Since you have found yourself here on this site, we assume that you already understand the basic, fundamental rules of poker.  You know how many cards are on the table and in your “hand”.  You know all possible hands in poker and you are more or less aware of the probability of their occurrence in a game. Or not completely?  In that case, here’s a small reminder to help you master the basics.  Read carefully, as this is the foundation of every poker game.  And in the end, you want to play to win – right?  It’s time for some revision.

Texas Holdem Poker rules – one of the most popular poker variants

Let’s take a closer look at Texas Holdem poker. Even if you haven’t been interested in cards before, you’ve most certainly heard of this name.  Texas Holdem poker is one of the most famous card games in the world.  Whether you choose to have a small poker game evening at your place with friends or you find yourself heading to the casino, or you just hit an online site where you can play poker games free, you will most likely have the opportunity to play holdem poker. So it’ll be good to know how to get around to playing it.

First of all, it’s important to know that in the game there is a Dealer, someone who deals the cards (if you are going to play poker online free, the computer will take the role of dealer).  The dealer has a deck of 52 cards with no Joker.  There can be 2 to a maximum of 10 players at the table. Usually, the dealer (or croupier) is also involved in playing the game.  Players take turns in acting as the dealer, moving in a clockwise direction.

Players sitting to the left of the dealer also have an important task ahead of them. Their role is to place a pre-determined amount of money into the pot. The first player directly to the left of the dealer is obliged to place a small blind.  The following player to the left of him places a big blind.  This way, money will always be in the pot from the very beginning and the game can roll.  It’s good to know that usually a small blind is half the amount of a big blind.  The pool is now set, so let’s start the game!

How is Texas Holdem Poker played?

Initially, all players are dealt two face-down cards by the dealer.  This is when the first round of betting starts.  The player sitting to the left of the big blind starts the round.  It’s worth noting that in the first round, small and big blind players are omitted because they have already made their compulsory contribution to the pot.  The player who has the obligation to start the bidding has three possibilities ahead of him.  He can fold, enter the game by bidding the equivalent to a big blind or he can enter the game by raising the bet amount.

 

The first round ends when the person with a big blind has their turn. A flop then follows, meaning that the first three community cards are placed on the table – for everyone to see them.  The player to the left of the dealer starts the betting.  Apart from the abovementioned possibilities, the player to the left of the dealer has the option to “check” without making a bet and wait for further developments.  Depending on the agreement between the players or the rules of the online poker game, the number of raised bets may be limited.  One bid and three overbets are usually allowed which gives a total of four bets.

Turn, river and showdown – the following rounds of poker bets

At the end of the second round the dealer once again draws another single card (the fourth card) and places it face up on the table.  This card is usually called the turn or fourth street which represents the third round of betting, which is usually played the same way as the previous rounds.  The dealer then draws the fifth and last card and places it on the table (river or fifth street).  Then the fourth and final round of betting begins.  The round is played in the same way as the preceding rounds.

When the bets are over, the players are required to disclose their cards.  This is called a showdown.  The player who made the last raise or bid is the first to show his cards.  If, in the last round, every player at the table waited, the player who started the bidding in this round shows his cards.  However, if one of the players made a bet, whilst others folded, he wins the pot and does not have to reveal his cards.  What’s important to note is that the same situation can occur earlier on, even in the first round – with the difference that players don’t even see the community cards.

What happens when all players show their cards?  As you can easily guess, the hand is won by the player, who out of the seven cards (his two face-down cards and five face-up community cards) lays down the best hand.  A hand – as you know – consists of just five cards.  Therefore, only community cards can be used.  In such a situation, we’re talking about a “board” game.  You can read about the importance of poker hand rankings on the next page in our guide.