Texas Hold-em Rules: 1. Basic Texas Hold-em RulesTexas Hold-em is a form of poker generally played with at most 10 at a table.Each player is dealt 2 cards known as their “hole cards” and 5
Texas Hold-em Rules:
1. Basic Texas Hold-em Rules
Texas Hold-em is a form of poker generally played with at most 10 at a table.
Each player is dealt 2 cards known as their “hole cards” and 5 cards are placed
on the table as “community cards”. Each player shares the 5 cards on the table
and tries to make the best 5 card poker hand using any combination of their hole
cards and the community cards. A player can use all, one or even none of their
cards to make the best hand possible. The person with the best hand at the end
of the round takes the pot.
Hand Rankings (Highest to Lowest):
4 of a kind
3 of a kind
After each player receives two cards a round of betting will occur. Then 3
cards will be placed face up on the table, this is known as the “flop”.
Another round of betting will happen and then 1 more card will be placed
face up on the table, this is known as the “turn” card or “4th Street”. Now
another round of betting. Finally the 5th and last card is placed face up on
the table, this is the “river” card. One final round of betting occurs and
then the remaining players reveal their hands.
2. Rules Continued
Determining who starts each round first relies on what’s known as the
“dealer button”. This is usually a white puck that is moved clockwise to the
next player after each hand. This represents where the dealer would be,
hence where the deal begins. In a home game, the person on the button should
be shuffling and dealing. At a casino, this button will let the table dealer
know where to begin the deal from. He/She will now deal cards starting with
the player to the immediate left and going around the circle twice giving
one card at each pass.
The player to the immediate left of the dealer is known as the “small
blind”. The person to the left of the small blind is known as the “big
blind”. These two players, “the blinds”, must post a certain amount of money
before anyone is given cards. This forces at least 2 players to be in the
pot and will ensure action on every hand. The blinds of course will move
with the button so each player will eventually be in this position. The
amount of money these players must post depends on the type of Hold-em game.
In a $5-$10 No limit Hold-em game, the $5 refers to how much the small blind
pays, and the $10 refers to how much the big blind pays. Generally, the big
blind is double the small blind. In tournaments, the blinds might be 1-2 (if
no dollar value is given to each chip). So in a $5-$10 game, the two blinds
post, and this is considered a live bet.
The cards are now dealt and the round begins, in our example, with $15
already in the pot. Since the blinds are considered to be bets, the first
person to act before the flop would be the person to the left of the big
blind (the third person from to the left of the dealer). The person first to
act must put in at least the big blind if they wish to play. The action goes
around the circle until all bets are finished. Then the flop comes down.
Since no bets have been made on this round, the action starts on the small
blind (the person to the immediate left of the dealer button). If the small
blind is no longer in the hand, it moves to the big blind, or to the next
person to the left if the big blind is out as well. This betting order
remains the same for the remaining betting rounds.
big and small blinds post
dealer gives each player 2 cards
round of betting
3 cards face up (flop)
round of betting
1 card face up (turn card)
round of betting
1 card face up (river card)
final round of betting
3. Player’s Options
Fold: Player no longer wants to play the hand and throws their cards back to the
dealer. A player only has to fold if they are facing a bet and are forced to
put money in. If their is no bet in front of them, a player can always
Check: Player chooses not to make any action and passes. A player can check
there is no current bet in front of them.
Bet/Raise: Player will make a bet putting money into the pot. If they are
facing a bet, they can raise by putting even more money into the pot.
Call: Player is facing a bet in front of them, and they
match the bet.
4. Table Etiquette
There are many written and even more unwritten rules of the poker table.
In particular, table etiquette is an important aspect of a good player. It
is the player’s responsibility to keep their hole cards concealed at all
times. Flashing them around and showing them to the spectators around you is
frowned upon. Keep the game to the people at the table. If you expose a card
during a hand, or show someone one of your cards in a means to make an
opponent act differently, you can be penalized in a casino (and hopefully in
your home games) and often forced to fold.
You should always respect the other players at the table, and try to avoid
critiquing their play. If you win a hand, take your pot and don’t gloat.
