What is texas holdem poker

Texas Holdem Poker

Texas Holdem has now become the most popular form of poker both online and in casinos throughout most of the world. If you turn on your TV to watch poker then its extremely likely that the brand of poker you will see will be Holdem. In fact The World Series of Poker has from the time it began in the 70s used Holdem poker as its deciding game, even though it is in reality only recently that this form of poker has enjoyed this kind of dominance in the gaming world.

Probably the best thing about the game of Texas Holdem is that it is really quite simple. Each and every player in the game has only two cards which are hidden from the other players. The other cards are all face up and in view and able to be seen by everyone and do in fact remain visible throughout. This means that there is no difficulty of having to remember what cards have been thrown away! This can be quite a problem for those without a good memory in games such as Seven Card Stud.

Also in Texas Holdem poker, its not necessary to remember how many cards each player has drawn which is the case in Draw Poker. It is worth adding that all the other cards are communal. That is they are shared by all the players and this results in the final hands at the showdown very frequently being very close to each other in value, since five of the seven cards that make up each players hand are available to everyone.

It goes without saying then that considerable skill is required in assessing when you have the best hand or even the possibility of eventually ending up with the best hand and placing intelligent bets accordingly.

Texas Holdem Types Advice For Beginners

Although as stated above, Texas Holdem is ostensibly a simple form of poker, there are in fact three types of Holdem and these are: Limit, No limit and Pot limit. Its worth pointing out that these terms actually refer to the betting structures in each game.

  • Limit
    In Limit, at every stage in the game the value of each individual bet is fixed and limited by the rules.
  • No limit
    In No limit poker, each player is allowed to bet, if he so desires, his entire stack of chips at any moment in the game.
  • Pot limit
    In Pot limit poker, players are allowed to bet up to the amount of the entire pot (but no more) at any given stage in the game.

If you are a beginner at Texas Holdem and are just learning the game, it is strongly recommended that you only play Limit Poker. The other two types (No limit and Pot limit) are way too risky for an inexperienced beginner and could easily result in your entire stack of chips being wiped out in no time at all!

Having said this, dont be tempted to think that Limit poker is in some way inferior to the other variants, as some of the biggest poker games in the world are played with limit poker.

Texas Hold'em Game Rules

Texas Hold em Poker is a casino type game where the objective is to win the best hand out of a group of players. Players are initially given two cards, called hole cards, that they hold throughout the game (hence the name). They then try to make the best five card hand out of their initial holes and five community cards.

For other casino type games, see our guides for Blackjack and Seven Card Stud Poker.

Ranking of Hands

Below is the list of hand rankings from least to greatest:

High Card- If nobody has any pairs, the highest card wins.

Three of a Kind

Straight- Five sequential cards that are not of the same suit.

Flush- Five cards that are of the same suit.

Full House- Three of a kind and a pair.

Straight Flush- Five sequential cards that are of the same suit.

Royal Flush- 10 through Ace of the same suit.

Set up

In Texas Hold em, there are three roles that rotate clockwise after each game: Dealer, Left Blind, and Right Blind.


Before the game begins an initial Dealer must be chosen. To do so, every player is given a card from a shuffled deck and whoever receives the highest card becomes the first Dealer. Ties are broken by a repeated deal. The Dealer is given a token or button to illustrate the title. The initial Dealer shuffles the deck and the player clockwise to them cuts it. The Dealer will then advance the steps of play as discussed below.

Left Blind

The Left Blind is the player clockwise to the dealer. They make the initial bet before anybody gets their cards.

Right Blind

The Right Blind is the player clockwise to the Left Blind. They must double the bet of the Left Blind.

How to Play

After the Blinds have added to the pot, the Dealer passes out two cards to everybody in play. In Texas Hold em, players have five moves they can make with each round: Fold, Check, Bet, Call, and Raise.


To fold, players surrender their hand, losing whatever bets they may have made in the game the pot.


To check, players pass on the option to make a bet. Checks can only happen if no bets had been made in the round thus far.


To bet, players put in any amount of money they think matches the worth of their hand into the pot. The first bet determines the stakes of the round


To call, players make a bet equal to the amount of the previous bet.


To raise, players make a bet larger than the amount of the previous bet.


In Texas Hold em, there are five rounds to a game: Pre-Flop, Flop, Turn, River, and Showdown.


After the Dealer has passed out two cards to everyone, the player clockwise to the Right Blind has the option to fold, call or raise the previous bet. Play then proceeds clockwise around the table.


At the start of the Flop round, the Dealer places three community cards upright in the middle of the table. Normal play then proceeds starting with the player clockwise from the Dealer.

Turn/Fourth Street

At the start of the Turn Round, or Fourth Street, the Dealer places a fourth card in the community.

