The Complete Guide to Texas Hold’em Online

Posted by James Guill . Last updated:

Thanks in large part to the World Series of Poker, Texas Hold’em poker online has become the most popular poker variation. This guide will teach you how to play Texas Hold’em online including different types of bets, basic poker strategy, game variations, and terminology. This page will also highlight where to play Texas Hold’em online.

Best Texas Hold'em Poker Online Rooms

Here are legal USA online gambling sites our team of experts recommend players use to play online Texas Hold’em for real money:

Blacklisted Texas Hold'em Sites

When reviewing the top Texas Hold’em online poker rooms, our resident experts rigorously analzye each site according to our rating system. Unfortunately, not all poker rooms meet our high standards. We do not recommend the poker rooms listed to the right.

  • lock-poker
    Lock Poker
    • Slow Payouts
    • Frequent User Complaints
  • Full Flush Poker
    Full Flush Poker
    • Denied Payouts
    • Poor Customer Service

How to Play Texas Hold'em Poker Online

The Deal & Betting Rounds

The deal and wagering process in a game of Texas Hold’em Poker online goes like this:

  • Before each round, the two players to the immediate left of the dealer place their small and big blind antes, respectively.
  • 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.

Texas Holdem Poker - Small Blind
Texas Holdem Poker - Big Blind
Texas Holdem Poker - The Flop
Texas Holdem Poker - Check
Texas Holdem Poker - Raise
Texas Holdem Poker - The Turn
Texas Holdem Poker - THE RIVER
Texas Holdem Poker - Small Blind
Texas Holdem Poker - Big Blind
Texas Holdem Poker - The Flop
Texas Holdem Poker - Check
Texas Holdem Poker - Raise
Texas Holdem Poker - The Turn
Texas Holdem Poker - THE RIVER

Want to know what it takes to play Texas Hold’em online or just catch your friends off guard at your next poker game? Watch our expert, Tommy Green, break it down for you.

Video for Find a Texas Hold'em Online Casino

The History of Texas Hold 'em

Texas hold’em is so-called due to the Texas Legislature officially recognizing Robstown, Texas as the birthplace of the world’s most popular poker game format. That definition may go back to the early 1900s but, in truth, no one really knows when Texas Hold’em was invented. Was the game born on the Mississippi riverboats or in France or China a century earlier? None can say for sure, but one thing is certain, Texas Hold’em has made poker the global mindsport it is today.

Introduced to Las Vegas in 1963, Texas Hold’em took some time to gain traction. First, it was a novelty at the Golden Nugget, Stardust, and Dunes Casinos as a side-game to table action such as roulette. A group of Texan players including Doyle Brunson, Crandell Addington and Amarillo Slim help popularize the game.

Addington described the game’s formation when he said, “[In] draw poker, you bet only twice; hold’em, you bet four times. That meant you could play strategically. This was more of a thinking man’s game.”

After Texas Hold’em was played at the 1969 Second Annual Gambling Fraternity Convention, one year later the World Series of Poker was born, with Benny and Jack Binion acquiring the rights to and hosting the game at Binion’s Horseshoe on the Vegas Strip. Ever since then, no-Limit Texas Hold’em has been played as the WSOP Main Event. After an accountant named Chris Moneymaker won the $2.5 million top prize in 2003 from an $80 Texas Hold’em poker online satellite tournament, Texas Hold’em poker online has surged in popularity and becomes the world’s favorite poker version to play.

Differences Between Online and Land-Based Texas Hold'em

There aren’t many differences between land based and online Texas Hold’em. One of the biggest differences is that in an online poker room, you can not see your opponents. Therefore, you can’t read your opponents and that might be one of your strategies.

There are other ways of reading players online. Most players will analyse their opponents’ nicknames, how they behave in the chat room, and their betting behaviours to better understand their opponents’ tendencies.

Another big difference you will encounter is the speed of the games. In a brick-and-mortar casino, the dealers will usually be fast but they can never be as fast as a computer. You can see maybe twice as many hands being played in an hour online.

Game variety in an online casino will greatly differ from a land-based casino. In a land-based casino you will find maybe a dozen or so tables playing and the games and the limits available will be limited. The beauty of online Texas Hold’em poker is that there are nearly an infinite number of games going on at all times with unlimited variety.The only limit you might face while playing online is that some rooms will have restrictions for certain countries.

Tips for Choosing the Best Real Money Texas Holdem Sites

green bag full of money icon

Welcome Promotions

In order to attract new players, the best online Texas Hold’em real money sites will often advertise significant welcome bonuses specifically for poker players. This is typically a dollar-for-dollar match of your first deposit and a percentage match on every other deposit. Also, look for added kickbacks for Bitcoin deposits.

a hand holding two playing cards

Game Variations

In the event one tires of playing the most popular Texas Hold’em online variation, No Limit, experienced players will want to find poker sites that offer variations of the game like pot limit and mixed Texas Hold’em. Also, be on the lookout for unique tournament offerings at the best online poker sites.

Online Casino Community icon

Table Attendance

Before signing up and making a first deposit, be sure to review each site’s poker room table attendance. Are most virtual tables full or a little thin? To play Texas Hold’em online is more enjoyable with a full table. Weak attendance could be a red flag that you’re at the wrong online casino.

Bet Types in Texas Hold’em

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

Texas Hold'em Poker Tips

Here are some quick tips to get you started in a game of Texas Hold’em poker!

Bet or Raise Instead of Checking and Calling

If you play passively, you are playing to lose in Texas Hold’em. To avoid being passive, you should bet and raise instead of checking and calling.

