min read

How to Play Texas Hold’em Poker: A Beginner's Guide

We broke down the basics for you, so you can hit the tables with your team!
Updated on
May 2, 2023

Texas Hold'em is one of the most popular poker games and is enjoyed by millions of people worldwide. If you're new to the game, it can seem overwhelming at first, but don't worry! Once you understand the basics, it's easy to get the hang of it. Here's a beginner's guide to playing Texas Hold'em.

The Dealer Button

The dealer button rotates clockwise after each hand to determine the dealer for the next hand.

Blinds

The two players closest clockwise to the dealer post "blind" bets, which are forced bets to start the action. There is one small blind and one big blind. Then, each player is dealt two private cards (hole cards).

Acting

Each player, when it's their turn, makes their choice and acts. There are five acts that can be played:

1) Check- betting zero. Players may not check on the opening round because they must either match (or raise) the big blind or fold.

2) Bet- the opening bet of a betting round.

3) Call- to match a bet or a raise.

4) Fold- to discard your hand and forfeit the current pot.

5) Raise- to increase the size of the current bet.

5a) Re-Raise- making a second raise in the same betting round.

Preflop Betting

Starting with the player to the left of the big blind, there is a round of betting where players have the option to call (match the big blind), raise (increase the current bet), or fold (give up their hand and exit the hand).

Betting Rounds

Starting with the player to the left of the dealer, each player can choose to check, call, raise, or fold. There are a total of three betting rounds after the flop.

The Flop

The dealer places three community cards face-up on the table. These are the first three of the five community cards that all players can use, along with their two hole cards, to make the best possible poker hand.

The Turn

The dealer adds a fourth community card to the table.

The River

The dealer adds a fifth and final community card to the table.

Showdown

If two or more players remain after the final betting round, a showdown occurs. The player with the best five-card hand using any combination of their two hole cards and the five community cards wins the pot.

Best Hands

In poker, the highest hand wins. The ranking of hands, from highest to lowest, is: Royal Flush, Straight Flush, Four of a Kind, Full House, Flush, Straight, Three of a Kind, Two Pair, One Pair, High Card.

If you want a video tutorial, here’s a 4-min rundown of how the game is played. 

That's it! Now that you know the basics of Texas Hold'em, you're ready to hit the tables and start playing. Good luck!

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