River/Fifth Street

At the start of the River Round, the Dealer places a fifth and final card in the community.


If there are still players in the game after the River Round, players must over turn their cards for all to see with the highest hand taking the pot.

At the end of the round, the Dealer, Left Blind and Right Blind rotate clockwise and gameplay begins again.

For additional information about the rules of Texas Hold'em, check out pagat's article here.


(Texas Hold'em came to the Las Vegas casino the Gold Nugget in the early 1960's)

As the name implies, Texas Hold em originated in the state of Texas. While its specific origins are unclear, the Texan Government recognizes Robstown, Texas as the game s birthplace, dating it to the early 20 th century. During the 1960 s, Texas Hold em came to Las Vegas, Nevada where it quickly became popular at the Golden Nugget Casino. Before Hold em, the main game played was Draw Poker, which only allowed two bets. Because Hold em allowed for four bets, there was opportunity for bigger winnings and strategic play. Texas Hold em increased in popularity throughout the late 20 th century. Doyle Brunson's influential 1978 book Super/System was the first professional book to discuss Texas Hold em in great detail. In 1988, the court case Tibbetts v. Van De Kamp declared that Hold em is legally distinct from Stud Horse and that it is a game of skill.

For more information about the history of Texas Hold'em, check out this article here. If you are interested in the wider historical narrative of poker in general, check out David Parlett's article here.


Limit/No Limit

Limits or no limits may be applied to almost every betting game. They refer to betting procedures. Some casinos may enforce limits on how much somebody can bet, while others may allow for unlimited bet amounts.

Double-Board Hold 'em

Double-Board Hold 'em possesses the same general rules and procedures as Texas Hold em but, as the name implies, there are two boards of community cards. The same dealing procedures apply for these boards (i.e. during the flop, the dealer reveals three cards for each board and then one card for each board at the end of every round thereafter). The two boards share one pot. If a player has the best hand for one board, the player receives half the pot. If their hand is the best for both boards, they receive the full pot.

Omaha Hold 'em

In Omaha Hold em, players receive four hole cards instead of two. The game is still played to the best of a five card hand, with players using two of their own cards and three of the community cards.

Pineapple Hold em

In Pineapple Hold em, players initially receive three hole cards but, they discard one of their cards before betting begins. Afterwards, play proceeds with traditional Texas Hold em rules.

Recommended product for casino type games.

If you want to know more about the world of gambling and casinos, check out this book by Hugh Miller here.

Interview with Inside the Casino

John Nielsen from Inside the Casino interviewed us during the summer of 2018. They know all about casino games and equipment and we were happy to talk with them about the playing card industry. You

may view the interview here

Looking for more card games to play? Check out this article:

40+ Great Card Games For All Occasions

About the author: John Taylor is a content writer and freelancer through the company Upwork.com. You may view his freelancing profile here. He has a B. A. in English, with a specialty in technical writing, from Texas AM University and a M. A. in English from the University of Glasgow. You may view his previous articles about card games here and his LinkedIn profile here.

  • Tags: Blog, Double-Board Hold 'em, game rules, Omaha, Pineapple, playing cards, Poker, Texas Hold'em

1 comment

In Texas Hold em, if the last card is dealt bet on and one player had not bet on the previous card had not thrown away his cards? does the last card that was dealt get thrown away .

Paul Phua Poker Tip: The Blinds in Texas Holdem

When you are in the casino at the beginning of a poker game, and you have lots of chips, the blinds are something you hardly notice. Towards the end of a poker night, especially if things aren t going so well and your chip pile is lower than you d like it to be, or the blind bets are increasing in size, then the blind can really eat into your stack.

Some poker games have antes forced bets. But Texas Holdem doesn t, meaning you can fold your cards without betting. Texas Holdem poker does have something called blinds though. They are another type of forced bet, but this time before you have been dealt your cards. Like antes, they exist so that there is a cost to playing, so the poker games don t go on and on with players just waiting to be dealt a great hand. Paul Phua thinks that the blind keeps the momentum up, and ensures the game of poker finishes within a reasonable time frame especially since the blinds often increase in value during a game of Texas Holdem to speed things up even further.

There are mainly two blinds in Texas Holdem the big and small blind, but there can sometimes be three players who have to make them.

The name comes from the fact that players are being asked to bet without seeing their hands. They are betting blind, with no knowledge of the hands worth. So in the casino, whether you hold a 2 and a 3 unsuited, or a pair of aces before you see your hand it s all the same.
Paul Phua says the blind also marks potential poker strategy. Depending on your position around the poker table in a casino, or a social poker night where the dealer changes as the button moves from player to player, you will have to give certain blinds. Being in the small blind spot on a poker table is a disadvantage because you will be the first to act in every round after the flop. But Paul Phuas poker tip is to remember never feel committed to a pot simply because you have paid your blind, especially in Texas Holdem, and not be afraid to enter a pot if you have a strong enough hand.

