Best Online Texas Holdem Rooms
- Poker Site Ranking Bonus Score ReviewPlay
- 1. Pacific Poker £ 8 9.4 Review Play
- 2. Titan Poker $2000 9.3Review Play
- 3. Victor Chandler €10009.2 Review Play
- 4. PokerStars $600 9.2 Review Play
- 5. Bwin Poker $500 9.2 Review Play
- Poker Site Ranking Bonus Score ReviewPlay
- 6. Ladbrokes £259.2 Review Play
- 7. William Hill €12509.0 Review Play
- 8. Intertops $600 8.7 Review Play
- 9. PKR 3D Poker $800 8.6 Review Play
- 10. Cake Poker $500 8.5 Review Play
Getting started online
- Choosing a poker room
- Downloading software
- Buying credit
- Playing the game
- Collecting winnings
Online Texas Holdem
- How to start playing online
- Online poker tournaments
- Online tournament strategy
- Online bluffing
- Online tells
- Player notes
- playing multiple games
- Playing online professionally
Poker Room Reviews
- Poker stars
- Victor Chandler
- TITAN POKER
- 888 Pacific Poker
- PKR 3D POKER
- William hill poker
- Cake poker
- Party poker
- Bwin poker
- Betfair poker
TEXAS HOLDEM BASICS
- Texas holdem fundamentals
- Game instruction step-by-step
- Hand ranking
- Buy-ins and table stakes
- Betting, calling, checking, folding
- Texas holdem rules
- Where to play
- Responsible play
- Poker terms
TEXAS HOLDEM RULES
It’s important to have an understanding of the rules before you play Texas Holdem. When you’re first learning to play Texas Holdem, you should read our tutorial and step-by-step directions. Once you’ve read both, go through the rules here so you’re ready to play against other people. Texas Holdem rules are the same for general poker, plus a few others unique to the game.
It should be noted that not all poker rooms, both land based and online, have the same rules. You must find out before you begin what the rules are specific to that poker room. Playing online is highly recommended to people who are just learning to play Texas Holdem as the software running the game simply won’t let you make plays that are against the rules. FullTilt Poker and Ultimatebet Poker are two sites that beginner and experts alike turn to for a safe, friendly online Texas Holdem poker experience.
Note this section has been written to cover the rules applied to both land based and online Texas Holdem games. It is important to understand that the rules that apply to an online game are the exact same as the rules of a land based game, except for the fact that online rules do not need to account for human error. The poker software at online poker rooms does not make mistakes, there are no dealing errors, misplaced cards, or the chance of someone dropping a card on the floor so there are no specific rules to account for these types of human error.
It is also very important to understand that the house rules change from poker room to poker room, and from table to table. It’s always strongly advised to read and understand the exact rules of any table where you intend o play Texas Holdem for real money. The rules and house policies are always available at any land based or online poker room.
The following Texas Holdem rules will render a hand dead:
1. If a player folds.
2. If a player takes longer than the time limit to act.
3. If a player has a joker as a hole card and continues to play. (Land Based Poker Only)
4. If a player’s cards are mixed with other players’ cards. (Land Based Poker Only)
5. If the game is being timed and the player exceeds the time limit before they act.
6. Cards that are mucked are declared dead, except if it was an accident and the cards are easily identifiable and it’s in the best interest of the game for them to be retrieved, particularly if the hand was mucked due to the player receiving inaccurate information. (Land Based Poker Only)
7. Cards that are mixed with another player’s hand are ruled dead, regardless if they’re face-up or face-down. (Land Based Poker Only)
CHIPS & THE POT
1. If a player puts a more valuable chip than the current bet into the pot and doesn’t say they’re raising, it is considered a call and not a raise and the player’s more valuable chip is treated like the bet. So if a player puts a $10 chip in the pot for a $4 bet, the $10 chip is looked at as being $4. (Land Based Poker Only)
2. If the betting round hasn’t ended yet and it is noticed that a player hasn’t put enough chips in the pot to match the bet, they must equalize the bet or forfeit their claim to the pot. (Land Based Poker Only)
3. Anyone who notices the pot is being awarded to the wrong player must bring it to the dealer’s attention. (Land Based Poker Only)
BETTING & RAISING
1. Check-raising is permitted in Texas Holdem. This means a player can check the first time the action comes to them, and then raise the second (or third) time the action comes to them during that betting round.
2. Unlimited raising is permitted in No-Limit and Pot-Limit games.
3. In Limit games, a player can only bet once and raise three times. This applies only if there are three or more active players, and only if none are all-in.
