How to Play Texas Hold'em

Aim: To have the highest poker hand

Hand Rankings

High

  • Royal Flush Royal Flush play
  • Straight Flush Straight Flush play
  • Four of a Kind Four of a Kind play
  • Full House Full House play
  • Flush Flush play
  • Straight Straight play
  • Three of a Kind Three of a Kind play
  • Two Pair Two Pair play
  • Pair Pair play
  • High Card High Card play

Low

Possible Plays

  • Black poker chip

    Check

    Pass the action to the next player without placing a bet. Only possible if there is no bet to call.

  • Black poker chip

    Fold

    You quit playing the hand and the action passes to the next player.

  • Black poker chip

    Call

    Match the current highest bet and pass the action to the next player.

  • Black poker chip

    Bet

    Be the first player of a betting phase to place additional money into the pot.

  • Black poker chip

    Raise

    Increase the current highest bet within the limits and pass the action to the next player.

Forced Plays

So that there is always money in the pot, two players are required to place bets before looking at their cards. These bets are called the small blind and the big blind.

  • Big Blind chip

    Big Blind

    Sits to the immediate left of the small blind.

  • Small Blind chip

    Small Blind

    Typically half the value of the big blind. Sits to the immediate left of the dealer.

Limits

There are three major variations of limits used when playing Texas hold'em.

Limit:
You can only raise by a predetermined amount.

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Pot-limit:
You can raise up to a maximum of the pot size.

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No-limit:
You can raise as much as your chip stack allows. Betting all of your chips is referred to as 'going all in'.


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The Sequence of Play (based on six players)

1. Game Start

Dealer shuffles the deck.

Blue places small blind bet.

Yellow places big blind bet.

View this play »

One poker chip
Two poker chips

2. Pre-Flop

The dealer hands out two cards, one by one, to each player in a clockwise fashion. These are called ‘hole cards’.

Hole cards are private, meaning that players cannot use other players’ to make a hand, or see them unless they are involved in the showdown.

The highlighted player, sitting left of the big blind, has the first action, meaning they can fold, call the big blind’s bet, or raise the bet.

All players must match the maximum bet in order to remain in the game. Alternatively, they can fold.

All bets are then placed in the centre of the table to form the 'pot'.

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One poker chip
Two poker chips
Two poker chips
Two poker chips
Two poker chips
Two playing cards
Two playing cards
Two playing cards
Two playing cards
Two playing cards
One poker chip

3. Flop

Typically, to make it harder to rig the deck, the dealer must discard the top card without showing it. This is called burning a card.

Three cards are dealt face up in the centre of the table. These three cards are called ‘the flop’ and are community cards, meaning everyone can use them to make a hand.

The first player left of the dealer then begins the betting phase by either checking or betting.

The betting phase continues around the table until all players have matched the maximum bet or folded.

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Three playing cards - the flop
Two poker chips
Two poker chips
Two poker chips
Two poker chips
Two poker chips

4. Turn

The dealer burns one card, then deals one card face up. This card is called 'the turn'.

Just like with the flop, the action starts with the player left of the dealer and it continues until all players have matched the maximum bet or folded.

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One card - the turn
A pair of folded cards
A red poker chips
A red poker chips
A red poker chips
A red poker chips

5. River

The dealer burns one card, then deals one card face up. This card is called 'the river'.

Just like before, the action starts with the player left of the dealer and it continues until all players have matched the maximum bet or folded.

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One card - the river
A pair of folded cards
A red poker chips
A red poker chips
A pair of folded cards
Player checking arrow

6. Showdown

The remaining players reveal their cards to their opponents.

Whoever can create the highest-ranking hand using five of the seven cards available to them – the five community cards and their two hole cards – takes the pot.

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The full pot of poker chips

Three of a Kind

Two Pair

Winner!

7. Next Hand

All the cards are then returned to the deck and shuffled by the dealer.

The dealer, small blind and big blind buttons move one place clockwise.

Blue places the small blind bet and yellow places the big blind bet.

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Previous hand
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One poker chip
Two poker chips

Play then proceeds with the Pre-Flop

Enjoy playing Texas Hold'em

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