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Texas Holdem Poker Online in Canada: an Expert Guide

Posted by Veronica Taylor on
Last updated:

Thanks in large part to the World Series of Poker, Texas Holdem Poker has become the most popular variation of online poker.

In our guide to Texas Holdem poker, we’ll cover:

  • The best Canadian online casinos for playing Texas Holdem
  • How to play Texas Holdem poker online
  • How and when to place bets in Texas Holdem
  • Recommend strategies
  • Key Texas Holdem poker terms
  • Texas Holdem Poker FAQ

Where to Play Texas Holdem Poker Online

Here are the online casinos our expert team recommends for Canadian players to use to play Texas Holdem online:

How to Play Texas Holdem Poker Online

Texas Holdem seems complicated at first, but is quite simple once you get a hold of the game’s rhythm and terms.

Put simply, in Texas Holdem poker, the player’s goal is to build the best possible poker hand using the two cards they’ve been dealt, and any three of the five community cards.

The Deal & Betting Rounds

At the beginning of each game, each player will be dealt two cards face-down. These are your ‘pocket’ or ‘hole’ cards. The dealer will then begin gradually revealing the five community cards, with rounds of betting between.

The deal and wagering process in a game of Texas Holdem Poker goes like this:

  • Each player is dealt two cards, both of which are face down
  • There is a round of betting
  • The dealer reveals the first three community cards – this is called the “flop”
  • There is another round of betting
  • The dealer reveals the fourth community card – this is called the “turn”
  • There is another round of betting
  • The deal reveals the final community card – this is called the “river”
  • There is a final round of betting

Once all remaining players have finalized their bets, each player reveals their ‘hole’ cards, and the best poker hand wins the pot.

How and When to Bet in Texas Holdem Poker

In Texas Holdem, like in other online poker variations, when it comes time to bet, players have five options: fold, check, bet, call, or raise.

Bet Types in Texas Holdem

Fold

  • To ‘fold’ is to turn your cards in and give up on that round, forfeiting any bets you have made up until this point.
  • You may want to fold if you don’t have a strong hand, believe another player has a very strong hand, or the wager sizes are getting higher than you hoped.

Check

  • To ‘check’ is to choose not to bet, but to stay in the game. It’s essentially the equivalent of choosing to wager zero dollars.
  • You may want to check if it’s early in the game, if you want to see how other players will bet, or if you like your hand, but don’t love it.

Bet

  • To ‘bet’ is to place a wager in the pot. Betting is how the pot (prize pool) gets full, and for players to stay in the game, they must match the current bet size.
  • You may want to bet if you feel confident in your hand, or if you think another player is likely to fold.

Call

  • To ‘call’ is to match another player’s bet. Once someone has placed a bet, if you want to remain in the game, you must either call or
  • You may want to call if you like your hand enough to stay in the game, if you’re close to having a winning hand, or if you want another player to think you’re confident in your hand.

Raise

  • To ‘raise’ is to match and increase another player’s bet. If you raise someone’s bet, all players must match this new bet size in order to remain in the game.
  • You may want to raise if you are confident in your hand and want to increase the pot size, if you believe you have a better hand than the other players, or if you want to appear more confident in your hand than you actually are.

Texas Holdem Betting Rounds

Once you understand which bet types are available, you can apply those strategies to each of Texas Holdem’s betting rounds: pre-Flop, the Flop, the Turn, and the River.

Betting Pre-Flop

After each player has been dealt their face-down cards – but before any community cards have been revealed – there is a “pre-flop” round of betting.

Like in most poker variations, there are big and small blinds – minimum buy-in amounts – and each player must at least ‘call’ the big blind amount in order to remain in the game.

Players also have the option to raise, if they have strong hole cards, or fold, if they do not have strong hole cards.

Once each player has either folded or wagered an equal amount, the first three community cards are revealed (the flop.)

Betting on the Flop

Now that the first three community cards have been revealed, there is another round of betting. The player clockwise from the dealer is the first to go, and can choose from any of the bet types. Once this betting round is completed, the next community card is revealed (the turn.)

Betting on the Turn

There are now four community cards face-up, plus the two face-down cards that each player has been dealt. Players should have a good understanding of what is in their hand and what they are targeting.

There is another round of betting at this time. Action once again begins with the active player clockwise from the dealer, and any of the bet types are available.

Once this betting round is complete, the final community card is revealed (the river.)

Betting on the River

At this point, all cards have been revealed, and each player knows what their best possible hand is. There’s another round of betting – again, starting with the player immediately clockwise from the dealer – where all remaining players once again must choose to check, raise, call, or fold.

Once this final round of betting is finished, remaining players show their cards, and the best poker hand wins.

Texas Holdem Poker Strategy

a hand holding two playing cards

Think Long Term

Keep your emotions in check, don’t chase losses, and don’t bet recklessly. Have a plan and stick to it. Winning at Texas Holdem Poker is a marathon, not a sprint.

a hand returning two playing cards

Folding Isn’t Losing

Expert poker players know that there’s no shame in folding if you think you’ve been beaten. Watch the table carefully, learn your opponent’s tendencies, and don’t let your ego take over. By folding when you’re beaten, you can protect your bankroll and live to fight another day.

a man wearing a tie next to a bag of money

Manage Your Bankroll

This is a crucial part of any online wagering strategy, regardless of the game. Carefully decide how much money you have available per session & per hand, and stick to it. For beginners, we recommend setting a self-limitation of no more than two buy-ins per session.

Variations of Texas Holdem

There are a few popular variations of Texas Holdem Poker that you’ll encounter online. While the rules largely remain the same, there are slight changes to the betting structures. Make sure you understand which variation you’re playing.

No-Limit Texas Holdem

In No-Limit Holdem, players can wager as much as they want (or as many chips as they have available.) The miminum bet is typically the same size as the big blind.

This variation often has a minimum raise amount – if a player wants to raise, the raise amount must be at least as much as the round’s previous raise or bet.

Limit Texas Holdem

In Limit Holdem, bet sizes are pre-determined.

  • Pre-flop and on the flop, raises and bets are the same size as the big blind.
  • On the turn and the river, all bets and raises are equivalent to twice the big blind.

Mixed Texas Holdem

Mixed Texas Holdem is exactly what it sounds like – the game switches back and forth between rounds of Limit and No-Limit Holdem.

The betting rules for each round match the game type, and note that each round’s blind sizes may adjust depending on which variation is currently being played.

Pot Limit Texas Holdem

In Pot Limit Holdem, players’ bets are limited to the size of the pot (e.g. if the pot is $20, the maximum bet allowed would be $20.) Minimum bets for this variation are the size of the big blind.

This variation, like No-Limit, has a minimum raise amount – for a player to raise, their raise amount must at minimum match the current round’s most recent raise or bet.

Texas Holdem Poker Online FAQ

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