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how to play > poker games > texas holdem


Texas Hold'em Short Description

Texas Hold'em, a version of Poker for between 2-10 players, is today among the most popular variations of Poker. The game has gained popularity, both in the US and abroad, due to its fast paced play and simple game rules. A hand of Texas Hold'em consists of up to four Betting Rounds. After the placing of the Blind Bets (see The Blind Bets below), each player receives two private, facedown "Pocket Cards". Throughout the hand, five face-up "Community Boardcards" are placed in the center of the table, to be shared by all the players.

After the fourth and final Betting Round is complete, there is a "Showdown". The player who creates the highest ranking (valued), five card, Poker hand, using any combination of their two Pocket Cards and the five Community Boardcards, wins the Pot.

Click here to see the rules of No Limit and Pot Limit Texas Hold'em games and tournaments.


Texas Hold'em Step-by-Step,

Step 1: The Blind Bets

The first player "Sitting-in", in a clockwise fashion to the left of the Dealer, places the "Small Blind" Bet (half the table's Lower Limit Stake - on tables with Stakes higher than $1 the Small Blind is rounded down to the nearest dollar) (see Betting Rounds & Limits below);

The second player Sitting-in, in a clockwise fashion to the left of the Dealer, places the "Big Blind" Bet (equal to the table's Lower Limit Stake).

Step 2: The Pocket Cards - The First Deal

The Dealer distributes two facedown "Pocket Cards" to each player. The cards are dealt in a clockwise fashion, one at a time, starting with the player to the left of the "Dealer button".

Step 3: The First Betting Round

Betting Limit: Lower Limit Stake The first player to the left of the Big Blind initiates the first Betting Round. The Betting Round then proceeds, in a clockwise fashion, around the table, with each player acting in turn. In this Betting Round, each player is required to at least "Call" the Big Blind, in order to remain in the game. The Betting in this Round is set at the table's Lower Limit Stake.

Step 4: "The Flop" - The Second Deal

The Dealer places the first three "Community Boardcards", face-up, in the center of the table. These cards are shared by all the players at the table.


Step 5: The Second Betting Round

Betting Limit: Lower Limit Stake

The first "active" (has not Folded) player to the left of the Dealer initiates the second Betting Round. The Betting Round then proceeds, in a clockwise fashion, around the table, with each active player acting in turn.

Step 6: "The Turn" - The Third Deal

The Dealer places a fourth Community Boardcard, face-up, in the center of the table.

Step 7: The Third Betting Round
Betting Limit: Higher Limit Stake

The first active player to the left of the Dealer initiates the third Betting Round. The Betting Round then proceeds, in a clockwise fashion, around the table, with each active player acting in turn. The Betting in this Round is set at the table's Higher Limit Stake.

Step 8: "The River" - The Fourth & Final Deal

The Dealer places a fifth Community Boardcard, face-up, in the center of the Table.

Step 9: The Fourth and Final Betting Round

Betting Limit: Higher Limit Stake The first active player to the left of the Dealer initiates the fourth Betting Round. The Betting Round then proceeds, in a clockwise fashion, around the table, with each active player acting in turn. The Betting in this Round is set at the table's Higher Limit Stake.

Step 10: The Showdown

Once the fourth Betting Round has been completed, there is a "Showdown" (if more than one player remains active - see The Showdown below). In the Showdown, each active player combines any combination of their two Pocket Cards, and the five Community Boardcards, to create the highest ranking (valued), five card, Poker hand possible (see the Hand Ranking Chart section of this site).

The active player who creates the highest ranking Poker hand wins the Pot, minus the "Rake" (see the Limits, Antes & Rake in the how to play section of this site). "All-in" Policy applies to all game Pots (see All-in Policy in the House Rules section of this site).


Texas Hold'em Detailed Description


1. The Buy-in

Before joining a Delaware Park Poker Texas Hold'em table, players must purchase a minimum amount of Chips to play with ("Buy-in"). The minimum buy-in amount may vary on different tables.

2. Posting

Before "Sitting-in" (participating) at a Delaware Park Texas Hold'em table, players must also pay an initial fee ("Post"), equal to that table's Lower Limit Stake.

The Post follows the same rules as the Blind Bets (see The Blind Bets below).

After Posting, the player then takes their seat at the Texas Hold'em table.

Players have the option of "Sitting Out" (not participating), and waiting for the Big Blind before beginning to play. Posting ensure fairness to all players, by preventing players from entering a Poker game in a "Late Position", in order to avoid placing Blind Bets.

