requirement among many gamblers and casual players worldwide.
Texas Hold’Em is one of the most popular poker games in the United States and around the world. It is also very easy to learn.
You are possibly aware of the no-limit form of Hold’em, although there are other forms too, such as “pot limit.”
So, how do you play Texas hold’em step-by-step?
Read on to discover more about Texas hold’em dealing, Texas hold’em strategy, and of course how to win.
What You Need to Play Texas Hold’em Poker Game
As with most games, you need several supplies to a play Texas Hold’em at home.
However, if you are going to play it on an online casino, you only need to fund your account, and the live dealer will do the rest for you.
It is in fact one of the most played casino table games whether online or offline.
Texas Hold’em Supplies Needed To Play At Home
- A 52 Card Deck with No Jokers
- Poker Chips of chosen denominations
- Dealer Button
- One to 10 willing poker players
- One non-mirror Table that can accommodate all players
Basic Overview – How to Play Texas Hold’em Poker
The games start when each player is dealt two private cards known as “Pocket Cards” or “Hole Cards.”
Once each player is dealt a card, they will each participate in a betting round, starting with the one on the immediate left of the dealer.
The dealer then deals three community cards, known as the “Flop”, which must face up. Players then commence a second round of betting.
The dealer then deals a fourth community card, also facing up, known as the “Turn” card. The Turn is then followed by a third round of betting.
And just like the previous betting rounds, the new bets must match or double the existing bets.
Finally, the dealer deals the fifth community card known as the “River”. A fourth and final betting round follows the “River” card.
During the final betting round or “Showdown”, players play the best five-card hand they can come up with.
To do that, they can use their two pocket cards and three from the community cards on the table.
A player can use only the community cards to form their best five-card hand.
The player with the best five-card hand combination wins the game.
How Do You Play Texas Hold’em Step by Step
As you may have figured from our Texas Hold’em overview, there are not many rounds when playing Texas Hold’em.
That could also explain why it is so popular among players and casinos alike.
In that regard, here is what each round of Texas Hold’em Poker entails.
To decide who the first dealer is, the deck is shuffled, and each player is dealt a card. The player with a high card gets to be the first dealer.
In the event of a tie, these players then deal again until there is a single highest card player.
The highest card is the Ace, followed by K, Q, J, 10, 9 etc. The first dealer gets a dealer button, denoting their position.
The dealer position will keep shifting clockwise (to the left), after each round or hand. That is how everyone gets a turn to be a dealer.
Once the dealer is determined, the blinds are put down.
For the sake of our guide, we will assume the value of the poker chips to be a $5 denomination.
The “blinds” are the bets that are laid down at the beginning of the game before any cards are dealt.
There are two blind bets at the beginning. The “small blind” and the big blind”.
They are called blind bets because you are actually betting “blind”, or think of it this way, blindfolded, without knowing your cards yet.
Usually, the small blind is one chip and the big blind is two chips. In the case of our guide, this would be $5 and $10 respectively.
So, before dealing any cards, the player immediately to the left of the dealer will lay down the small blind.
The next player to the left will lay the big blind.
The cards are then dealt to the immediate left of the dealer, one at a time, until all players have two cards each. These are the “pocket cards” or “hole cards”. Multiple terminology.
Rounds of Betting
The Dealer shuffles the deck, and then gives or “deals” each player two cards, both facing down. These are the player’s “pocket” or “hole” cards. The player must keep these cards secret as part of their winning strategy.
Once each player is dealt their two cards, they will each participate in a betting round, starting with the player to the immediate left of the dealer (small blind player).
This player can then decide whether to continue or fold (throw their cards and quit).
To continue, this player must make up the big blind value. This player has already laid $5 (small blind), so he/she will need to bet another $5 to continue.
Lets assume this player bets the $5 to continue. They can bet more but we will come to that later.
The betting then goes to the next player (big blind). This player can Check (continue without betting because the he/she is already at the highest bet), or Raise.
In the event of a check or raise, the next player must match, or better, the previous bet to continue in the game.
If there were no raises, the round finishes at the small blind player who can either raise or check to continue the game.
In the case of a raise happening during the round, then the small blind player will either need to match this bet or fold his or her cards.
At the end of this round, all chips are pushed into the middle of the table and enter the next phase.
After the first betting round, the dealer burns a card (throws one away), and then deals three community cards, each facing up. These first three community cards are the Flop.
Second Round of Betting
During the second round of betting, players can check, call, raise, or fold.
To check, all they have to do is say check, and let the next player play. However, they can only check if there is no bet on the table.
That allows a player to wait to see how other players are going to play, without losing their bet.
If any player raises, then all other players in turn must match that players raise (Call) to continue. Or they can raise themselves to an even higher bet. Otherwise they must fold their cards and exit the game.
If there is a second raise, then betting continues. So, even the first raise has to bet more to match the second raise to stay in the game.
The round ends when all players have either matched the bets or folded.
During the Turn, the dealer burns a card again, and then adds a fourth card to the community card. The fourth card is also added face-up, and is the Turn card or Fourth Street.
Third Round of Betting
During the third round of betting, the same rules used in the second round apply. Check, call, raise or fold.
However, in limit games, the players are required to double their bets, if they choose to wager.
Otherwise, they have to fold.
The River is the fifth and final community card in Texas Hold’em. Again, the dealer burns a card, and then adds the River to the community cards. You can refer to the community cards collectively as Board cards.
Final Betting Round
The fourth and final round follows the same format as the second and third rounds. After this round, players get to play the showdown.
Texas Hold’em Poker – Showdown
Showdown is the final act that decides who gets the pot in Texas Hold’em poker.
During Showdown, the players left in the game expose their cards to determine the winner.
The Player with the highest Texas Hold’em poker hand wins the game.
The last raiser or bettor is the one to show their cards first, and the highest five-card hand wins the pot.
However, if there is a tie, then the winners split the pot equally.
Moreover, during Showdown, a player can admit defeat, without showing their cards, by Mucking.
They simply toss their cards to the Burn pile, to hide their Texas Hold Em strategy.
Order of Texas Hold’Em Poker Hands
Conclusion – Texas Hold’em Poker
It is important that if you choose to “play the board”, instead of your cards, then you must declare so, before you toss your cards. Otherwise, you will have forfeited your cards and therefore conceded defeat.
A Texas Hold’em Poker hand has five cards, with the following “ranking”: A, K, Q, J, 10, 9, 8, 7, 6, 5, 4, 3, 2. Whereby, “A” has the highest ranking, and “2” has the lowest ranking.
However, an ACE can become a low, if it is part of an A-2-3-4-5 straight.
Overall, when played sensibly and without any negative emotions, Texas Hold’em can be one of the best winning casino games, and also one of the most enjoyable.
We hope you found this how to play Texas Hold’em guide to be informative and you will enjoy playing your next Hold’em game.
About the Author
Dave is a gambling enthusiast who boasts of two decades of experience. His writings not only unravel the intricacies of online casino games but also explore the psychology behind betting. Dave's commitment to responsible gambling shines through, making every wager a mindful choice for players seeking a thrilling yet balanced gaming experience.