Texas Holdem Guide.
Texas Holdem is the most popular online poker game.
The rules for Holdem are very simple.
The dealer button is established (this player does not actually deal, but he will be the last player to act on three of the four betting rounds.)
This is the strongest position to be in as you get to play last for the majority of the game, meaning that you can see how the other players will act before it is your turn, this is vital information.
To the left of the dealer is the "small blind", this player must post half the amount of the blind - this is a dollar amount depending on the stakes of the table.
To the left of the small blind is the "big blind", who must post the full blind dollar amount.
For example, if you are playing $1-2 limit Texas Holdem game, the small blind must put down $.50 and the big blind must place $1.00 on the table before anything happens.
The poker game now starts.
Once all the blinds are established, the players are dealt two cards face down. These are referred to as the "hole cards".
You can see your cards and then determine if you wish to play.
The action moves around the table, this starts with the player to the left of the big blind.
This player decides if he wants to play his hand, and if so, he must match or raise the big blind amount.
In the example above of a $1-2 game, the player must place a bet of $1.00 or more to stay in the game, or fold his cards.
The action carries on around the table, to the dealer, the small blind, and finally, the big blind.
The big blind may not have to put anymore money on the table if the pot is not raised, since he already has a $1.00 put in.
That is the first round of betting, and the only round of betting where the big blind position is last to act.
All following betting rounds end with the player on the dealer button.
If this is a $1-2 limit Texas Holdem game, then all bets or raises on this round are $1.
After this initial round of betting, three cards are placed on the board, at the same time, face-up.
This is called the "Flop". The second round of betting ensues, starting with the small blind position and ending with the dealer position.
Again the bets on this round would be $1 in a $1-2 holdem game.
After the betting on the flop, the "Turn" card is dealt on the board.
Now there are 4 cards on the board and two in your hand.
The third round of betting begins, again starting with the small blind position and ending with the dealer position.
Now, if you are playing a $1-2 limit Texas Holdem game, this is when the big bet, $2, kicks in.
From here on out, all bets or raises are always $2.
Finally, the fifth and final card is dealt on the board, the "River" card, and the fourth and final round of betting ensues. At the end of the betting, the players will show their two hole cards, and the best 5 of the possible 7 cards determines the winner.
The rules dictate that you may choose to use one, both, or none of you hole cards, whichever makes you the best poker hand.
Those are the rules of Texas Holdem in a nut shell.
There are three types of Texas Holdem games which have slightly different betting rules:
Limit Texas Holdem (there is a specific betting limit applied in each game)
Pot Limit Texas Holdem (A player can bet what is in the pot)
No Limit Texas Holdem (A player can bet all of his/her chips at any time)
Each version of the game requires subtle changes to your strategy - studying, practice, and experience will help you determine which game is best for you.