How to Play Texas Hold’em

The rules of Texas holdem are quite simple, each player is dealt two cards face down (your hole cards), starting with a dealer button assigned by the dealer. The first person after the dealer button is called the small blind and the next person is the big blind. Each of these players will post (pay into the pot) a bet assigned by the house or dealer. The small blind will post one half of the big blind. For example in a $1-$2 game the small blind is $1 and the big blind is $2.

The deal begins at the small blind and ends on the dealer button. The first person to act will be the one to the left of the big blind, (also called UTG or under the gun). If the UTG player wants to play his hand, he has to call the minimum bet of $2 (equal to the blind) or he may raise. In Texas hold em poker games that are no limit, any player may bet up to and including all their chips at any time. (This is called ‘all-in’) Each player will act in turn by either calling the previous player’s bet, raising or folding until action comes back to the big blind. If there was no raise, the big blind may raise or check his option. When this round of betting has completed, the dealer will first ‘burn’ a card (turn it face down and put it out of play), then deal 3 cards face up. This is called the flop.

The flop is part of a community board, wherein all players may use the community cards to ‘build’ their best 5-card hand. After the flop is dealt out, action begins on the small blind (or first person in the hand after the small blind). Each player will have an opportunity to check, bet, raise, or fold, until action reaches the button (or last player to act with cards). After this round of betting, the dealer will burn another card and turn over a single card. This is called the turn. Again, action will begin with the first person after the button that has cards. Players may check, bet, raise, or fold in this round of betting. The 4 cards on the board, along with a player’s 2 hole cards may be used in any way to form the best 5-card hand combination.