Texas hold'em rules

Join in the fun! Texas Hold’em is one of the most popular types of poker in the world and it’s played with a standard 52-card deck that gets shuffled before each hand.

First, each player gets dealt two hole cards. That is followed by three rounds of community cards that are dealt face up and bets are placed after every round. The best five card hand, formed from the selection of the two hole and the five community cards, wins!

Every hand begins with a small blind, a big blind, and a round of betting. The exact rules for the betting change slightly in Limit, Pot Limit, and No Limit games.

The first three community cards are called the Flop, and they are dealt after the first round of betting. Another round of betting follows, and then the Turn – the fourth community card - is dealt. After the third round of betting, the last community card, called the River is dealt and it is followed by the final round of betting. Whoever has the best hand by now is the winner!

The small and the big blinds are forced bets, and the clockwise-rotating button decides who has to place them. Every player then has to either call the big blind, raise, or fold.

The minimum bet in Pot Limit Hold’em is the same as the size of the big blind, but the players can always bet up to the size of the pot.

Minimum raise: The smallest possible raise must be equal to the previous bet or raise in the same round. For example, if the first player to act bets €5, then the second player must raise a minimum of €5 (making the total bet €10).

Maximum raise: The biggest possible raise equals the size of the pot. The latter is defined as the total of the active pot, plus all the bets on the table, plus the amount the active player must first call before raising.

Example: If the size of the pot is €100, and there is no previous action on a particular betting round, a player may bet a maximum of €100. After that bet, the action moves to the next player clockwise. That player can either fold, call €100, or raise any amount between the minimum (€100 more) and the maximum. The maximum bet in this case is €400 - the raiser would first call €100, bringing the pot size to €300, and then raise €300 more, making a total bet of €400.

In Pot Limit Hold’em, there is no cap on the number of raises allowed.

In No Limit Hold‘em, a bet must not be smaller than the required minimum. However, the only upper limit is the amount of chips that the player has in front of them. Just like in the Pot Limit Hold‘em, a €5/€10 No Limit will have the blinds at €5 and €10.

In Tournament Hold‘em, there are certain time frames by which the increments to the blinds are made. Normally, Texas Hold‘em does not have ante bets, but in tournaments the antes will be added in the later rounds and their size will be decided by the appropriate betting limits.

Hand rankings

The key to any poker game and its variations is knowing the hand rankings. Of course you can always bring a cheat sheet to the game, but that will just give you away.

Royal flush is the ace, king, queen, jack and ten of any suit. A royal flush is an unbeatable hand.

Straight Flush: Five suited cards in sequence.

Highest rank at the top of the sequence wins when players tie.

Four of a Kind: Four cards of the same rank, and one side card (kicker)..

Highest-ranking Four of a Kind breaks a tie.

Full House: Three cards of the same rank, and two cards of a different, matching rank.

Full House with the highest ranking three cards breaks a tie.

Flush: Five suited cards.

If multiple players have a flush, subsequent card rankings will be used, one at a time, to determine the winner. If all five cards are identical, the pot will be split. The suit itself is never used to break a tie in poker.

Straight: Five cards in sequence.

Highest-ranking card at the top of the sequence breaks the tie.

Note: The Ace is the only card that may be used at the top or bottom of the sequence. A,K,Q,J,T is the highest (Ace high) straight; A,2,3,4,5 is the lowest (Five high) straight.

Three of a kind: Three cards of the same rank, and two unrelated side cards.

Highest ranking three of a kind breaks a tie.

Two pair: Two matched-rank cards, two different matched-rank cards, and one side card.

Highest pair breaks a tie. The second pair or side card will break a tie if certain cards are identical.

One pair: Two matched-rank cards, and three unrelated side cards.

Highest pair breaks a tie. The player with the first superior side card will break a tie if pairs are identical.

High card: Any hand that does not qualify under a category listed above.

In the event of a tie: Highest card breaks a tie. If first cards are identical, the first superior card wins the game.