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Texas Hold'em rules

Overview


The goal of Texas Hold'em is to win the pot (the sum of money wagered by all players in a hand). Texas Hold'em is the most popular type of poker game. The pot is won by the player who is able to form the best five-card poker hand, as a combination of two cards in hand and five community cards.

Texas Hold'em can be played with a minimum of two players and a maximum of ten players with a total of 52 cards without jokers.


Rules


Basic rules


At the start of each hand, all players are dealt the cards face down, known as "cards in hand", and five "community cards", which are dealt face up.

Players can use any five cards to form a combination.

The best combination of five cards wins the pot.


Game Types


Limit Poker

In Poker with Limit the maximum increase is agreed before starting a game. For example, in a game with 1/2 Limit, both the bet and the raise must be 1. In the last rounds, the bet and the raise must be 2.


Pot limit

In a pot limit game, the maximum value of the bet or raise must not be greater than the total pot amount at that time. For example, if the total amount in the pot is 10, the first player who can in the betting round can bet a maximum of 10, but the second player can bet up to 30 (10 for his part of the call with an increase of 20, the total amount of money in the pot when it is your turn to play). There is no limit to the number of raises in Poker Pot Limit games.


No Limit

There are no maximum bet limits in a No Limit game. All players can make any bet at any time, as long as the minimum bet is met.


Game Stages


Each game is divided into four betting rounds, with the initial pot created from blinds. The first player who joins the table became the distributor and was marked by a round disc. The game is played clockwise, starting with the player sitting next to the dealer.

If players join the table simultaneously, as in tournaments for example, each player receives a face-up card and the player receives the highest card in the dealer. The dealer button moves in a clockwise direction from one player to another with each hand.


Blinds

Before a game starts, the two players to the left of the dealer place 'blind bets' (these bets are narrowed before they have been seen). This is called "putting the blinds" and ensures that there is some money in the pot to play at the beginning of the game.

The player to the left of the dealer puts the "small blind" and the second player to the left of the dealer puts the "big blind", which is exactly double the small blind amount.

If a player does not have enough chips to bet blindly, bet on what you have at a time (see the All-inclusive section).

If there are only two players in the game, the small blind and the big blind have yet to be placed. In that case, the dealer puts the big blind and the other player puts the small blind, so the first round begins.


Pre-Flop

Each player is dealt face down cards and all players can only see their own cards. The player to the left of the player who placed the big blind starts a betting round. This player can:

CALL - match the amount bet in the big blind,

RAISE -  increase the amount bet,

FOLD - surrender his cards and stake in the game.

The same actions may be taken by each player when it is their turn to place a bet. When the betting returns to the player who placed the big blind, that player can decide not to raise, i.e. to make a check, if no other player raises. However, if an opponent has risen, the player who placed the big blind again has the option to call, raise or fold.
When all bets are equal, the initial pot is formed and the game turns to the next round 


Flop

During the Flop, three community cards were dealt face up for all players. The player who placed the blind in the first betting round and, when all the bets are equal, the game goes to the next round (Turn).


Turn

A fourth community card is dealt face up on the table and the third betting round begins.


River 

The fifth and last Community Card is dealt and the final betting round begins.


Showdown


When all bets are of equal value, it is time for all players to show their cards. Usually, the last player to bet or rise during the final betting round is the one to show their cards first. However, if during the last betting round all the remaining players checked (i.e. no player placed a bet); the first player to the dealer's left who did not fold during the game is the first to show their cards.

Moving in a clockwise direction, the other players reveal their cards in turn and, if the player's hand is weaker than the current winning hand, the player has the option to show or ‘muck’ their cards. The best five-card hand takes the pot.

If two players have equally high-ranking hands, the pot is split. Each player may claim back the part of the pot, which they originally contributed to. Please see the "All-In" section.


Game-Specific


Missed Blinds Policy


To prevent players from entering games late (and avoid placing blinds) each player must post an initial fee equal to the big blind or decide to sit out and wait until the big blind reaches their position. The player can choose to:

  • post the big blind or
  • wait for the big blind.


If a player chooses to wait for the big blind, they will be sitting out and will not be able to join the action until the big blind comes around to their position.

If a player was at the table and then sat out resulting in their missing the big blind, they will also have to miss the small blind and the dealer's button.

If a player misses the small and the big blind, they will be required to post an amount equal to the big blind plus a 'dead' bet equal to the small blind.


All-In


If a player finishes his chips he is not immediately required to fold but may decide to go ‘All-In’ and bet all their remaining chips. If this happens, the pot is divided into the main pot and the side pot with all subsequent bets included in the side pot.

If the player who goes all-in does not win, the winner receives all of the chips (both the main and side pot).

If the player who goes all-in wins, he receives the main pot, but the side pot is passed to the player having the second highest-ranking hand.

If several players go all-in, several side pots are created. If the player who accepted all of the all-in bets does not go all-in and has the highest ranking hand when the cards are revealed, they will take the main pot as well as all side pots.

If the player who went all-in has the highest-ranking hand, he takes the pot or all pots, which were created until he went all-in.

All all-in players having highest-ranking hand can only take the pot (or pots), which they contributed to.


Table Stakes


The buy-in is the amount of money required by each player to take part in a particular poker game. All real money games have a minimum buy-in which is required before a player may join a table.


Minimum and maximum buy-ins


Limit poker

The minimum buy-in requirement for Limit Poker is 10 times the big blind. There is no maximum buy-in.

For example, in a 1/2 limit game, the big blind value is 1, so the minimum buy-in is 10x1, or 10.


Pot and No-Limit poker

Pot-Limit and No-Limit games have minimum and maximum buy-ins.

The minimum is usually 20 times the small blind and the maximum is usually 100 times the big blind.

For example, in a 1/2 No Limit or Pot Limit game where the small blind is 1 and the big blind is 2, the minimum buy-in would be 20 and the maximum buy-in would be 200.


Table Stakes

All games and tournaments comply with the following table stakes protocols: No chips can be added to a player's stack during a hand.

Players can add to their stack between hands only. While some tournaments offer re-buys and add-ons, these can only be made after a hand has been played and before the next hand starts. However, players can add chips or re-buy and add-on during the hand if they are not involved in that hand.

Players cannot take any chips from the table during play until they leave the game. This rule applies regardless of how many chips the player has brought to the table.

The table stakes protocols are designed to protect the game and to ensure that the game remains playable. For example, if a player were allowed to put a few chips into their pocket every time they are ahead, the number of chips available for play would be greatly reduced.


Game Examples in Texas Hol'em