Texas Hold'em

from Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia
Texas Hold'em poker table with eight players (represented by their face-down pocket cards ) and their face-up board cards

Texas Hold'em is a variant of the card game poker . Texas Hold'em is next to Seven Card Stud and Omaha Hold'em the most common type of poker game offered in casinos and is often played in poker tournaments , including the World Series of Poker, which was originally held at Binion's Horseshoe in Las Vegas of poker .


Hold'em generally refers to all those poker variants in which five open cards ( board cards , also community cards ) are placed in the middle of the table, which can be used by every player to form their poker hand , while every player can no longer use them as two of his hand cards ( hole cards ) may use.

The rules

Texas Hold'em is usually played in casinos and in large tournaments according to the following rules:


Poker Cards (Royal Flush)

Texas Hold'em is played with a pack of French or Anglo-American cards of 52 hands by two to a maximum of ten people.

Playing cards in poker format (poker size) are usually slightly wider than cards in standard format (so-called bridge size ). In addition, cards that are made of 100% plastic should be used, as these still retain their original shape even after long periods of play and are therefore not considered marked .

The aim is to get the highest poker combination or to persuade the other players to give up through skillful play.


Before the very first game, the croupier shuffles the cards, lets draw and first gives (divides) an open card to each player. The player with the highest card is the first dealer and receives the dealer (s) button . If two players have the same highest card in rank, the order of the colors known from bridge decides : spades ( ) is the highest suit, followed by hearts ( ), diamonds ( ) and clubs or clubs ( ) .

The role of the dealer always changes clockwise after each individual game - in fact, however, the croupier always gives the cards in the casino , the player with the dealer button only nominally takes on the role of the dealer. The player to the left of the player with the dealer button receives the first card when dealt.


Standard Hold'em poker table with dealer, small and big blind

The player to the left of the nominal dealer (dealer) must place a prescribed bet (small blind) , for example € 5, whose left neighbor is the big blind , usually twice the value of the small blind , i.e. € 10. The other players must before any ante receiving the first card ( ante ) afford in the Hold'em variants is usually not ante with, but blindly played.

Special rules for heads-up

If there are only two players left at the table ( heads-up ) , the small blind is placed by the player with the dealer button , while the other player must post the big blind .


There are four types of limits in use in Texas Hold'em

  • No Limit (NLHE) : There is only a minimum for a bet or a raise , the maximum bet is only limited by the height of the stack of the players. Most casinos play according to the rule that the so-called minimum bet must correspond to the current big blind or the stake placed in the last betting round. If a player wants to raise this bet , he must at least double the bet. A further increase (reraise) only has to be at least equal to the last reference amount (the amount that was added during the increase). For example, if the blinds are 100 (small blind) and 200 (big blind), a bet must be at least 200. In the event of a raise, this value must be at least doubled, i.e. an increase from 200 to at least 400. In a subsequent re-raise, the amount no longer has to be at least doubled, i.e. from 400 to at least 800, but only at least equal to the last reference amount, i.e. an increase from 400 to at least 600. If a player stakes his entire stack ( table stake ), this is also called all-in . In the no-limit hold'em cash game, there are basically two strategies: the big stack strategy, in which the player sits down at the table with the maximum possible amount of money, and the short stack strategy which the player buys with the minimum.
  • Pot Limit (PLHE) : You can only bet as much as is currently in the pot.
  • Split limit (also spread limit ): In the first two betting rounds a maximum of the lower limit , from the third betting round up to a maximum of the higher limit . If the small blind is € 5 and the big blind is € 10, the lower limit is € 10 and the higher limit is usually € 20. In each betting round the stake may be increased a maximum of three times, i. H. a player opens the round with a bet ( bet ), it can now increase ( raise ), further increased ( reraise ) and the betting round with a recent increase ( Cap be completed). If there are only two players left in the game, the increase may continue until one player either draws (holds) or gives up.
  • Fixed Limit (LHE) : Like split limit, but here the stakes are fixed, while with the spread limit they can be freely selected within the respective limits. The fixed stake is one big blind in the first two betting rounds and two big blinds in the last two rounds. Raises are then also one big blind or two big blinds. Furthermore, the maximum number of increases is specified, e.g. B. on three ( raise , reraise , cap ).

In casinos, games are usually not played with cash, but with chips or English. Chips ; However, there are also some tournaments that are played exclusively with cash. In so-called cash games, however, the chips correspond directly to a fixed equivalent in real money, depending on the limit played .

The four betting rounds

The game runs in a maximum of four betting rounds. If all players - except one - fold, the game round ends and the last remaining player receives the pot.