When you lose a hand, try to think about what you did wrong, rather then
arguing with the player who beat your.
At the end of a round when it comes time to reveal your hand, you should
always flip both cards over at the same time and if you like, say what you
have. When player1 shows, say a pair of kings, and player2 hesitates,
pretends to be beat and then all of a sudden shows a stronger hand, this is
known as slow-rolling and is VERY frowned upon at the table.
String Betting: If a player folds out of turn, he must fold when it comes to
him. He has no
5. Other Technicalities
If 2 or more players have the same hand at the end of the round, they will
split the pot. If the hand showing on the table is the winning hand, the
players split the pot, NO exception. If there is an Ace high straight on the
table, but one of the player holds the Ace-King he gets no special
previledge. Every player has the Ace high straight regardless of how they
made it, so they split the pot.
This prevents people from making fake bets to trick their opponents and
generally keeps the flow of the game smooth.
If a player checks/calls out of turn, he must only call or fold, he cannot
Often, new players, or players who aren’t paying attention will act out of
turn. This means that the call, bet or fold when it isn’t up to them. Though
this might seem harmless it can cause trouble in certain situations. For
example action is to you, right before you act the player next to you says
fold out of turn, you figure “great, one less person in the pot” and decide
to raise. Now up to him, he changes his mind and goes all in. This is unfair
because it seemed like he was going to fold, and all of a sudden he makes a
big bet. Though poker is a game of decception, this is not allowed. There
are different ways to handle this situation, the most common is as follows:
A string bet is when you announce a raise, put down say $100, pause, then
put down another $200. The fault here is that the player paused between the
initial bet of $100, then put down more. He could be studying his opponent
to see if $100 is enough, then put down more too make sure they will fold.
When you want to bet, either place the entire bet out at once or announce
the total amount to avoid any confusion. In a casino, there is usually a
coloured line that seperates your chip area and the dealer’s area. If you
place chips past the line, it is considered a bet, and the first amount that
crosses is the bet you make. The safest way to make a bet is to announce the
value of your bet, that way it doesn’t matter how your chips cross the line.
When it is your turn to act, and you annouce what you are going to do, it is
final. If you throw your cards away to the dealer, you cannot get them back,
even if you accidently folded a good hand. If you say raise, but change your
mind and want to check, you are not allowed and you must raise. The only
exception to this rule is if a person says check when they are facing a bet.
This can happen if the player doesn’t realize that there is a bet infront of
them. Since they did announce check, they have the option to call or fold,
they cannot raise.
When the game comes down to 2 players left, we call it heads up play. The
blind positions will reverse, meaning the Small Blind is on the dealer
button, and the Big Blind is the one who isn’t the dealer. Although this
contradicts the earlier stated rules, it is the correct rules for heads up
play. The reason for this is because if we kept the regular blind
positioning, the player opposite to the dealer would act first after every
round. This gives an overly unfair advantage to the dealer preflop and
post-flop. When we reverse the blind positions, the dealer acts first
pre-flop, and acts laft post-flop.
In situations where there are many people in the pot and multiple people are
short on the bet, many side pots will be made. The main pot will consist of
the most money that all players could afford (the amount of the shortest
chip stack). Then additional side pots will be made to compansate for the
missing chips of the other players.
Side Pots: If a player makes a bet and the caller doesn’t have enough chips, but
to call, he will be put all in. However since he could not afford the bet
there will be a side pot if more then one person call. For example, in a 3
person game: Player1 raises $100, Player2 calls, Player3 calls but only has
$80 left, hence he is all in. So in this situation, Player3 could not afford
the bet so each player places $80 dollars of their own creating the main pot
of $240. Since Player1 and Player2 have bet $20 more each, there is a side
pot of $40. Since Player3 never paid that extra $20, he is not entitled to
win the side, but he can win the main pot. The round continues and Player1
and Player2 can keep betting into the side pot.
What You Say Is What You Do:
Acting Out Of Turn:
If a player raises out of turn, he must only call or fold, he cannot raise.