How to Master the Basics of Texas Hold 'Em

When it comes to Texas Hold 'Em, strategy is a very important part of the game. But before you can begin to understand and build strategies for winning, you must first understand the basic rules. The first thing that you need to know however, is that being successful at Texas Hold 'Em means winning chips, not necessarily winning hands, and while this seems simple on the surface, it is something that even the most experienced players sometimes forget. Let's start with the basic rules and play for the game of Texas Hold 'Em.

The Deal

Each player is dealt two cards face down that only they can see. They are called your "hole" cards. Then, there are five cards dealt face up that everyone at the table can use ? called the community cards. The first three cards that are dealt face up are called the "flop", the fourth is called the "turn" and the fifth ? and final ? card is called the "river". The betting goes like this:

  1. Hole cards are dealt and there is a round of betting.
  2. The flop is laid and there is another round of betting.
  3. The turn is placed down, and then betting commences again.
  4. The river is laid down and there is betting until calls.
  5. Anyone who hasn't folded and is still in the game is eligible to win.

The best hand wins in the game of Texas Hold 'Em. The players get to make the best hand that they can out of their two hole cards and the five community cards. You can use them in any combination to make a hand.

Blinds & Play

The player to the left of the dealer must post the "small blind", and the player to his left posts the "big blind". If you are familiar with antes this serves the same purpose, but just is done a different way, since the dealer rotates with each hand.

Betting in Texas Hold 'Em

You have three choices when it comes to betting in Texas Hold 'Em. You can fold, call or raise. When you raise you bet more money than the amount that is sent to you as the next bettor. If the bet to you is zero then your call is actually known as a "check". If you understand the basics, you'll learn the betting procedures and terminology quickly when you play a game.

Order of Winning Hands

Here are the winning hands, starting with the highest in Texas Hold 'Em

  • Straight Flush
  • Four of a Kind
  • Full House
  • Flush
  • Strait
  • Three of a Kind
  • Two Pair
  • One Pair
  • High Card

That's what you need to know to master the basics of Texas Hold 'Em. Now you can play a few games, and develop your strategy. But remember, your goal is to win chips, as often as possible and in as large an amount as possible. That's a terrific beginning strategy.