Texas hold em is without a doubt one of the most popular styles of Poker games played today, there are further variations of Texas Hold em but for the sake of this how to play poker guide we will assume that we are playing a no limit (players can raise as much as they like) game of Texas Hold em.
It is important to note that players hands are made up of 5 cards that includes the two cards that each player is individually dealt and the 5 cards that are placed face up on the table.
Poker The Basics
Players are dealt their cards and further cards are revealed on the table to make up each players poker hand.
Players put chips into a central pot that makes up the winnings for each hand.
Bets and wagers are placed on how strong each player believes their hand to be.
The player with the strongest hand or the last player that hasn’t folded (given that hand up) is the victor of that round and collects all the chips wagered on the table.
Texas Hold em hand Guide – How it all Plays out
Players are each dealt two face down cards from a shuffled pack, usually to kick off the betting players to the left of the dealer (or dealer chip) are forced to place initial bets, these are called blinds. In the average game of Texas Hold em we would recommend that two players play blinds, the player to the direct left would play the small blind (this is usually the smallest chip on the table), then the player to the left of the small blind will play a big blind (this is usually double the small blind). This is then followed by a round of betting, in order to take part in the rest of the hand players must at least match the highest wager on the table which at this first stage will be the big blind. If players do not wish to match the wager they can fold and throw their cards in and they do no take part in the rest of the hand.
Once the first round of betting is finished the dealer will lay three cards face up on the table, this is called The Flop. Based on how strong players believe their hands to be or want to make the other players believe their hands to be, a second round of betting takes place. In no limit Texas hold em players can raise by as much as they like and they can also not raise at all by ‘checking’ if no other players have raised and there is no higher wager to match.
Following the second round of betting a fourth card is placed face up on the table which is known as The Turn, this is followed by another round of betting.
A fifth and final card is then laid face up on the table, this is known as the River, the river is followed by a last round of betting.
Players are looking to make the best possible poker hands from 5 cards using either 1 or 2 of the cards in their hand and the rest from any of the 5 from the remaining cards on the table.
The player that wins the hand is either the player with the strongest poker hand or the last player left in the game when all the other players have folded.
Tip: If you are good enough you may be able to convince the rest of the players to fold, leaving you as the winner of the round without ever having to reveal how strong your actual hand was, carrying out this tactic with a weak hand is known as bluffing. You do not always need the best Texas Hold em Poker hand to win.