4. When two players are playing heads-up in a money game, there is no limit to the number of times they can raise. This is only the case when the heads-up action happened before raising was capped (the maximum number of raises was met). However, if the raise was capped while there were still three players and the third player folds, the two remaining players can’t uncap the raise restriction. In tournament play, even when there is heads-up play, the raising maximum is kept at three.
5. Unless a player is going all-in, they must wager the same amount as the current bet. So if the current bet is $10 and they haven’t put any money in yet, they must wager $10 to stay in the hand.
6. The smallest denomination of chip that can be wagered is equal to the big blind – a player can’t bet a half or portion of the big blind. The only exception
to this is when a player posts the small blind at the beginning of the game, which is a fraction of the big blind.
7. If a player goes all-in, they have to wager all of their chips – they can’t hold on to a few of them.
8. If a player announces an action when it is their turn (such as bet, fold or call), they are bound to complete that action. Announcements of intent are binding. (Land Based Poker Only)
9. Knocking on the table indicates a pass or check. (Land Based Poker Only)
10. It is not permitted to act out of turn. If a player says they’re going to check before it’s their turn, they are not permitted to bet or raise when the action comes to them. If there isn’t a call, bet or raise by players after a player makes an announcement out of turn, the player who made the announcement might be bound by their declaration. (Land Based Poker Only)
11. A player who wagers by putting money in the pot is bound by that action. If a player does not realize, however, that the pot had been raised because the other player didn’t announce it, they can take their wager out of the pot and rethink their move as long as nobody has acted after them. (Land Based Poker Only)
12. In Limit poker, if a player moves toward the pot with their chips in hand and it makes another player act, the first player might be bound to complete that action. (Land Based Poker Only)
13. String raises are not permitted. If a players wishes to maintain their right to raise, they must announce their intention to raise or wager the correct amount. If a player wagers a full bet plus a half-bet or more, it is viewed as a raise, which must be completed. (Land Based Poker Only)
14. All bets must be brought to the full wager amount if it is discovered within the betting round that they’re not the full amount of the bet. No player who has already acted can switch their call to a raise due to the change in wager amount. (Land Based Poker Only)
1. Players who make it to the showdown must turn their cards face-up on the table if they want to win the pot. (Land Based Poker Only)
2. Cards speak. It doesn’t matter what a player says about their hand – ultimately, it’s the ranking of the hand that determines who wins the pot. If a player announces a false rank of their hand (miscalling) with the intention of tricking other players to muck their hand before all cards are looked at, they lose their claim to the pot. However, it is still the responsibility of the players to make sure their hand isn’t mucked until all hands have been looked at by the dealer.
3. The dealer must kill all losing hands before giving a player the pot. (Land Based Poker Only)
4. A player who has been dealt in the hand may request to see a hand that has been called, even if it has been mucked. This is a privilege, however, and any abuse of this could result in the player losing the ability to do this. (Land Based Poker Only)
5. If a player shows their cards to another player during or after the deal, all players at the table and in the hand have the right to request to see those cards as well. If the cards were shown to a player who no longer has a claim to the pot, those cards should only be revealed to the other players when the deal is over. (Land Based Poker Only)
6. If all players check (or are all-in) on the final betting round, the first player to act is also the first to show their hand at the showdown. However, if there is betting during the final betting round, the last player to make an aggressive action (by betting or raising), is the first player to show their hand. In order to keep the game moving quickly, the player who most likely has the winning hand is encouraged to show their hand right away.
7. If there is a side pot, players involved in that pot should show their hands before the players of the main pot. (Land Based Poker Only)
1. If two or more hands end in a tie in Texas Holdem and there is an odd chip left to distribute to the players, it is awarded as follows:
a. if a dealer button is being used, the first player clockwise from the button gets the extra chip.
b. all side pots and the main pot are split separately and are not mixed.
2. No one single player may receive more than one odd chip per hand.
3. An odd chip is broken down into the smallest denomination used in the game.
CARDS (Land Based Poker Only)
1. If a player notices there’s a problem with the deck, they have to say something. If they don’t and play on, once the problem is noticed and it’s made known the player knew, they have to forfeit their chips, which are left in the pot for the next hand.
2. If an unmatched card (a card from a different deck) is noticed in somebody’s hand after betting has started, the chips are returned to the players who bet them, all action ceases and the hand is re-dealt. If the unmatched card is noticed in the stump, the game goes on.
3. If it is discovered that there are two identical cards of the same rank and suit, everyone who was dealt gets their chips back, the action ends and the hand is redealt.
