Objective of the Game
The objective of a Texas Hold'em Poker game is to have the best 5-card poker hand. The player with the best hand at the end of any given poker round will win all of the bets made throughout the round. The table will continue playing indefinitely as long as there are at least two players at the table with poker chips.
Starting a Round
This is one of the few card games in an online casino where the player does not play against the dealer. A round of Texas Hold'em Poker starts with the dealer dealing two face down cards to every player. The "button" (dealer chip) will be in front of one player, indicating where the dealer starts dealing cards from. The button moves clockwise to the next player after each round.
The player immediately clockwise of the dealer is known as the "Small Blind", and the player immediately clockwise of the "Small Blind" is the "Big Blind". "Small" and "Big" refer to the size of the bet that those players must put out before cards are dealt. These amounts coincide with the poker game's stakes. If the table was $5/$10 No-Limit, the big blind would be $10 and the small blind would be $5.
Starting from the player directly left of the big blind, each player must decide whether they will CALL the current bet, RAISE the current bet, CHECK if they've already bet, or FOLD to the current bet. In Limit Texas Hold'em Poker, the raises will be restricted to prescribed amounts. In No-Limit Texas Hold'em Poker, players may bet as many of their chips as they want. Once all players have made their decision and there are no raises to be called, the dealer will then deal "The Flop".
The "Flop" refers to the first three of the five community cards dealt by the dealer. Community cards can be used by all players to make their best 5-card hand. Players may use one, both, or none of their own cards to make the best 5-card hand with the community cards. Once the flop is revealed, the small blind starts a new round of betting. They may CHECK, make a bet, or FOLD. Each player will continue the betting clockwise around the table until all players have called the current bet or have folded to it.
The "Turn" refers to the fourth card of the five community cards dealt by the dealer. Once the turn is revealed, players again begin another betting round.
The "River" refers to the fifth and final card of the five community cards dealt by the dealer. Once the river is revealed, players will have a final betting round.
After the final betting round finishes, players will reveal their hands starting left of the dealer. The player with the best 5-card hand will win all of the chips that were bet. If players tie for the best hand, the pot will be split between all winning players.
The following hands are listed by rank in descending order:
Royal Flush: The ace, king, queen, jack, and ten of any suit. This is the best hand in poker.
Straight Flush: Any five cards of the same suit in numerical order. (e.g. 2, 3, 4, 5, 6 of spades).
Four of a Kind: Four cards of the same number, and a fifth side card. (e.g. 2, 2, 2, 2, 5).
Full House: Three cards of the same number, and two cards of a different (but identical) number. (e.g. 2, 2, 2, 3, 3).
Flush: Any five cards of the same suit. (e.g. 2, 5, 8, J, A of hearts).
Straight: Any five cards in numerical order. (e.g. 2, 3, 4, 5, 6 of differing suits).
Three of a Kind: Three cards of the same number, and two side cards. (e.g. 2, 2, 2, 3, 4).
Two Pair: Two cards of a matching number, two more cards of another matching number, and a fifth side card. (e.g. 2, 2, 3, 3, 4).
One Pair: Two cards of a matching number, and three side cards. (e.g. 2, 2, 3, 4, 5).
High Card: Any hand that does not match the aforementioned hands. (e.g. 2, 3, 5, 6, 7 of differing suits).
Note: If players have the same poker hand, they will be ranked based on the high card. For example, if player A has four Jacks and player B has four Queens, player B will win the hand. Similarly, if player A has a straight consisting of 2, 3, 4, 5, 6, while player B has a straight consisting of 3, 4, 5, 6, 7, player B will win the hand.
Variations of Texas Hold'em Poker
Each table of poker may have slight variations in stakes, betting style, and game-play. While No-Limit poker is the most popular with online casinos, Limit and Pot-Limit poker is also available to players. There are also variations of Texas Hold'em Poker where you are playing against the dealer, similar to a Blackjack game. If you are not sure of your casino's particular rules or style, be sure to read the table information and rule sets before sitting down at that table.