Basic Holdem Rules



  1. Texas Holdem Rules Betting
  2. Texas Holdem Basic Rules
  3. Texas Holdem Rules For Dummies
  4. Texas Holdem Rules Blinds

Casino Hold‘Em is a casino game based on the immensely popular Texas Hold‘Em poker game and it is different from it in that it is played against the house and not by competing with the other players in a direct battle against them, which gives the player bigger chances of winning. The game was created in the year 2000, and now appears across many land-based and online casinos.

There are numerous poker variations in existence today so it is a bit hard to say what the basic poker rules are. Most games use the standard poker hand rankings: from high card as the lowest possible hand to the royal flush as the best hand one can have. For more information about poker hand rankings visit this page. Hold’em has evolved as the most popular game worldwide and is the form we shall use to cover the basic rules of poker. In this lesson we’ll take you step by step through the basic rules of poker and we’ll use an example hand to illustrate. 4 Very Basic Texas Holdem Strategies. Now that you've got the basic Texas Holdem rules down, it's time to start thinking about strategy. As you become a better player, you can vary your play and develop an individual style, depending on what works best for you. Texas Holdem is the most popular poker played online, in casinos and around the world in people’s homes. If you’re new to poker then this is the game you want to learn first. Read these basic texas holdem rules and you’ll be playing confidently in no time.

The game first appeared in Great Britain in 2002 at the International Casino Exhibition and five years later it got licensed across the entire country. The game quickly gained popularity and today it is played in casinos on all continents. This text will inform you about the rules of Casino Hold‘Em, what are the basics of the game, and at the end we will give you a basic strategy that you can use if you are a beginner in this game.

Casino Hold’Em Rules

Casino Hold‘Em follows the rules of poker and Texas Hold‘Em poker in general, with some minor differences. These are the rules of the game:

  • Each player needs to make an Ante bet before the cards are dealt.
  • The dealer places three community cards on the Casino Hold‘Em table that are faced up, and can be used by all the players to form their hands. The players and the dealer on the other hand, receive two hole cards that can be combined with the community cards in order to form a playing hand.
  • When the round has started, the players can fold or call, just like in standard poker games, a decision that they make based on their hand. If the player believes he has a strong playing hand, he ‘calls’ the bet and wagers the same amount but no more than two times the Ante bet, but if he is hesitant he can ‘fold’ and cease risking additional money.
  • After that, the dealer will place additional community cards, two in total, and will display his cards.
  • The hands will be valued according to the Casino Hold‘Em ranks, and are measured according to the two cards in each player’s hand and the community cards.
  • A significant detail in Casino Hold‘Em is that the dealer has to qualify in order to proceed. He needs at least a pair of 4s or higher. When the dealer hasn’t succeeded in qualifying, the call bet is pushed and the Ante is paid out according to the paytable.
  • When the dealer has qualified, while the player has lost, the player loses both bets, the call bet and the Ante bet.
  • If the player manages to beat the dealer, but the dealer has qualified anyway, the Ante is paid according to the paytable.
  • If it’s a tie, both bets are pushed.
  • Casino Hold‘Em is played with a standard deck of cards consisted of 52 cards.

The Basics of Casino Hold‘Em

Objective of the Game

The objective is simple enough, all the players have to beat the dealer’s hand. This is achieved by collecting the best five cards that can be used to form the highest ranking hand possible. Although the game is played with only one deck of cards, 52 cards in total, the deck is shuffled and replaced with another after every round.

Casino Hold‘Em Hand Rankings

This game follows the same hand rankings as in standard poker. The strongest hand is the Royal Flush, followed by Straight Flush and so on all the way to the lowest hand which is a Pair. In general, the house edge in Casino Hold‘Em is something little over 2%. The highest card is as always the Ace followed by the King and the other face cards, all the way down to the lowest, which is 2.

