Introduction to Texas Hold'em Poker

Texas Hold'em is a popular variant of poker played with a standard 52-card deck. The game combines elements of chance, strategy, and psychology. The objective of Texas Hold'em is to win the pot - the sum of the bets made by players in a hand.

The Basics of Texas Hold'em

Each item written about here will be an integral part of the game. While it is ultimately up to the player to choose their playing style, we hope this guide helps those truly wanting to learn both the basic functions of the game and basic strategies.

The Deck and the Hand

Texas Hold'em is played with a standard deck of 52 cards. Each player is dealt two private cards (known as 'hole cards') that belong to them alone.

Five community cards are dealt face-up on the 'board'. All players in the game use their hole cards in combination with the five community cards to each make their best possible five-card poker hand. The player with the best hand (or the last remaining player after all others have folded) wins the pot.

The Dealer, Small Blind, and Big Blind

In Texas Hold'em, a marker called 'the button' indicates who would be the dealer in a casino setting. The player to the left of the dealer posts the 'small blind', typically half the minimum bet. The next player then posts the 'big blind', typically the full minimum bet. This starts the pot.

Hand Rankings

Understanding poker hand rankings is crucial for playing Texas Hold'em. Here they are, from highest to lowest:

Game Play

Below is the basics of playing the game so many enjoy, Texas Hold'em.


After the blinds are posted, each player is dealt two private hole cards. The first round of betting begins with the player to the left of the big blind.

The Flop

Three community cards are dealt on the board (the 'flop'). Another round of betting ensues, starting with the player to the left of the dealer button.

The Turn

A fourth community card (the 'turn') is dealt. Another round of betting begins.

The River

The fifth and final community card (the 'river') is dealt, followed by the final round of betting.

The Showdown

If two or more players remain after the final round of betting, a showdown occurs. This is where you determine who wins the pot. Players reveal their hands, and the player with the highest-ranking hand takes the pot.

Basic Strategy Tips for Beginners

1. Play Tight: Be selective with the hands you play. This approach can be boring, but it pays off by keeping you out of trouble. If you are calling more than 40% of your hands and finding yourself always low on chips, possibly rethink this strategy.

2. Play Aggressively: When you decide to play a hand, commit to it. Bet and raise more often than you call. Deciding to limp through an entire hand is what could get you beat on the river.

3. Pay attention to your position on the table:
Your position is important, for instance, being 'on the button' gives you a significant advantage: it means you have more information at your disposal before you have to make a decision. You'll have seen how all the other players at the table have acted - whether they've bet, called, or raised.

This added information can greatly influence your decisions, providing a clearer picture of where you stand in the hand.

4. Observe Your Opponents: Pay attention to how your opponents play. Do they bet aggressively? Do they fold easily? This information can help you make decisions in future hands.

5. Know When to Fold: Don't be afraid to fold if you think your hand isn't strong enough. It's better to lose a small amount of chips by folding than to lose all your chips by staying in with a weak hand.

6. Don't Bluff Too Much: While bluffing is part of the game, don't rely on it as a winning strategy. Most of the time, it's better to play your cards honestly than to try to bluff your opponents out of the pot.

Basic Poker Terms

This list compiles common poker terms that may help as you progress with your game play.


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