Texas No Limit Hold Em Rules

04.03.2021by

All the rules of Texas Hold’em you need to start playing the game today. Texas Hold’em and especially no-limit Hold’em (NLHE) is the most commonly played poker game in live card rooms and casinos around the world. In this article, I’d like to teach you how to play Hold’em poker as well as discuss some beginner strategies for playing solid poker. No-Limit Texas Hold'em Rules. No-Limit Hold’em is the most popular poker game there is. The great Doyle Brunson called it “the Cadillac of poker.”. The lid is off when it comes to the maximum bet you can make; when it’s your turn, you could choose to go all-in and put your entire stack of chips in the middle.

Texas Hold'em is by far the most popular poker game, both live and offline. There are basically three versions of the game: No Limit Hold'em, Fixed Limit Hold'em, and Pot Limit Hold'em. Each form of the game has the same basic rules; only the betting structures are different. This article will explain Texas Hold'em as a general game, and then explain the differences between each betting structure.

Objective of Texas Hold'em

No Limit Texas Hold’em. The No Limit part of No Limit Texas Hold’em is referring to the fact players can raise or bet all of their chips at any time during a session. Basically if you have $100 in front of you and you like what you see in your hand (and in any Community Cards) you can push all of. In a game of no-limit Texas hold'em, the minimum opening raise must be at least twice the big blind, and the maximum raise can be all of the chips a player has in his or her stack (an 'all-in' bet).

Texas Hold'em is a poker game where players bet money in hopes of winning the collective pot. There are two ways that a player can win the pot: either by making a bet to which everyone folds, or by showing down the best hand. The first situation would occur if you made a bet, and every other player decided they didn't want to call. You'd be the only player left in the hand, and thus would win the pot. In the second situation, the hand would go all the way to the river, and whoever has the best hand wins.

Since hands are dealt randomly, every player has an equal chance of winning a random hand at showdown. However, winning players increase their odds by playing with proper Texas Hold'em strategy. By folding when you have a bad hand, and betting more when you have a good hand, you can increase your long term win rate. After you learn how to play Hold'em, make sure to read our No Limit Hold'em poker strategy to get some great tips for winning more money.

Texas Hold'em Structure

Texas Hold'em is usually played at a table with 9-10 players. Tables are referred to based on their betting limits. For example, a $1/$2 table would have a small bet of $1 and a big bet of $2. The dealer is initially determined by dealing each player one card face up. Whoever has the highest card will be the dealer. The dealer position rotates clockwise around the table, and moves one position after each hand. As you'll learn, it is beneficial to be in dealer position. Here's a diagram of how the table would look:

Rules of Texas Hold'em

The rules of Texas Hold'em are fairly simple, and once you play a few hands you'll have the hang of things. Keep reading to learn all the rules of the game.

Posting the Blinds and Dealing the Cards

The game starts with two players making forced bets called 'blinds'. There are two blinds - the small blind and the big blind. The small blind is equal to one small bet, and is paid by the player directly to the left of the dealer. The big blind is equal to one big bet, and is paid by the player directly to the left of the small blind, which would be two seats to the left of the dealer.

After the blinds are posted, each player at the table will receive two face down cards. The cards are dealt out one at a time, and start with the small blind and progress clockwise around the table until each player has two cards. After everyone has their two cards the first betting round begins.

First Betting Round

Now that everyone has cards the first betting round will begin. The player to the left of the big blind is the first to act, and can either call, fold, or raise. A call would require that player putting an amount of money into the pot equal to the big blind. A raise would require that player putting an amount of money into the pot equal to at least 2x the big blind.

After the first player acts, betting continues around the table clockwise. Each player can either call the previous bet, fold, or raise the previous bet. Whenever someone raises they have to make it at least 2x the size of the previous raise. For example, if a player made a $6 raise, the next raise would have to be to at least $12. The big blind is in a unique position, because if the pot is never raised he/she has the option to check meaning that he/she wouldn't put any money in the pot, and the betting round would end.

