If you’re new to the game of Texas Holdem, not to worry because it’s one of those games that easy to learn but hard to master. Also, unlike many games where you can mathematically be correct in your moves and actions and win every time, Hold’em can smack you in the face with the hammer of “injustice”! Regardless, it’s a game that millions love to play so you should learn to play as well. Texas Holdem is the first game played in H.O.R.S.E Poker and it tends to have the highest average pots out of all the games so its important you read our Texas Holdem strategy guide (24 articles) as well. Texas Holdem is included in more mixed poker games than any other card game. Below is a list of mixed games that include Texas Holdem.
The button and the blinds
When seated at a Texas Hold'em table you’ll see a dealer in the middle, a white button (often with the word “Dealer”) on it, and two forced bets in front of the players directly to the left of the button. Since there’s only one dealer in the game, the button is more of a “marker” as the button moves to the left after each completed hand. The two forced bets to the left of the button are called the small blind and the big blind. Using the example of a 2/4 Limit Hold’em game, the small blind would be one dollar and the big blind would be two dollars.
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The deal and betting rounds
Once the blinds have been posted, starting with the small blind, the dealer will deal two cards face down to each player seated at the table. Once that’s complete the player to the left of the big blind will be the first to act. Once peeking at his or her “hole cards”, he can either fold, call the big blind, or raise based on how strong the two cards are. This proceeds around the table until the action reaches the small blind who then has the same options, the only exception being that they’ve already placed a small bet for their blind. When the action reaches the big blind he will now have the option to check (if there were no raises), raise, or re raise (if any other player has raised).
The dealer will now deal the “flop” to the remaining players – after discarding or “burning” one card into the “muck” she will deal three cards face up. The betting action will again begin with the player to the left of the button. Once complete, the dealer will again burn a card and deal the “turn” face up. The action proceeds again as described above, then the dealer will burn one more card and deal the “river”.
At this time, the checking/betting/raising action will take place and the players still in the hand will turn up their cards to make the best five card poker hand. Assuming the river was checked down, the players must begin turning up their hands starting with the player to the left of the button. If a player shows a winning hand, any players after that may fold their cards face down. If a player bets on the river and is called by another player, the bettor must show his or her hand first if they caller wishes.
Texas Holdem Summary
It will take some time to learn all of the ins and outs but with this information in hand, you should also take a look at the best Hold’em starting hands. Combined, this should at least give you the knowledge to take on a small stakes game at a site like PokerStars or Full Tilt Poker.