Although you can play a number of poker games and video poker online, Texas Hold’em is the most popular version of online poker by far.
It has been described as the “Cadillac of Poker” by the godfather of the game, Doyle Brunson. No-limit Texas Hold’em is the main game played at the World Series of Poker (WSOP) as well as in World Poker Tour (WPT) events.
It’s easy to learn the basics of Texas Hold’em, but the game takes a lot of time and effort to master.
The idea of Texas Hold’em is to make the best 5-card hand possible from a combination of the cards in your hand and the shared (community) cards.
Texas Hold’em is a “flop” game, as all players in a hand can use any or all of the 5 cards that are dealt on the board. Each player is also dealt two hole cards. Players must work out how to make the best the hand from a combination of their hole cards and the community cards.
Play begins with each player holding two hole cards (face down). The flop consists of 3 community cards.
The dealer has a button and the two players to the left have to place (small and big) blind bets. Put simply, a blind is a forced bet, the idea of which is to get the pot started. The person on the immediate left of the dealer posts the small blind while the next player posts the big blind. To make the game fair, the dealer button moves around the board so that each player in turn is forced to post their blinds.
Action begins as the player on the left of the big blind has a choice of matching the blind bet, raising (which is adding additional money to the bet), or sitting out the hand by folding. This pattern continues around the table until action gets back to the blinds. If there has been a raise, the players still in the hand can choose to match the bet (call), raise, or fold.
Another community card is then dealt – the turn (or 4th street) – with another round of betting before the final community card is dealt – the river (or 5th street). Betting always begins with the first player to the left of the dealer button – there is no forced betting once there’s a flop.
If two or more players remain after the last round of betting, each shows their hand – the one with the best hand takes the pot.
For additional information see How to Play Texas Hold’em including terms, rules, positions, betting, hand selection, and more.