The first betting round ends once every player has folded or called the highest bet. After that, you deal out the flop.

The Flop

After the first betting round, you'll deal out the first round of community cards, called the Flop. The dealer should first 'burn' the top card, meaning that he/she would place that top card to the side face down.

Texas No Limit Hold Em Rules

Then, deal out the next three cards face up in the middle of the table. These three cards are community cards, and can be used by any player in combination with his/her hole cards to make the best possible five card poker hand.

After the flop is dealt out, there is another betting round. This round begins with the small blind, and progresses around the table clockwise. Each player has the option to bet (if no one has bet), check (if no one has bet yet), raise (if there has been a previous bet), or fold (if there has been a previous bet).

The betting round ends when every player has folded or called the largest bet.

The Turn

After the flop betting is completed, the dealer will burn another card, then place the next card face up in the middle of the table. This will make a total of four community cards that can be used by each player to make the best possible poker hand. Now there's another betting round that is exactly the same as the flop betting round: starting with the small blind (or the first person to the left of the dealer who is still in the hand), move clockwise around the table.

The River

After the betting on the turn is over the dealer will burn one card, then place a final card face up in the middle of the table. Now there are a total of five community cards that each player can use. Once again, there is a betting round starting with the player directly to the left of the dealer. If more than one player stays in for this betting round, there is a showdown to determine who wins the pot.

The Showdown

If more than one player goes to the end of the hand, each player flips over their cards to determine who wins the pot. Normal poker hand rankings are used to determine the winner. Here's a chart showing the poker hand rankings:

Hand Rank:Hand:Example Hand:
#1Straight FlushT-J-Q-K-A of the same suit
#2Four of a KindA-A-A-A-K
#3Full HouseK-K-K-Q-Q
#4Flush2-6-8-9-A of the same suit
#5Straight5-6-7-8-9 Off Suit
#6Three of a KindJ-J-J-4-8
#7Two PairJ-J-K-K-A
#8One PairA-A-8-7-4
#9High CardA-K-5-4-3

In the event of a tie, the winner is determined by how high his/her hand is. For example, if two players have straights, the higher straight will win the hand.

Betting Structures

Like I mentioned before, Texas Hold'em is usually played in either No Limit, Fixed Limit, or Pot Limit forms. No Limit means that you can bet any amount you want at any time, as long as the bet is at least the size of the big bet for the table, or at least twice the size of any previous raise. Pot Limit is exactly the same, except the maximum bet you can make at any time is equal to the current size of the pot.

Fixed Limit means that the betting structure is fixed, and there are small bets and big bets. The small bet is the size of the table's big blind, and the big bet is twice the size of the table's big blind. If you play at a $1/$2 Fixed Limit table, the big bet would be $2, the small bet would be $1, the big blind would be $1, and the small blind would be $0.50.

Before the flop and on the flop, players can only bet increments of the small bet. So, for example, if you were at the $1/$2 table, you could only make preflop raises in $1 increments, and flop bets/raises in $1 increments. However, on the turn and river you use the big bet. So in this case you could bet in increments of $2 on the turn and the river.

Variations of Texas Hold'em

Here are some common variations of the Texas Hold'em game:

Royal Hold'em

Royal Hold'em is played exactly the same as normal Texas Hold'em, but the deck only contains 10's, Jacks, Queens, Kings, and Aces.

Pineapple

Pineapple is the same as Texas Hold'em, but each player gets three hole cards at the start of the hand, and has to discard one of them later in the hand.

Double Board Hold'em

All players get the same number of hole cards, but there are two sets of community cards. The winner is chosen for each board with each winner getting half the pot, or if one hand is best for both boards that player can get the whole pot.

Manila

Players get two cards from a smaller deck, which contains no cards lower than a seven. A five card board is dealt one card at a time, with a betting round happening after each card is dealt.