First round of betting (preflop)

Each participant receives a starting hand consisting of two hidden cards (hole cards , also pocket cards or pockets) . The player to the left of the big blind must be the first to announce his game decision (since small and big blind have already had to bet); In technical terms, this means that he speaks first and opens the first betting interval . He can now either

  • hold also respond (call) , so an amount equal to the previous use (in the first round of betting at least the big blind ) set,
  • increase (raise) , or
  • get out (fold) .

In the same way, the remaining players continue the betting round in a clockwise direction.

A player may not bet twice in a row in the same betting round unless another player raised between the two bids. So if a player opens the round with a bet or raises and all following players either hold or fold, this betting round is over and the player who last increased the stake may not raise again in this betting round.

Second betting round (flop)

After the end of the first betting round, the croupier first places one card face down next to the pile (burn card) and then three cards face up on the table ( flop ) , followed by the second betting round. The player in first position , i.e. H. the player to the left of the nominal dealer has to speak first in this and all subsequent betting rounds.

From this betting round onwards, the player who has to speak first can also wait (check) and not place a bet. If the player waits in first position , the next player can also wait or bet, etc. If all players wait, the second betting round is over.

However, once a player has placed a bet, the following players can only choose either

  • hold (call or call ) and put the same amount into the pot, or
  • increase (raise) and set a higher amount than the previous player, or
  • get (fold or match) - in this case, the player places his cards face-down and are lost this game.

If one or more players have bet, the betting round continues until all players have either kept their stakes or have dropped out of the game.

Third betting round (Turn Card)

Although Player 1 before revealing the Rivers the better cards holds (two couples with a 7 as a kicker he) has, without bluffing , no chance to win the hand. With a 2 or 7, player 2 makes a straight, 5 or 6 lead to two higher pairs for player 2 and all other cards would result in a split pot , as every additional card would be the highest and thus the kicker for both players.

Before the third betting round, a card is first placed face down next to the pile and then a fourth open card ( turn card ) is placed in the middle. If you play with spread limit , the higher limit applies from now on . It is set in the same way as in the preliminary round.

Final betting round (River Card)

Now another card is placed face down next to the pile and then the fifth card ( river card ) is placed face up, the last round of betting follows.


If there is a showdown after the last betting round, each player puts together the best five-card poker combination from his two hand and five table cards; the sixth or seventh card is meaningless for the decision to win. The player,

  • who was the last to raise in the last betting round , or,
  • if nobody raised, whoever was the first to bet in the last round of betting , or
  • if nobody has bet, the one who is in first position ,

has his hand (his combination) completely show.

All players remaining in the game can now prove their eligibility to win one after the other and also reveal their cards.

If a player only wants to play the five cards on the table (Playing the board) , he should advertise so that putting the cards away is not misunderstood as a fold.

The player with the highest hand ( combination ) wins the pot. In the case of equal combinations, the pot is split among the winners ( split pot ).


Burn cards

Before the croupier reveals the flop and later the turn or river cards , he always puts a card, a so-called burn card , aside face down. The purpose of this regulation is based on the fact that a player could possibly recognize the top card as a result of the croupier's careless handling of the cards or as a result of damage or markings and could take advantage of it. There is no uniform regulation as to whether a burn card should be put away before the hole cards are issued.

Time Collection or Taxe

The organizer (casino / casino or online poker platform) receives a fee for hosting gaming operations:

  • With a time collection, the casino withdraws an amount from each guest every half hour, depending on the amount of the limit; z. B. A small plus a big blind.
  • Instead of a time collection , the casino can also collect an estimate (cf. Seven Card Stud ) from each pot , usually in the amount of 5% of the pot: While an exact calculation is usually made in online games, in live games the estimate is as follows: € 5 is withdrawn from the first bets, if the pot exceeds € 100, € 5 is again withdrawn from the next bets, etc. Often there is a maximum tax beyond which the organizer does not participate in the players' bets.
  • In tournaments, a small part of the buy-ins made by all players is often withheld by the organizer.

Table stakes

In order to take part in a game, each player has to place a certain amount ( buy in ) on the table in front of them before their first game , at the specified limits of € 200. A player may not insert any tokens ( chips ) from his playing capital ( table stakes ), which he must leave on the table in front of him for all to see , unless he finishes his game. He may increase his playing capital between two games, but never during a single game, by buying additional chips. If a player buys chips, he must top up his playing capital at least to the amount of the buy-in, but must not exceed the previously set maximum amount (usually 100BB, i.e. one hundred times the big blind).

Side pot

If a player can no longer hold a stake or can no longer hold it in full - it is said that the player is all in - the other players also play for a side pot in which the all-in player is not involved. When multiple players are all in , there can be multiple side pots .