4. If a joker is found in somebody’s hand before the action starts, it is replaced and the play continues. If they don’t say anything, their hand is declared dead as soon as it is revealed they have the joker.
5. Every player is responsible for their hand and has to let the dealer know before play starts if it has more or less than two hole cards and/or if they have the joker. If they fail to do this, their hand will be declared a dead hand once the mistake is revealed.
6. If a player is dealt an extra card and nobody has acted yet, they simply return the card to the dealer who then discards it and treats it like a burn card. Play continues.
7. If it is noticed that one or more cards are missing from the deck, play continues.
8. The rules vary from one place to the next whether to play a card accidentally exposed by the dealer; it’s up to the house rules and not the decision of the player how the card will be played.
9. If a player drops a card on the floor, they still have to play it.
10. If a player’s playing the board (using the five community cards to make their hand), they have to announce that they’re playing the board before they get rid of their cards, otherwise, they give up their claim to the pot.
11. It is up to the player to make sure their hand isn’t accidentally mucked. They can do this by covering their cards with their hands or placing some chips on them. There is no way to retrieve the hand if their cards are mucked or fouled because they weren’t being protected.
CUT & SHUFFLE (Land Based Poker Only)
Dealing at home
1. The deck needs to be thoroughly shuffled and cut between hands.
2. The deck must be riffled at least four times.
3. When cutting the deck, both sides must have at least four cards.
4. A cut card (such as a joker) must be used on the bottom of the deck to prevent players from seeing the bottom card.
5. If a player was dissatisfied with how the deck was cut, shuffled or dealt, they have to speak up before looking at their cards if they want a redeal. This applies to casino and home play.
DEAL & MISDEAL (Land Based Poker Only)
1. If a dealer accidentally shows a player’s first hole card, they have to reshuffle and redeal. If it was the second hole card, play continues and the exposed card becomes a burn card.
2. If more than two hole cards are exposed, it’s a misdeal and the hand needs to be redealt.
3. If there are two or more cards facing the wrong direction in the deck (boxed cards), it’s a misdeal and the hand must be redealt.
4. If the dealer gives a player one extra card, it is returned to the deck as a burn card and play continues. If more than one extra card is given, it’s a misdeal and the hand needs to be redealt.
5. If the dealer button was in front of the wrong player and somebody else deals out of turn, it’s a misdeal and the hand needs to be redealt.
6. If the dealer deals the first card to the wrong player, it’s a misdeal and the hand needs to be redealt.
7. If the dealer deals a hand to a player who is not playing that round or if they fail to deal to a player who is playing that round, a misdeal occurs and the hand needs to be redealt.
8. If the dealer deals the flop before pre-flop betting is finished or there are too many cards on the flop, the dealer collects the flop cards, reshuffles them with the remaining cards, burns one and then redeals the flop.
9. If the dealer deals too many cards for the flop, the hand must be redealt.
IRREGULARITIES (Land Based Poker Only)
1. In button games, such as Texas Holdem, if it’s discovered that the button was erroneously placed in the previous hand, the button and blinds are corrected for the new hand in such a way that it gives each player one opportunity to play each position on the round, if it is possible.
2. If a card of a different pack with a different colored-back is discovered in a hand, the action stops, the chips are returned to the players, and the hand is redealt. If the card is discovered in the stub, play continues.
3. If two identical cards (same rank and suit), the action stops, the chips are returned to the players, and the hand is redealt, unless a player is breaking the following rule.
4. If a player notices there is a defect in the cards and they play aggressively and not tell anyone, when the error is noticed and it is obvious that player knew, they won’t get their chips back (which will stay in the pot for the next hand).
5. When there is extra money in the pot due to someone breaking rule #4 above, only the players who were dealt in the original pot may play the new hand with the extra money.
- Introduction to Tournaments
- Tournament Formats
- Poker Tournament Rules - General
- Tournament Strategy - general
- Online Poker Tournaments
- Online Poker Tournament Rules - General
- Online Tournament Strategy
- Live Poker Tournaments
- Live Tournament Strategy
- Hosting a Home Tournament
- Hosting a Charity Tournament
- History of Women in Poker
- Professional Female Players
- Female Advantage and Strategy
- Ladies’ Tournaments
- Hosting a Ladies’ Poker Night
Hosting a Home Game
- Hosting a game
- Dealer's Choice
- How to deal a hand
- Drink and food
- Strip poker
- Poker Books
- Texas Hold'em movies & TV
- Famous players
- Poker Hall of Fame
- Hand Nicknames
- Poker Terms
- Poker Leagues
- Collusion in Poker
- Poker Vacations