Texas Hold'em is arguably the most popular variant of poker in which players will hold two cards, and the rest of the cards will be dealt facing up on the table whereas in regular poker all cards are in a player’s hands. The aim is to get the best five-card poker hand after all stages have finished.
Introduction to Texas Hold’em
Before taking you through the rounds of a Texas Hold’em game, we should describe some crucial poker terminology to make sense of how each round works.
Players are required to make a betting choice before the cards are dealt. These are called blind bets because the bets are placed before either player has looked at their cards.
In most cases, the player to the left of the dealer will place a bet, and then the next player to his/her left will do the same. The first player will (usually) place half the minimum bet, and the next will place a full bet for that round (usually twice the amount of the first). These are known as small blinds and big blinds. Blinds exist to give incentive to players not just to play rounds in which they have good hands, but also to recover the costs of paying the blinds.
The community cards refer to the cards that are facing upwards in the middle of the table during rounds, 2,3,4 and 5. In total, five community cards are dealt, and players have to combine the cards they receive to get the highest hand matching the ones on the table. Below, we have a more detailed description of exactly when each card is dealt during a game.
Round 1: Hole Cards
Hole cards are the first two cards each player at the table receives. They are always facing down. Only you can see your hole cards, and this is when the small and big blinds are played.
Players can then decide whether to match the big blind and play the round, raise if they have a strong hand or if they want to deceive others in thinking that they do. The player after the big blind can’t check; checking means to defer a bet for the time being. He/she can call (matching the amount) or raise the bet. The other players can check, call, fold or raise depending on what they think is best and what has already occurred.
Round 2: The Flop
The flop is when the first three community cards are dealt. Each player will have a good idea about the strength of their cards. You can check or bet depending on the strategy you want to implement. Once a bet has been made, players have the option to either raise, call or fold.
Round 3: The Turn
The fourth community card is called the turn. The options are the same as the previous betting round; the size of the bets will have likely increased.
Round 4: The River
The last community card to be dealt is the river card. The final round of bets will then occur. Again, each player can decide whether to bet or check and then there are options to raise, call or fold. This is the last chance to bluff other players before the showdown. It is possible to win even if you don’t have the best hand by outbluffing your opponents and forcing them to fold.
If there are players still in the game, they will compare their cards to see who has the best hand. The best five-card hand wins the pot. You can see the ranking of best hands in Texas Hold’em below!
Texas Hold’em at STS
Texas Hold’em Hands
- Royal flush
A, K, Q, J, 10, all with the same suit.
- Straight flush
Five cards in a row, all containing the same suit.
- Four of a kind
All four cards of each suit with the same rank/number.
- Full house
Three of a kind plus a pair.
Any five cards of the same suit, but not in numerical order.
Five cards in numerical order, but not containing the same suit.
- Three of a kind
Three cards of the same rank/number. E.g. three kings.
- Two pair
Two different pairs. E.g. two fives and two nines.
Two cards that have the same rank/number.
- High card
If there are no matching cards, the highest card wins. From highest to lowest. Ace, King, Queen, Jack, 10, 9, 8, 7, 6, 5, 4, 3, 2, Ace.