How to Play Texas Hold’em Poker

Playing Texas Hold’em

  1. Understand the basic rules of Texas Hold’em. Each player is dealt 2 cards face down, and 5 community cards will be shown face up. Players try to make the best hand possible out of their 7 cards.
    • Each player takes a turn being the dealer. In Texas Hold’em, blinds take the place of an ante. The player to the left of the dealer is the small blind, and the next person is the big blind. The big blind is the minimum bet, and the small blind is half of that.
  2. Begin play. Play begins with the first player to the left of the big blind. That player either calls the big blind (plays the minimum bet), raises, or folds. Play continues around the circle, with each player having to match the previous bet, raise, or fold. If no one raises, the big blind can check or raise before the next round.
  3. See the flop. After the first round of betting has been settled, the dealer reveals the first 3 cards of the hand, called the flop. Each player now has 2 cards in their personal hand and 3 community cards. Another round of betting begins, starting with the player to the left of the dealer.
  4. See the turn. After the second round of betting, the dealer reveals the 4th card of the hand, called the turn. The remaining players bet again, starting with the player to the left of the dealer.
  5. See the river. After the third round of betting, the dealer reveals the 5th and final card of the hand. Players bet on their hands, and the winner takes the pot. If a player bets, and the rest fold, then the winning player does not need to show his or her hand.


  • Aggressive players will sometimes bet very high early in the game, although this can be risky.
  • You can bluff, or trick the other players into believing you have a powerful hand, by placing high bets. If they fall for it, they'll fold and you'll take the pot with a weak hand.
  • Fold if some bet high in starting.
  • Conservative players only stay in the game when their cards are good. They don't lose as much money, but they're easily spotted (and bluffed) by more experienced players.


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