Texas Hold'em Tournaments

Texas Hold'em is the most common poker game played in tournaments, such as the World Series of Poker. In a tournament, chips are used in place of money as a player's bet. All players pay a fixed buy-in and start with the same number of chips. The game continues until one player ends up with all the chips in play. The majority of players in a tournament usually get little or no money, but the top finishers receive many times their buy-in.

In these tournaments, blinds and antes will increase on a regular basis and can become much bigger towards the end of the tournament. Play in tournaments is usually much more aggressive, because of the ever increasing blinds. Mathematics and strategy play an important part in whether a player wins or loses in the long run. Learn more about No Limit Hold'em Tournament Strategy.

Where to Play Texas Hold'em

Once you learn the basics, now its time to try out your luck online. Our top rated Hold'em site is Full Tilt Poker, so read more to see if they are the site for you. Or, check out all of the online Texas Hold'em Sites.

Other Poker Games:

Table Of Contents

If you want to learn how to play Texas hold'em games, then you need to start from the basic rules and hands. That's exactly what you'll find on this beginner's guide to the game.

Texas hold'em is a simple poker game, but it can be daunting to get to grips with.

But don't let that put you off. By the time you are down with this beginner's guide to Texas hold'em, you will know:

1. What Is Texas Hold'em Poker?

Texas Hold'em is the most popular of all poker variations.

All of the marquee tournaments around the world (including those played at the World Series of Poker, the World Poker Tour, the and the European Poker Tour) feature the no-limit variation of this game.

Texas hold'em is so popular that is the only poker game many players will ever learn.

It takes a moment to learn, but a lifetime to master.

Discovering how to play Texas hold'em poker is not difficult and the simplicity of its rules, gameplay, and hand-ranking all contribute to the popularity of the game.

However, don't let the simplicity of the game mislead you.

The number of possible situations and combinations is so vast that Texas hold'em can be an extremely complex game when you play at the highest levels.

If you are approaching the game of Texas hold'em for the first time, starting from the basic rules of the game is key. Not only these are the easiest ones to learn, but they are also essential to understand the gameplay and, later on, the game's basic strategy.

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2. Texas Hold'em Rules

So how do you play Texas hold'em?

The goal of a Texas hold'em game is to use your hole card and in combination with the community cards to make the best possible five-card poker hand.

Hold'em is not unlike other poker games like five-card draw.

However, the way players construct their hands in Texas hold'em is a little different than in draw poker.

Cabaret club app. It's always possible a player can 'bluff' and get others to fold better hands.

  • In a game of Texas hold'em, each player is dealt two cards face down (the 'hole cards')
  • Throughout several betting rounds, five more cards are (eventually) dealt face up in the middle of the table
  • These face-up cards are called the 'community cards.' Each player is free to use the community cards in combination with their hole cards to build a five-card poker hand.

While we will see each betting round and different phase that forms a full hand of a Texas hold'em game, you should know that the five community cards are dealt in three stages:

  • The Flop: the first three community cards.
  • The Turn: the fourth community card.
  • The River:The fifth and final community card.

Your mission is to construct your five-card poker hands using the best available five cards out of the seven total cards (the two hole cards and the five community cards).

You can do that by using both your hole cards in combination with three community cards, one hole card in combination with four community cards, or no hole cards.

If the cards on the table lead to a better combination, you can also play all five community cards and forget about yours.

In a game of Texas hold'em you can do whatever works to make the best five-card hand.

If the betting causes all but one player to fold, the lone remaining player wins the pot without having to show any cards.

For that reason, players don't always have to hold the best hand to win the pot. It's always possible a player can 'bluff' and get others to fold better hands.

READ ALSO: Common Poker Tells: How to Read People in Poker

If two or more players make it all of the way to the showdown after the last community card is dealt and all betting is complete, the only way to win the pot is to have the highest-ranking five-card poker hand.

