How to Play Texas Hold’em Poker | LeoVegas Casino

How to Play Texas Hold’em Poker


  1. Each player is dealt two private cards, known as "hole cards".
  2. Five community cards are dealt face-up on the table.
  3. Players use their hole cards and the community cards to make the best possible five-card hand.
  4. There are four rounds of betting, with players having the option to fold, check, bet, call, or raise.
  5. The player with the best five-card hand at the end of the final betting round wins the pot.

Some key strategies to keep in mind include starting hand selection, position awareness, understanding betting and odds, and knowing when to be aggressive or fold. There are also different variations of Texas Hold'em, including No-Limit Texas Hold'em, Limit Texas Hold'em, and Pot-Limit Texas Hold'em, each with slightly different rules.

Table of Content:

What is Texas Hold'em Poker?

Poker is likely to be the most popular and most-played casino table game in the world, and the version most people think of when they hear the word poker is Texas Hold'em. While there are many specific variants of poker across different regions and cultures, Texas Hold'em is seen as something of a global standard, and if there's a casino offering poker anywhere in the world, there's a high chance they'll at least offer it if nothing else.

There are multiple claims about where the variant was created, although the Texas authorities give the title officially to Robstown, Texas. Exact dates are also hard to come by, but it is thought to be around 100 years old at this point. Reaching Vegas in the 1960s, was the main event of the nascent World Series of Poker and that is still true today.

How Do you Play Texas Hold'em Step by Step?

The exact order of play will depend on whether the game is being played with a group or individually against a dealer, although this guide will cover the original group play version:

  1. Before the cards are dealt, the player to the left of the dealer makes the 'small blind' which is a mandatory bet, and the player to the left of that makes a 'big blind' usually at double the value. Some games also require an ante from all players.
  2. Once all blinds and antes are made, each player is then dealt two starting cards which are kept private until a showdown occurs.
  3. There is then another round of betting known as the 'pre-flop' round.
  4. Three more cards are dealt to the table, which is known as the 'flop'.
  5. One more round of betting occurs.
  6. One more card is dealt to the table, known as the 'turn', followed by a third betting round.
  7. Finally, one last card is dealt called the 'river' followed by one last betting round.
  8. Any players still in the round who haven't folded reveal their cards in the showdown to see who has the better hand.
  9. The winner of the round collects all bets, the dealer moves to the player on the left, and play resets for the next round.

Texas Hold'em Poker Rules

The key goal behind a round of poker is to use your own two 'hole' cards and the five cards on the table to form the highest-value hand. The different types of hands can be found below. One critical part of poker is to convince others that your hand is high-value even if it isn't, making it a very psychological game.

During betting rounds, players can do one of three actions: fold, raise, or call. Folding removes the player from the round and any bets up until that point are forfeited. A raise means that the player increases the bet level of the round, while a call means that a player matches the current bet level, without increasing it, to stay in the round. A betting round ends once all remaining players still in the round have called.

There are no ties or pushes in poker and one player will always be declared a winner for each round. This is the biggest difference with the 'video poker' single-player format, where the game operates closer to a slot with only the higher-value hands paying out anything and the most common result in final round being a push instead.

Texas Hold'em Poker Hands

Poker hands increase in value with their rarity, with the highest-value hands having extremely low odds of ever appearing. Cards have values increasing from two to ten and then from Jack up to King. Depending on the rules, the Ace can either be the highest-value card or be used high or low as a one to complete certain combinations. Check our poker hand rankings for a more detailed explanation of each hand.

High Card

Any hand that has no other combinations is rated on the highest-value card in it. It loses to any actual five card hand combination, no matter the card values, and can only beat other high cards of lower values.


Any two cards with the same face value.

Two Pair

Two sets of pairs with the higher-value pair used for tie-breakers.


The same as a pair but with three cards instead of two.


Any sequence of five cards in order, such as 3-4-5-6-7, or 10-J-Q-K-A. The suit of the cards doesn't matter.


Any five cards of the same suit. The card values don't matter except for tiebreakers.

Full House

Any combination of a pair and a three-of-a-kind within the same hand.


