Texas Hold’em is a poker game that uses community cards. These are cards that can be used by all players at the table to make the best possible 5 card hand.
There are other forms of poker that you can play online, such as Omaha, 5 card stud, 5 card draw, 7 card stud and Omaha Hi-Lo, by far and away through the most popular game is Texas Hold’em.
Some online poker tournaments can have prize pools of thousands of Euros. This sees a large number of people enter for the same buy-in and fee and start with the same number of chips.
The last player remaining wins the tournament and the largest prize with around 10% of the total entrants normally getting paid some amount.
You can also play in smaller tournaments with the same aim, to be the last remaining, these sit and goes and normally have just 1 table as opposed to bigger tournaments that can have hundreds running at the same time.
You can also play on cash tables which allow you to take your own money to the table, the main difference between the three is that in tournaments you only win money at the end of the tournament whereas with cash games the money you play with is yours and you can walk away with your winnings any time you want.
Texas Holdem Poker Rules
A single deck of 52 cards deck is used in Texas Hold’em poker. All cards count as its respective value, although Aces can be high or low.
One player is designated as the dealer, this will be shown online by a small disc and is moved around the table after each hand. Obviously online this person does not physically deal the game, it is simply to show where the first cards are dealt from.
The player to the dealer’s left makes a bet known as the “small blind”. In a cash game this bet will be the same each hand depending on the type of table you are sitting at. In a tournament, the blind bets raise at equal intervals, normally 8 or 10 minutes. The player to the left of the small blind – so 2 seats to the left of the dealer – makes a bet known as the “big blind”. These bets are compulsory and is designed to ensure there is money to be won in every hand and to ensure players can’t just sit waiting for one of the best starting hands to be dealt whilst not risking any money.
Two cards are now dealt to each player face down, starting to the player on the dealers left, the small blind.
As the first 2 players to the left of the dealer have already placed a bet before the cards were dealt, the player to the left of the big blind – 3 to the left of the dealer – gets to play first. They can either Call the big blind bet (place a bet equal to it), Raise (place a bet that is more than the big blind) or Fold (not put a bet in and end their participation in the hand). The play then continues around the table in the same direction until all players have either Folded or Called the highest bet. If the play goes back round to the big blind and no one has raised, the big blind player can Check (effectively Call the largest bet but not put any funds in as their best is already equal to the highest bet).
Once the first betting round is finished, 3 cards are dealt in the middle of the table. These are Community cards (cards that can be used by any player) and is known most commonly as the Flop. These are dealt face up so all players can see them.
Another round of betting now takes place, starting with the player to the dealers left (the player in the small blind position). If this player folded in the first round of betting, it will be the next player who starts the betting and so on until all players who are still in the hand have either Folded or placed a bet the same as all other players. As there is no forced bet in this round, all players can Check if they wish which means no further bets are made, although if one player does decide to bet, all other players will need to either match this bet by Calling or Fold.
A community card is now dealt face up, this is known as the turn and means all players now have 6 cards they can use, their own 2 that only they can see and the 4 community cards that any player can see and use. This card is known as the Turn.
Another round of betting now takes place following the same procedure as after the Flop. There are rules on some tables as to the minimum amount that can be bet at this point, this is normally double the minimum of the last 2 rounds, so double the big blind.
Once this round of betting has finished, a 5th and final community card is dealt. This is known as the River and means players now have the 7 cards available to them in order to make the best possible 5 card hand.
A final round of betting now takes place, the same format as after the Turn.
Once this betting round has been completed, the first player remaining in the hand to the left of the dealer will show their cards. It will then continue around the table with each player showing their hand to determine who wins. Please note that whereas the first player to show needs to do so, if the next player cannot match that hand, they can Muck their hand which means they agree they have lost but don’t show the other players what they had. If their hand is better, they need to show their hand to this effect. The hand needs to be made up of 5 of the 7 cards available, a player can use all 5 community cards, 1 of his/her own cards and 4 of the community cards, or both of his/her own cards and 3 of the community cards. The player with the highest ranking hand wins the pot.