No Limit Texas Holdem Rules

No Limit Texas Holdem consists of receiving two cards per person from the dealer. These cards are considered down cards meaning only you can view them. The table will have five community cards in which all players can use these five cards. Each player will have a combined total of seven cards to make the best possible hand using their down cards and the community cards.  See what beats what in poker hand rankings.

There are some very common mistakes made by intermediate players in terms of determining the best hand. We will discuss these type of hands at the end of the basic rules. Here is the general outline of how the game will work.

Blinds “Small and Big Blinds”

Blinds are the amount that must be placed into the pot every hand. Not every play must contribute to the blinds each hand. There are two blinds that are to the left of the dealer. The small blind, and the big blind. These blinds move clockwise as the dealer button moves spreading the blinds evenly.  Generally if a player misses a blind because they were sitting out then they will be asked to post the big blind when they re-enter.  It should be noted that blind prices do not increase in cash games unless stated otherwise by the players.  Blind increases only occur in poker tournaments.

Typically most poker rooms do not require an ante.  An ante is where everyone who is playing must post an amount for each hand.  Ante’s are more common towards the end of poker tournaments to entice more action.

First “Hole Cards are Dealt”

Two cards are dealt to each player in a clockwise manner. These players will not show these cards to any other players. These are you hole cards.

Second “First Betting Round Begins”

The first betting round will start with the player sitting next to the big blind. Players must bet a minimum of the big blind amount. Players have the option of calling the blind, raising, or folding. Players must call the minimum of the big blind to continue to see the flop.  The first betting round will end once all raises are met or all players fold.

Third “The Flop”

Now comes the flop. The dealer “burns” or discards the first card and then takes the top 3 cards of the deck and places them face up on the board.

Players start the second betting round. The betting must begin with the player sitting directly left of the dealer button. Players have the option to check, bet, raise, or fold.  The last player to act will be the player sitting next to the initial raiser.

Fourth “Fourth Street is Dealt”

Another card is discarded from the top of the deck.  This will be the second burn card which is discarded. The dealer then places one more card into the community board. This card is often referred to as fourth street. A betting round proceeds here as well with the first bettor starting left of the dealer similiar to after the flop.

Fifth “The River Card is Dealt”

The last and final card is discarded and then the top card is place on the board face up. This will make a total of 5 community cards. A final betting round occurs. Players can check, bet, raise or fold.

If players call any raises or if everyone checks players will then show their whole cards revealing the best hand. The best five cards win.  It is common that the hole cards of the winner are not showed due to everyone folded.  When this happens the player can choose to show their cards or “Muck” them.  Mucking your cards simply means that you do not show everyone what you were holding.  You can muck your hand if everyone folds or if a player shows a better hand.

When playing online the games are the same.  Poker rules stay the same as well.  Online poker rooms do have different blind prices.  In tournaments the blind increase rate and blind values vary from site to site.

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