For over 20 years, Texas Hold’em poker has remained the game of choice for millions of online poker enthusiasts. If you’ve ever watched a game of poker on TV, chances are it was Texas Hold’em!
Players spend years honing their craft in order to become successful pros. However, it takes mere minutes to simply get a good grasp of the rules of the game. We’re here to kickstart your journey and take you through everything you need to know before you try your hand at Texas Hold’em Poker.
History of Texas Hold’em Poker
No surprises for guessing that this variant of poker originates from Texas, where it dates back to the early 20th century. Yet, it wasn’t until the mid to late 1960s, when the game was introduced in Las Vegas, that it started to attract attention from a larger audience. In 1971, Texas Hold’em became the main event game in the WSOP (World Series Of Poker) – an accolade which it still holds to this day.
Online Texas Hold’em poker came about many years later during the late 1990s, but it was only in 2003 that Chris Moneymaker became the first player to win the WSOP who qualified for the event by playing online.
Why play Texas Hold’em?
There are numerous reasons why we’d recommend you give Texas Hold’em a try. While the game takes tons of practice to master, picking up the basics is a breeze. You can start playing within minutes. It’s also far more socially engaging than most other casino games – you’re pitted against fellow players, as opposed to the computer you face in most online casino games. While you’ll require a rub of the green to draw a good hand, playing against others means that skill comes into play too.
Plus, there’s no house edge when playing Texas Hold’em. Unlike blackjack or baccarat where the house will always win over the long haul, you make your own fortune playing this poker variant. That’s not to say you don’t need a bit of luck at times, but playing without the odds in the favour of the house can potentially make this a rewarding game for skilled players.
Furthermore, when playing online at the top poker sites, there are Texas Hold’em rooms to fit every budget imaginable. You can play games starting from pennies going up to hundreds and even thousands, of pounds. The top online poker sites even offer freerolls, which, as its name suggests, allows players to enter certain poker rooms for free. This is a great way to get some practice and even land a winner without putting anything on the line. If you fancy your chances against the best, you’ll be able enter tournaments where you can qualify for actual live games such the WSOP event.
How to play Texas Hold’em poker online
- Choose a top Texas Hold’em poker site
Texas Hold’em is a game that requires you to make decisions and making the right call at the right time. So it’s fitting that before you even play a hand, you must carefully decide where you want to play. Need a little guidance? We’ve hand-picked the best online poker sites that offer real money Texas Hold’em, as well as a number of other poker variants. Each operator is fully licensed too, so you’re guaranteed a fair game and secure payments.
- Sign up
Once you’ve chosen where you want to play, use our ‘Claim Bonus’ link which will direct you to a registration page for your chosen poker site. Creating an account only takes a minute or two, with some personal details and contact information the only requirements.
- Deposit and claim your bonus
Hit the deposit now button if highlighted, or go to the cashier page to make your first deposit. Select one of the available payment methods – the options at the very best poker sites often range from debit and credit cards to e-wallet, prepaid vouchers and even Bitcoin.
- Try out some freerolls
Many bonuses and promotions offer entry into a certain number of poker freerolls. Starting out on these free real-money games is a good way to earn your stripes before tackling the tables with your hard-earned cash.
- Find a table to play at
You’ll see a huge selection of tables and games available in the lobby but it’s important to pick the right one when starting out. Cash games are essentially ‘pay-as-you-play’ tables, whereas a sit and go tournament usually only requires you to pay once before starting. With so many options available, you’ll have no trouble finding a table that matches your bankroll and skill level. A general rule is that the more a game costs to play, the higher the calibre of players will be.
Texas Hold’em Hands
Before you even consider taking a seat at the tables, you’ll need to know all about the hand rankings in Texas Hold’em. Without a solid understanding of these, you’ll find it pretty hard to play an effective game.
Here a comprehensive list of Texas Hold’em poker hands, ranked from strongest to weakest:
- Royal Flush: 5 cards in a sequence running from ace to 10. All the same suit
- Straight Flush: 5 cards in sequence all of the same suit
- Four of a Kind: 4 cards of equal face value
- Full House: 5 cards. 3 cards of equal face value plus 2 cards of equal face value
- Flush: 5 cards of the same suit but not in sequence
- Straight: 5 cards of mixed suits in sequence
- Three of a Kind: 3 cards of equal face value
- Two Pair: 2 cards of equal face value plus another 2 cards of equal face value
- One Pair: 2 cards of equal face value
- High Card: Simply the highest value card in your hand
The basics of Texas Hold’em Poker
Armed with the knowledge of the poker hands, let’s run through the basics of the game so you can take your place at the table with a little more confidence. When seated, you’ll notice the ‘button’ – this is the dealer. To the left (clockwise) of the button is the ‘big blind’ and next to that is the player who is the ‘small blind’. Blinds are automatic bets players must make and they will increase at set periods throughout the game.
Each player is dealt 2 ‘hole’ cards. Using your knowledge of the poker hand ranks, you must decide whether to:
- Fold – discard your hand and forfeit interest in the current pot
- Call – match the big blind
- Raise – increase the big blind bet
When all players have made their decisions, the first three community cards are dealt – this is called ‘the flop’. A new round of betting begins, this time there is also the option to ‘check’ if no player has made a bet. This simply passes the turn to the next player. Again, once all players have made their choice of action, a fourth card is added to the community set, known as ‘the turn’. Another round of betting takes place before a fifth card is added. This is ‘the river’. You then move on to the last round of betting before the showdown, where remaining players reveal their cards to see who has won. This is a complete hand, yet most don’t go the distance. For example, if a player goes ‘all-in’ on the first round of betting and all other players fold, that player wins the hand and doesn’t have to reveal the cards.
Ready to play poker!
That’s a quick introduction into the beauty of Texas Hold’em. Now that you have a grasp of the basics and how to play the game, all that’s left to do is find the perfect place for your poker play. If you’re ready to become the next Chris Moneymaker, check out our list of the top online Texas Hold’em poker sites and pick out your favourite. Be sure to take advantage of the generous bonuses on offer and kick off your Texas Hold’Em adventure in style!