How do you play Texas Hold’em Step by Step?
|The Game ID|
|Type of game||community card Poker|
|Number of players||2+, usually 2-10|
|Deck of cards||52|
|Required skills||probability, strategy, game theory, and psychology|
“It takes a moment to learn but a lifetime to master”. This is the best definition I ever came across for the most popular card game of all times-Texas Holdem Poker. Texas Holdem or simply “hold’em” is one of the most popular variants of the Poker game. It is a simple game to learn, not TOO simple, though. Everyone plays poker-from home to big gambling rooms in Vegas. People may play it for fun, winning some pennies, and even millions of dollars.
Whether you want to have fun or win big, this A-Z guide is for you. Stay with me until the end to learn everything you need to play Texas Hold’em and win.
Nobody knows for sure when Texas Holdem came into existence. But the Texas Legislature officially recognizes Robstown, Texas, as its birthplace, dating it to the late 19th century. After the game spread throughout Texas, hold ’em was introduced to Las Vegas in 1963 at the California Club by Corky McCorquodale. It became popular and quickly spread to the Golden Nugget, Stardust, and Dunes. Later on, after the Las Vegas trip, bookmakers Terry Rogers and Liam Flood introduced hold’em to European card players in the early 1980s.
What Is The Difference Between Poker And Texas Hold’em?
I already pointed out that Texas Hold ’em is a poker variant. This means they are not the same thing. All poker games are played by two or more players who compete to make the best hand using a defined hand ranking system. However, Texas Hold’em is one of the community card poker games. The other community games are Omaha, Pineapple, and Courchevel.
Texas Holdem Basic Rules For Dummies
Everyone plays Hold’em these days, what about you?! Literally, you can see Texas Hold’em Poker everywhere. It is on TV, online, in clubs and casinos, and even in your house. However, if you want to become a successful Hold’em poker player, you must take care of poker and non-poker factors. For example, check your physical, mental, and financial health before you sit at the table. Also, you should know why you are playing. The overall goal in every Poker game is: “to win more money or chips than your opponents during the game by consistently making better decisions than them at every possible decision-making step”. To make the best possible decisions during the game, you must understand the basic odds and hands values. Also, you need to know how to bluff successfully and follow proper poker etiquette. The game also has its own abbreviations for online play.
Texas Hold’em Terminology For Beginners
First things first! You should learn the lingo used in Poker, especially in the hold’em world. Read and learn the following most important words:
|Poker Most Common Vocabulary|
|Hole Cards||Refer to the first two cards dealt face down to each player|
|The Flop||Refer to the next three cards placed face-up on the table|
|The Turn||Refer to the Forth card placed face-up on the table|
|The River||Is the fifth card placed face-up on the table|
|Pot||Is the sum of money player with the best hand wins|
|Bet||Is a process of putting money in the pot|
|Check||Is when you decide not to bet in cases where nobody placed a bet before you|
|Call||Is when you decide to put money equal to another player’s bet in the pot and stay in the hand|
|Raise||Is when the amount of money other players have to pay to stay in the hand is increased by you or any other player|
|Pot Odds||Refers to the mathematical justification for whether it is profitable to call a bet|
|Rags||Refers to a bad hand without much chance of winning|
|Bluffing||Refers to situations where you rags and use Betting/Raising to make other players fold|
|Bad Beat||Is when you lose a pot to a great hand while having a pretty good hand|
|Street||Refers to a card that is dealt in a particular betting round. For instance, in Hold ’em, the community cards are known as the Flop, Turn, and River. The Turn and River are sometimes referred to as Fourth Street and Fifth Street.|
How Many Persons Are Required To Play Texas Holdem Poker?
Typically, a poker table is set up for between 2 and 9 players. If the game only has two players, it’s called heads-up. If a maximum of 6 players is allowed, the game is called 6-max. If the table has a maximum of 9 players, it’s (you guessed it) 9-max. Occasionally, in some casinos, a 10-max game is available. However, the largest single online Hold’em table is typically 9-max.
Texas Hold’em Rules: How to Deal Texas Hold’em?
Although the gameplay, theories, and setup, are very easy to learn, the strategy you need to win is anything but easy. Because before you can even come close to mastering the required skills, you must spend endless hours of study and practice. But don’t panic! We are not in the stone age, and now learning is easier than ever. Hence, get ready to learn the rules because, without the rules, you have no chance to win this game.
Texas Hold’em Basic Rules
I already mentioned that you must have a goal before starting to play. You must know what you are fighting for. The goal of the game is easy, though. Use your hole card with the combination of the community cards to make the best possible five-card poker hand.
Make friends with the community cards you see below. You gonna need them a loooot!
