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Texas Holdem Poker Rules


Texas Holdem poker (also known as simply "Holdem") is the most popular poker room game played throughout the world in the late 20th century and thus far in the 21st century.

On this page I will cover basic Texas Holdem poker rules, according to the archives maintained in our Holdem rules library, of which I am the official custodian.

I would also strongly encourage you to read the rules at the poker room where you are playing, as the rules may differ slightly from those written on this page.

Texas Holdem Teacher

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Holdem Poker Rules for Round One

The table starts of with the first person sitting on the table as the dealer and the next player posting the "small blind", which is equal to half of the lower stake. The player to the left of the small blind is required to post the "big blind", which is equal to the lower stake limit. All the blinds in Texas Holdem poker are considered live bets and the players who posted them have the option of checking, calling, raising or folding when the betting returns to their position.

After the blinds have been placed, the down cards (also called "hole cards") are dealt to each active player. In Holdem, 2 cards are dealt to each of the players, after which the first betting round starts. The player to the left of the player who placed the big blind starts the betting for the round. Each player then has the option to place his bet in the first round, which is set at the lower limit of the stakes structure. For example in a $10/$20 Holdem game, value of each bet is $10 for the first round, and the value of a raise is $20.

Each player has the following options – Bet, Call, Raise, or Fold. The first player (left of the Big Blind) to act (in Round One) would get the Bet, Call, Raise, and Fold options. Subsequent players would get the options of Call, Raise, and Fold. To Call is to bet the same as what the previous player has bet. A Raise action raises whatever was the Bet or Call amount of the previous player and is calculated based on the value of the previous bet amount. Until all players have placed equal amounts in the pot, the betting will continue. Typically, a maximum of four bets, which includes one bet and three raises, are allowed for each betting round per player.

After Round One of betting is over, the "Flop" (the first three cards of the "community") is dealt. The community cards are common to all of the players participating in the hand.

Holdem Poker Rules for Round Two

After the Flop (and in each subsequent betting round), the first active player left of the button (for online poker rooms) is first to act, using the same procedures as in Round One above. The fourth community card is then dealt – this is known as the "Turn".

Holdem Poker Rules for Round Three

The third round also follows the same procedures as in Round One above, however, bets and raises are now limited to the UPPER limit of the stake structure. For example in a $10/$20 Holdem game, value of each bet is now $20, and the value of a raise is $40. The fifth community card is then dealt – this is known as the "River".

Holdem Poker Rules for Round Four

The fourth round also follows the same procedures as in Round One above, and bets and raises are the same as in Round Three (limited to the UPPER limit of the stake structure).

The term "Cap" is used to describe the final raise in a round, since betting is then "Capped", and no one can make another Raise. Once Capped, players will have the option of Calling or Folding only.

Occasionally, a player may also have the option to “Check”, in which the player can pass his turn without placing a bet. This option would not always be available to the player, and the player MUST equal the amount of bet placed by any other players for each round in the hand.

Poker is typically played "table stakes", which means that only the chips in play at the beginning of each hand may be used throughout the hand. But the table stakes rule has an application called the "All-In" rule, which states that a player cannot be forced to forfeit a hand because the player does not have enough chips to call a bet. A player who does not have enough chips to call a bet is declared All-In. The player is eligible for the portion of the pot to the point of his final wager. All further action involving other players takes place in a "side pot", which is unavailable to the player who has already gone All-In. The side pot is then given to the next winning combination.

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Texas Holdem Poker Games

Most poker rooms in our directory offer three types of Holdem games:

1) Limit Hold'em - there is a specific betting limit for each game and on each round of betting),

2) Pot Limit Hold'em - a player can bet what is in the pot,

3) No Limit Hold'em - a player can bet all of his chips at any time.

For the minimum and maximum eligible raises in effect for your poker games, refer to the specific rules at each poker room.


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