Rules - the Rules of TEXAS HOLD EM POKER

The object of Hold'em is to accumulate money. As in any variation of poker, money is obtained by winning the pot—all the bets made during the course of a hand. There are two ways to win the pot:

Hand in Hold'em

At the beginning of a hand, each player is dealt two cards face down—their pocket cards. During play of the hand, a total of five additional cards are exposed in the center of the table in three stages, creating the board. Each stage of dealing has a different name, and before each stage is a round of betting. There is a fourth and final round of betting after the last card.

In Hold'em, cards on the board are community cards—they are used by all the players in forming their hands. Your hand is the best five-card combination possible, using your two pocket cards and any of the five community cards. If the best five-card hand consists of the five cards on the board, that is your hand. Your pocket cards only matter if one or both of them improve what is on the board.

Hand Rankings

The recognized five-card combinations are summarized next in order of rank (the highest-ranked hand, which is the least likely to occur, is listed first). To reinforce the concept of pocket cards and community cards, a sample hand is shown for each hand ranking. Pocket cards are on the left, and the complementing community cards follow each description. Learn to spot patterns in the formation of hands. The use of community cards creates possibilities for hands in Hold'em that players of Seven-Card Stud don't think about. For example, in contrast to Stud, it is possible for two Hold'em players each to have three cards of the same rank. However, it is impossible for two Hold'em players to have flushes in different suits. These new possibilities and new limitations are discussed.