Hey, guys. You’re watching pokernews.com. I’m Lynn Gilmartin, and I’m going to teach you the rules of No-Limit Texas Hold ‘Em Poker. At the start of any Texas Hold ‘Em Poker Game, the dealer shuffles a standard 52-card deck. In casinos and card rooms, the dealer does not play. However, in home games, the dealer duties are usually shared amongst all the players at the table. So in self-dealt home games, the deal duty is changed to the next player in every hand in a clockwise direction. And it’s always the person to the immediate left of the dealer to act first. So having the deal duties rotate allows for an even spread of positions at the table so that no one seat has an advantage. By that, I mean that the first person to act in a hand is at a disadvantage because they have no idea what the other people at the table may do, whereas someone who acts later has been able to collect information from those in an earlier position. In games with a dealer, a round disc called the dealer button moves clockwise from player to player to each hand. The button marks which player would be the dealer if the game was self-dealt.
Step by Step How to Play Texas Hold'Eem Poker
Every hand requires two forced bets called blinds. Games begin with the two players to the left of the dealer, who are in early position as I explained, putting a predetermined amount of money into the pot before any cards are dealt – which ensures that there is something to play for on every hand. Most often, the small blind, who is the player to the immediate left of the dealer, puts up half of the minimum bet. And then the player to their left, who is called the big blind, puts up the full minimum bet. In cash games, this amount is what determines the stakes. For example, when you see a $1/$2 No-Limit Hold ‘Em, that means that on every single hand of the game, the small blind puts out $1 and the big blind puts out $2. So this reinforces what I was referring to earlier with the rotating of positions, as it would be unfair for seats 1 and 2 to always post the blinds. So in the next hand, this deal button will move along to this player, and then this player will be the small blind, and then this player will be the big blind. In tournaments, the same applies, but the only difference is that the amount is increased over time in order to ensure the elimination of players. This is why you may see a breakdown of levels for a tournament. That is what determines the minimum bet per level. Each player is dealt two cards faced down. These are called the hold cards. You must protect these cards from being seen by any other player, so you need to check them very discretely. The object of the game is to combine these two cards with the five cards which will eventually be laid out in front of the dealer, known as the board, to make the best poker hand at the table. So this hand may consist of two hold cards and three of the board, one hole card and four of the board, or very occasionally, neither of your hole cards and just the board.
First Betting Round
The first round of betting takes place immediately after the deal with no cards yet on the board. The first player to act is the player to the left of the big blind because these two players were initially forced to act. The first to act has three options: to call, raise, or fault. To call, the player places a bet that is equal to the big blind. To fault, the player pushes the cards face down towards the middle of the table which constitutes the muck. This player will no longer be in the hand. To raise, the player adds an additional amount to that he or she wishes, as long as it is at least double the amount of the big blind, and of course, cannot be any more than the amount of chips they have in their own stack. If the player bets all of their chips, this is known as all-in. So all of the following players then have the same three options, which only changes should the previous player raises. If this player then raises, then this player’s call size is that of the raise, no longer of the big blind. This player still has an option to raise, and in this case, it’ll be referred to as a re-raise and in accordance with the previously mentioned raising guidelines.
Once the first betting round is complete, the dealer discards the top card of the deck. This is called burning and is done so to ensure that no one accidentally saw the top card and to help prevent cheating. The dealer then places three cards face up on the table. These cards are called the flop.
Second Betting Round
This round, and all further betting rounds, start with the first player to the dealer’s left still in hand because we no longer have the forced bets, also known as blinds. They are only pre-flop. In these post-flop betting rounds, we have one more option in addition to calling raising or folding. Players now have the option to check. This is like taking a pass, staying in the hand without betting, and passing on to the next player to make a move. If everyone checks, then that betting round is complete and everyone gets to see a free card. However, if someone bets, then all players must either call, raise, or fold. Checking is not possible if a bet has been made by a player before you.
The Turn (or Fourth Street)
After the completion of the second betting round, a further card is burned, and then the dealer adds the next card to the board. This is called the turn.
Third Betting Round
Now a third round of betting commences, once again, starting with the player to the immediate left of the dealer.
The River (or Fifth Street)
After the completion of the third betting round, a further card is burned. And then the fifth, final community card is added to the board. This is known as the river.
Fourth Betting Round
The fourth and final round of bets now takes place with the same rules as all the previous rounds, and this is where the real excitement happens, showdown. When the challenged player must reveal their cards, and a winner is determined by who has the best hand. As I explained earlier, players can use two of their hole cards and three community cards, one of their hole cards with four community cards, or in the rare occasion, all five community cards – which in that scenario would usually end up as a chopped pot situation, with two or more players involved have the same hand so the split of the pot is even. Otherwise, may the best hand win.
An important point to note is that not all hands actually reach showdown or even the fourth betting round. As folding is an option that is widely used, if a player makes a bet and everyone else folds to them, then they scoop up the pot without having to show their cards. This is the part that makes it really fun with bluffing.