Now that you know the basics of Texas hold'em and you start to begin gaining an understanding of how the game works, it's time to get into some specifics.

These include how to deal Texas hold'em and how the betting works.

Basic Rules Key Takeaways:

  • A game of Texas hold'em feature several betting rounds
  • Players get two private and up to five community cards
  • Unless all players abandon the game before the showdown, you need the highest poker hand to win

How to Play

Let's have a look at all the different key aspects of a Texas hold'em game, including the different positions at the table and the betting rounds featured in the game.

The Button

The play moves clockwise around the table, starting with action to the left of the dealer button.

The 'button' is a round disc that sits in front of a player and is rotated one seat to the left every hand.

No Limit Texas Hold'em Heads Up Rules

When playing in casinos and poker rooms, the player with the dealer button doesn't deal the cards (the poker room hires someone to do that).

In when you play poker home games with friends the player with the button usually deals the hands.

The button determines which player at the table is the acting dealer.

The first two players sitting to the immediate left of the button are required to post a 'small blind' and a 'big blind' to initiate the betting.

From there, the action occurs on multiple streets:

  • Preflop
  • Flop
  • Turn
  • River

Texas No Limit Hold'em Strategy

Each one of these moments (or 'streets' in the game's lingo) is explained further below.

The button determines which player at the table is the acting dealer.

In Texas hold'em, the player on button, or last active player closest to the button receives the last action on all post-flop streets of play.

While the dealer button dictates which players have to post the small and big blinds, it also determines where the dealing of the cards begin.

The player to the immediate left of the dealer button in the small blind receives the first card and then the dealer pitches cards around the table in a clockwise motion from player to player until each has received two starting cards.

READ ALSO: Poker Positions Explained: the Importance of Position in Poker

The Blinds

Before every new hand begins, two players at the table are obligated to post small and big blinds.

The blinds are forced bets that begin the wagering.

Without these blinds, the game would be very boring because no one would be required to put any money into the pot and players could just wait around until they are dealt pocket aces (AA) and only play then.

The blinds ensure there will be some level of 'action' on every hand.

In tournaments, the blinds are raised at regular intervals. In cash games, the blinds always stay the same.

In tournaments, the blinds are raised at regular intervals.

Free Poker Texas Hold Em No Limit

  • As the number of players keeps decreasing and the stacks of the remaining players keep getting bigger, it is a necessity that the blinds keep increasing throughout a tournament. [*]In cash games, the blinds always stay the same.

The player directly to the left of the button posts the small blind, and the player to his or her direct left posts the big blind.

The small blind is generally half the amount of the big blind, although this stipulation varies from room to room and can also be dependent on the game being played.

In a '$1/$2' Texas holdem game, the small blind is $1 and the big blind is $2.

First Betting Round: Preflop

The first round of betting takes place right after each player has been dealt two hole cards.

The first player to act is the player to the left of the big blind.

Texas Holdem Pogo No Limit

This position referred to as 'under the gun' because the player has to act first. The first player has three options:

  • Call: match the amount of the big blind
  • Raise: increase the bet within the specific limits of the game
  • Fold: throw the hand away

If the player chooses to fold, he or she is out of the game and no longer eligible to win the current hand.

Players can bet anywhere from the amount of the big blind (the minimum bet allowed) up to the total amount in the current pot.

The amount a player can raise to depends on the game that is being played.

In a game of no-limit Texas hold'em, the minimum opening raise must be at least twice the big blind, and the maximum raise can be all of the chips a player has in his or her stack (an 'all-in' bet).

There are other betting variations in hold'em poker.

In fixed-limit hold'em (or just 'limit hold'em), a raise is always exactly twice the big blind.

In pot-limit hold'em (played much less often than the other variations), players can bet anywhere from the amount of the big blind (the minimum bet allowed) up to the total amount in the current pot.

