How to Play Texas Hold’em Poker

Texas Hold’em is one of the most popular poker variants in the world, and with good reason! It’s a deceptively simple game that can be learned in an afternoon and then enjoyed by players of all experience levels. It is a great choice for players new to the game, as well as for those who want to play on the move. If you’re interested in giving Texas Hold’em a try, keep reading!

The History Of Texas Hold’em

Texas Hold’em is very similar to its full-blooded cousin, Pai Gow Poker, which was first patented in 1911. However, Texas Hold’em was conceived and created by a man named Owen Benjamin in 1974. Before being developed into a full-fledged poker variant, Benjamin designed and tested a variety of different poker hands, many of which were used in the final version of the game that was released to the public in October of that year. These hands include, but are not limited to, four of a kind, full house, flush, straight, and three of a kind. What makes this particular poker variant unique is that it was designed to be played using only three or four cards per hand, rather than the standard five cards that are used in most games. This makes it a great choice for players on the go, as they don’t have to worry about setting up a home poker table.

The Difference In Theory And Practice

One of the things that make Texas Hold’em so attractive and playable for new players is that it is extremely easy to understand and implement, despite its rather complex ruleset. Essentially, there are only 12 different winning hands in Texas Hold’em—as opposed to the 52 different hands that are possible in a standard game of five card draw poker. In addition, the odds of winning vary greatly depending on the number of cards you are holding, the quality of your cards, and the skill of your opponents. This makes it an extremely “live” and “action” oriented game, which gives new players a better chance of having fun and winning money, even if they aren’t pro’s.

Which Deck Should You Use?

There are four different types of decks that you can use to play Texas Hold’em:

  • Deck 1: This is the original Texas Hold’em deck, and it is made up of cards that have been designed by the game’s creator, Owen Benjamin. If you are new to the game, this is the recommended deck, as it requires the least amount of learning to feel confident about playing with it.
  • Deck 2: The Deuces Wild deck is exactly what it sounds like—a deck of only 2’s. This is commonly used by tournament players and online poker sites, as it makes it much easier for the dealer to determine the winner of the hand, given that there are only two possible outcomes: you win or you lose.
  • Deck 3: The Four Aces deck is a combination of cards that represents the Biblical four horsemen of the Apocalypse: War, Pestilence, Famine, and Death. Notable for being one of the only poker decks that actually gets scarier as the cards get wilder, this deck was designed to be used by experienced players, as the odds of winning decrease greatly as the number of unique cards in your hand increase. It is considered to be among the most difficult and effective poker decks available, and it is definitely worth trying out if you are a hard-core poker player.
  • Deck 4: The Bicycle Casino deck is a collaboration between Benjamin and the Bicycle Casino. Made up of cards that have been altered to represent famous logos and mascots from the world of sports, the deck was designed to be played online, as it was originally made to be used in their poker rooms.

Even if you are a seasoned poker player, it’s never a bad idea to experiment with new decks—especially when it comes to Texas Hold’em. Since the game is so straightforward and easy to learn, it’s great for players of all experience levels to get in some practice and see how the game works, in theory and practice.

Basic Rules

Like most poker variants, Texas Hold’em is played using a set of rules, which are summarized briefly below. This game requires a standard deck of cards, and once you have your deck, you should feel confident enough to start playing without any problems—although you might want to familiarize yourself with the rules once you have started, just to make sure that you are following them correctly.

The dealer is always positioned to the left of the player, and the players are arranged in a manner where they can all readily see each other. When the dealer starts the game, he flips over the top card of the deck, revealing it to be the first card of the deck. This card will determine the number of cards that each player is going to be dealt, depending on how many players are currently involved in the game. This first card is usually a number or a pair of letters—such as J♠ or AJ♣—representing the number of cards that each player is going to be dealt. If the first card is a king or a queen, it means that the player is going to receive five cards, and if it is an Ace, it means that he will receive only three cards.

Once the cards have been dealt, each player looks at his or her hand and decides whether or not they want to play. If a player decides that they do not want to play, the dealer will discard their cards and move on to the next player. Otherwise, they will sit down at the table and begin to play.

When it comes to betting, the player with the highest priority gets to go first. Depending on the number of players and the stakes, the betting phase can vary; however, most games either follow a fixed rule set or function on a rock-paper-scissors basis. When the betting phase commences, each player in turn raises their bet, according to the following rules:

  • Each player who raised their bet wins the bet if their hand beats the hand that was originally raised the least number of times; if both hands are tied, the bet is lost.
  • A player can only win on one bet per round; if a player wins multiple bets, they will receive prizes proportionally. For example, if you beat the person who raised their bet the most, you will win twice as much money as if you had beaten the person who raised their bet second.
  • When two players are involved in a hand, if the sum of their bets is the same, the one who raised their bet earlier is the winner.
  • Players who are allying with other players to raise their combined betting limits are not allowed to increase their bets during the game. This rule is often referred to as the “Alliance” rule.

After all the bets are placed, the flop phase begins, which involves each player’s anteing, or putting a pre-agreed-upon amount of money into the pot. This money is added to the bets, and three more cards are dealt face up, in the center of the table. These cards are known as the flop, and they will determine the winner of the hand, much like the first card in a standard poker game. The only difference here is that, instead of just one card being dealt face up, there are three. The anteing phase of the game is similar to the betting phase, with the exception that all the players at the table contribute to the pot, instead of just the player who raised their bet.

The turn card comes next, and it is dealt face up on the table. This card will complete the picture (much like the first two cards in a standard poker game), revealing the hand that was originally dealt the least number of times. However, in Texas Hold’em, if a player manages to successfully turn over two of the three cards that make up the flop, they will receive a bonus prize. If a player turns over all three of the flop cards, they will win the entire pot!

The final card is the river, which is dealt face up in the same way as the other cards in the deck. This card, too, will complete the picture, revealing the winner of the hand. However, if there is a tie after all the cards have been turned over, the betting phase once again resumes, with each player in turn raising their bet. When all the bets are placed, the final winner is determined by the final two cards that are dealt. If you’ve been following along so far, you’re probably wondering how this game gets its name. When four cards are turned over (the flop, the turn, and the river), it is said that you have turned over the quartet, or the “full house.” This is why the game is also known as “Four Horseshoes,” “Full House,” “Flush,” or “Straight.”