How to play Texas Holdem

Texas Holdem is the best-known and most popular form of poker. The WSOP Main Event is a no-limit Texas Holdem tournament, as are all the WPT TV final tables. Doyle Brunson went so far as to dub Texas Holdem the Cadillac of poker in his book Super/System. With so much popularity surrounding the game, its no wonder that players the world over are interested in learning how to play Texas Holdem.

In Texas Holdem, each player gets two cards (their hole cards ). The table gets five community cards. All active players share the community cards, starting with the flop, then the turn, and then the river. At showdown, each player makes the best five-card poker hand they can from any combination of their hole cards and the community cards.

As with all poker games, a round of betting breaks up the sequence of play. Betting rounds are where strategic decisions are made.

Why do they call it Texas Holdem?

The origins of the name Texas Holdem are obscure.

Popular folklore has the game created in the early 20th Century, by Blondie Forbes, a road gambler.

The state of Texas claims that Robston, Texas is the game s birthplace. But the most likely story is simply that the game became associated with Texas due to its popularity with Texas road gamblers. Regardless of where the game got its name, lets go over some Texas Holdem rules.

Texas Holdem Rules

Texas Holdem can be played by between two to twenty-two players. Though a more typical game range would be from six to ten players.

Heads-up Holdem games (1-v-1 games) have also become increasingly popular since the early 00s.

In Texas Holdem, players receive two hole cards face down, then five community cards face up. Players can use any combination of board and hole cards to make the best five-card hand they can.

The general populace tends to view table stakes as standard for Texas Holdem. Also known as no-limit, table-stakes indicate that players can bet, raise, and lose anything up to the number of chips (which represent real money) they have in front of them on the table.

In practice, both fixed-limit and to a lesser degree pot-limit games are common variants in most places.

Learning how to play Texas Holdem

If playing live, players usually draw cards for their seats, and for the dealer button. In online poker, the software will automate this for you.

A hand of Texas Holdem begins with the player left of the button beginning the first round of betting. They post a forced bet called the small blind. Then the next player to the left of the small blind posts the big blind (usually this is twice the big blind, but in some cases, it can vary).

Players post antes at this point, which is the minimum bet for playing a round, if the game includes antes.

The dealer then gives each player a starting hand two cards face down. Players can look at their cards from this point on, but may not show them to other players.

A betting round begins, starting to the left of the big blind. Players can either call the big blind (i.e. put in chips equal to the big blind), they can raise the bet (increasing the stakes), or they can fold (in which case they relinquish their hand).

If the pot is unraised, the big blind has the option to raise their bet when the action reaches them or to check (which is to pass without folding).

The dealer burns a card, and deals out three community cards face up in the middle of the table (this is the flop ). A second betting round begins with the first player from the left of the dealer. As there are no blinds, all players may have the additional option to check, providing no player has made a bet before them in that round.

The dealer then burns and turns the fourth community card face up (the turn ).

The remaining players partake in another betting round. If playing with fixed limits, this is the round where the bet increases.

The dealer burns and turns the fifth card, which is the final community card (the river ). The final round of betting takes place.

After the final round of betting is finished, the remaining players show down their cards. This starts with the last player to make a bet or raise that round. Or from the left of the dealer if there was no betting.

At showdown, players can use any five of the seven available cards (two hole cards, and five community cards) to make the highest hand and win the pot. After the winning hand, the dealer button then moves one space to the left, and the next hand begins.

What s the Difference Between Texas Holdem and Poker?

Texas Holdem is one of many kinds of poker.

Poker is a term for a group of vying-games (i.e. raise or fold games) that use a shared set of rules for betting and the same standard set of hand rankings.

Texas Holdem is a specific kind of poker. It uses two hold cards and five community cards which distinguishes it from other flop games, like Omaha Holdem which uses four.

Having community cards is what makes Texas Holdem a flop game, and distinguishes them from the other two categories of poker games: stud games and draw games, where cards are not shared between players.

Texas Holdem s rules are most similar to the other poker variants: Omaha Holdem and seven-card stud.

Where to Play Texas Holdem Online

Thanks to the enormous popularity of Texas Holdem, almost all online poker websites and offline poker rooms offer a Texas Holdem option.

They also tend to offer a wide variety of stakes. Although, you may have to go to one of the major sites for high-stakes games. All sites will offer low to mid-stakes players plenty of options. This is true regardless of whether they play cash games or tournaments.

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