Payouts

The lowest payout you can get is 1 to 1, also called even money or the same amount that you have wagered. The highest payout is 100 to 1 given for a Royal Flush hand. Straight Flush is the second best hand and pays much less, only 20 to 1. However, that is why the AA side bet is here. If you have made a successful AA side bet, the payout for Straight Flush increases to 50 to 1. Four of a Kind is paid 10 to 1, or 40 to 1 with an AA side bet. Full House pays 3 to 1, and ten times more with the side bet, totaling to 30 to 1. If you have a Flush, you will get 2 to 1, or 7 to 1 with the side bet.

Bet Limits

If you want to play Casino Hold‘Em we would advise you to do it online because of the more favorable betting limits. For example, at Playtech casinos you can make Casino Hold‘Em wagers as low as $1 and in chip denominations all the way down to $0.01. In general, you can use chips of $0.05, $1, $5, $10, $25 and $100. At most cases, the maximum bet in Casino Hold‘Em at online casinos will be $100. If you have decided to play online Casino Hold‘Em, look for casinos that have live dealer Casino Hold‘Em games too in order to complete the true gambling feel.

AA Side Bet

Casino Hold‘Em allows an additional AA side bet, which can bring you bonus given as extra profit on your Ante if the three community cards that you will combine with your two cards contain two Aces. This side bet is placed at the same time with the Ante bet and if your hand is successful, all the payouts increase, hence bonus money. The AA bet pays out if the first 5 cards are dealt along with two Aces.

A Simple Strategy to Use

Once you begin playing the game and get enough familiar with it, you will probably devise your own playing style or strategy. However, there is no hundred percent successful strategy for playing poker, because the outcome always will depend on the cards dealt, so the best is to use optimal situational strategies that are based on your hand at the moment. We can give you some simple tips of when to call, or when to fold, and these tips are generally supplied by Casino Hold‘Em players based on their experience from playing the game. So, you shouldn’t fold if you have a Straight Flush or any flush that is open-ended or gut-shot. (A little clarification: open-ended hand is when you have 4 cards in a row you need a high or low card to make a straight, while a gut-shot hand is when you already have four cards for a Straight and you need the middle card). Also, you should never fold if you have a pair of high Ace or high King.

You can consider folding, but it is recommended not to fold if you have a high Queen or a gut-shot Straight draw. However, gut-shot Straight Draws are less likely to succeed compared to open-ended. If you have a high Jack or better and if there is a pair on the table you should fold very rarely, but you should always fold in the same situation if you have high Ten or lower, unless you are in a gut-shot situation. The situations in which you should always fold and thus avoid losing, are cases in which you have very low cards and cannot match them with the community cards.

You should always raise if your two cards dealt by the dealer are higher in value compared to the 3 community cards on the table.

Summary

Casino Hold‘Em is probably the most popular variation of Texas Hold‘Em. Both games can be learned easily and can be fun, just pick if you want to play against other players or just against the dealer. Casino Hold‘Em is probably best for more inexperienced players that don’t have the skill or the guts to go head to head against other poker players, because here the only opponent you have is the house. That fact alone makes a Casino Hold‘Em a game in which you are more likely to win.

Useful Casino Hold‘Em Glossary

Texas Holdem Rules Betting

All-In: this is a very common poker term used in every poker variation. This is when a player puts all chips into play.

Ante: in poker there is a pot, which is formed with opening bets and the player that wins in the end takes all the money from the pot. Ante bets are placed before the dealing of the cards, and are made separately from your playing bet that you make when you have your hand in front of you.

Board: this term is used in Hold‘Em poker games to refer to the community cards on the table.

Rake: poker rooms usually impose Rakes, which are specified amounts that you need to give in return for something. The rake is usually a percentage of each pot or a specific amount and is considered as a commission charged by the poker room.

Dead Money: when a player has folded but has already placed a bet, and that bet is considered as dead money.

Basic

Visit our Casino Hold’em Glossary section for more terms and phrases.

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Texas Holdem Basic Rules

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Texas Holdem Rules For Dummies

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There are many different forms of poker including seven card stud, Omaha, five-card draw, and Texas hold’em to name a few. Hold’em has evolved as the most popular game worldwide and is the form we shall use to cover the basic rules of poker.