Creating hands in Hold’em is different from other poker variants:
- In Texas Hold’em, each player is dealt two hole cards. Basically, hold ’em starts with two cards.
- Throughout several betting rounds, five more cards are dealt face up in the middle of the table.
- The face-up cards are your friends-community cards. Each player is free to use the community cards in combination with their hole cards to build a five-card poker hand.
Three cards of one rank and two cards of another rank make a full hand in Texas Hold’em. For example, a full hand of 3♣ 3♠ 3. ♦ 6♣ 6♥.
In this game, the 5 community cards are dealt in three stages:
- The Flop: the first three community cards
- The Turn: the fourth community card
- The River: the fifth and final community card
To make your five-card poker hands, you should use the best available five cards out of the seven total cards (i.e. the two hole cards and the five community cards). A recommended way to do that is:
- Use both your hole cards plus three community cards,
- Use one hole card and four community cards, or
- Use no hole cards.
Pro tip: In case you can create a better combination out of the cards on the table, leave your cards and play all five community cards.
In Hold’em, if the betting makes all but one player to fold, the remaining player wins the pot without showing any cards. For this reason, even if you have the best hand, you may lose. Because it is always possible that a player bluffs and gets others to fold better hands.
Now that you well know the basics, let us move on to more details.
How To Play Texas Hold’em? Gameplay Rules
The first key aspect of playing this game is understanding the different positions, and I want to make them clear for you. There are 6 key poker positions as follows:
- Under-The-Gun (UTG)
- Hijack (HJ)
- Cutoff (CO)
- Button (BTN)
- Small Blind (SB)
- Big Blind (BB)
But it is not required to understand and learn all the six. I will explain the Button and the Blinds. Leave the rest for later. For now, you must understand the relationship between the Button and Blinds.
Basically, the game rotates around the Button and Blinds. For each successive hand, the button and blinds will be moved once to the left. The play moves clockwise around the table, and it starts with action to the left of the dealer button.
The button is a round disc sitting in front of a player or the acting dealer. Button rotates one seat to the left with every hand. In fact, it determines which player is the acting dealer. Also, the button determines the starting place of card dealing.
In all Hold’em variants, a physical button is placed in front of the dealer before the hand begins. The exception is live Texas Hold’em where there is a dedicated dealer with no button in front of her. Because the entire dealing process is automated and the dealer button and blinds move automatically in an online game.
When you play in casino rooms, the player with the dealer button will not deal the cards as the casino hires someone to do that. But when you play at home, the player with the button will deal the cards.
The first two players sitting next to the left of the button must place a forced bet – a small blind and a big blind, or ante to start the hand. In fact, the blinds begin the betting round. Generally, the small blind amount is one-half of the big blind. For example, if in a game the big blind is 20 cents, the small blind will be 10 cents. However, this amount varies from room to room and can also depend on the game variant. For instance, in a $1/$2 hold ’em, the small blind is $1 and the big blind is $2.
The first person receiving a card is Small Blind followed by the Big blind, and so on. Remember, the dealer always is the last player who receives a card.
Blinds are there to prevent the game become boring. Because without blinds, no one must put money into the pot. Also, they ensure some level of ‘action’ on every hand.
Pro tip: In poker and Hold’em tournaments, the blinds will be raised at regular intervals. In addition, the number of players decreases during the game and the stacks of remaining players get bigger. This is the reason for regular rais of blinds. However, the blinds always stay the same in cash games.
All right. Enough with the theory, let’s play!
Preflop: the first betting round
Once each player receives two hole cards, the first betting round begins. The player sitting left to the big blind will act first. This is the “under-the-gun” position because you cannot choose to act or not, you must act. However, the player isgiven the following 3 options to move:
|Raise||Increasing the bet within the specific limits of the game|
|Call||Matching the big blind amount|
|Fold||Throwing away the hand and leaving the game|
The amount of raise depends on the variant being played. For example, In no-limit Texas hold ’em, the minimum opening raise must be at least twice the big blind. But the maximum raise can be all of the chips a player has. On the other hand, in limit hold ’em, a raise is always exactly twice the big blind.
Once the first player acts, the play continues clockwise around the table. Each player similarly has three options call, raise, or fold.
Once the last bet is called, the action is closed, and the preflop round is over. Now, the play moves on to the flop.
The Flop: Second round of betting
Players who did not fold in the first round receive their first three community cards and the flop stage begins. The first active player to the left of the button will start action in this stage and the subsequent ones.
In the flop round, players have an extra option- check. You can bet, call, raise, fold, and check.
To check means you pass the action to the next player. However, you are only allowed to do that if no betting has occurred beforehand.