The same as a three-of-a-kind except with four cards of the same value.

Straight Flush

A hand that is both a straight and a flush, so that every card is the same suit and sequential in value.

Royal Flush

The rarest type of straight flush- It has to be a straight with 10-J-Q-K-A all in the same suit. While it dramatically appears in TV shows and movies, it is considered so rare that most professional players would never see it across their entire careers.

Texas Hold'em Poker Odds and Payouts

For a standard hold'em game, these are the chances of each one appearing in a hand. Remember that in standard poker games, there are no guaranteed payouts as the bet sizes are determined by other players. The payouts listed are for single-player poker games played against an automated dealer:

  • High card - 50% - Push
  • Pair - 42% - Push
  • Two pair - 4.7% - Push
  • Three-of-a-kind - 2.1% - Push
  • Straight - 0.39% - 1:1
  • Flush - 0.19% - 3:2
  • Full house - 0.14% - 3:1
  • Four-of-a-kind - 0.02% - 10:1
  • Straight flush - 0.002% - 50:1
  • Royal flush - 0.0003% - 500:1

Texas Hold'em Poker Tips and Strategies

The first thing to remember is that poker draws are inherently random and so hard strategies to win are not possible. However, most professional poker players will instead use strategies to improve the odds or, at the very least, make better judgments on what actions to take.

Many of the most common strategies revolve around the first two cards that are dealt. While all hands theoretically have the potential to become a winning hand, certain hands are seen as much more 'playable' than others. For instance, a pair of Aces is seen as the most viable as it can work with many high-value combinations beyond just being a pair itself.

At the other end of the scale, a nine and six of the same suit or a six and a five of different suits are seen as almost unplayable and would lead most veteran players to immediately fold to cut their losses.

Apart from the mathematical side, poker is a deeply psychological game, and having some understanding of how people think is critical to play the game with success. Knowing when a player is hiding a good hand or trying to pass off a poor hand as something better is essential although never an exact science.

Texas Hold'em Poker FAQs

How do you play Texas Hold'em poker for beginners?

Unlike games like blackjack, Texas Hold'em isn't a 'pick-up-and-play' game and does require some research and learning before you start, even if it's just to learn the hand values. To really get involved in the whole texas hold'em game, though, it is best to do some basic reading on starting hands and a little psychology. Playing the game as video poker or in other single-player versions can also help to get used to the fundamentals.

Is Texas Hold'em luck or skill?

Poker has maintained popularity compared to things like slots and blackjack because it has a heavy skill element to it. While luck does play a big role and major surprises do happen often, even in pro games, many elements of the game can be managed by the players to get the best possible results. With that said, even the most experienced professional players can easily be caught out by unlikely results

How long does it take to learn Texas Hold'em?

Poker is a game that is famously easy to learn but difficult to master. Learning the basics, at least enough to get started, takes a relatively short time. Learning enough to get a decent number of wins though, especially when playing with experienced players, can take months or even years to do. In the end, it's all about how much time you want to invest in it.

How is Texas Hold'em different from regular poker?

The other main kind of poker, and the one that predated Texas Hold'em, is known as draw poker. The main difference is that in draw poker, all cards are dealt at the start and there are only two total rounds of betting. It's popular in casual games but unlikely to be found in modern casinos.

There are also three-card variants of poker that work in the same basic manner except that the range of possible hands is much smaller. Also, stud poker is a different model that uses face-down cards during the rounds.

What are the rules of Texas Hold'em?

All players must pick one of seven cards, five of the five community cards and two of the hole cards. Player options may include checking, calling, raising, or folding the odds. Betting rounds occur before flops are made, and each successive transaction follows.

Is Texas Hold'em poker luck or skill?

Texas Hold'em poker is a game that requires both luck and skill. While the card distribution is completely random, player decisions can affect the game outcome. A good understanding of the odds and bankroll management can help win the pot more long-term.

Why is poker called Texas Hold'em?

It is quite simple. "Hold'em" refers to the rule that you can only play with your initial cards, and don't draw more like in other poker variations. "Texas", as you might have already guessed, refers to the place of origin, which is officially Robstown, Texas.

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