Holdem Basics - Introduction To Texas Holdem

First off, let's assume that you're just a Baby Grinder (BG) if you're reading this article. That's ok, you gotta take baby steps before you can walk. Gotta walk before you can run, so before you go dive into that juicy No Limit Holdem game at Bovada Poker take a few minutes to read this primer. Once you're finished with this article about texas holdem basics, you will want to go and set up an account at a site such as Betonline Poker and begin grinding out the micro limits before moving up in limits. If you pace yourself and learn the game while progressing through all of our poker strategy articles, you will soon see a vast improvement in your game and as well as your online poker bankroll.

The Deal In Texas Holdem

To start a round of Texas Holdem, the dealer will first ask the two players to the left of the Button to place their blinds on the table. These are forced bets (or antes, if you will) that encourage action on each hand. The player directly to the left of the Button is the Small Blind and this bet is usually half of the Big Blind (the player to the left of the Small Blind). In a 2/4 No Limit Holdem game, the Small Blind is normally 1 dollar and the Big Blind is, you guessed it, 2 dollars.

Once these blinds have been posted, the dealer will begin by dealing two cards face down to each player. The deal will begin with the Small Blind and end with the Button. Having the Button can be a great advantage in Holdem but we'll talk about that in a later article.

Preflop Action In Texas Holdem

The first player to act after the deal is the first player to the left of the Big Blind. This position is also known as “Under The Gun” or UTG for short. This player has the option of either folding his hand, calling the Big Blind, or making a raise. Since the game is No Limit Holdem, this bet can be part or all of his chips. The action will then proceed around the table until it reaches the Big Blind. Assuming that there were only calls and folds as the action proceeded, the Big Blind now has the option of checking their hand or making a raise of their own.

Texas Holem Flop

Next comes the flop, where the dealer takes one card off the top of the deck and “burns” it into the muck. This card is taken face down and discarded into the other folded cards. The dealer will then take three cards from the top of the deck and deal them face up. This is called the Flop and from there the action will begin with the first person still in the hand from the left of the Button. Remember when I said the Button is a powerful position to be in? It's because you'll be the last to act on each round which is why poker position is so important.

The Turn In Texas Holdem (4th Street)

Let's assume each player checked the flop and there was no betting. In that case, each player will now see the dealer burn another card and deal one more card face up. This is the called the Turn. The action will proceed again just like on the flop.

The River In Texas Holdem (5th Street)

This is the final round of betting and perhaps the most exciting part of the game in No Limit Holdem. Once betting and/or folding has taken place and there are still at least two people in the hand, the dealer will burn one more card and deal the last card face up. The River is also called fifth street but the vast majority of players today call it the River. Also understanding pot odds is really important going into the turn and river.

Hand Conclusion In Texas Holdem

Once checking, betting and/or folding has taken place, the Showdown will occur. This is where the remaining players turn their cards face up to determine a winner. If each player has checked here, the player closest to the left of the Button is to turn their cards up first, the action of turning up your cards will then proceed in order from there. If a player turns up a hand before you that's a winner, you have the option of “mucking your hand” and folding them face down. Conversely, if you have the nuts (an unbeatable hand) and you're third in line, you may want to toss your cards out as a courtesy first or you may be accused of “slow rolling”. That's when you hold the absolute best hand and wait for a moment longer before turning up the winner, it's typically frowned upon.


There's many ins and outs when it comes to Holdem and it will take a few times of being embarrassed to learn them all. The key is taking your time to learn the game and the nuances of what makes a good player and what makes a respectable player. Continue reading our online poker strategy articles here and before you know it, you'll have earned the True Grinder status yourself!