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    If you've come here looking for a place where you can play texas holdem, I recommend Absolute Poker to anyone that is just interested in playing at the fun tables. They have unlimited free tables. They've also gone as far as creating a free players Hall of Fame for those players that accumulate several million dollars in fun chips.
     There is a cash prize that goes along with being a hall of famer, check their website for details.

    If you're a serious poker player looking for a serious online card room, I recommend Ultimate Bet or Full Tilt Poker.

Texas Holdem Rules

     Texas Hold'em is a game that's simple to learn. Of course mastering it is another thing altogether.

In Limit Holdem:

     There are limits set on the betting. These limits are clearly marked, and become part of the name of the table. For instance, there are $2/$4 tables, $3/$6 tables, and online there might be $.25/$.50 tables. The first two betting rounds use the smaller size bets ($2 at the $2/$4 tables), and the second two betting rounds use the larger sized bet.

PRE-FLOP:
     The game begins with one player being marked as the dealer (whether or not they actually deal the cards). The two players to the left of the dealer each post "blind" bets. They're called blind bets becasue the players make them before they get to see their cards. The first player bets an amount equal to half of the opening round bet size (the small blind), the second player bets an amount equal it (the big blind).

THE DEAL
     Cards are then dealt, two to each player, faced down (their hole cards). The opening round of betting takes places, starting with the player to the left of the big blind. Players either fold their cards, call (or match) the bet, or raise. This continues until every player has either folded, or contributed to the pot equally. Usually the bets are capped at four per round, so there may be a bet, a raise, a re-raise, and a final re-raise. No more cards are dealt until each player is contributing to the pot equally.

THE FLOP and BEYOND
     Now the flop comes. The dealer places three cards across the middle of the table, face up. All players share the cards across the middle of the table, and may use them along with their hole cards to make the best hand possible. Beginning with the player to the left of the dealer, another round of betting takes place. The lower bet size is used for this round.

     Another card is dealt face up in the middle. This fourth community card is called the "turn" card. Beginning with the player to the left of the dealer, another round of betting takes place. This time, the higher bet size is used. So at a $2/$4 table, bets and raises during this round would be in increments of $4.

     The final card is dealt, known as the "river" card. Once again, beginning with the player to the left of the dealer, a round of betting takes place. The higher bet size is used. Once all players have contributed to the pot equally, the showdown takes place. Players turn their cards over, and the player with the highest hand wins.

SHOWDOWN

  • In a contested hand, a player must show all cards in the hand face-up on the table to win any part of the pot.

  • Cards speak (cards read for themselves).

  • If everyone checks (or is all-in) on the final betting round, the player who acted first is the first to show the hand. If there is wagering on the final betting round, the last player to take aggressive action by a bet or raise is the first to show the hand.

Note: I recently added the "Showdown" section in response to this question . . .

Q:
Can you clarify one rule for me please:

In the case of only 2 players the person who 'calls' their opponent after the river does not have to show his cards if he has a losing hand.

However, if there are three or more players left after the river card has been dealt. Do all players have to show their cards in the showdown?

For example, first player bets, second player calls as does the third player. Who is the first to lay down cards? Does the person who called last have to show his cards if he knows he has a losing hand?

A:
At the showdown, the last aggressive actor turns over their cards first. So, that would be the last person to initiate a bet or raise. In your example, that's the "first player".

If the river goes check/check/check, the showdown starts with the player to the left of the dealer.

"Do all players have to show their cards in the showdown?"
- No.

"Does the person who called last have to show his cards if he knows he has a losing hand?"
- No. They can muck them.

The player that does have to show their cards is the one who wins the pot, and they must show both of them in a contested pot.

In an uncontested pot (one where every player but one folds), they do not have to show any cards.


In No-Limit Holdem:

     The betting sizes are not controlled, and players may bet or raise as much as they wish. There is no cap to the number of raises or re-raises per betting round.

     Also, the minimum bet amounts do not increase on the "turn" or "river" card betting rounds. Each betting round has a minimum bet that is equal to the big blind.


Q:
If I play unlimited texas holdem...could my bet be more that a money on the table at the moment?

A:
No. The game is played for what they call "table stakes" meaning you can bet everything you have on the table in front of you. You cannot, however, run to the bank, or your uncle, or anywhere to get more money to bet.

At a live casino game (cash - not tournament) they also control the amount of money a player may bring to the game when they first sit down by setting table minimum and maximum amounts. This ensures people will not be able to sit down with an unusually large stack and bully the table right from the beginning.



Remember:
- The best five card hand wins. Hands are made by using any combination of board cards and hole cards the player chooses. It is acceptable to "play the board" and use no hole cards when forming a hand. A sixth card is never considered in ranking hands.

Q:
I can't find the rule for the following situation-( BIG FIGHT )
Texas Hold'em----two players
Player A hand....K,10
Player B hand....K, 8
Flop.....K,Q,Q,A,4

IS THERE A WINNER , OR IS THE POT SPLIT??

A:
Each player takes their best possible 5 card hand.

Player A has two pairs (K,K,Q,Q,A)
Player B has two pairs (K,K,Q,Q,A)

They share the best possible hand, and split the pot.

Because of the cards on the board, their "kickers" never come into play.

- A round of betting is finished when all players have acted, and contributed equally to the pot.


 
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