Texas Holdem Basic Rules

These are the basic Texas Holdem Rules, there are more in-depth explanations on the different stages of the game in the rules section of PokerHarder UK. 

The aim of Texas Holdem poker is to win as many chips or as much money as possible.   To win each hand you need to have the best 5 card combination of every player in that hand.  (unless they all fold in which case you win the pot anyway).  Have a look at our Hand Rankings to which hands beat which.

Before anything else happens the first dealer needs to be determined.  This is done in many ways, one of which is when one card is dealt to each player and the player with the highest card is the first dealer.

Next the two players left of the dealer put in their small and big blinds respectively (eg. 10 and 20 chips).  You can find out more about this in our Preflop section.  The blinds are in place to ensure that there is always some kind of action every hand and players don’t just sit there waiting for the best possible hand.

The dealer then deals two cards one at a time to each player starting with the player directly to the left of him (the small blind) and going round the table in a clockwise direction twice until each player has two cards facedown in front of them.

Betting starts now, the first round of betting takes place straight after all players have received their two personal ‘hole cards’.  The player left of the big blind starts off the betting and has three options.  They can:

  • Fold: You throw away your two cards (your hand) without paying anymore chips into the pot.
  • Call:  You stay in the hand by matching (calling) the big blind bet.
  • Raise: You can increase your investment in the hand by putting more chips into the pot (the minimum raise pre-flop is always the same as the Big Blind)

That concludes the preflop stage of the hand; please remember to check out our preflop section for more information and rules.

The next stage is The FlopThe dealer lays out three cards face up on the table side by side (the first three cards from the top of the rest of the pack).

Now is the next round of betting.  This time the player directly to the left of the dealer (who is still in the hand), acts first.  Betting is the same as preflop, going left in a clockwise direction around the table.  Players have all the same options as before (fold, call or raise). 

When the betting on the flop has finished the dealer will then turn over a 4th card, this is called The Turn.  Once the turn card is has been placed face up on the table another round of betting will take place as before.  Starting again with the player left of the dealer.

Next a final card is placed face up by the dealer alongside the previous 4 cards.  This is called the River.  A final round of betting now takes place as before.

When all the betting has been completed, the players still in the hand (those who haven’t folded) turn over their two hole cards and show the rest of the table.  Using any five card combination of their two hole cards and the five community cards a.k.a The Board, each player uses their highest ranking hand (see our hand ranking table here to remind yourself), to try and win the pot (the pot is all the chips/money in the middle of the table from all the betting rounds and blinds).

The player with the highest hand wins the pot and all chips in that pot are now theirs, unless the pot is split because two or more players have equal hands, please see our showdown section which explains this further.

Those are the basic rules of Texas Holdem Poker, to see more in-depth rules on each stage of the game have a look at our poker Rules section.  Once you have this mastered you will be able to find articles and advice on different strategies that you can use during the game here at PokerHarder UK.  Have fun at the tables!