Table of Contents

The Players
The Pack
The Objective
The Hands
The Deal
The Bet
The Play
The Winner

How to Play Texas Hold'em 


What is Poker? 

Poker is a popular gambling game with many variations.  It is a 2-10 people game involving luck, skill, and psychology.  Players seek to win by getting a better Hand than their opponents or to make their opponents believe they have a better hand by bluffing.  While players could get lucky on the deal, the skill comes in a player’s ability to bet, bluff, read their opponents, and adapt as the game evolves.

The Players 

While there are many variations of Poker, Poker is typically a 2-10 person card game. 

The Pack

Poker typically is played with 1 deck of cards.  Each deck has 52-cards, 2 through Ace of each suit.  Some variations of Poker use Jokers.

The Objective

The goal of Poker is to win the pot by either having the best hand at showdown or convincing your opponents to fold their hands.

The Hands

Poker hands typically consist of five cards. The best hands of Poker rank from highest to lowest as follows: INSERT IMAGES FOR EACH BELOW: see below image for an idea of how to do this

Royal Flush: A, K, Q, J, and 10 - all the same suit. (A, K, Q, J, 10 spades)

Straight Flush: Five consecutive cards of the same suit. (3,4,5,6,7 of diamonds)

Four of a Kind: Four cards of the same rank. (4 Jacks, 2 hearts)

Full House: Three cards of one rank and two cards of another rank. (3 7s, 2 Aces)

Flush: Five cards of the same suit, not in sequence. (2,5,8,10,J of clubs) Straight: Five consecutive cards of different suits. (4,5 diamonds, 6 clubs, 7 spades,8 clubs) Three of a Kind: Three cards of the same rank. (3 6s, 1 jack, 1 3)

Two Pair: Two cards of one rank and two cards of another rank. (2 9s, 2 Queens, 1 ace)

One Pair: Two cards of the same rank. (2 4s, 1 8, 1 10, 1 King)

High Card: The highest card in the hand. (2 clubs, 3 hearts, 4 hearts, 7 spades, 10 diamonds, Jack diamonds – high card is Jack diamonds)

The Deal

Hole Cards

In many types of Poker, the dealer deals each player hole cards (cards dealt face down so they are not visible to other players). The dealer starts by giving one card to each player clockwise around the table, beginning with the player to their left. Depending on the type of Poker, players may receive 2 or more hole cards.

Face Up Cards or Up Cards

In some variations of Poker, the dealer deals some cards to players face up. These cards can only be used by the player who receives them, but the cards are visible to all players.

Community Cards

Community cards (cards dealt face up in the center of the table for use by all players) are a central element to variations of Poker. Community cards serve to create shared opportunities for players to help form their best possible Poker hand.

The Bet

Player bet by putting money or poker chips into the middle of the table creating the pot. While specific Poker variants may have unique betting rules, there are some fundamental principles and general rules for betting in

Poker that include:

  • Blinds and Antes: Forced bets required in many Poker games.
  • Betting Rounds: Poker hands are typically played over several betting rounds, with specific rules for each round. A betting round ends when all active players have bet an equal amount.
  • Player Order: Different Poker variations start the betting rounds in different positions. Betting moves in clockwise around the table.
  • Betting Amount: The minimum and maximum bet amounts are usually defined by the specific Poker variant and the betting round.
  • Options in Betting: Players have several options when it's their turn to act during a betting round:
    • Check: To decline the opportunity to bet. Checking passes the action to the next player without forfeiting the right to participate in future betting rounds. Checking is only an option when no bet has been made on the current betting round.
    • Bet: To place chips into the pot to start or increase the size of the bet. The minimum bet amount is usually established for each Poker table.
    • Call: To match the current bet made by a previous player. This allows a player to remain in the hand.
    • Raise: To increase the size of the current bet. Other players must then either call the raise, re-raise (increase the bet again in the same round), or fold their hands.
    • Fold: To discard a hand and forfeit any further involvement in the current hand. No further bets are required by the folding player, but the player cannot win.
  • Betting Limits: Different poker games have different betting structures, including:
    • No Limit: Betting amounts and number of raises are unlimited.
    • Pot Limit: No raise can be greater than the amount in the pot at the time the raise is made.
    • Fixed Limit or Limit: Bets and raises have predetermined limit for each betting round. For example, in a $2/$4 fixed limit or limit game, bets and raises are $2 in the early rounds and $4 in the later rounds.
    • All In: When a player bets all their remaining chips.
    • Side Pots: In cases where one or more players are all in, side pots are used for additional bets from remaining players. Each side pot is awarded to the best hand among the active players who contributed to the side pot.
  • Showdown: If more than one player remains after the last betting round, remaining players expose and compare their hands to determine the winner or winners. Players reveal their hole cards.

The Play

Players play multiple rounds of betting as defined by the Poker variant. As new cards are dealt, players may bet, raise, or fold as they continuously evaluate their hands.

The Winner

If only one player remains at any point, that player wins the pot and does not have to reveal their hole cards. If more than one player remains after the final round of betting, there is a showdown. The player with the best hand wins the pot. Players with identical hands split the pot. If players have the same hand based on fewer than the full number of cards, then the winner goes to the player with the highest kicker. A kicker is a card that does not take part in determining the strength of the hand but is used as a tiebreaker when two or more players get to showdown with the same hand strength.

For example, if two players have the same two pairs, the player with the higher kicker wins. INSERT IMAGE: Hand 1: K,K,4,4,9 Hand 2: K,K,4,4,5. Hand 1 wins because 9 is higher than 5

How to play Texas Hold'em

Texas Hold’em is one of the most popular Poker variants where players use 2 hole cards in combination with 5 community cards to make the best possible 5-card poker Hand.

In Texas Hold’em, a dealer marker called the button is placed in front of the dealer for the game.  In home games, the person with the dealer button will deal the cards, while in casino play, the dealer remains the same and the button moves around the table.  The button rotates clockwise every hand so each player has the opportunity to experience the advantages and disadvantages of table position. 

Being on the button is advantageous as the button is the last player to bet in each round and therefore the dealer has had the advantage of watching each player in the hand act before deciding to bet.

The player immediately clockwise from the button is called the small blind and the player immediately clockwise from the small blind is the big blind. The blinds are forced betting spots, with the big blind often doubling the small blind bet, although this can vary.  If playing a 2-person game, the player on the button is the small blind, and the other player is the big blind. 

The dealer deals each player 2 hole cards and then players do a round of betting.

Next, the dealer turns over 3 community cards in the middle of the table called The Flop.  The players do another round of betting. 

The dealer then turns over a fourth community card, called The Turn, and another round of betting takes place.

The dealer turns the fifth and final community card, called The River, and the remaining players conduct the final round of betting before determining the winner.