3. The Blind Bets

In Delaware Park Poker's Texas Hold'em, "Antes" do not "seed" the Pot. Instead, the Pot is formed, initially, through the use of "mandatory" Bets, known as "Blind Bets".

Before the initial deal of the cards, the Blind Bets are placed:

The first Blind Bet, known as the "Small Blind", is placed by the first player Sitting-in, to the left of the Dealer, in a clockwise fashion. The amount of the Small Blind Bet is half of that table's Lower Limit Stake (on tables with Lower Limits Stakes greater than $1, the Small Blind is rounded down to the nearest dollar);

The second Blind Bet, known as the "Big Blind", is placed by the second player Sitting-in, to the left of the Dealer, in a clockwise fashion. The amount of the Big Blind Bet is equal to that table's Lower Limit Stake.

Both the Big and Small Blinds, in Texas Hold'em Poker, are considered "Live" (active) Bets and therefore, according to Poker rules, can be Checked, Called, Raised or Folded.

Once the Blind Bets have been placed, the Sitting-in players are each dealt two, face down, Pocket Cards. The cards are dealt in a clockwise fashion, one at a time, starting with the player to the left of the Big Blind.

The first Betting Round is then initiated by the first player Sitting-in, in a clockwise fashion, to the left of the Big Blind.

4. The Betting Rounds & Limits

There are four possible Betting Rounds in Delaware Park Poker's Texas Hold'em. In each Betting Round, the amount that players Bet is determined by that specific table's Lower and Higher Limit Stakes (Betting amounts) (see the Limits, Antes & Rake in the how to play section of this site). A table's Lower Limit Stake is always half of the Higher Limit Stake (i.e. a $1/$2 table, or a $5/$10 table).

In the first two Betting Rounds, of a Texas Hold'em Poker hand, players Bet in multiples of that table's Lower Limit Stake;
In the final two Betting Rounds, of a Texas Hold'em Poker hand, players Bet in multiples of that table's Higher Limit Stake.

Delaware Park Poker's Texas Hold'em follows the conventional Poker Betting Round Structure. Betting Rounds always proceed in a clockwise fashion, from one active player to the next.

Each player must either:

1. Check - Pass the option to act to the next active player;

Or

2. Bet - Place a Betting Round's initial increase to the amount that each of the following players must place in the Pot, in order to remain in the hand;

3. Or Raise - Place a Betting Round's 2nd, 3rd or 4th increase to the amount that each of the following players must place in the Pot, in order to remain in the hand;

Or

4. Call - Equal the previous active player's Betting amount in that Betting Round and remain in the hand (in the first Betting Round each player must at least Call the amount of the Big Blind);

Or

5. Fold - Discard hand and no longer remain active to participate in the hand. The player forfeits the amount (if any) that they have previously wagered during that hand.

In keeping with conventional Poker rules, within each Betting Round there can be no more than one Bet and three additional Raises ("Raise", "Reraise" & "Cap"). Once a Cap occurs, the following players will only be able to Call or Fold.


A Betting Round is concluded when:

a. All active players have Checked in turn.

Or

b. All active players have Called the last player to Bet or Raise, in turn.

Or

c. All previous active players have chosen to Fold, leaving only one active player. This remaining player automatically wins the Pot; both the Betting Round and hand are automatically terminated.

After each of the subsequent three deals of the cards ("The Flop", "The Turn" and "The River "), in which the "Community Boardcards" are dealt, there is a Betting Round, which is initiated by the first active player (has not Folded), in a clockwise fashion, to the left of the Dealer.

5. The Showdown

Once the fourth Betting Round has been completed, if more than one player remains active in the hand, there is a "Showdown".

In the Showdown, each active player utilizes any of the following combinations of their two Pocket Cards and the five Community Boardcards, to create the highest ranking (valued), five card, Poker hand possible:

Both Pocket Cards & three Community Boardcards;

Or

One Pocket Card & four Community Boardcards;

Or

All five Community Boardcards (referred to as "Playing the Board").

Delaware Park Poker follows Standard Poker Rules for determining Poker hand rank (see the Hand Ranking Chart section of this site).
The active player who creates the highest ranking Poker hand wins the Pot, minus the Pot won by any players holding higher ranking "All-in" hands (see All-in Policy in the House Rules section of this site) and the "Rake" (see the Limits, Antes & Rake in the how to play section of this site).

The hand is then concluded; the Dealer Button moves to the next player Sitting-in, in a clockwise fashion, and a new Texas Hold'em hand is dealt.


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