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Play Better Texas Holdem Poker: Rules, Card Mechanics and Hand Rankings

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Primary objective

The main goal of Texas Holdem is to have the best five-card hand among all active players come showdown time (i.e., the point in the game where each player’s hand is revealed) and win the pot (i.e. total amount of accumulated bets at the end of the game).

Basic rules

Instead of a long narrative, how about we provide you with a cheat sheet instead so you can get into the game more quickly?

Choosing the Dealer

Any player can be assigned as the dealer at the start of the first hand by putting a marker called a button in front of them on the table.

The dealer position then moves one seat to the left after each hand is completed.

Posting of Blinds

The first two players to the left of the button are tasked with posting the small and big blinds respectively.

The amount of the big blind is usually the same as the lower value in $X/$Y, while the small blind is half of that.

ActionsEvery time a card is dealt to a player or is revealed on the table as part of the community cards, each player gets the option to do any of the following:
· Check – pass, provided no one else has placed a bet
· Fold – take themselves out of play to cut their losses
· Call – match the current bet amount
· Raise – bet more than the current bet amountKeep in mind, however, that a player may only take action during their turn, and verbal declarations are binding.
Proper Conduct

Offensive, inappropriate or disruptive behavior could merit penalties or ejection from the game, especially in tournaments and non-casual casino games.

Players are also expected to protect their cards at all times. Prematurely exposing one’s hand or having one’s cards mix in with those of another player typically results in the hand being declared dead.

If you’re looking for something more comprehensive (and maybe even a little bit of strategy), click here.

Card mechanics

There are five basic things to remember when it comes to this subject:

  1. Texas Holdem uses a single standard deck of 52 cards.
  2. Aces can be used either as high or low cards in a straight (which is a type of poker hand).
  3. Suits don’t affect the strength of the hands in any way. They’re just used to identify flushes (which are another kind of poker hand).
  4. A valid hand consists of five cards.
  5. The community cards, as the name implies, are shared by all active players.

Hand rankings

Below is a chart of pretty much everything you need to know about the hands in Holdem:

1. Royal Flush

  • Probability 0.000154%
  • Odds 649,739 : 1
  • Example: Ah Kh Qh Jh 10h

This hand is made up of five consecutive suited cards topped by an ace. It is the strongest one a player can get.

2. Straight Flush

  • Probability 0.00139%
  • Odds 72,192 : 1
  • Example: Js 10s 9s 8s 7s

This is essentially the same as a royal flush but topped by a king or lower.

3. Four of a Kind

  • Probability 0.0240%
  • Odds 4,164 : 1
  • Example: 7d 7h 7s 7c Ks

This hand consists of four cards of the same rank plus a fifth kicker card.

4. Full House

  • Probability 0.1441%
  • Odds 693 : 1
  • Example: Example: 4d 4h 4s 8s 8c

This is a combination of three cards of the same rank plus two cards of another rank.

5. Flush

  • Probability 0.1965%
  • Odds 508 : 1
  • Example: Ac Jc 9c 5c 3c

This hand is made up of five suited non-consecutive cards.

6. Straight

  • Probability 0.3925%
  • Odds 254 : 1
  • Example: 10d 9c 8s 7c 6h

In contrast, this hand consists of five consecutive non-suited cards.

7. Three of a Kind

  • Probability 2.1128%
  • Odds 46.3 : 1
  • Example: 4h 4s 4c 10d 5s

This one consists of three cards of the same rank plus two kicker cards.

8. Two Pair

  • Probability 4.7539%
  • Odds 20 : 1
  • Example: 5d 5h 2d 2c 9s

This hand has two distinct sets of two cards of the same rank plus one kicker card.

9. Pair

  • Probability 42.2569%
  • Odds 1.37 : 1
  • Example: Kd Kh As 5c 3s

As the name implies, this one, on the other hand, contains just one set of two cards of the same rank (plus three kicker cards to complete the set).

10. High Card

  • Probability 50.1177%
  • Odds 0.995 : 1
  • Example: Jc 7h 5d 3s 2c

This one’s just five random cards with at least two cards having the same suits.

Now use your poker rules chart to WIN!

And we’re done! It is now time for you to see how everything we’ve covered today could help you play better. Don’t worry, though, because you won’t have to drive all the way to a casino to do so. Just sign up for a SafeClub account and you’ll be able to enjoy all the real money poker you want online anytime, anywhere!

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