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Texas Holdem Poker Rules - Showdown
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Texas Hold'em Poker Rules

Texas Holdem Poker Rules - Blinds

The first thing you need to learn to start playing poker online or offline are the poker rules. Texas Holdem poker rules are not that complicated and the basic poker rules are very easy to learn. Obviously this is one of the reasons why Texas Holdem poker is most popular form of poker – it is unbelievably easy to learn how to play Texas Hold'em poker.

But on the other hand Texas Holdem poker is unbelievably difficult to master. To be able to play winning Texas Holdem poker you will have to go beyond the Texas Holdem Poker rules. You will need to:

Poker Table - Basic Poker Rules

Basic Poker Rules – Texas Holdem Poker

Lets start with the easy part - the basic and easy to learn Texas Holdem Poker Rules. According to official poker rules Texas Holdem poker is played with standard card deck that consists of 52 cards (2 through Ace no jokers). Up to 10 players can play Texas Hold'em Poker at one table and it can be even played heads up against only one opponent. You can play cash games where the chips have real cash value or tournaments where the top finishers win part of the tournament prizepool.

The Game Starts – Preflop Texas Holdem Poker Rules

Card Dealing And Blinds Dealing

In line with the basic poker rules the Texas Hold'em poker game begins when each poker player receives two cards face down – every player holds 2 cards that nobody else can see. These cards are also called „hole cards“ or „pocket cards“. This part of the game is called „preflop“.  The first 2 cards as per official poker rules are dealt clockwise starting with the player to the left of the dealer button. The dealer is designed by the dealer button. After each hand the dealer button moves clockwise to the next player. The first and the second player to the left of the dealer button have to place mandatory bets – called blinds because they have to be posted before you have been dealt your pocket cards.  In accordance with basic rules of poker the first player has to post half of the bet - „small blind“ and the second player has to place full bet – „big blind“. If you are not in small blind or big blind you can fold your pocket cards without having to make any bets. For example at 10 player table you have to place small blind and big blind once in 10 games.

Rules Of Poker Preflop - Blinds and Dealer
Rules of Poker Preflop
Betting Preflop Rules of Poker
First Betting Round Poker Rules

First Betting Round First Betting Round

The first betting round starts after all players are dealt the first 2 cards. According to rules of poker, in this betting round the players that posted the blinds (small blind and big blind) have positional advantage. The first to act is player to the left of the big blind – called also „under the gun“. He has three options. He can call the big blind, bet or fold cards. Remaining players have the same betting options and big blind can „check“ in case somebody called the big blind. Blinds have positional advantage in this betting round. Because they act as the last they are able to assume what card combinations the other players that acted before could hold based on their betting actions. All bets that were placed go to the middle of the table. The total amount of all bets placed is called „pot“.

The Flop

Dealing The Flop Dealing The Flop

After the first betting round is finished (all players have made their bets or folded their pocket cards) 3 cards are dealt face up to the middle of the table so that all the players can see them. These cards are also called community cards or „flop“. In line with the official rules of poker, in this part of the game is our hand determined by the combination of our 2 cards and the 3 cards on the flop.

Rules On the Flop
Rules of Poker On The Flop
Flop Betting Round
Flop Betting Round Basic Poker Rules

Flop Betting Round Flop Betting Round

Another betting round starts on the flop. The blinds lose on the flop their positional advantage and are the first to act. The biggest positional advantage has the dealer who is the last one to act and can extract valuable information from previous players actions. Small blind (the first to act) can check, bet, call or fold. The following players can check, call, raise, bet (if somebody already bet) or fold.

Basic Rules of Poker - Turn Turn
The Turn

Dealing The Turn Dealing The Turn

After the flop betting round is dealt another community card that all the players see – the turn. As per the basic poker rules in this part of the game is our hand determined by the best 5 card combination of our 2 cards and 4 community cards (flop + turn)

Turn Poker Rules
Basic Rules of Poker - The Turn
Turn Betting Round
Turn Betting Round Poker Rules

Turn Betting Round Turn Betting Round

Then follows already third betting round in the same order and Texas Hold'em poker rules as on the flop with the dealer having the biggest positional advantage.

Flop Turn River
The River

Dealing The River Dealing The River


After the turn and the third betting round is dealt the last community card – the river. In this moment are the hands of the players determined by the best 5 combination of each player’s hole cards and 5 community cards – also called board.