Main article: Hand (poker) and odds in Texas Hold'em

hand Combinations probability description example
Royal flush 4,324 0.003232% The sequence 10 to ace of one suit 10 J Q K A
Straight flush 37 260 0.027851% Five consecutive cards of the same suit 5 6 7 8 9
Quadruple, poker, four of a kind 224 848 0.168067% Four cards of the same rank A A A A
Full house 3,473,184 2,596102% Three of a kind and a pair K K ♦ K 9 9 ♦
Flush 4,047,644 3.025494% Any five cards of one suit 6 8 Q K A
Straight, straight 6 180 020 4,619382% Five consecutive cards 7 8 9 10 ♦ J
Three of a kind 6 461 620 4.829870% Three cards of the same value Q ♦ Q Q
Two pairs, two pair 31 433 400 23.495536% Two couples 10 10 A A
One pair 58 627 800 43.832255% Two cards of the same rank J J
High card 23 294 460 17.411920% The highest single card A
total 133 784 560 100%

There are four possible royal flushes , but since each royal flush can be formed with any two other cards, there are a total of possible seven-card combinations that contain a royal flush .

The strongest starting hands, consisting of two cards, are ordered in descending order of chance of winning: A – A, K – K, Q – Q, J – J, A – K suited (i.e. of one suit), T – T, A – Q suited , A – J suited , K – Q suited , A – K offsuited (ie of different suits ).

The generally weakest starting hand is 7–2 offsuited , in heads-up (ie with only two players) 3–2 offsuited .

The player who has the best possible hand at any given time during a game holds the so-called nuts .

Short deck

A variant of Texas Hold'em is playing with a short deck (to German mutatis mutandis small deck ). All cards with the values ​​2, 3, 4 and 5 are removed from the regular deck of cards, so that only 36 cards remain. Removing the 16 cards makes pairs and straights more likely, while a flush is less likely. Therefore, a flush is now rated higher than a full house and, depending on the set of rules, sometimes three of a kind are rated higher than a straight. The ace can still be used as the lowest card and together with the cards 6, 7, 8 and 9 form a straight.

The variant has been played regularly since May 2018 at the Triton Super High Roller Series and since September 2018 at tournaments at the Aria Resort & Casino in Las Vegas . The variant has also been offered on the online poker platform PokerStars since January 2019 . In June 2019, the World Series of Poker featured a short deck event for the first time.


  • Doyle Brunson : Super System Deluxe. Power Poker Handbook. (German language edition). Heel, Königswinter 2007, ISBN 978-3-89880-688-6 .
  • Dan Harrington , Bill Robertie: Harrington on Hold'em. Expert strategy for no-limit tournaments. 3 volumes. Premium Poker Publishing, Quickborn 2007;
  • Ed Miller, David Sklansky, Mason Malmuth: Small Stakes Hold'em. Winning big with expert play. Two plus Two, Las Vegas NV 2004, ISBN 1-880685-32-9 .
  • Ed Miller, David Sklansky, Mason Malmuth: Small Stakes Hold'em. Win with expert knowledge. (German language edition). Premium Poker Publishing, Quickborn 2007, ISBN 978-3-9811543-6-8 .
  • David Sklansky : The Theory of Poker. (German language edition). AniMazing GmbH, Regensburg 2006, ISBN 3-9808562-5-9 .
  • David Sklansky, Mason Malmuth: Hold'em Poker for Advanced Players. 3rd edition. Two Plus Two, Las Vegas NV 1999, ISBN 1-880685-22-1 .
  • David Sklansky, Ed Miller: No Limit Hold'em. Theory and Practice. Two plus Two, Las Vegas NV 2006, ISBN 1-880685-37-X .

See also

Web links



  1. Since the game is played with 52 hands, theoretically 22 or, if no burn cards are set aside, even 23 players could take part. Texas Hold'em is mostly played in smaller rounds: often only ten, but in American casinos also at tables with fourteen seats.
  2. As with all poker variants , the colors in Texas Hold'em have no meaning in relation to the winning decision .

Individual evidence

  1. How To Play | Texas Holdem Rules . From wsop.com, accessed March 23, 2019
  2. How do you play Short Deck Hold'em? . On July 13, 2018 from pokerolymp.com, accessed February 1, 2019.
  3. Triton SHR Series Montenegro: € 100K Main Event in May . April 5, 2018 from pokerfirma.com, accessed February 1, 2019.
  4. 2018 Poker Masters ($ 10,000 + 500 No Limit Hold'em - Short Deck (Event # 4)) . From pokerdb.thehendonmob.com, accessed February 1, 2019.
  5. Robin Scherr: Action guaranteed: PokerStars presents short-deck poker '6+ Hold'em' . On January 16, 2019 from pokerstars.com, accessed February 1, 2019.
  6. WSOP 2019 # 8: Alexander Epstein gets the short deck No Limit Hold'em on pokerfirma.com on June 5, 2019, accessed on August 8, 2020.