The betting in this round continues until the last bet or raise when the round ends.
If players keep checking around the table, this also will the round.
The Turn: Third round of betting
After all betting actions in the flop, the fourth community card-the turn- will be dealt face-up. Once each player received the turn, another round of betting starts just like the previous round.
Again, players can check, bet, call, fold, or raise in the turn round.
The River: Final betting round
The last betting round begins once each player receives the fifth community card-the river- and the betting goes on similar to the previous street of play. In this round, players also can check, bet, call, fold, or raise.
NOW, the question is who wins?
Well, once all betting actions are completed, the remaining players holding hole cards show up their cards to see who is the winner. This is called the showdown.
The remaining players simply show their hole cards and the dealer will help to determine the winner. The winner is the player with the best combination of five cards.
You should be asking what the best five-card combination is? Here I come to the winning hands topic and explain the Texas Hold’em hands and related rules.
Hand Rankings And Winning Hands
Almost in every poker game, players fight to make the best five-card hand. I
n Texas Hold’em it is not necessary to use both cards in your hand. In fact, you can use both, one, or none of your own hole cards to make your best hand.
Here is a list of the ranking order (known as official poker hand rankings) of all 10 possible hands that you can hold followed by the best starting hands in Texas Hold’em. I strongly recommend memorizing these hands.
Best 5-Card Poker Hands Ranked from Lowest to Highest
|10. High Card||A hand that does not meet any of the following criteria. The best high card hand possible is AKQJ9. In the case of a tie, the next highest card is used to break the tie. For example, AJ852 beats AJ843.|
|9. One Pair||A pair is made up of two matching card ranks plus three unrelated side cards.|
|8. Two Pair||It consists of two cards with matching ranks plus another two cards of matching ranks. If two players have two “pair”, the highest ranks win. For instance, JJ55 beats both TT99 and JJ44.|
|7. Three of a Kind||Three-of-a-kind or Trips contains any three cards with the same rank. If there is a tie, the highest-ranked Trips wins.|
|6. Straight||Five cards in the sequence. Aces can count as the highest card or the lowest to make a straight. An Ace to five straight is called The Wheel.|
|5. Flush||Five non-consecutive cards of the same suit. The highest card rank determines the flush strength. The example here is Jack-high flush. This can only be beaten by a Queen-high or better flush.|
|4. Full House||3 matching card ranks plus 2 matching card ranks. The example represents Nines full of Aces. To rank full houses, Trips are the cards that matter. For example, Eights full of twos beats Sevens full of Aces.|
|3. Four of a Kind||Any four cards of the same rank plus the fifth card which is called the kicker. This is another extremely rare hand to achieve.|
|2. Straight Flush||All five cards must be in numerical order with no gaps in between and all of the same suit. Making this hand is so rare that most players can remember every single one in their lifetime.|
|1. Royal Flush||This is the best possible poker hand. The highest card is an Ace and all five cards must be in numerical order with identical suits. In poker, all suits are equally ranked.|
Now, the best Texas Hold’em starting hands are:
Best Starting Hands in Texas Hold’em from Strongest to weakest
|1. Pocket Aces|
|2. Pocket Kings|
|3. Pocket Queens|
|4. Ace- King Suited|
|5. Pocket Jacks|
|6. Pocket Tens|
|7. Ace-King Off-suit|
|8. Ace-Queen Suited|
|9. Pocket Nines|
|10. Ace-Jack Suited|
Texas Holdem Strategy
Although every poker player seeks the best Hold’em strategy to win, in reality, there is no THE BEST STRATEGY to make you win every single time you play. There are thousands of tips and tricks to take advantage of but there is no magic formula other than reading and practicing. The truth is YOU are the secret magic formula. You must do the work. You should read, learn, practice, and practice more.
Below are some of the best strategies to play Texas Hold’em to use:
- Choose an opening hand that has a higher chance of winning in any given situation.
- Follow your table events to correctly size your bet.
- Make the right folds to increase your profits.
- Never underestimate the power of BLUFFING!
- Play Smart on the Turn and the River rounds.
Hold’em Bluffing Strategy
- Only bluff in cases that make a difference to your standing —in a tournament or to your stack of chips.
- Be careful bluffing someone who has a considerably worse hand than you.
- Bluff when the board hints at the great hand you do not have.
- Do not bluff players who only play the most solid hands if they’re still in the pot.
- Do not bluff people who are extremely likely to call.
- Definitely, bluff people who are very likely to fold.
- Bluffing in No-Limit is easier than Limit because the bets are bigger.
