Texas Hold’Em Poker is the most popular form of poker — and thousands of people want to know how to play Texas Hold’Em each week!
That’s why here at Unibet we’ve created this basics guide to Texas Hold’Em poker so you can learn the rules quickly and easily.
Check out our step-by-step guide below to understand the basic rules of the game, as well as how you can bet on Texas Hold’Em poker with Unibet.
Texas Hold’Em Poker rules
Watch out video above for the basic rules of Texas Hold’Em poker. If you prefer reading about the game, then this guide will take you through everything you need.
In Texas Hold’Em, you bet against other players competing on the same table. The aim of Texas Hold’Em poker is to win money or chips off other players by betting on the strength of your cards. As the game progresses, you will aim to make the best combination of cards you can, in order to win. But remember, this is also a game of bluffing and players can bluff their way to big wins by pretending they have strong hands. We will explain more about this later in the guide.
For this example, let’s say there are five players competing. The dealer will deal two cards to each player. These are unseen by other players and your cards alone. The first round of betting starts by ‘blind’ bets being placed. This is when the player left of the dealer must offer a small blind, and the player left of them a big blind. This provides some money into the pot, so there is at least something at stake.
A first round of betting takes place based on the two cards everyone has. You can either match a bet that has been placed (call), increase it (raise), or withdraw from the game (fold). Calling would mean equaling the amount of the highest bet at that point in the hand, which is the automatic bet of the big blind. A raise would be increasing the stakes, and a fold would be getting out of the hand.
The betting rounds ends when everyone who wants to play has matched each others’ bets. After this, three communal cards are taken from the deck and placed on the table. This is called the ‘flop’ and these three cards can be used by all players to combine with their two to make the strongest hand possible.
At this stage another round of betting occurs, where you must at least match another person’s bet to stay in the round, or raise it. If no one ventures a bet (check), then that is the end of the betting round.
A fourth card, called the ‘turn’ is then placed on the table and another betting round ensues. Then a fifth card, called the ‘river’ is placed on the table. This is the last card to be shown and each player now has seven cards — the two in their hand and five on the table — to make the best hand of five they can. Once the fifth and final round of betting has taken place, any players remaining reveal their cards and a winner is found.
Texas Hold’Em poker game simulation
Let’s take a look at how Texas Hold’Em poker unfolds in this simulation below. As an example, you are in a game of five players with 3000 chips each.
Take a seat
When you enter a poker game at Unibet you will be placed in a seat around the table. Depending on whether or not it is a live game with other players or a simulation game, you may be first to offer up a small or big blind.
The Dealer Button
Often labelled as ‘Dealer’ or ‘D’, it signifies who is the dealer of the hand. Each player will get to act as the dealer at some point. After each hand, the dealer button moves to the next player in a clockwise manner. The dealer position is a strong one as you can watch everyone else bet before deciding what to do. As a dealer in online poker you don’t actually do anything — the game play will deal the cards for you.
Before any cards are dealt, two players to the left of the dealer must offer the blinds. These are mandatory bets that encourage the betting from the beginning. The first person left of the dealer offers a small blind, with the person left of them paying the big blind. The amount of the blinds is determined by the stakes.
Example: The blind levels are 30 and 60, you sit in the big blind so you have to put in 60 chips.
Once the blinds have been made, each player will be dealt two cards facedown, referred to as the hole cards. The best two hole cards that a player can get at the start of a hand are two Aces.
Example: You get Ace - Jack (AJ) both of diamonds
The first betting round is called the pre-flop. The first player player to act here is whoever is left of the big blind. In this case, it is whoever is on your left. They must either call the blind bets, raise the stake or fold. Once they have acted, the next person in the clockwise rotation takes their turn. This continues until everyone who hasn’t folded places the same amount of chips in the game.
Example: There are already 90 chips on the table. The first player to act raises to 120 chips. Two players fold but the dealer and yourself call. The pot is now 360 plus that small blind (20) who folded, so a total of 380.
Three community cards are now placed on the table — known as the flop. These are available to all players remaining in the game. At this point, you can make a hand of five cards. But you know two more cards are coming, so you don’t know what could happen next! A second round of betting starts and only finishes when players wishing to continue have staked the same amount or checked. Some players may fold at this stage.
Example: The flop shows K (diamonds), Q (spades), 8 (diamonds). You are first to act and decide to check. The player who placed the initial raise bets 240. The dealer folds. It’s just you and one other person now. You decide to raise to 600 and the other player calls. The pot is now the initial 380 + 600 + 600 = 1580.
Following the second round of betting, a fourth card is dealt called the turn. And another round of betting commences.
Example: The turn shows a 7 of diamonds, which means your best possible hand is now a flush of five diamonds, with Ace the highest of those cards. You don’t know what the other player has, but you have a strong hand. You are first to act and decide to put in 900 more chips. The player behind you calls, the pot is now 1580 + 900 + 900 = 3380.
After the third round of betting is complete, the final card is dealt, known as the river. Now you have one last round of betting before showing each other your cards.
Example: The river is the 2 of spades. You go all-in with your remaining 1380 chips, the player calls. The total and final pot is 3380 + 1380 + 1380 = 6140 chips.
This is when two or more players are ready to show their hands. Whoever has the strongest hand of five — made up of your two hole cards and the five table cards — wins the pot of chips.
Example: You show your AJ diamonds, along with the three diamonds on the table, for a flush. Your opponent shows A clubs, Q hearts, which gives them a single pair as their best hand (Q, Q, A, 7, 2). This means you win and earn all the chips in the pot!
Of course, poker is not all about waiting until you have a strong hand to bet. The best poker players know when the bluff and when to bet. Betting big when you have weak cards is risky but it can intimidate opponents into folding. Equally, there’s always a chance of you hitting the big time on that last river card!
Learning the basic rules of Texas hold'Em is not hard, but mastering the game will take you some years, it is a lot of fun though, and you don't need to be a master before you can make some extra money with it!
If you need more tips make sure to read more of our poker guides.
Different types of poker game
Here at Unibet there are two types of poker games: cash games and tournaments. In cash games, you join a table and play directly for money. There will be an agreed minimum bet, so you can play on the table that suits you. You can also leave the table whenever you like.
In tournaments, you will play until you have lost all your chips or won the chips off all other players in the tournament. You and all other players pay an entry fee to the tournament and this becomes the prize pool. The prize pool is often divided over more players, the bigger the tournament, the more players get a prize in general.