An all-time classic and the perfect starting point if you’re new to the game.
An all-time classic and the perfect starting point if you’re new to the game. It plays out in the following stages:
- Pre-flop – each player is dealt two ‘hole’ cards face down
- The flop – then comes three ‘community’ cards dealt face up
- The turn – you get a fourth community card
- The river – you get a fifth community card
Bets are placed after each step as players call, raise or fold after checking their cards. The aim: to make the best five-card poker hand out of the seven cards available.
Sometimes two or more players left in the game reveal their cards (a showdown) and the best hand wins. Other times, all but one player will fold and he or she walks away with the pot.
The goal of a Texas hold’em game is to use your hole cards in combination with the community cards to make the best possible five-card poker hand.
Hold’em is not unlike other poker games like five-card draw.
However, the way players construct their hands in Texas hold’em is a little different than in draw poker.
- In a game of Texas hold’em, each player is dealt two cards face down (the ‘hole cards‘)
- Over several betting rounds, five more cards are (eventually) dealt face up in the middle of the table
- These face-up 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.
While we will see each betting round and different phase that forms a full hand of a Texas hold’em game, you should know that the five community cards are dealt in three stages:
- 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 your five-card poker hands using the best available five cards out of 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 about yours.
In a game of Texas hold’em you can do whatever works to make the best five-card hand.
If the betting causes all but one player to fold, the lone remaining player wins the pot without having to show any cards.
For that reason, players don’t always have to hold the best hand to win the pot. It’s always possible a player can ‘bluff’ and get others to fold better hands.
If two or more players make it all of the way to the showdown after the last community card is dealt and all betting is complete, the only way to win the pot is to have the highest-ranking five-card poker hand.
Now that you know the basics of Texas hold’em and you start to begin gaining an understanding of how the game works, it’s time to get into some specifics.
These include how to deal Texas hold’em and how the betting works.