A Beginner’s Guide to Texas Hold’em

Playing Cards Queen and 10

Poker is a classic game that has stood the test of time, and for good reason. In this guide we’re going to be speaking about Texas Hold’em, which is the most popular form of poker in the UK. This guide should leave you with everything you need to play your first game. 

History of Poker (Texas Hold’em)

Texas Hold’em was invented around 1900 in Robstown, Texas (shock) and the game has steadily held popularity ever since. The game was first played in Las Vegas in 1963 after being introduced by a member of the California Club.

When walking into a casino you will usually be met with poker tables, the most popular form of poker in casinos is tournaments, however, casinos also host cash games.

How to Play Poker (Texas Hold’em)

Texas Hold’em is usually played between 2 and 10 players with one dealer, this is the case for cash games and tournament play. However, if there is no dedicated dealer, each player takes turns at dealing (the dealing player can still play a hand). 

The first thing that happens is two players must pay their blinds, there is usually a big blind and a small blind. Blinds rotate around the table every hand, this is to keep the game moving and allows there always to be a pot. These blinds usually go up as a game goes so the game does not overrun. 

Once the blinds have been paid, each player is dealt two cards and five cards will be dealt in the middle. Once all cards are dealt the first ‘round’ can begin. Each player has the option to check, call, bet or fold. Here are the meanings:

  • Check – Advance through the game without betting.
  • Call – Match the highest bet.
  • Bet – Increase your bet (making it the highest bet for the table).
  • Fold – Return your cards to the dealer and stop playing that round.

There are a few more rules to follow when doing any of these; you can only check if you have already matched the highest bet. If you do not check, call or bet you automatically fold. You can only do any of these things when it is your turn to check, call, bet or fold (this rotates around the table). 

Once betting has ceased and everyone has checked, called or folded, the dealer then turns the ‘flop’. This is the first three cards (of the five in the middle) turned over. After this, the next ‘round’ of betting commences. After this the ‘river’ is turned (fourth card) and the next round of betting. Then finally the ‘turn’ is turned over (fifth card) then the final round of betting commences. After all of these ‘rounds’ players can then reveal their cards, the highest hand wins. 

However, if a player reveals their cards and you know their hand beats yours, you do not have to reveal your cards and they are returned to the dealer face down, this is what is known as ‘muck’.

Poker (Texas Hold’em) Hand Ranking Chart

  • Royal Flush – Consists of a 10, Jack, Queen, King and Ace, all of the same suit
  • Straight Flush – Five cards in sequence, all of the same suit
  • Four of a Kind – Four cards of the same denomination, one in each suit
  • Full House – Three cards of one denomination and two cards of another denomination
  • Flush – Five cards all of the same suit
  • Straight – Five cards in sequence
  • Three of a Kind – Three cards all of the same denomination, and two unmatched cards
  • Two Pair – Two sets of two cards of the same denomination
  • Pair – Two cards of the same denomination and three unmatched cards
  • High Card – None of the above hands, whoever has the highest single card wins

Responsible Gambling

It’s always important to keep in mind responsible gambling, don’t bet what you can’t afford to lose. Set limits where you can to help keep you in control of your gambling. Take a break if it becomes too much.

We hope you now have everything you need to play your first game of Texas Hold’em. Make sure to read our casino reviews to claim welcome bonuses so you have more to play with. We hope you enjoy, and the best of luck!