Texas Holdem Rules — The Beginners Guide

Dennis  «Dennis_Stets» 
14 May 2024
Holdem Poker Basics
14 May 2024

Poker comes in many forms. Speaking specifically about Hold'em, these are No-Limit, Limit, Pot-Limit, Hold'em 6+ and Split. So what do beginners should know about types of poker?

Hold Em Poker Basis

Immediately before learning to play Texas Hold'em poker, and consequently earn money, we strongly recommend familiarizing yourself with the rules of the game itself. This point applies to all beginner poker players. 

Undoubtedly, the most popular type of poker is Texas Hold'em — most players who feel the need to learn the rules of poker, start with this discipline. In part, this is because the rules here are extremely simple and clear.

No-Limit Texas Holdem Rules

This type of Hold'em, which is called No-Limit or NLH, really doesn't set betting limits. This opens the door to potentially large winnings, but also increases the risk of significant losses. In no-limit cash games, players are often confronted with an important aspect — the psychology of poker. Here the ability to read your opponents and manage your emotions becomes key to success.

In each new game / cash session you will have to deal with new opponents, which means that it is impossible to study this type of game thoroughly.

Betting Rounds

In No Limit Hold'em poker, players face several rounds where the goal is to collect the best card combination, based on five cards from the board and two hole cards. Each round ends with a deal where players bet or decide to fold their cards. This process of strategic play and bluffing can greatly influence the outcome of the game.

When the hand ends with a showdown, victory is awarded for the strongest combination collected. Otherwise, the poker player who managed to stay in the game the longest takes the bank. What are the actions:

  • Bet — putting chips / money to the pot;
  • Call — adding chips to the pot (equal to a previous bet);
  • Raise — increasing your opening hand;
  • Check — continuation of the game by betting (without raises);
  • Fold — folding cards / ending participation in current hand.

What are blinds?

To avoid an empty pot and to make sure players don't get bored waiting for a winning hand, poker uses special bets called blinds. These bets are made by two players at the start of each game, seated to the left of the dealer. They are divided into a small blind (SB) and a big blind (BB). 

The BB is usually twice the size of the MB.

The role of the dealer, or button, moves clockwise from player to player in each hand. In Hold'em tournaments, this function is assigned to a special dealer, while in online rooms the process is fully automatic.


Participants receive two cards, called pocket or hole cards, which remain hidden from the eyes of opponents. Based on the strength of their cards, players begin to deal.

Texas Hold'em rules have a clear order of operations: the player to the left of the big blind (BB) deals first, after which the initiative is passed clockwise.

The bets go into the pot, leading the way for the next round.


The flop is the first three cards of the table. They are placed face down and participate in the construction of combinations. Starting from this round, the first move during the betting is made by the player sitting to the left of the button.

Betting opponents on the flop allows you to more accurately analyze the strength of their hands and make informed decisions.


The next round of bets is made after the release of the fourth community card — turn. From now on, the players have 6 cards at their disposal, which can form this or that combination.


The river is the last card and signals the beginning of the final stage of bets. Their types we mentioned earlier.


Players show up two hole cards and see whose hand is stronger. The winner takes the entire pot and the next hand begins.

Introduction to Limit & Pot-Limit Texas Holdem Poker

Limit Hold'em is chosen not only by beginners, but also by players who approach poker as a mathematically calculated game. At the tables of this format a player does not get an opportunity to knock out opponents with weak cards and make them pay for a monster hand to the maximum. 

Fans of drive and creativity play in the format of No-Limit or Pot-Limit, where there is an opportunity not only to rip off a huge bank, but also to apply various tricks to push your opponents around. Next we'll briefly talk about less popular poker formats.

Features of Limit Hold'em

Limit Hold'em is the best choice for beginners, because thanks to the restrictions dictated by the rules of betting, a beginner can use his bankroll more rationally and for a longer period of time, and not lose it in one hand due to inexperience and lack of knowledge on strategy and tactics of the game.

It should be noted that the general Hold'em rules are the same for all formats. The differences are only in the peculiarities of betting.

In Limit Hold'em the size of bets is strictly regulated, which is written in the table name, where not the size of blinds, but small and big bets are indicated.

Bet sizes are distributed by streets: on preflop and flop players have the opportunity to make only a small bet, which is equal to the big blind. In the next two rounds of bidding it is allowed to use a big bet, equal to two small bets.

Raises are also limited to the size and number of raises on each street. On the preflop, a single big blind is allowed to raise four times. This means that no more than four players can call after raising (or a re-raise) out of all the players in the hand. The rest have to choose between check or pass.

From the flop stage, the number of raises is reduced to three. On turn and river you can raise to the size of double the big blind.

Features of Pot-Limit Hold'em

Pot-Limit format has fewer differences from No-Limit Hold'em than Limit Hold'em, as the bet sizes here do not have such strict restrictive limits. This allows you to play more aggressively and use bluffs more effectively.

In Pot-Limit Hold'em a player is allowed to raise the maximum bet up to the current size of the pot available in the hand. The allowed raises can be calculated using this formula:

The amount that is in the pot at the time of the player's turn + double the size of the previous raise.

For example, if there is 10 dollars in the pot, and the previous raid was 4 dollars, the participant has the right to raise his bet to 18 dollars.

Many players can freely alternate between Pot-Limit and No-Limit formats without any inconvenience when changing tables.

