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Learning how to play Texas Hold Em Poker is the first step in a long and exciting gambling journey.  When you know the difference between the flop and the river, it is safe to sign up at juicy Stakes Poker and dip into the table action. 

In our basic guide on how to play Texas Hold Em Poker, we cover the rules, the blinds and the structured betting rounds.  Once you have grasped the mechanics of the game, you are good to go.  The low stakes ring games at Juicy Stakes Poker are a great place to start.

Alternatively, you can test your poker playing prowess at our download poker room.  Play is available in both the play money and real money modes.  When you choose the former option, you can hone your skills without putting any pressure on your bankroll.

Here is how to play Texas Hold Em Poker at Juicy Stakes Poker, a trusted gaming platform affiliated with the Horizon Poker Network.

The Rules of Texas Hold Em Poker

Your objective in Texas Hold Em Poker is to create the best possible five-card poker hand.  In addition to the two cards you are dealt – the so-called ‘hole cards’ – you have five open community cards at your disposal.  These cards are gradually added to the table after each round of betting has taken place.

A game round consists of several structured movements and these are known as the ‘streets of play’.  Each street has its own betting round.  Players have the option to fold or continue through to the showdown, where the winner of the pot is declared.

The Streets of Play in Texas Hold Em Poker

In Texas Hold Em Poker, there are three defined stages of betting.  These are the streets of play we mentioned above.  The five community cards are dealt face up over these following three stages:

  • The first stage is the flop and this is when three community cards are added to the table.
  • The second stage, or the turn, is when the fourth community card is dealt.
  • The third and final stage is the river and it’s when the fifth community card appears.

When it comes to constructing a five-card poker hand at Juicy Stakes Poker, you can use any combination of the seven available cards.  In other words, it doesn’t matter how you mix and match.

You can use your two hole cards plus three community cards, one hole card and four community cards, or – if it’s in your favour – all five community cards.  It is entirely up to you.

How to Play Texas Hold Em Poker

When seated around the virtual table at Juicy Stakes Poker, you will notice a yellow and red dealer button.  This button sets up the pattern of pre-flop or fixed betting.  It also determines where the deal starts.  After each winning hand, the dealer button automatically moves one seat to the left.

The player immediately in front of the dealer button is said to be ‘on the button’.  He or she has no immediate impact on gameplay.  It is the player to their left that has to place the first fixed bet of the round.  This bet is known as the ‘small blind’.

The player to the left of the small blind places the second pre-flop bet – the ‘big blind’.  Once the bets are on the table, the first card is dealt face down to the small blind.  The deal continues in a clockwise direction until all the players have two private cards – their hole cards.

Betting Options

At this point, and after the players have assessed their hole cards, the first round of betting begins.  Betting starts with the player to the left of the big blind.  The player then has one of three options:

  • Fold – throw in the hand and abandon the round
  • Call – place a bet equal in value to that of the big blind
  • Raise – increase the bet according to the limits of the game

Gameplay proceeds in that manner until all the players have either called, raised or folded.  That is the end of the pre-flop round and your initial introduction on how to play Texas Hold Em at Juicy Stakes Poker!

Flop and Post-Flop Betting

At this point, three community cards are dealt face up on the table.  The second round of betting, known as ‘the flop’, commences.  Again, betting starts with the player to the left of the button.  In this round there is a fourth option available to players.

Provided no betting has taken place in the round, players can check and pass to the next player without taking any further part in the action.  If all the players check, the round is over and a new round begins.

If not, the players either call, fold or raise until betting is complete and the game progresses to the second stage of betting, ‘the turn’.  During this round, the fourth community card is added to the table.  Betting continues as above until the round ends.

The game then enters the third and final stage of betting, known as ‘the river’.  At this point, the fifth community card is dealt face up and the action at the table emulates that of the earlier streets.

Once all the betting is complete, the showdown takes place.  Think about that famous poker showdown scene in the 1987 film “House of Games”!  This is the ultimate stage of the game, where the remaining players expose their cards.  The player with the best five card poker hand according to the conventional poker rankings wins that particular Juicy Stakes Poker pot!

How Much Can You Raise in Texas Hold Em?

It all depends upon the game’s limits.  In pot limit games, the raise bet ranges from the big blind to the total amount in the pot.

In fixed limit games, the raise bet is always equal in value to that of the big blind.  In no limit games, the raise bet must be at least twice that of the big blind.  In this scenario, players can go all in and bet their entire chip stack on the raise.

Where to Find Tips on How to Play Texas Hold Em Like a Seasoned Pro

Now that you have a better idea of how to play Texas Hold Em online, it is a good time work on the skills, tactics and strategies required to win.  At Juicy Stakes Poker, we feature dozens of articles covering the best poker playing tips and tricks.  Simply keep an eye on our "Poker News & Articles" – you'll find the link in the footer of our site.

If you want to get more advanced information on how to play Texas Hold Em like the seasoned pros, we can recommend the following poker books.  They are not only full of information – but they are great reads too:

  • “The Poker Mind” by Jonathan Bradley
  • “Moorman’s Book of Poker” by Chris Moorman
  • “Strategies for Beating Small Stakes Poker Cash Games” by Jonathan Little
  • “Unfolding Poker” by James Sweeney

Go on… register an account at Juicy Stakes Poker and start playing our ring games and tournaments today! That really is the only way to learn how to play Texas Hold Em in double-quick time.


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