Common Hold’em Odds
The following poker odds chart shows you on average how many poker hands it takes for something to happen. For instance, poker players get pocket aces an average of once every 221 poker hands.
|Common Hold’em Odds|
|331-1||Odds of getting dealt ace-king of spades (or any specific suit)|
|221-1||Odds of getting dealt pocket aces|
|118-1||Chances of flopping a flush with suited hole cards|
|81-1||Chance of getting ace-king including suited and non|
|74-1||Odds of flopping a straight with connected cards: J-T through 5-4|
|54-1||Chances of suited cards or “jacks or better”|
|41-1||Chances of getting one of the top five pairs: AA, KK, QQ, JJ, TT|
|16-1||Odds of getting suited connectors|
|8-1||Odds of getting a pocket pair|
|24-1||Odds of getting a pocket pair and hitting a set on the flop|
|5-1||Odds of getting connected cards. For example: 3-2, 8-7, Q-J|
|3-1||Chances of making a pair on the flop with any two cards|
Common Hold’em Match-Ups
Often, pro poker players play strong poker hands like pocket pairs and ace-king suited. For this reason, certain poker hand match-ups will be seen more often than others. These are the common ones:
|Match-up||Approximate Odds Percentage||Example|
|Higher pocket pair / lower pocket pair||At least 80% favorite||AA vs. JJ
|Pocket pair/overcards||55% favorite||JJ vs. AK
|Pocket pair/overcard and undercard||70% favorite||TT vs. Q8|
|Pair- pair/overcard and one of that pair||90% favorite||KK vs. AK
|Two high cards / two lower cards||65% favorite||JT vs. 87
Basically, the Poker odds show the probability of winning any given hand. For example, if you had a straight draw with 9-8 on a 7-6-2 flop, then you’d have eight poker outs: 5s-5h-5d-5c or 10s-10h-10d-10c. Before I proceed, you need to understand how to calculate outs. Outs are cards that help you improve your hand and make it better than what you think your opponent is holding. This helps you decide when to call. For instance, if your opponent makes a 31% overbet, this doesn’t really warrant a call but if they only make a min-bet then that’s generally an easy call.
To calculate odds, you first need the number of winning cards or Outs
Here are common poker outs you might run into:
Of course, you should not memorize all these charts. You can calculate your own outs using this simple formula:
You only need to figure out how many cards improve your poker hand. For instance, suppose you have 5d5c and you need to improve to a set or quads. The calculation looks like this:
Standard 52-card deck – your two hole cards = 50 cards
From this simple calculation, we can conclude that 48 cards will not help you and you have only 2 poker outs.
Of course, You can use various online calculators to calculate the odds for you. For example, Betonline exclusive poker odds calculator is an awesome feature that you can use in Betonline Poker Room. But I suggest you practice and understand the concept and don’t just rely on the calculators.
Best Online Casinos To Play Texas Hold’em
To make selection easy for you, I have put together a list of the best online casinos offering Texas Hold’em games. These sites are licensed and regulated, offer an extensive game selection by the best industry software providers, and a variety of safe and fast banking methods.
|Online Casino||Live Hold’em and Tournaments||Welcome bonus||Crypto-friendly|
|Wild Casino||Only live hold’em||100% up to $5,000||Yes|
|Bovada||Only tournaments||Up to $3,750||Yes|
|Super Slots||No||Up to $6,000||Yes|
|Ignition||Yes||150% up to $3,000||Only BTC and Bitcoin cash|
|Red Dog Casino||No||255%||Yes|
|Fan Duel Casino||No||Up to $1,000||Only BTC in fantasy app|
To Sum It Up…
I hope you learned from this article. The key takeaway from this page is to understand that the learning process in poker hold’em never ends. Even pro players should keep learning and practicing.
Although the gameplay in Texas Hold’em is easy to understand, the game is not easy to master. It involves thought and decision-making so you have to learn the basics and strategies to increase your chances of winning. Remember to play the game for the game’s sake, after all, it is supposed to be fun.
How Do You Play Texas Hold’em Step By Step FAQs
Where can I play Texas hold ’em online?
I have provided a list of the best online casinos to play casino hold’em. You can pick any and start playing for real money with 100% certainty.
Can I Play Texas hold ’em Online For Free?
Yes. You can play a free demo version of the hold’em game at the best online casinos provided on this page.
How To Play Texas hold ’em At home?
There are many different Poker options you can play with your friends in a home setting. Some of the best online poker sites allow you to create a private poker club, invite people to join you there, and play online poker with your friends for free and even for real money. WSOP App and 888poker are the most popular poker rooms where you can play free hold’em as well as real money games.
Is Texas Hold’em The Same As Poker?
Of course not. Texas Hold’em is a community card poker and is the most popular poker variant.