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 Texas Holdem Poker Rules


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Poker Rules

The Rules of Texas Holdem Poker


Poker rules for the number of players

Poker rules for the winning hand in Texas Holdem

Poker rules for the betting limits in Texas Holdem

Poker rules for the deal

Poker rules for the blinds in Texas Holdem

Poker rules for players’ actions in Texas Holdem

Poker rules for the flop

Poker rules for the turn

Poker rules for the river

Poker rules for the showdown in Texas Holdem


Texas Holdem Poker rules for the number of the players

The minimum number of the poker players required to play the game is two. Poker tables in the most casinos and poker room accommodate 9 or 10 players. Some Las Vegas casinos have tables big enough for 11 players.

Texas Holdem Poker rules for the winning hand

In Texas Holdem poker the winning hand is the highest hand. There are no wild cards. The highest hand is a 5-card hand. It is chosen out of the combination of seven cards, which include a player’s personal two hole cards and 5 community cards which are in the middle of the table available for all players still in the pot. Hole cards are dealt face down. Community cards are dealt face up visible for all.

The highest hand in Texas Holdem Poker id a royal flush -10,J,Q,K and A, all of the same suit. The next hand in rank is a straight flush, which is the sequence of 5 cards of the same suit, for ex. 6,7,8,9 and 10 of clubs. The next in the hierarchy of poker hands is four-of-a-kind like 5-5-5-5. Four-of-a-kind is followed by a “full house” – the combination of three cards of the same rank and two cards of a different rank. K,K,K,9,9 is an example of a full house: “kings full of nines”. One rank below the full house is a “flush”, which consists of the 5 cards of the same suit. “Straight is lower” than a flush and it’s a five-card sequence such as 7,8,9,10 and J. Right after the straight is three-of-a-kind – three cards of the same rank: 2,2,2 etc.. Three-of-a-kind is higher than two pair such as A,A and Q,Q. The lowest poker hand is one pair made of two cards of the same rank – JJ.

If none of the players has one of the hands above, then a poker player with the highest card wins. The highest card in Texas Holdem poker is an Ace (A) and the lowest is the deuce (2). If the few players have the same high card, then a player with the second highest card (a “kicker”) wins the pot. If the poker players have identical hand, then the pot is divided equally between all players involved.

Texas Holdem Poker rules for betting limits

Betting limits are different in different casinos. Usually any casino has a big enough variety of offered betting limits to accommodate the taste and bankroll of many poker players. The most frequent betting limits in Texas Holdem Poker limit games are: 1-2, 2-4, 3-6, 4-8, 5-10, 8-16, 10-20, 15-30, 20-40, 30-60, 60-120, 100-200, 200-400 and 300-600.

All the games have the same structure based on the 1:2 ratio. That ratio means that the bet on the turn and the river is two times bigger than the required bet on the flop and pre-flop.

Texas Holdem Poker rules for the deal

According to these rules a dealer deals every poker player two cards face down – hole cards. The deal starts with the player sitting on the left side of the “button”. The button is a small white plastic disc indicating who the “dealer” is – the poker player that gets his two cards last and who  acts last on every stage of the poker hand. When a poker hand is complete, a dealer moves a “dealer” button to the left to the next poker player. Thus, during the game, the “button” moves around the table clock-wise.

Texas Holdem Poker rules for the blinds

The purpose of these rules is to stimulate the action. The blinds are predetermined amount that the poker players should post “blindly’ before the deal starts – before they get and see their hole cards. There are two types of blinds – a small blind and a big blind. The big blind is two times bigger than the small blind. The poker player that sits next to the button becomes a small blind. The player on his left side is a big blind. The blinds guarantee that there is always be money in the pot. Sometimes poker players in the blinds continue to play their hands not because their hands justify that, but because they’ve already contributed money to the pot. In the Texas Holdem limit cash games the size of the blinds stay constant. In the tournaments the amount of blinds changes every 15 or 20 minutes.

Texas Holdem Poker rules for the players’ actions

These rules determine what actions a poker player can make during the poker hand. The first to act is a player on the immediate left of the big blind. Every poker player has few options: to fold, to check, to bet, to call, to raise or to check-raise. In the first round of action pre-flop, a poker player can fold his “hole” (“pocket”) cards, if he doesn’t like them. If they seem worthy of playing, a poker player bets the minimum required bet, which is equal to the size of the big blind. The next player, can fold his cards, or he can call (makes the same bet) or he can raise the previous bet by one more unit. The next player can fold, call the previous bet or raise even further by one more unit. Usually there are three raises total that can be made. In some casino 4 raises are allowed. If a poker player’s bet has been raised, he can fold his cards or he can call the raise and put the same amount on the table or he can reraise even further if the total number of raises has not been exhausted yet.

Texas Holdem Poker rules for the flop

As soon as the pre-flop action is completed, the second betting round – the flop – begins. The flop starts with the dealer “burning” the top card (removing the card from the deck). After that the dealer lays next three card face up on the board. On the flop, the first poker player to act, which is the small blind, can “check”. To check means to pass action to the next player. If everybody had checked, then no bets were made during that stage of the poker hand. If somebody bets, the checking option is no longer available for the rest of the players. They have to fold, call or raise. The poker players who have previously checked have to fold their hand or call the bet or raise it (“check-raise). The bet on the flop is the same minimal bet equal the big blind like it was during pre-flop betting.

Texas Holdem Poker rules for the turn

The turn is the third betting round that follows the action on the flop. It also starts with dealer burning another card and laying the forth card face up on the board. The bet on the turn is two times bigger than the bet on the flop and pre-flop. For ex. if the game is 2-4, the bet on the flop and pre-flop is $2. On the turn the minimal bet will be $4.

Texas Holdem Poker rules for the river

The fourth and the last round of betting is the ‘river”, which follows the action on the turn. It starts when the betting on the turn is over. The dealer again burns one card off the top of the deck and lays the last fifth card face up on the board. The betting on the river proceeds the same way as on the turn. The size of the bet and the poker players’ options are identical to the turn.

Texas Holdem Poker rules for the showdown

The showdown is the process of finding who the winner of the pot is. It happens after the action on the river is complete. The poker players turn their hole cards face up. Those cards in combination with the five community cards determine the best hand a player has. The best hands are compared between all the players still in the pot and the winning hand is revealed. The pot is rewarded to a poker player with the winning hand.

Copyright Progress Publishing Co.

Selected References:

David Sklansky Mason Malmuth    Holdem Poker Phil Hellmuth  Jr   Play Poker Like the Pros
Ed Miller  David Sklansky   Small  Stakes Holdem Poker Doyle Brunson   Super System  - A Course in Power Poker
David Sklansky    The Theory of Poker Dan Harrington   Harrington on Poker
Lee Jones    Winning Low Limit Texas Holdem Poker John Vorhaus   Killer Poker
Ken Warren   Ken Warren Teaches Texas Holdem Poker Gide to Bobby Baldwin  Bobby Baldwin's Winning Poker Secrets
Tom McEvoy Shane Smith  Beat Texas Holdem Poker T J Cloutier Tom McEvoy Champiomship Texas Holdem Poker