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Texas Holdem Rules

Page summary: An overview of Texas Holdem. Includes the rules and strategies for Limit, Pot Limit and No Limit Texas Holdem.

Texas Holdem Rules - How to Play Texas Holdem

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Texas Holdem is played worldwide and has become the world's most popular format of poker by far. Texas Holdem is normally played in one of three formats - Limit, Pot Limit or No Limit. Texas Holdem can be slow paced in a limit game and can be aggressively fast in the No Limit format. The truest form of poker can be found in No Limit Texas Holdem when a player puts another play to the ultimate test with all of their chips on the line for one hand.


Texas Holdem is considered a flop, turn, river game. This refers to how the cards are dealt. In Texas Holdem the betting consists of players using blinds. There is a small blind and a big blind. To the dealer's left is the small blind and the big blind is to the small blind's left. The action at a Texas Holdem table moves in a clockwise motion.

Each player is dealt two hole cards and will eventually see five community cards. The object of Texas Holdem is to create the best five-card poker hand. The hand ranking in Texas Holdem uses the standard poker ranking system. If you're unfamiliar with this system, Royal Flush is the highest hand and the lowest hand is high card.

There is a betting round before the first set of community cards are dealt. The flop is then dealt. The flop consists of three community cards that are shared by all of the players in the hand. Between the flop, the turn and the river there is a betting round. There is also a final betting round after the river.

The turn is the fourth community card and the river is the fifth and final community card. In the final betting round players will go to a showdown if the action is called. In other words, if someone bets in the final round and the other player calls (or if each player checks), the showdown will be used to reveal the hands and determine the winner.

Each player has the option to do one of four things when the action is on them. The options are check, call, raise or fold. The check option is only available if no one has previously bet. You also have the option to check when sitting in the big blind. However, this is only true if no one raises.

Limit Texas Holdem

Limit Texas Holdem is a format of Texas Holdem. The Limit implements a rule on the betting that is allowed to take place. There are four betting rounds in Texas Holdem. In Limit, players are only allowed to bet in increments of the small side of the stakes for the first two betting rounds. The final two betting rounds have a limitation of only being allowed to bet in increments of the big side of the stakes.

For example, in a $1/$2 limit game, the first two rounds can only be bet in increments of $1. The second two rounds are in increments of $2. The blinds at this level would be $.50 and $1. You can raise but only to $2.

Pot Limit Texas Holdem

Pot Limit Texas Holdem limits the betting to the size of the pot. Pot Limit includes your call if someone has previously bet. For example, say the pot is $5 and you have to call $1. You can raise to a pot bet of $6. Remember, the format of Texas Holdem remains the same in all three of the formats aside from the betting limitations.

The first couple of betting rounds in Pot Limit end up playing out more like a limit game on average. However, by the final two betting rounds the game can quickly resemble a No Limit format. As the pot builds it can often end in players putting all their chips on the line by the river.

No Limit Texas Holdem

No Limit is self-explanatory. There is no limit on betting. Players can bet any amount of their chips at anytime. This is where Texas Holdem can become very aggressive rather quickly.


Texas Holdem is simple in terms of the rules but quite complex in terms of strategy. It can be difficult to master. Texas Holdem players have to take into account position, hand selection and bankroll management. They must also possess the ability to read their opponents.

Hand selection is very important. Starting hands vary based on position. The later you are to act in the betting rounds, the better your position is. The person that is in the dealer seat has the best position on the table. The person that is first to act has the worst position.

The person that is under the gun refers to the player left of the big blind. This player has the worst position pre-flop and remains in a poor position the whole way. The small blind has the worst position post-flop all the way to the showdown.

If you're new to Texas Holdem, choosing when to call the blinds, knowing when to raise and knowing when to just fold can be a little difficult. Novice players may play hands like Q,T or Q,J under the gun. However, an experienced player would fold those hands in that position every time. This is where knowing position and hand selection become crucial aspects of Texas Holdem.

Texas Holdem is an exciting form of poker that offers formats to cater to all styles of players. Limit allows a looser style of poker without having to worry about someone behind you going all-in. No Limit on the other hand requires a much tighter style of play. Whether you are new to the game, have played for a while or are a professional, Texas Holdem is a game that demands respect for your opponents and a working knowledge of the rules and strategy. Any player can beat any other player on any given day. Sometimes you make all the right plays but it's just not your day. There is always a luck factor in poker.

The key to being successful is being consistent. Professional poker players don't win every day but they are consistent, have the proper bankroll and can survive the variance in poker to profit regularly. You can be a professional Texas Holdem player without ever winning a tournament. It's one of the few games where you can never take first and still be a phenomenal player.