Differences between Limit and No Limit Texas Hold Em

Limit and No-Limit Hold'em have a number of essential differences, so it is impossible to apply one strategy in both formats. The main top-5 differences are as follows:

  1. Starting Hands. The range of hands played in Limit Hold'em is much wider. This is due to the fact that the No Limit game involves a great risk of losing a large amount of money in one hand. In Limit Hold'em a player can calculate in advance the amount he will have to spend in order to watch the Flop or the next streets and make a conclusion whether it is worth it or not.
  2. Bluffing. An invariable attribute of No-Limit games has little to no effectiveness in limit poker. Strict limits do not give the opportunity to intimidate the opponent, here everything is based on mathematical calculation.
  3. Position. In No-Limit format, the position of the player at the table often plays a bigger role than the strength of the hand. A good position helps players to take down pots with weak cards. In Limit Hold'em the position does not play such an important role for the same reason — limited action. Of course it reflects on poker strategy.
  4. Bankroll management. A necessary condition for both a beginner and an experienced player. It will help a beginner to determine the most suitable limit. In No-Limit Hold'em the requirements to the bankroll size increase, as the player cannot determine even approximately how many hands his available money will be enough for. In Limit Hold'em you can roughly calculate your spending.
  5. Aggressive play. Aggressive style of play in most cases justifies itself in No Limit Hold'em, as well as bluffing. In Limit Hold'em aggressiveness will have no effect, as the game is played for small amounts, which are much easier to risk than in No Limit.

Leveling Up: How to Play Texas Holdem 6+ and Split Poker 

If you want to take a break from the usual Hold'em without getting into other areas of the game (Omaha, Draw, Stud and others), then check out Hold'em 6+ and Split Hold'em. Below we will briefly consider how to play them.

Short Deck Poker

Short Deck Hold’em or Hold'em 6+ is an exciting poker format where players often have senior combinations and lots of action. It’s a special variant of the familiar Hold'em that uses a 36-card deck. The game is played at cash tables for 6 players.

In this format there are no small and big blinds. There is only a big blind and an ante equal to it, which is paid by all participants of the game. The blind can be bet only by the player on the button, not by the one who sits to his left, as in classic Hold'em.

The balance of power in combinations here is also interesting. The rest of the game is similar to Texas Hold'em. A successful strategy of poker with a short deck implies that the player should take into account the following: preflop, suited hands have a higher value, and all other hands have a lower value, even if you mean pocket pairs. And the top pair is weaker than in standard Hold’em — especially without a kicker.

Split Hold Em 

Split Hold'em is a relatively new format on PokerStars, which is characterized by increased dynamism and gives more chances to win. From the traditional No Limit Hold'em it differs only in one way: there is not one board, but two (top and bottom).

Flop, turn and river are dealt simultaneously on both the top and bottom boards. Then the player makes combinations with a pair of pocket cards and with cards of each board. But separately. It is impossible to make a combination, say, with a pair of pocket cards, a pair of cards from one board and another card from another board. Any combination is only with pocket cards and cards from the same board.

In Split Hold Em two people win. The one who collects the best five-card poker hand with the top board and the one — the best combination with the bottom board. The pot is split in half. If one player manages to make the best combinations with a pair of his pocket cards with cards of both boards, he takes the whole pot.

Split Hold'em is only available on PokerStars and only in No Limit format. Seating at the tables is done randomly. The player chooses one of the eight available limits and presses the «Play Now» button. After that, the managing program sends him to a free seat at the table with the selected limit.

According to experts, in Split Hold'em the advantage of regulars over amateurs is more apparent. That's why PokerStars has introduced a restriction on too frequent transitions from table to table. This is done to prevent the Split Hold'em grinders from rushing between tables in search of chips.

Before leaving the table or starting to ignore hands, a participant has to play a certain number of hands. If a player fails to obey this rule, he is suspended from the game.

How to start playing Texas Hold'em — simple steps

To play Texas Hold'em online, you need to register in the chosen poker room. It is represented by a simple procedure. The user needs to fill out a small form, indicating in it email, phone number, region of residence, login and password.

Register in the rooms can be persons 18 years of age and older.

The next step is to download the client software. A link to it can be found on the site of the poker room or get in its support service. Installation of the software is similar to other typical software for PCs. For authorization in it, the player should use the login and password selected during registration.

To play Hold'em for money you need to have a positive balance. To replenish it, complete next steps:

  1. After logging into the game client, go to the lobby and click on the «Deposit» button.
  2. Wait for the opening of the «Сashier» section.
  3. Select the payment method.
  4. Specify the deposit amount.
  5. Finalize the transaction.

The last thing to do is to open the tab with tournaments or cash tables, set the filter «Texas Hold’em», and familiarize yourself with the list of available games.

Conclusion on Poker Texas Holdem Game

Texas Hold'em is the leader among poker varieties. But even within the same type of game tactics and strategy have fundamental differences, which are determined by format, chosen by a poker player.

Poker Hold'em can be played in three variations: Limit, Pot-Limit and No-Limit. The last one takes the position of an undisputed record holder among poker formats. The popularity of NLHE is explained by the great freedom of action and the possibility of getting a huge profit.

Nevertheless, experts advise starting your poker career with Limit Hold'em, because the limited size of bets makes the game more calm and mathematically calculated. It helps to better control the bank. We hope that our material will help you to start earning money in Hold’em. Thank you for your attention!


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