Texas Hold'em can be played with as little as two players, up to a max of ten players. It is played with 52 card deck without joker. Each player receives two cards, face down. These cards are known as hole cards. Then, dealer hands out five community cards face up. Players can use any five cards to form the combination. The best five-card combination is won the pot.
- Limit – bet as well as raise is agreed in advance. For example, in a $1/2 Limit game, in first two rounds both bet and raise must be equal to $1. In last two rounds bet and raise must be equal to $2.
- Pot Limit – the maximum bet and raise shouldn't exceed the current pot amount. Maximum raise is the size of the
pot, which is defined as the total of the active pot plus all bets on the table plus the double amount the active
player must first call. For example, if the pot amount is $10 and the first player bets $10, the second player
could bet a total of $40:
- $10 is the active pot;
- $10 is the bet sum on table;
- $20 is the double call.
- No Limit – there is no maximum bet limit. Any player makes any bet in any betting round. Minimum bet is equal to big blind.
The game consists of initial bank formation by the blinds, four betting rounds and showdown.
Before a game starts the player on the dealer's left posts a small blind, and the player on the small blind's left posts a big blind bet. Big blind is usually twice the size of the small blind bet.
Each player gets two hole cards, cards that the other players cannot see. The player on the big blind's left begins a round of betting. This player can do one of the following:
- Call – match the amount bet in the big blind;
- Raise – increase the bet amount;
- Fold – surrender cards and stake in the game.
Each player can make the same actions when it is their turn to bet.
When the betting returns to the player who made Big Blind, there are several possible ways. If the pot is not raised, then Big Blind has three options: fold, check or raise. However, if any of the opponents raises, Big Blind can call, raise or fold. When all bets get equal, the initial pot is formed and the game moves on to the next round (Flop).
Three cards are dealt face-up on the board in this round. This is known as ‘the flop’. Betting on the flop begins with the player on the dealer's left.
When the betting action is completed for the flop round, the ‘turn’ is dealt face-up on the board. The turn is the fourth community card.
When betting action is completed for the turn round, the ‘river’ is dealt face-up on the board. The river is the fifth and final community card.
Pot is a total amount of chips in a hand that the hand winner will receive. The pot is initially formed on pre-flop and consists of players’ blinds and bets. The pot can then increase in the next betting rounds due to the players’ bets.
The main pot is a pot that is claimed by all players who have made equal bets. If side pots are not formed, the main pot is equal to the total pot.
Side pot is a pot formed when one of the players goes all-in, but betting is not over yet, as there are at least 2 players with higher stakes staying in the game. Unlike the main pot, which is claimed by all the players, the side pot is distributed only among the players remaining in the game after their opponent’s all-in.
Player 1: $10 stake
Player 2: $30 stake
Player 3: $100 stake
Pre-flop: all the players bet $5 each, the main pot is $15
Flop: Player 1 goes all-in with $5. Player 2 and Player 3 both called with $5 each. The main pot is $30. All the player claim the main pot.
Turn: Player 2 goes all-in with $20. Player 3 called with $20. The main pot is $30.
Side pot is $40. The side pot is claimed only by Player 2 and Player 3.
When all bets get equal, it is time to show the cards. The last player who bets or raises during the final betting round shows his cards first. If during the last betting round all the remaining players are checking (nobody betting), the first player to the left from dealer shows his cards first. The other players reveal their cards moving clockwise around the table. If player’s current hand is weaker than winning hand shown, he may muck his cards.
Determining the winner
The player with the highest five-card combination (using any five cards from seven available) wins.
If there are several players with the same combinations, a winner is determined by the high card of the combination (then, the second high card, etc). If there are several players with equal combinations, their pot share is split between them evenly.
In case of a split pot, when the pot cannot be distributed evenly due to odd cents (e.g. $3.01) and needs to be divided between two players, then:
- The first player to win from the pot is the player who acted first in the betting round in which the pot was formed.
- This player receives one extra cent in addition to half the value of the pot without taking into account the extra cent ($1.50 + $0.01 in this example).
- These steps repeat for the rest of the players in clockwise direction.
Rake is a commission that all players pay to a poker room. The rake is a percentage of each distributed pot that exceeds a set amount.
If the players do not reach the flop, no rake is charged.
Missed Blinds Policy
To prevent players from entering games in a late position to avoid placing blinds, you will have to post an initial fee, equal to Big Blind, or you can sit out and wait until Big Blind reaches your position. Player can choose to:
- post Big Blind, or
- wait for Big Blind.
If the player chooses to wait for Big Blind he will be sitting out and won't be able to join the action until Big Blind comes around to his position. If the player were at the table and then sat out for a while and missed his Big Blind, he will also have to miss Small Blind and the dealer's button. If you missed the small and big blind, you will be required to post an amount equal to the big blind plus a 'dead' bet equal to the small blind.
If the player finishes his chips he may not to fold the cards. The player can go All-In and bet all his chips. In this case the pot is divided into the Main pot and the Side pot. All the next bets are included to the Side pot. If the player which goes All-In did not win, the winner receives all chips (both the Main and Side pots). If the player who goes All-In wins, he receives the Main pot, but the Side pot is passed to the player having the second highest ranking Poker hand. If several players go All-In, the several Side pots can be created. If the player who accepted all All-In bets does not go All-In by himself, but appears to have the highest ranking hand when cards were revealed, he takes the Main pot as well as the all Side pots. If the highest ranking hand has the player who went All-In, he takes the pot or all pots which were created until he went All-In. Every All-In player having highest ranking hand can take only the pot (or pots) in forming of which he took part.