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A Concise Guide to the Rules of Limit Texas Holdem Poker


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Weather you are new to poker, or simply want to brush up on the rules, you are at the right place! Lets get you up to speed on Limit Texas Hold’em:

The button

Used to mark the dealer position – which moves one seat to the left after each hand’s completion – the button, in most cases, comes in the form of a tiny flat disk. Of course, for casual games played at home, any form of marker may be used in its place.


Texas Holdem requires two players to place bets called blinds before dealing can begin. The goal is to get the action going, because once a bet has been placed, all active players are required to either match or beat it to stay in the game.

There are two types of blinds: big and small. The big blind is usually equal to the lower betting limit (i.e., the first number in $X/$Y), while the small blind is half that amount rounded down (in most cases) to the next practical value. So, if, for example, you’re playing a $4/$8 game, the big blind would be $4, while the small blind would be $2.

The first two players to the left of the dealer post the small and big blinds respectively. The amount they put in will be deducted from the total amount they have to bet once the action comes back to them. So, if the current bet amount is $8 in a $4/$8 game, the player who posted the small blind only has to bet $6, while the one who posted the big blind only needs to put in an additional $4 to stay in the game.

The deal

Each hand starts with each player – starting with the small blind – receiving two face-down cards one at a time from the dealer. Action then begins with the first player to the left of the big blind. They can choose to either fold (i.e., take themselves out of play), call (i.e., place a bet equal to the current bet amount) or raise (i.e., increase the current bet amount). All remaining players then take turns exercising their options in a clockwise fashion.

The flop

Once the first round of betting is done, the dealer puts three face-up cards in the middle of the table, which then signals the beginning of the second round. The game proceeds pretty much in the same way, except the action now (and in all subsequent betting rounds) starts with the first player to the left of the dealer.

The turn and river

Once the second round of betting ends, a fourth card is revealed in the middle of the table and the third round of betting begins. Afterward, a fifth face-up card is revealed, followed by the final round of betting.

The showdown

Each player reveals the best five-card hand they can make using any of the two cards they have and the five face-up cards on the table (also known as community cards). Whoever ends up with the strongest hand wins the pot (or splits it with other winners in case there’s a tie).

Now, if you’re not familiar with the card rankings used in Holdem (and pretty much all five-card varieties of poker), then click here for a quick introduction and then head on over here to put your poker hand ranking knowledge to the test.

Ready to play some Limit Holdem?

Of course, knowing the rules of the game is just the first step. To get good, you need to actually play – and play a whole lot of games. Don’t worry if you don’t have time to frequent your local casino, you can play real money poker right at the comfort of your own home by singing up for a SafeClub account.

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