After the first player ('under the gun') acts, the play proceeds in a clockwise fashion around the table with each player also having the same three options — to call, to raise, or fold.

Once the last bet is called and the action is 'closed,' the preflop round is over and play moves on to the 'flop.'

Second Betting Round: The Flop

After the first preflop betting round has been completed, the first three community cards are dealt and a second betting round follows involving only the players who have not folded already.

A check simply means to pass the action to the next player in the hand.

In this betting round (and subsequent ones), the action starts with the first active player to the left of the button.

Along with the options to bet, call, fold, or raise, a player now has the option to 'check' if no betting action has occurred beforehand.

A check simply means to pass the action to the next player in the hand.

Again betting continues until the last bet or raise has been called (which closes the action).

It also can happen that every player simply chooses not to be and checks around the table, which also ends the betting round.

Third Betting Round: The Turn

Call – match the amount of the big blind

The fourth community card, called the turn, is dealt face-up following all betting action on the flop.

Once this has been completed, another round of betting occurs, similar to that on the previous street of play.

Again players have the option to options to check, bet, call, fold, or raise.

Final Betting Round: The River

Fold – throw the hand away

The fifth community card, called the river, is dealt face-up following all betting action on the turn.

Once this has been completed, another round of betting occurs, similar to what took play on the previous street of play.

Once more the remaining players have the option to options to check, bet, call, fold, or raise.

After all betting action has been completed, the remaining players in the hand with hole cards now expose their holdings to determine a winner. This is called the showdown.

The Showdown

Players construct their hands by choosing the five best cards from the seven available

The remaining players show their hole cards, and with the assistance of the dealer, a winning hand is determined.

The player with the best combination of five cards wins the pot according to the official poker hand rankings.

3. The Hands in Texas Hold'em

These hand rankings aren't specifically part of Texas hold'em rules, but apply to many different poker games.

  • Royal Flush — five cards of the same suit, ranked ace through ten; e.g., AKQJ10
  • Straight Flush — five cards of the same suit and consecutively ranked; e.g., 98765
  • Four of a Kind — four cards of the same rank; e.g., QQQQ4
  • Full House — three cards of the same rank and two more cards of the same rank; e.g., JJJ88
  • Flush — any five cards of the same suit; e.g., AJ852
  • Straight — any five cards consecutively ranked; e.g., QJ1098
  • Three of a Kind — three cards of the same rank; e.g., 888K4
  • Two Pair — two cards of the same rank and two more cards of the same rank; e.g., AAJJ7
  • One Pair — two cards of the same rank; e.g., 1010942
  • High Card — five unmatched cards; e.g., AJ1052 would be called 'ace-high'

Players construct their hands by choosing the five best cards from the seven available (their two hole cards and the five community cards).

If the board is showing 95K3A, a player with the two hole cards 9 would have two pair (aces and nines) and would lose to a player who has 99 for three of a kind (three nines).

Learning hold'em poker begins with understanding how hands are dealt and the order of play as described above.

Of course, learning Texas hold'em rules is just the beginning, as the next step is to learn strategy which involves understanding what constitutes good starting hand selection, the odds and probabilities associated with the game, the significance of position and getting to act last during those post-flop betting rounds, and many other aspects of the game.

4. How to Play Texas Hold'em Games Online

Now that you know how Texas Hold'em works, it's time to put the theory into practice and play your first games.

The best way to start playing Texas Hold'em is to start from these free poker games available online and then move up to the real money action only when you feel comfortable enough to do so.

All the 'must-have poker rooms' below offer free games to practice online.

If you are completely new to the game, you should go for play money options, first. These risk-free games with fake money are an excellent way to familiarise with the different moments of play and the betting rounds.

The play money games are a great way to learn more about the hand rankings and begin to read the board fast enough to take all the right decisions at the right time.

After that, you should more to the poker freerolls. These are free poker tournaments with actual prizes on tap that range from free money to free entries into more expensive real money games.

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