How to Play Texas Holdem Poker

The game of Texas Hold'em is by far the most popular type of poker out there today, and a huge part of that comes from the type of coverage and interest that it picks up. Both online poker and live poker are massively popular currently, and the World Series of Poker is obviously a huge reason for that. Many big name players and fans of poker take part in the WSOP, and while it's very popular, it's also important that you know how the game itself works before you jump in on the action. Below we'll cover a few of the most popular parts of the game Texas Hold'em, and help teach you more about how to play it.

Playing Your Hand

First off, you are going to find yourself dealt two cards that you are going to keep completely private, and not let anyone else see. There will be a small and big blind that rotate around the table, and if you are playing a tournament then the blinds will increase, but in cash games the blinds are going to stay the same. After the cards are dealt, a round of betting will happen, and then the flop will come out. The flop is three community cards that you, and each other player will use. Then comes another round of betting, which leads to the turn coming out (the fourth community card). Then comes the final community card, the river, and a final round of betting. Players show their cards, and the best hand wins. You are going to use any five cards to make the best hand possible, even if that includes zero or one of your own cards!

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Hand Ranks

Obviously knowing the winning hands and what beats what is incredibly important, which is why we've broken it down for you here. This is something to fully memorize, and if there's any type of homework that should be done right off of the bat in poker, then this is it. When you start, you'll see that the lowest card is a deuce, and the best card is an Ace. All of the suits, diamonds, clubs, hearts, and spades, are equal.
High Cards - High card is simply having no pairs, and just five random cards. Having an Ace high would be considered the "best" here, but no high card hands are incredibly strong in most situations.

Pair - A pair is simply have two cards that are the same, and a pair of Aces would be the best here that you can have. It's important to note that if you do have a pair, and your opponent has a pair, then your next highest card is going to come into play. So if one player had a King "kicker" (as they are called), and the other had a Queen kicker, then the King would win.

Two Pair - Two pair is next, and as you can imagine, it is just having two different pairs. So a pair of Aces and a pair of Kings. The same thing stands for the kicker in the situation above, so it would be the fifth card that comes into play as the kicker.

Three of a Kind - Three of a kind in Hold'em is just having three of one card. So you could have two Aces in your hand and one on the board, or one in your hand and two on the board, or even just three on the board.

Straight - A straight is any five cards that are consecutive in order. So if you have Jack-King, and the board has a 9, 10, and Queen, then you'd have a straight. No matter how you have the cards or how many are on the board, you can still have a straight. An Ace high straight is obviously what you're aiming for, but they can go all the way down to a six high straight.

Flush - A flush is five cards as well, but is five of the same suit. It can be any suit, and all of the suits rank the same. An Ace high flush is the best you can have, and they will go down from there.

Full House - A full house is three of one card, and two of another card. So it can be three eights and two six's, three nines and two fours, or any other combination that you can pull.

Four of a Kind - While four of a kind is incredibly tough to land, it's still possible. You have to get all four of the same card in the deck, with Aces being the strongest.

Straight Flush - Take a straight, and take a flush, and put them together. That's what you have here. A straight flush is any five cards in a row of the same suit. So a six, seven, eight, nine, and ten of clubs is an example.

Royal Flush - A royal flush is the best of the best, and it's only five cards that make up this one. It is a 10, Jack, Queen, King, and Ace of the same suit. It can be any suit as well.

Types of Hold'em

No Limit - No Limit is by far the most popular type of Hold'em game. It is where players have the opportunity to go all in at any point during the hand. They can bet any amount they want, and can play their hand however they choose to.
Limit - Limit Hold'em gives players only a set amount to bet on each round of betting. This means that you can only raise a certain amount each betting round, and can not go all-in unless you have the correct number of chips to do so.
Pot Limit - Pot Limit is a game that isn't often played during Hold'em, but it does happen online from time to time. You'll find that No Limit and Limit are the two most popular games, but in Pot Limit Hold'em you can bet at MOST the size of the pot. This means that the bet sizes can increase throughout the hand, but you can bet anything up to the pot size when the action is on you.