In all games of poker, the ante or the blinds create and start the action and the pot. The blinds – in all games that use a dealer button – designate the first bet. The big blind is opening the bet for a designated amount and each player, in turn, must call that amount, fold , or call and raise the same amount. No one can check during this round.
In games using a dealer button, when a new game begins, a draw or deal is done to determine who will receive the dealer button. The dealer button rotates, clockwise, after each hand to the next live player at the table. A live player is one seated at the table with chips. A stack of chips may be present at the table without a player seated.
Each player must take the blind to enter into the game. If a player sits out during their Blind, the player must post both blinds to re-enter the game or return in the big blind position.
- Each player is dealt two cards down, beginning with the small blind. The first round of betting forces a player to 1) fold, 2) call the amount of the big blind, 3) or raise. In Texas Holdem, a raise must be the size of the bet, unless the raising player is going all-in. When the action returns to the blinds, the blinds have the option of calling, checking, or raising the bet. The only time a player can raise their own bet is when they are in one of the ‘blind' positions.
- After this Texas Holdem Poker game betting round is complete, three cards are placed face up on the table (commonly called the 'flop'), and the first player in front of the button begins the action. (This player is known as being Under the Gun or UTG). Each player, in turn, has the option of checking if the bet is checked to them, calling if there is a bet to them, or raising if there is a bet to them, or folding when it is their turn to act. If a player checks and there is a bet, the player that checked has the option of 'check-raising' when the action returns to them.
- After the 'flop' betting action is complete, a 4th card is turned face up on the table (commonly called 4th Street or the Turn), and the betting action commences again. If there is a bet, the big bet is mandatory at this stage of the hand, (in $2 - $4 limit, the Flop bet limit is $2 and all raises are in $2 increments, on the Turn the bet limit is $4 and all raises are in $4 increments).
- After the Turn betting action is complete, a 5th card is turned face up on the table (commonly called 5th Street or the River), and the betting action commences again with the big bet limit.
In Texas Hold'em only the best five cards play, any combination of the player's hand and the board.
Once you are done with Texas Holdem basic rules it is time to read poker strategy articles and start playing online. Try low limit tables or fun money first and only when you feel satisfied with your game move to higher limits. Check for the best online poker room on our poker room ratings table. See you at the tables!