Texas Hold'em Poker Rules

Texas Hold'em poker is the most popular type of poker in the world, thanks in part to the televised coverage of events such as the World Poker Tour, and World Series Poker. Learning how to play this game can seem more difficult than it actually is. Texas Hold’em is actually a relatively logical and simple game that requires a few minutes to learn. However, mastering it can take significantly longer.

What is Texas Hold'em?

As a community card game, Texas Hold’em focuses as much on the betting itself, as it does the cards being played. The game is played on a single player with anywhere between two and ten players, and the goal is simple: win as much as you can, one pot at a time. You win a pot by having the best hand at the table, or by having all other players at the table fold before the showdown takes place.

Playing a Hand

Each player at the table is dealt two "hole" cards that only they can see. After this, a round of betting takes place, and three community cards known as the "flop" are placed face-up towards the center of the table. Another round of betting then takes place, and a fourth community card known as the "turn" is placed face-up on the table. After another round of betting, a final community card, named the "river" is dealt, face-up, and the final round of betting takes place.

The players can now use any combination of the seven cards in total, including the two hole cards known only to them, and the five community cards on the table, to create the best possible 5-card poker hand. The highest hand wins the pot, and if more than one player share an equally good hand, the pot is divided among them.

Hand Ranking

Here are the five-card poker hands for Texas Hold'em, ranked from lowest to highest according to their strength.

  1. High Card – If a Poker card contains no combinations, it is valued by the highest card in it.
  2. Pair – When two cards have the same value, such as two queens or two sevens.
  3. Two Pair – When two separate pairs appear in the same hand, such as two queens and two sevens.
  4. Three of a kind – Three cards with the same value, such as three Jacks.
  5. Straight – Five cards, not of the same suit, in a sequence. For example, this could be the 6 of spades, 7 of clubs, 8 of diamonds, 9 of diamonds and 10 of hearts.
  6. Flush – Five cards of the same suit that aren’t in sequence, such as the 3, 5, 10, 7 and queen of Hearts.
  7. Full House – A pair and three of a kind combined. For example, this could be three tens, and two kings.
  8. Four of a Kind – Four cards with all the same value, such as four Queens.
  9. Straight Flush – Five cards in sequence, in the same suit, such as the 2, 3, 4, 5 and 6 of diamonds.
  10. Royal Flush – The best hand in five-card poker, including an Ace, King, Queen, Jack and 10 all in the same suit.