When playing Texas HoldEm poker, every player is dealt two cards face down – these are called your 'hole cards'. Then there is a round of betting where you can Check, Bet or Fold. This stage of the game is known as pre-flop and what you should do is dependent on those hole cards, or starting hand.
When all the betting has finished three shared cards are dealt face up in the middle of the table. This is called the flop.
After this there is another round of betting, then a fourth shared card – called the turn – is dealt.
There is another round of betting then a final shared card – called the river – and a final round of betting.
Your best Texas Holdem hands will be made by using your hole cards and the five cards in the middle to make the best possible five card poker hand. Not sure what the best Texas Holdem poker hands are? Check out the poker hand rankings here.
So, for example, if you have 9-9 and the shared cards are 9-9-A-5-2 you have four-of-a-kind. If the shared cards were J-Q-K-7-2 you would only have two nines.
Sometimes the best texas hold em hand is made by the five shared cards on their own. If they were 10-10-10-10-A and you had 9-9 your hole cards would not play as there is a four-of-a-kind of higher value already showing.
There are two ways a hand can end.
One is when the players in a hand turn over their hole cards and the player with the best hand wins. This is known as a showdown.
The other is that someone will bet enough that everyone else folds. This is how most hands end in Texas Hold'em and that's the magic of the game – you don't always need the best hand to win.
A poker hand consists of five cards. Poker hands fall into one of several categories, such as flush, straight, or two pair. The player with the highest-ranked poker hand is the winner, so it is crucial to understand the correct poker hand rankings.
In a nutshell, a hand consists of five cards. Poker hands fall into one of several categories, such as flush, straight, or two pair. The player with the highest-ranked hand is the winner.
Royal flush A royal flush is an ace high straight flush. For example, A-K-Q-J-10 all of diamonds.
Straight flush A straight flush is a five-card straight, all in the same suit. For example, 7-6-5-4-3 all of clubs.
Four of a kind Four of a kind, or quads, are four cards of equal value. For example, four jacks.
Full house A full house contains a set (3) of cards of one value and a pair of another value. For example, Q-Q-Q-2-2.
Flush A flush is any 5 cards, all of the same suit. For example, K-Q-9-6-3 all of diamonds.
Straight Five cards of sequential value. Every possible straight will contain either a 5 or a 10. For example, 7-6-5-4-3 with different suits.
Three of a kind Three cards of the same value. For example, three aces.
Two pairs This is two cards of one value and another two cards of another value. For example, two jacks and two 8s.
Pair One pair is two cards of the same rank. For example, two queens.
High card The hand with the highest card(s) wins. If two or more players hold the highest card, a kicker comes into play (see below).