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How to Play Texas Holdem Poker

Welcomed into the Texas Holdem Poker How To Play section. Texas Holdem Poker is played sitting at a table with either a dealer or in home games, each player taking the turn at being the dealer. Let's look at how to play Texas Holdem Poker with a dealer. A dealer is a person that is dealing each hand and is not playing at all. So we have a dealer and people seated around a table. But it would not be fair if each time they played a hand of poker, the same person gets to be the last to make a betting decision. To eliminate this advantage, each player takes turns of being the first to act. And to keep track of whos turn it is, an object called a Dealer's Button (round white plastic disk) is placed in front of a player and is moved clockwise between the players before the start of each new hand. The player that has the button in front of them has the desirable position being the last to act. The person to the left of the button has to be the first to act. In the picture below the white disk on the table is the dealer button moving clockwise from player to player at the begining of the hand, and the circled "D" is the person dealing the cards.

Texas Holdem Poker Position

Its desirable to get some money seeded into the pot right away. In Texas Holdem Poker this is done by two small bets call blinds. These bets are called blinds because the players are forced to place the bet without knowing what their cards are (no cards have been dealt yet!) Not every player places a blind bet, and there are two different blind bets. The larger blind is called the big blind and is posted by the player to the left of the dealer button. The smaller blind is called the small blind and is posted by the player second to the left of the dealer button. The blinds are always the first bets in a hand of Texas Holdem Poker and they are of a preset amount. To find out the amount of the blind you inquirer on the betting limit of the Texas Holdem Poker table. If the table has a betting limit of $1/$2 then the big blind is $1 and the small blind is half of the big blind which would be 50 cents.

Texas Holdem Poker Blinds

After the blinds are posted the dealer will deal two cards to each player faced down. Each player will carefully peek at their two cards. These two cards are called holecards or pocket cards. Each person can place a bet based on how much they like their holecards. This is the first of 4 betting rounds in Texas Holdem Poker. There are five options a player has when it's their turn to bet, the first is to fold. Folding means you don't like your chances of winning and you no longer wish to continue playing. The second option is to check, you can only check if no bets have been posted yet. To check is to pass, to let the next player have his or her turn. The third option is to call. A call is to match a previously made bet. The fourth option is to bet. A bet is when a player initiates to placing of money in the pot, which other have to match to stay in the game. The last option is to raise. A raise is to not only equal another player's bet but to also increased the pot even more.

Texas Holdem Poker Hole Cards

So after each player received their hole cards and the betting round is over (a betting round is over when everyone had a chance to post money into the pot and those who equal that amount remaining and those who did not fold). Now is the time for the flop. The flop is when the dealer places three cards face up on the center of the table. These three cards are the first three community cards of Texas Holdem Poker. Another round of betting takes place, just like earlier.

Texas Holdem Poker Flop

Let's talk a little bit about position here. When people talk about position in Texas Holdem Poker they are talking about when it is your turn to do an action (fold, raise, check, call, bet). If you are one of the first few players in the betting round you are said to be in the early position. If you're one of the players in the middle of the betting around you are said to be in the mid position. If you're one of the last players in a betting around you are said to be in the late position. It is extremely desirable in Texas Holdem Poker to be placing a betting action in the late position. This is because you see all of the action of the other players before you are required to make a betting decision.

So we now have the flop on the table, and now we have the second round of betting. As in every betting round a player is deciding whether a hand is worthy of continuing. The possibility of folding is always an option.

After the flop betting round is the turn. The dealer places a 4th card on the center of the table face up. This card is called the turn card. After the turn cards is the third round of betting in Texas Holdem Poker. Often it is this round that the house increases the minimum amount of the bet.

Next comes the 5th and final community cards, known as the river card. After seeing the river card comes the last round of betting. By now everyone knows exactly what their best hand is. The hand is constructed by selecting the best five card poker hand from the community cards plus the player's two hole cards. You don't have to use both hole cards to construct the poker hand, you might only want to use one of the hole cards. It's even possible to only use the five community cards to construct a poker hand, but it will only at best give you a tie at the showdown. In speaking of showdown, it's time for a good old-fashioned Texas Holdem Poker showdown.

After the last betting around which is always after that fits community card is dealt, comes the showdown. A Texas Holdem Poker showdown is always an exhilarating event. The showdown is when all the betting is done and it's time to show your call your whole cards to see you as the best five card poker hand. Often when you watch Texas Holdem Poker on television you can tell it's the showdown because usually the person short on chips will be the ones standing up with anticipation. Not every hand of Texas Holdem Poker will come down to the showdown, its possible to have all the opponets but one fold during the course of a hand. Remember to place your cards face up and asked the dealer for the clarification if you're unsure of the value of your hand. The value of the Texas Holdem Poker hand is called hand ranking and will be discussed in our hand ranking section.

Texas Hold 'em Poker

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