Texas Hold'em Rules: How To Bet And Raise
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The Poker101 video series starts from the very beginning and covers the very basic of poker strategy. As the video series progresses, the strategy gets progressively more advanced. The Poker101 article collection complements the video series as an easy go-to guide for learning Texas Hold'em.
Poker101 Lesson 1: Learn the Rules of Texas HoldemPoker is played as a series of individual hands and when a hand ends, the dealer awards the winning player the money in the pot. The winning player can either hold the best hand or be the only player not to fold. In rare situations when two players hold equal hands, the dealer awards each player equal shares of the pot. The most common type of poker found online is Texas Hold'em.
In Texas Hold 'em each player seeks to make the best five-card poker hand. Each player may use any combination of the five community cards and the player's two hole cards. Play begins with each player being dealt two cards face down (these cards are the player's hole cards) and these are the only cards each player will receive individually.
What Are The BlindsBlinds in Texas Hold'em are a forced bet which must be made at the start of the hand. Two players in each hand pay the blinds: the small blind (left of the dealer) and the big blind (left of the small blind). Typically, the big blind pays the minimum bet and the small blind pays half of this amount.
Pre-flop Rules and Betting OrderCards are dealt individually, first to the small blind, then to the big blind, and so on around the table with the dealer receiving his cards last. Once all players have cards, pre-flop betting begins. Each player must either:
- Fold: discard his hole cards and lose any chips he has put into the pot
- Call: match the current bet by adding his chips to the pot
- Raise: increase the bet by at least as much as the last raise
- Push All-in: call or raise with all chips in your stack (even if you have fewer chips than the current bet)
Flop Rules and Betting OrderIf two or more players remain in the hand pre-flop, the flop is dealt. The flop consists of three cards dealt face-up in the center of the table. All players may combine the flop cards with their hole cards to make the best 5-card hand. Once the flop is dealt, another betting round ensues, this time starting with the player immediately left of the dealer and continuing clockwise. Since there is no forced bet, players can choose to check if no bet is made.
Turn Rules and Betting OrderIf two or more players continue past the flop, the turn is dealt (also known as 4th street). The turn consists of one card dealt face-up to the right of the flop. This is another community card that all players can use to make their hand. After the turn is dealt, another betting round ensues, exactly as after the flop.
River Rules and Betting OrderIf two or more players continue past the turn, the river is dealt (also known as 5th street). The river consists of one final card dealt face-up to the right of the turn. This is a final community card that all players can use to make their hand. After the river is dealt a final betting round ensues in the same manner as after the flop and turn.
Who Wins at ShowdownIf two or more players remain in the hand after the river betting round is complete, the players go to showdown. At showdown, each player plays the best five-card poker hand he can by combining his two hole cards and the five community cards on the board. To form his five-card hand, a player may use both of his hole cards, only one, or none at all.
Differences in Betting Between Hold'em GamesFixed-Limit Holdem: In Limit Hold 'em, bets and raises during the first two rounds of betting (pre-flop and flop) must be equal to the big blind; this fixed amount is called the small bet. In the next two rounds of betting (turn and river), bets and raises must be equal to twice the big blind; this fixed amount is called the big bet.
No Limit Holdem: By contrast, in No-Limit Hold'em, players may bet or raise any amount over the minimum raise up to all of the chips the player has at the table on any street.
Pot-Limit Holdem: The maximum bet or raise amount is to the current size of the pot, but otherwise the game is the same as No Limit Hold'em.
This has been a general overview of the rules of Texas Hold'em. In our next article, we will go over the different types of games that you can play while playing Texas Hold'em, such as Cash Games and Tournaments.