Texas Hold'em Poker Rules
How to play Texas Holdem
Texas Holdem (also known as Hold'em)
is the most popular poker game in the world. There are three variations of Texas Holdem, distinguished by their betting limits:
Texas Holdem Poker Rules
Hold’em uses what is called a “dealer button” (a small disc) to indicate the theoretical dealer of each hand. After each hand is
completed, the dealer button moves clockwise to the next active player. This player will be considered “the dealer” for that
hand. In this way each player has equal opportunities to be in early, middle and late position.
Before the start of the game, a fresh deck of cards is generated for the hand. A single deck of cards is used for each hand of
poker, where a deck refers to 52 cards (excluding jokers). In the online poker games, a Random Number Generator (RNG) is used to
shuffle each deck of cards for the hand.
The First round of Texas Holdem Poker
The two players immediately to the left of the dealer button place blind bets to start the pot (similar in principle to an ante).
The player to the left of the dealer button posts the “small blind” (usually equal to half the lower stake. The small blind is
usually rounded down to the nearest dollar. However, as it is just a guideline, the amount of the small blind could be set
The player to the left of the small blind is required to post the “big blind,” equal to the lower stake limit. All the blinds in
Texas Holdem poker are considered live bets and the players who posted them will have the option of checking, calling, raising or
folding when the betting returns to their position. Remember, the dealer button (and therefore the small blind and the big blind)
move around the table clockwise after each hand, so each player will post the blind bets over time.
Once the blinds have been placed, two cards (hole cards) are dealt to each player. (you are the only one at the table who can see
your cards)after which the first betting round starts. The player to the left of the player who placed the big blind starts the
betting for this round.
Each player now has the option to place his bets in the first round, which is set at the lower limit of the stakes structure.
(For example in a $10/$20 Hold’em game, the value of each bet is $10 for the first round. Therefore, when a user makes the move
“bet,” this is equal $10, and “raise” is $20… a raise includes a call on the previous bet placed and one additional bet.)
Bets can be placed by playing Bet, Call or Raise. These options are available depending on the action taken by the previous
player. Each player always has the option to fold. The first player to act has the option to bet, call or raise. Subsequent
players have the option of calling or raising. To call is to bet the same amount as the previous player has bet. To raise is to
match the previous bet and increase the bet.
Every player participating in the hand should have equal amounts of money bet as the previous players (includes bets, calls and
raises). Until the time all the players have placed equal amounts in the pot, the betting will continue. There is a limit on the
amount and the number of bets a player can place during a betting round (four bets for limit games).
After the first round of betting is over, the Flop (the first three community cards) is dealt. The community cards are common to
all the players participating in the hand.
The Second Round of Texas Holdem Poker
After the Flop (and in each subsequent betting round), the first active player left of the dealer button is first to act. The
second betting round also limits the value of bets and raises to the lower limit of the stake structure. So in a $10/$20 game,
the value of each bet is $10 for the second round.
Bets can be placed by playing Bet, Call and Raise. These options are available to each player depending on the action taken by
the previous player. The first player to act in this round (the player left to the button) gets the option to bet or to check (to
refrain from betting…this is only available if no bet has yet been made in the betting round). Once a player has bet, subsequent
players will get the Call and Raise options only.
After this the fourth community card is dealt; this is known as the Turn.
The Third Round of Texas Holdem Poker
The third betting round starts again with the player left to the button, bets and raises are limited to the upper limit of the
stake structure (in a $10/$20 game, $20 is the upper stake…therefore, a single bet in this instance is $20, and a raise is $40 –
includes a call on the previous bet and one additional bet). Bets can be placed by playing any of the following options – Bet,
Call and Raise. Combinations of these options are available to the player depending on the action taken by the previous player.
After this the fifth and final community card is dealt; this is known as the River.
The Fourth Round of Texas Holdem Poker
The fourth (and final) betting round starts again with the player left to the button, bets and raises are limited to the upper
limit of the stake structure (in a $10/$20 game, $20 is the upper stake). Bets can be placed by playing any of the following
options – Bet, Call and Raise. Combinations of these options are available to the player depending on the action taken by the
Once all the bets have been made, there are two possible outcomes: either all the players but one have folded (and hence that
person wins the pot), or the remaining players reveal their hands and the best hand wins the pot.
The game play remains same for both No-Limit and Pot-Limit Hold’em game with a few exceptions to the rules mentioned above:
In limit Hold’em a maximum of four bets are allowed per betting round. This includes a (1) bet, (2) raise, (3) re-raise, and (4)
cap, but in No-Limit Hold'em and Pot-Limit Hold'em there is no limit to the number of raises that a player can make. The only
limit is that you cannot raise yourself. If all the other players in the hand only call or fold, the player would not get an
option to raise, because the last raise was done by him.
Betting Structure for No-Limit Texas Holdem Poker
Minimum raise: The
raise amount must be at least as much as the previous bet or raise in the same round. As an example, if the first player to act
bets $100 then the second player must raise a minimum of $100 (total bet of $200).
Maximum eligible raise:
The size of your stack (your chips on the table)
The Betting Rules for Pot-Limit Hold’em Poker
Minimum eligible raise:
The raise amount must be at least as much as the previous bet or raise in the same round. As an example, if the first player to
act bets $100 then the second player must raise a minimum of $100 (total bet of $200).
Maximum eligible raise:
The size of the pot, which is defined as the total of the active pot (which can be either the main pot or the side pot depending
on whether anyone has gone “all-in”) plus all bets on the table plus the amount the active player must first call before raising.
As an example, if the active pot is $200 and the first player to act in the round bets $150 and the next player calls $150, the
third player has a maximum eligible total bet of $800. The $800 total is made up of the $150 call and $650 raise. The $650 max
raise portion is equal to the pot of $200 + first player's $150 + second player's $150 + his own call of $150.