In this lesson we’ll take you step by step through the basic rules of poker and we’ll use an example hand to illustrate. You can read the text that follows or alternatively you can watch the video version instead. Watching the video is probably the better option because it’s easier to follow the betting action, but the choice is yours.

Basic Holdem Rules

The Setup

The game of hold’em is typically played with nine or ten players at the table.

Figure 1

In our example we have ten players. The dealer button is on player 1, the blinds have been posted, and each player has received their hole cards. If this doesn’t make sense to you, then don’t worry we’ll explain exactly what this all means.

The Dealer Button

The dealer button is the round disc labelled with “Dealer” or “D”, and it signifies who is the dealer for the hand. Please be aware that each player gets to ‘act’ as the dealer, even if they don’t physically deal the cards. After each hand the dealer button moves to the next player, in a clockwise manner. In figure 1, the dealer button is with player 1, but for the next hand it’ll be with player 2, and then player 3, and so on.

The dealer position is also called “the button” and is the most favourable position in the game as that player gets to act last after he has seen everyone else make their decisions. The exception to this rule occurs on the very first round of betting wherein the “blinds” will act after the button.

Blind Bets

Before any cards are dealt the two players to the left of the dealer button are required to post what are referred to as the blinds. These are forced and compulsory bets that encourage the action and give players something to shoot for. Typically there is a small blind directly to the left of the button, who posts half the size of the big blind’s obligation. The amount of the blinds is determined by the stakes of the game.

Figure 2

In our example we’re using blinds of $1 and $2. In case it’s not obvious, they are called blind bets because the two players are required to post them before they see their cards.

The Deal

Once the blinds have been posted each player is dealt two facedown cards, which are often referred to as their hole cards. The best two hole cards a player can be dealt in hold’em are two Aces’, but we’ll discuss the importance of starting hand selection in later lessons. All you need to know for now is that after the blinds have been posted and the hole cards have been dealt, the betting action can begin.

Rules

Pre-Flop

This first betting round is called the pre-flop betting round. The first player to act is the player directly to the left of the big blind (in our example this would be player 4) and he has three options; to call the amount of the big blind, which in our example would be $2, to raise, or to fold. If a player decides to fold then they muck (discard/throw away) their cards facedown and sit out until the next hand is dealt. The action then follows around the table in a clockwise direction until each player has been afforded the opportunity to call, raise or fold.

The whole betting procedure of poker can be a little confusing for beginners. In our example hand you can see that players 2 and 3 have posted the blinds. If all the players to the left of player 3 decide to call the $2 bet then the action is on the small blind, player 2, who has so far only posted a small blind of $1. He now has the option to call $1 more to make up the bet, or he can raise. If he calls the extra $1, then the big blind is left with the final option. Since the blind bets are made before the cards are dealt, they are considered “live” which means that even if all the other players just call the big blind he then still has the option to raise, if he wishes. If the big blind doesn’t want to raise then the betting round is over and we can move onto the flop, which we’ll explain in a moment.

What if a player decides to raise? If a player decides to raise the big blind bet of $2, then all the remaining players must either call the new bet, re-raise, or fold.

Figure 3

In our example player 6 raised the betting to $4, player 7 folded and is now out of the hand. Player 8 called, but players 9, 10, and 1 all folded and are also out of this hand. Players 2, 3, 4, and 5, all called player 6’s raise. Once all bets have been equalized (i.e. matched), then the betting round is over. In our example, six players are now left in and the pot contains $24 ($4 x 6). This brings us onto the next betting round, called the flop.

Do you have other poker questions? We fully recommend reading the book Unfolding Poker and getting usable answers that you can put to use in your NEXT session.

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The Flop

After the first round of betting is complete three community cards are dealt face up in the middle of the table. All the active players can use these three cards, along with their two hole cards, to make their best possible hand. These three cards are known as “the flop”. Here’s the flop before any further betting has taken place:

Figure 4

You will notice that all the bets from previous round (pre-flop) are now in the pot. After the flop has been dealt, another betting round begins. The first active player to the left of the dealer button starts the action. In our example this is the small blind from the opening round, player 2. The forced action created by the blind bets no longer exists and that player has two options; to check or bet. A check means to neither open the betting nor fold. When a player checks the action moves onto the next active player, who may also check. If a player wants to check they either verbally announce “check”, or they tap the table with their finger or hand (or click the mouse if playing online poker).

