Texas Hold'em Rules
Texas Hold'em is a community card poker game; with game play focused as much on the betting as on the cards being played.
Texas Holdem is played on a single table with two to 10 players. The goal is simple: win as many chips as you can, one pot at a time.
You win a pot by having the best hand, or by having all other players fold before the showdown.
To choose the dealer, deal every player one card, 1st ace becomes the dealer.
The dealer button will rotate around the table.
The person with the button is viewed as being the dealer for the hand. Once the hand completes, the player with the dealer button will pass it to the player on their left.
There are two blinds in Hold’em - a small blind and a big blind. The player directly to the left of the dealer puts out the small blind.
The big blind (exactly double that of the small blind) is placed by the player to the left of the small blind.
The person dealing the cards deals to the left of the player with the dealer button first, rotating around the table in a clockwise manner, giving each player one card at a time until each player has two cards. These are known as your hole cards.
A hand of Hold'em consists of a minimum of one and a maximum of four betting rounds. A hand ends when all players but one have folded, or the fourth and final betting round completes with multiple players still in the hand - whichever comes first.
At that point, players enter into the showdown.
When all players receive their hole cards, you are now in the preflop betting round.
Each player must look at their cards and decide what action they would like to take. In Hold'em, only one player can act at a time.
The preflop betting round starts with the player to the left of the big blind. This player has three options:
Once a player has made their action, the player to the left of them gets their turn to act. Each player is given the same options: fold, call the bet of the player to their right (if the previous player raised, that is the amount you must call) or raise.
Fold: They pay nothing to the pot and throw away their hand, waiting for the next deal to play again.
Call: They match the amount of the big blind.
Raise: They raise the bet by doubling the amount of the big blind.
RE-RAISE: A MINIMUM OF DOUBLE OF THE RAISE BEFORE. ANY AMOUNT OVER THAT MUST BE A MINIMUM OF THE BIG BLIND.
A betting round ends when two conditions are met:
Once the preflop betting round ends, the flop is dealt. This is done by dealing the top card in the deck facedown on the table (it becomes the burn card), followed by three cards faceup.
All players have had a chance to act.
All players who haven't folded have bet the same amount of money for the round.
Once this has been dealt, the first post-flop betting round begins.
The rules of a post-flop betting round are the same as a preflop, with two small exceptions: The first player to act is the next player with a hand to the left of the dealer, and the first player to act can check or bet; as there has been no bet made, calling is free.
A minimum bet on the flop is the amount of the big blind.
Once the betting round on the flop completes, the dealer deals one card facedown followed by a single card faceup, also known as the "burn and turn." Once the turn has been dealt, the third betting round starts.
The third betting round is identical to the flop betting round
Assuming more than one player is left, having not folded on one of the previous streets, the river is now dealt. Dealing the river is identical as dealing the turn, with one card being dealt facedown, followed by a single card faceup.
This is the final street, and no more cards will be dealt in this hand. The betting round is identical to the betting round on the turn.
Once the river betting round has been completed, the players now enter into the showdown. At this point, the best hand wins the pot. Here are the rules you need to know about a Hold'em showdown:
In Hold'em you must make the best hand possible using any combination of your two cards and the five community cards on the table.
The player who bet on the river is the default first player to reveal their hand. If any other players choose to show their hand first, that is OK.
If no betting happened on the river (all players checked), the player closest to the left of the dealer must open their hand first, continuing clockwise around the table.
If a player is holding a losing hand, it is their option to reveal their cards or simply muck their hand and concede the pot.
You can use both, one or none of your own cards in making your best hand.
The poker hand ranking order is:
There are no exceptions to this ordering: a flush always beats a straight, and three of a kind always beats two pair.
Royal Flush - An Ace-High straight of one suit.
Straight Flush - A straight of entirely one suit.
Four-of-a-Kind (Quads) - Four cards of the same rank.
Full House (Full Boat, Boat) - Three-of-a-kind and a pair.
Flush - Five cards of the same suit.
Straight (Run) - Five cards of sequential rank. Note that in holdem, Aces can be high or low.
Three-of-a-Kind (Trips, Set, Triplets) - Three cards of the same rank.
Two Pair - Two cards of the same rank and another two cards of the same rank.
One Pair - Two cards of the same rank.
High Card - When you don't have any of the above, your highest card determines your hand.
There are no hands used in Hold'em other than the hands listed in this chart. For example, having three pairs is actually only "two pair," with the highest-valued two pair making your hand.
Poker hands must be exactly five cards, and only those five cards are used to evaluate the winning hand.
If 2 players hold the very same winning hand (a straight from ten to ace). This means the pot is split between the two players. The remaining cards and the fact Player 1 also has a pair means nothing - only the best five-card hand factors into deciding the winner.
If all remaining players have nothing (no pair or anything stronger), the winning hand is the hand with the highest-valued single card.
Suits are never used to evaluate the strength of a hand.
Once you determine the winning hand, that player receives the pot. The dealer passes the dealer button to his or her left and the two players to the left of the new dealer put out their big and small blinds respectively.
When there are more than two players still in the hand, only one bet and three raises can be made in one betting round. Once the third raise is made the betting is "capped." Once betting is capped, players may only call or fold.
A player must either declare their intent to raise verbally before making any actions, or bring the amount of chips equal to the total amount of their raise into play at the same time. A player is not allowed to place chips, return to their stack and place more chips. This is known as a string bet.
Two players all-in for different amounts: In this scenario, you take the amount of the smaller stack from the big stack into the pot, returning the difference to the big-stack player.
Short stack all-in against two players: When a short stack is all-in against two larger stacks, the blinds, short stack, plus the amount of the short stack from each larger stack is placed in the main pot. All players are eligible to win this pot.
The two players on the side are now free to play and bet as usual into a side pot, which only they are eligible to win. (This means there can be two winners in the hand - a side pot and a main pot winner.)
Multiple players all-in: When multiple players are all-in, you must make multiple side pots. Make a main pot as described above. After you've done that, repeat the process with the next-smallest stack.
Continue to do this until all stacks are accounted for. Make sure to keep track of who is eligible for what pots.
In tournament play with two tables, and table 1 loses two players while table 2 is still full, you're going to have to move one player from table 2 to keep the tables balanced.
How to choose who moves is done by moving the player who is in (or closest to) the same position relative to the button. So if the open seat is in the cut-off on table 1, you want to move the player from the cut-off on table 2.
This keeps players from having to pay blinds twice, or not at all.
If enough players are out in order to merge one table with another (or multiple others), it's time to break the table.
When balancing and breaking tables, as well as moving players from one table to another, the decision will be made at the sole discretion of the tournament director.
At any time, if a discrepancy arises at a table, the tournament director will gather all the facts and provide a final ruling.
NO INAPPROPRIATE LANGUAGE OR BEHAVIOR WILL BE TOLERATED.
PROPER RESPECT FOR ALL PLAYERS AND THE VENUE IS EXPECTED.
ANY BEHAVIOR BY A PLAYER DEEMED INAPPROPRIATE WILL BE ASKED TO LEAVE THE PREMISES AND FORFEIT THEIR TOURNAMENT PLAY. CONTINUED UNACCEPTABLE BEHAVIOR WILL RESULT IN BEING BANNED FROM ALL EVENT PLAY.
All RULINGS BY THE TOURNAMENT DIRECTOR ARE FINAL.