Poker for Beginners

Texas Hold-Em Rules

Texas Hold-em is by far the most popular poker game around, this is the game you can expect to find as the main game at the online poker rooms.

The aim of Texas Hold-em is to make the best five card hand with any combination of the two 'hole' cards you are dealt, and the five 'community' cards dealt into the centre of the table.
The best hand of the players remaining wins the pot.

In Hold-em a marker is used to indicate the 'dealer' for the hand. (usually a disc with the letter D) (The dealer Button)
Prior to the cars being dealt the two players to the left of the dealer must place the 'blinds', these are bets that must be placed for the hand to continue.
The small blind is placed by the player immediately to the left of the dealer, the big blind by the player to the left of the small blind. Small blinds are normally half the minimum bet at that table and big blinds equal the minimum bet.
The first two 'hole' cards are then dealt to each player, and the first round of betting begins with the player to the left of the big blind.

For the first round of betting each player has the options; Call, Raise or Fold.

  • Call - a player must place a bet equal to the last bet placed.
  • Raise - a player can raise their bet an additional amount, that other players will have to call.
  • Fold - a player can fold their hole cards, without additional betting, sitting out of the hand.
  • Once the first round of betting is complete, the first three community cards are dealt face up on the table, for all players to see. (The Flop)
    The second round of betting (and all others) now starts with the first player to the left of the dealer.
    Players can now choose to check, call, bet or raise. By checking a player chooses to continue the hand without placing a bet (providing a bet has not already been placed), if everybody checks, then no further money is entered into the pot and the next card is dealt. If bets are made then players can call, raise or fold, once betting is complete the next card is dealt.

    The fourth card dealt is another community card dealt face up on the table (Turn Card). The third round of betting occurs in the same ways as the second. (In a Limit game the minimum bet doubles for the third round of betting)

    The fifth and final community card is dealt (River Card) and the final round of betting occurs. If more than one player remains then players show their hole cards to the table, in the order that betting occurred (clockwise from the dealer).
    The highest hand that can be made as a combination of the community and hole cards wins.
    If two players have the same hand then the next highest card (The Kicker) determines the best hand. If the two hands are exactly the same then the pot is split between them. (A hand can consist entirely of the five community cards, or one or more hole cards plus the respective community cards.

    The dealer button is passed round to the left and the next hand begins.