There are some interesting situations that can happen on the river. For example if there is a full house on the board and none of the players is able to make a higher fullhouse then everybody who is still in the game (did not fold cards) wins.

River Poker Rules
Rules of Poker - The River

River - Last Betting Round Last Betting Round

Players act in the same order and according the same basic rules of poker as on the turn with the same betting options: check, call, bet, raise and fold.

Hole Cards   Rules of Poker - Showdown
The Showdown

The winner – the one with the best 5 card combination from the hole cards and the board according to poker hand ranking rules wins the total amount of all bets - the pot without the fee of the poker room (just when you play cash games) – rake (usually 1-2%). In case 2 or more players have the same winning card combination they share the pot.

The Showdown Poker Rules
The Showdown Texas Holdem Poker Rules

After the poker game is over the dealer button moves to the next player to the left and small blind and big blind move as well.

Pocket Cards   Showdown
Rules of Poker - The Conclusion

The board – or the 5 community cards give you great opportunity to calculate what other players hold and according to their betting patterns is possible to statistically measure if it would be profitable from long term view to call, bet, raise or fold. These are not that complicated calculations as it may look at the first sight. You can also see that the official poker rules are very easy to learn. The basic poker rules can get little bit tricky in some situations when determining the winner using kicker. Make sure you practice Texas Holdem Poker rules by playing poker for play money to get familiar with the Texas Hold'em rules of poker as much as possible.

After you understand the Texas Holdem Poker Rules you will also understand why this form of poker is so popular. Any 2 starting cards can win in case of favorable board. Many players also play this way and however sometimes they are able to win against better starting hands with big share of luck, in the long run these hands lose too often to be profitable in long run and these players are favorite prey for better skilled players.

For rules of poker games as Omaha, Stud, 5 Card Draw, Razz and mixed poker games rules check the poker rooms with best free poker rules sections top of the right column.

Looking for Omaha, Stud, 5 Card Draw or other poker game rules?
If you are looking for free poker rules of games other than Texas Hold'em poker check the basic poker rules sections of online poker rooms below:
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Basic Poker Rules and How To Play:
Texas Holdem, Omaha, Stud
Advanced Poker Strategy Topics:
free poker tables, cheat sheet, video poker tips, know your limits
Exclusive Bonus for New Players:
Restrictions: United States
Pacific Poker
Basic Poker Rules and How To Play:
Texas Holdem, Omaha, 7Stud, Poker Tips, Hand Rankings, Basic Strategy, Money Management
Advanced Poker Strategy Topics:
Omaha, 7 Card Stud, Preflop and Flop Strategy
Exclusive Bonus for New Players:
888 Poker Bonus Code
Restrictions: United States
Basic Poker Rules and How To Play:
Texas Holdem, Omaha, 5/7 Stud, 5 Card Draw
Advanced Poker Strategy Topics:
Exclusive Bonus for New Players::
Restrictions:United States
Poker Tips To Remember
beyond the poker rules

Position - Poker is game of position. Players that act later have positional advantage over players that act early

Long Term - From the long term view poker is pure math. Card combinations with higher winning probability are profitable in long run (e.g. AA or KK)
Short Term - In short term poker is pure luck. You can beat better starting hand with worse starting hand with the help of the board (e.g. 27 beats AA) This does not happen often enough so playing 27 is not profitable in long run
Psychology - Ability to control your tilt and make your play hard to read is just as important as watch your opponents betting patterns and behavior at the table
Basic Poker Terms
beyond Texas Holdem rules
all in bet all chips
bad beat favorite hand loses
bluff bet or raise with weak hand
button dealer button
cold deck more players get very strong cards
connectors cards of consecutive rank
donk bad player
draw incomplete card combination
hole cards first two face down cards
kicker highest card that breaks tie
limp in only calling the big blind
loose playing many poker hands
tight playing not many hands
nuts highest possible hand
rag low card
showdown revealing hands after river
under the gun player first to act (left of big blind)
Online Poker Chat Abbreviations
as important as chat poker rules
gb good bet
gc good call
gl good luck
imo in my opinion
lmao laughing my ass off
lol laugh out loud
nh nice hand
omg oh my god
ty thank you
wp well played
wtf what the f...
yw you're welcome
zzzzzzz player is thinking too long

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