If a player decides to open the betting, the option to check is over, and a player must either call, raise, or fold – this includes any players who have previously checked. Once all bets for this betting round have been matched or every player has opted to check, then we move onto the next betting round. For our example hand, let’s suppose that after the flop was dealt, players 2, 3, 4, and 5, all checked. But player 6 then bet $2, which was called by player 8. Players 2, 3, and 4 all fold, but player 5 calls the $2. These three players get to see “the turn”.

The Turn

After the second round of betting (the flop) a fourth card is dealt and that card is called “the turn” – it’s also sometimes referred to as 4th street. In our example hand we have three players remaining:

Figure 5

You will also notice that the pot now contains $30, which is made up of $24 from the first betting round, and $6 from the betting on the flop. After the forth community card (the turn) has been dealt, another round of betting takes place, exactly the same format as the previous betting round, starting with the first active player to the left of the dealer button. In our example, this would be player 5. He may check or bet. Let’s suppose that player 5 checks, as do players 6 and 8. If all the players check, the round is over, and we move onto “the river”.

Texas Holdem Rules Blinds

The River

After the third round of betting is complete the fifth and final board card is dealt and that card is called “the river” – it’s also sometimes referred to as 5th street.

Figure 6

In our example hand, there is $30 in the pot and player 5 bets $4. He’s raised by player 6 (who makes it $8 total). Let’s suppose that player 8 folds, and player 5 decides to call the extra $4. When the final betting round ends with two or more active players (as our example has done), then we get to what is called a “showdown”.

The Showdown

After the final betting round is completed, it’s time to see who has won the hand, and the money in the pot. Now that all of the cards have been dealt, each player can combine his two hole cards with any of the five cards on the board to create his best five card poker hand. The winning hand must been seen, which means players can now reveal their two hole cards. The player that was called (player 6) is required to show first. Figure 7 shows an example showdown after both players have shown their hole cards:

Figure 7

Which hand wins? Player 5 has a straight (9, T, J, Q, K), and player 6 has a higher straight (T, J, Q, K, A) but his best hand is a flush (A, K, Q, T, 5 of hearts). If you studied the poker hand rankings lesson then you will be aware that a flush always beats a straight. Therefore player 6 wins this hand, and as you can see in figure 6, after the final betting on the river, the pot now contains $46. Player 6 wins the pot of $46, and a new hand can begin.

Some Important Points…

In our above example it was mentioned on more than one occasion that not all hands will reach the point of a showdown. It’s important that you realize that a hand of poker can be over even before the players get to see the flop. Our example hand made it to a showdown, but if a player had made a bet which wasn’t called during any of the betting rounds, then this player would’ve won, uncontested. Think of it like a boxing fight, where a fighter could land a knockout blow in the first round, or both boxers could still be standing after 12 rounds, in which case it’d be decided on points.

It’s also worth noting that if you do get to a showdown scenario then you are not obligated to even use your two hole cards. If the best five card hand you can make is comprised of the five community cards, you are said to be playing the board. For example, if the five community cards (flop, turn, and river) made up a Royal flush, the best possible hand in poker, then all the remaining active players would share the pot, regardless of their hole cards. Even though each player has seven cards in total, only five of them count – your best five.

Once you have the basic rules of poker understood, it’s time to start building a powerful strategy. See how our friends at Red Chip Poker built the perfect course to give you the perfect playbook…

Of course there are many other rules and important concepts you need to understand, but hopefully you’ve learnt a lot from this lesson. The game of Texas hold’em is a deceptively simple game, but as you move through the myriad of poker lessons here on Pokerlogy you will experience an astounding wealth of information and strategy.

Basic Holdem RulesTexas holdem rules for dummies

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By Tim Ryerson

Tim is from London, England and has been playing poker since the late 1990’s. He is the ‘Editor-in-Chief’ at Pokerology.com and is responsible for all the content on the website.

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