Texas Hold’em is by no means the only poker game in town when it comes to playing online poker but it’s the most popular by a country mile.

With the boom of the online gambling industry in the late 90s, Texas Hold’em poker online became an overnight sensation enjoyed by players all over the world. Players who only needed to go online to get a game at any time of day on any day of the week.

The fact that World Series of Poker events started airing on TV worldwide and countless tutorials uploaded to YouTube. And Hollywood and sports celebrities began to play it seriously, only added to the appeal and interest.

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Texas Holdem Poker chips and cards on a table

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How to Play Texas Hold’em Poker Games

Players given two cards face down from a regular deck of well-shuffled cards. These are generally known as hole cards and alongside the five ‘community cards’ which will be shortly revealed, each player will try to construct the best possible five-card hand they can.

In a nutshell, you win the hand by having a higher hand than anyone else or by raising to an amount where everyone else folds.

Blinds

To avoid a scenario where players see endless hands without needing to risk any money if they don’t like their hands. Most forms of Hold’em will see two players have to put in ‘forced bets’ at the start of the hand. Players take turns being the Dealer (obviously online poker players don’t deal at all) and a plastic dealer button rotates around the poker table. so you always know who the Dealer is.

The player to the left of the Dealer needs to place a bet which is known as the Small Blind. The player to the left of the Small Blind is called the Big Blind and needs to place a bet worth twice the value of the Small Blind. If the Small Blind wants to see the flop, they’ll have to match the amount of the Big Blind.

All the other players will also have to match the value of the Big Blind to see the flop. And if someone raises to more than the value of the Big Blind, that’s what you have to pay to stay in the hand.

Flop

If there are two or more players still left in the hand, the Dealer will reveal the first three cards all at once, known as the flop.

By this stage, players will have a good idea of the hand they can end up with because they’ll know how their own two cards can be used along with the first three community cards.

The first player to bet is the one to the left of the Dealer or if they’re no longer in the hand, the one to the left of that. Then has the chance to call or raise. Just as in the previous round of betting, once there’s a raise everyone else either has to match it, raise it or fold.

Once everyone has done one of the above, that round of betting is over and it’s time for ‘the turn’.

Turn

Players still left in the hand at this stage will have the opportunity to see the turn card, the fourth card.

Again, by this round players will know six of the cards- their own two plus four of the community cards. So in most cases will either have a strong hand by now or will carry on waiting for another card. That might give there hand a boost, for example, complete a straight or get them to a second pair, or will carry on bluffing and pretending they have a better hand than they do.

After the revealing of the fourth community card, we go through the same betting process yet again. The first player to the left of the Dealer who’s still in the hand gets the chance to call or raise and the others need to decide if they’re calling any raises, re-raising or folding.

River

Time to know for sure what you’re holding. The fifth community card is revealed, and every player will know what hand they have based on their two hole cards, plus the five community cards.

But that’s by no means the end of the game. There’s still a final round of betting using the same order of betting as before. And either one player remains in the game, who raised while the other players all folded or…two or more players go to the very last showdown, known as ‘heads up’.

Once the betting is over, players reveal their hands and the winner walks away with the pot. In the case of two or more players holding the same hand, the pot will be split between the two or more players who have it.

The winner(s) are then paid out their winnings and a new hand starts again.

Texas Hold’em Poker Hand Rankings

Royal flush

A royal flush is an ace-high straight flush.

Straight flush

A straight flush is a five-card straight, all in the same suit.

Four of a kind

Quads, or four of a kind, are four cards of equal rank.

Full house

A full house, or full boat, contains a set (three) of cards of one rank and a pair of another rank.

Flush

A flush is any five cards, all of the same suit.

pair of aces and poker chips on the table

blond poker dealer dealing out cards

Straight

Five cards of sequential rank. Every possible straight will contain either a 5 or a 10.

Three of a kind

Three cards of the same rank.

Two pairs

A two pair is two cards of one rank and another two cards of another rank.

Pair

One pair is two cards of the same rank.

High card

The hand with the highest card(s) wins.

What Are the Advantages of Online Texas Hold’em?

Playing live poker tournaments at traditional casinos is still a popular way of playing Texas Hold’em poker. And some players will thrive on the human element of playing ‘in the flesh’ where the psychological factor of the game comes into force. The best players feel they can ‘read ‘other players and their hands based not only on how they bet but also other things like hand gestures, facial expressions or how they handle their chips. There are plenty of opportunities to win real money or prizes while playing online.

Banking Options

There are more varieties of Texas Hold’em Poker available online that you’d get at Casinos so you can choose the style, the stakes, the number of players etc that suit your needs. The selection also extends to deposit and withdrawal methods, where players can use credit cards list Visa and Mastercard as well as Neosurf and Bitcoin.

Bonuses

The Poker section of online casinos or stand-alone Poker rooms tends to operate in different ways to Casinos. Casino bonuses tend to give you a big welcome bonus straight away, but Poker rooms tend to give you your bonus little by little. It’s common for them to release bonuses of 5 or 10 bucks after you’ve played a certain number of tournaments or wagered a certain amount of money.

Convenience

You can get poker games 24/7 all year round. Most casinos have closing times and even during peak times, it’s not always easy to take part in the game you want. By playing online, you have a much larger pool of players available so there will always be players somewhere in the world happy to take part in the sort of game you’re after. And of course the convenience of being able to play from anywhere with a WiFi signal.

Free Games

One way of poker rooms or Casinos rewarding their players is to give them the chance to play in freerolls. A freeroll is a Poker tournament where you don’t have to pay the entry fee to take part. This could be part of a welcome bonus, or as a reward for your loyalty as a poker player. These could be regular tournaments where prize money is paid out at the end of the game as per usual or satellite tournaments where doing well in that one can lead to playing in other tournaments, where you can win cash, or entry into other, bigger tournaments.

Which Variations of Texas Hold’em are available at Online Poker Rooms?

Texas Hold’em is the same game in many ways wherever you’re playing and not much about it changes. Not much but some things do so here are some slightly different versions of it.

Limit Texas Hold’em

To avoid one or more players being able to raise massive amounts of the blue which could be far too rich for the blood of some players, Limit Hold’em means there are restrictions on how much you can bet at any given time. Just as an example, a 1USD/2USD hold’em table only allows players to bet 1 USD pre-flop, 1 USD on the flop, 2 USD on the turn and 2 USD on the river.

No-Limit Texas Hold’em

As Matt Damon says in the movie ‘Rounders’, No-Limit Hold’em can be so brutal that even many pros choose not to play it.

The clue is in the name. Whether it’s a cash game or a poker tournament, players can raise to whatever amount they choose without any restrictions. The fact that a huge amount of money can enter the pot at any time means there can be huge swings on any given hand.

Frequently Asked Questions about Texas Hold’em

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