Texas Holdem is the most popular variant of poker. If you ever see poker on television, it's most likely that you're watching a Texas Holdem game. The game is a combination of luck and skill and it's the variant used in the most important poker tournament in the world: the main event of the World Series of Poker (WSOP).
The Game in a NutshellThe goal of Texas Holdem is to get the strongest five card hand of the table (or make everybody believe you have that hand). You get seven cards to build that five card hand. Two of those cards are your own, and nobody knows what cards you have. Five cards are community cards and they are out in the open on the table for everybody to use.
By using the five cards on the table and the two cards in your hand, you can build the best five card hand by choosing any five of those seven. There's a specific order for the hand rankings.
- The deck of cards consists of 52 cards.
- The cards are divided in four sets of 13 cards with the suits: Spades, Clubs, Hearts, Diamonds.
- The order of the 13 cards is:2-3-4-5-6-7-8-9-10-J-Q-K-A
- The Ace can be used as a "1" too.
One pair going against another One Pair is won by the pair with the highest value. Should the pairs be the same, than the highest accompanying card decides who wins. So AA beats JJ. And J-J-9-8-2 beats J-J-6-5-3.
When Two Pair goes against another hand with Two Pair, the battle is won by the hand with the highest Pair. So A-A-2-2-J wins from K-K-Q-Q-J, because AA is better than KK.
Three of a kind
A battle of two hands with Three of a Kind is uncommon, but is settled along the same rules as discussed at One Pair.
A battle of Straights is won by the Straight with the highest ending card. So 5-6-7-8-9 is beaten by 8-9-10-J-Q
A battle of Flushes is won in the same way as the battle of Straights. The hand with the highest card wins.
A battle of Full Houses - a rare occurance - is won by the better Three of a kind first and the better Pair second.
So J-J-J-A-A is beaten by Q-Q-Q-2-2, and J-J-J-K-K is beaten by J-J-J-A-A.
Four of a Kind
A battle of Quads is won by the higher combination.
Although very unlikely, a battle of Straight Flushes is won by the Straight Flush with the highest card.
A battle of Royal Flushes is not possible. But when the five community cards form the Royal Flush, all players still in the game get to divide the pot equally among them.