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Official Texas Hold Em Rules

By Sean Armstrong

The official Texas Hold em rules require a dealer button to be used to represent the player in that position; this button rotates clockwise among each player after every hand. The small blind is posted by the player immediately to the left of the dealer, and the big blind to the left of the small blind. The big blind is equal to the minimum bet and the small blind is half of the big blind. When playing in tournaments, the blind/ante structure will periodically increase as the tournament progresses.

Once every player has been dealt two face down cards, play begins; the small blind receives the first card. Texas Hold em rules state that the deck be a standard 52-card deck with no jokers. The first two cards are the player’s hole or pocket cards, the only cards that belong just to that one player. They are only revealed at the showdown, making Texas Hold em a closed poker game.

The first betting round takes place “pre-flop”, and begins with the player to the left of the big blind and continues clockwise. The round of betting goes on until every player has folded, gone “all-in”, or called the other players’ bets. The blinds that were put in before the hands were dealt are considered a part of what the player must put in in order to play. So the player who is in the big blind may either check or raise if no one else has raised.

After this initial round, the dealer puts out a flop, three face-up cards which are used by every player. Then a second round of betting takes place, starting with the player to the left of the dealer.

If a player bets and all of the other plays fold, the remaining player wins the pot and is not required to show his or her hole cards. The showdown occurs when there are two or more players remaining in the hand after the final round of betting. Each player will have a total of seven cards with which to make the best five card hand, using standard poker hand rankings. Any combination of hole cards and community cards can be made; i.e. one hole card and four community cards, two hole cards and three community cards, or even all five community cards.

The Texas Hold em rules state that if the best hand is shared by more than one player, the pot is split equally among them. Any extra chips go to the first player to come after the dealer button in clockwise order. It’s fairly common for players to have hands that are closely-valued, but not identically ranked. It is important to be careful in determining the best hand when the hand involves fewer than five cards, this is when kickers are used to settle ties. Suit is of no importance, only the numerical value matters. The last player to bet is always the first player to show their hand.

Read more about the official Texas Hold em Rules at my site. There are also reviews of online poker sites at my site, Official Texas Hold em Rules.

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Article Citation
MLA Style Citation:
Armstrong, Sean "Official Texas Hold Em Rules." Official Texas Hold Em Rules. 26 Aug. 2010. 3 Jan 2015 <>.

APA Style Citation:
Armstrong, S (2010, August 26). Official Texas Hold Em Rules. Retrieved January 3, 2015, from

Chicago Style Citation:
Armstrong, Sean "Official Texas Hold Em Rules"

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