If you want to learn how to play Texas Hold'em games, you need to start with the basic rules . That's exactly what you'll find in this beginner's guide to the game. Texas Holdem is a simple poker game, but it can be daunting as it can take a long time to get to grips with.

How Do You Play Texas Holdem Poker?

Texas Hold'em is the most popular of all poker variants. All major tournaments worldwide use the no-limit variant of this game. Texas Hold'em is so popular that it's the only poker variation many players will ever learn. It takes time to learn, but a lifetime to master.

Learning how to play Texas Holdem Poker is not difficult and the simplicity of the rules, gameplay and hand ranking all contribute to the game's popularity. However, don't let the simplicity of the game fool you. The number of possible situations and combinations is so great that Texas Hold'em can be an extremely complex game when played at the highest levels.

When you watch the game for the first time, it is important to start with the basic rules of the game. Not only are these the easiest to learn, but they are also essential for understanding the gameplay and, later on, the basic strategy of the game.

Texas Hold'em Basic Game Rules

The object of a game of Texas Hold'em is to use your hole cards in combination with the community cards to make the best possible five-card poker hand. Hold'em is no different from other poker variants such as five-card draw in this respect. However, the way players build their hands in Texas Hold'em is a bit different than in draw poker.

It is always possible for a player to “bluff” and make others fold better hands. In a game of Texas hold'em, each player is dealt two face down cards (the 'hole cards'). Over several rounds of betting, five more cards are (finally) dealt face up in the middle of the table.
These open cards are called the 'community cards'. Each player is free to use the community cards in combination with their hole cards to build a five card poker hand.

The five community cards are dealt in three phases:

  • The Flop: The first three community cards.
  • The Turn: the fourth community card.
  • The River: the fifth and final community card.

Your mission is to construct 5-card poker hands using the best available five cards from the seven total cards (your two hole cards and the five community cards). You can do that by using both your hole cards in combination with three community cards, one hole card in combination with four community cards, or no hole cards. If the cards on the table lead to a better combination, you can also play all five community cards and forget yours.

In a game of Texas hold'em, you can do what works to make the best five-card hand. If the betting causes all but one player to fold, the only remaining player wins the pot without having to show any cards. For that reason, players don't always need to have the best hand to win the pot. It is always possible that a player can 'bluff' and make others fold better hands.

If two or more players make it all the way to showdown after the last community card is dealt and all bets are completed, the only way to win the pot is to have the highest ranked five card poker hand.


Let's take a look at all the different important aspects of a Texas hold'em game, including the different positions at the table and the betting rounds involved in the game.
The Button (Also Called Button)

Play moves clockwise around the table, starting at the position to the left of the dealer button. The 'button' is a round disc in front of a player that is moved one space to the left each hand. When playing in casinos and poker rooms, the player with the dealer button does not deal the cards (the poker room hires someone to do that). When playing poker at home with friends, the player with the button usually splits hands. The button determines which player at the table is the acting dealer. The first two players immediately to the left of the button must post a small blind and a big blind to begin betting.

From there, the action unfolds in multiple stages (or "streets" in the game's jargon):

  • pre-flop
  • Flop
  • turn
  • River

In Texas hold'em, the player with the button, or the last active player closest to the button, gets the last chance on all post-flop streets of the game. While the dealer button dictates which players should post the small and big blinds, it also determines where the dealing of the cards begins.

The player immediately to the left of the dealer button in the small blind receives the first card and then the dealer throws cards around the table in a clockwise motion to all players until everyone has received two starting cards. Before each new hand begins, two players at the table are required to post the small and big blinds. The blinds are forced bets that begin the betting.

Without these blinds the game would be very boring as no one would be required to put any money into the pot and players could just wait to be dealt pocket aces (AA) and then play. The blinds ensure that there is a certain amount of 'action' on every hand. In tournaments, the blinds are raised at regular intervals. In cash games, the blinds always stay the same. The player directly to the left of the button posts the small blind, and the player directly to his or her left posts the big blind.

The small blind is generally half the amount of the big blind, although this stipulation varies from room to room and may also depend on the game being played.
In an “AUD1/AUD2” Texas hold'em game, the small blind is AUD1 and the big blind is AUD2.

Frequently Asked Questions

Are the rules the same as regular poker?

Mostly yes, with a few exceptions.

Can I win Texas Hold'em with a bad hand?

Yes, if you can bluff well, you can.

Do all casinos offer this game?

No, not all. And when they offer it, it's usually not in tournament form.

Can I go all in during the early rounds of Texas Hold'em?

Yes, if you think you have good cards, you certainly can.

Are the rules the same in all casinos?

For the most part yes, but online casinos can also offer their own variations of the game.

Written by: Jason Vink | hurolinan.com

Jason is an online casino expert. He obtained a BA in Communications in Brussels before starting to work at internet gambling portals in Malta (EU) in 2012. He later joined hurolinan.com and has since started sharing his expertise with our readers. Jason is able to assess and test an online casino on many different functionalities in order to guarantee the enjoyment and safety. If you have questions for Jason, you can always send him an email: jason [at] hurolinan.com.