Be Selective on the Hands You Play

This is normally less important than playing aggressively but it is still important of you are a new player. To be tight and aggressive as a strategy is the most consistently profitable way to go for new players. Especially if you are playing against passive players, some players do well if they are aggressive.

Pay Attention to Your Position

Most Texas Hold’em players won’t pay enough attention to their position when deciding which hands to play and how to play them. The tip is simple enough, have more strict requirements from your hands in an early position.

If You want to Bluff, Bluff Carefully

Bluffing adds an extra excitement to the game! If you are going to bluff however, you should do it in a late position when you are against one or two opponents. Your odds of success in bluffing will go way down against 3+ players, unless you are playing against very tight players.

Try the Free Games First

You should always try the free games first and get used to how everything works. This was you will avoid costly mistakes and you can practice your strategies without the risk of losing any real money.

Mobile Texas Hold'em Online vs Apps

blank mobile phone

Browser Based Poker

While some poker sites still offer apps for download, the majority of the Texas hold’em online poker rooms we recommend have optimized their websites for all mobile devices. That means in order to get into a game, all you have to do is fire up your device’s web browser, log into your account and enjoy the same experience you would on a PC or laptop at home.

a hand holding a mobile phone displaying a playing card

Texas hold'em poker online apps

The reason many of the Texas hold’em poker online operators we promote have gravitated away from third-party apps is because they can be clunky, require a lot of maintenance, have a tendency to crash mid-hand, and suck up a lot of storage on the phone.

Texas Hold’em Online Betting Rounds

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

Poker chip with spade logo in middle

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.)

casino chips

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.)

two equivalent stacks of green poker chips

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.)

cash bills next to a stack of poker chips

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, the remaining players show their cards, and the best poker hand in online Texas Hold’em for real money wins.

Best Poker Rooms for Texas Hold'em Online

Deciding which site to play Texas hold’em online at can be a stressful process. Our goal is to help you take some of the pressure off the table and make an informed decision about the best online Texas hold’em real money casinos.

Poker Room Welcome Bonus* Mobile Texas Hold’em Online? Ready to Play?
Ignition $1,000 Yes Let’s Go!
Bovada $600 Yes Let’s Go!
Everygame 200% up to $1,000 + 25 Free Spins Yes Let’s Go!
BetOnline $1,000 Yes Let’s Go!

*Subject to change

Bonuses and Promotions

All the best poker sites will offer generous welcome bonuses and other promotions to get the attention of new players as well as keep the existing ones. Most popular bonuses like free spins are not useful when it comes to online poker. The bonuses you will see in poker rooms will usually be one of the following:

No Deposit Bonus

Not to be confused with freerolls, no deposit bonuses will give players a small sum of money to bet on tables without having them make a deposit first.

Welcome Bonus

Welcome bonus is as the name suggests, the first bonus you will get at any poker site when you register for the first time.

Match Bonus

One of the most popular bonuses amongst players, a match bonus will allow you to get bonus cash. The casino will match your first deposit with an equal amount of compensation. However, match bonuses can be above 100%.

All bonuses will have wagering requirements attached to them. They will require you to bet a certain amount of bonus cash to be able to withdraw it as real money. To exemplify, if you have $100 of bonus cash with a wagering requirement of 30x the value of your bonus, you will need to bet $3,000 before you can cash out that bonus money.

Texas Hold'em Online Strategy

green calendar icon with a dollar sign on the front

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 Hold’em poker online 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 in Texas Hold’em online. 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 green band of cash

Manage Your Bankroll

This is a crucial part of any Texas Hold’em 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.

Texas Hold'em Online Hand Rankings

Nearly all variations of poker use the standard 52-card deck and that is true when you play Texas hold’em online. The value ranking of each card goes in descending order (Ace > King > Queen > Jack > 10 > 9, etc.)

The following table will show common online Texas hold’em real money poker hand variations, ranked from best to worst:

Texas Hold’em Online Hand Name Cards Example Hand
Royal Flush A, K, Q, J, 10 – same suit royal flush
Straight Flush Five sequential cards – same suit straight flush
Four of a Kind Four cards of the same value, one of each suit – fifth card doesn’t matter four of a kind
Full House Three cards of the same value, and a pair of an additional value full house
Flush Five cards of the same suit – any order flush
Straight Five sequential cards – any suit straight
Three of a Kind Three cards of the same value – other two cards don’t matter cards-three-of-kind
Two Pair Two cards of the same value and two cards of a different value – fifth card doesn’t matter cards-two-pair
One Pair Two cards of the same value – other three cards don’t matter cards-one-pair
No Pair All five cards of different values and not all the same suit

Variations of Texas Hold'em Online

When you play Texas Hold’em online, there are a few variations to choose from. While the rules largely remain the same, there are slight changes to the betting structures. Make sure you understand which variation you’re playing.

a hand holding two playing cards

No-Limit Texas Hold'em

In No-Limit Hold’em, players can wager as much as they want (or as many chips as they have available.) The minimum 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.

two equivalent stacks of green poker chips

Limit Texas Hold'em

In online limit Texas Hold’em real money, bet sizes are pre-determined.

  • Pre-flop and on the flop, raises and bets are the same sizes as the big blind.
  • On the turn and the river, all bets and raises are equivalent to twice the big blind.
a green poker chip

Mixed Texas Hold''em

Play Mixed Texas Hold’em online if you’re interested in switching back and forth between rounds of Limit and No-Limit Hold’em.

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.

two green bills laid atop one another

Pot Limit Texas Hold'em

In Pot Limit Hold’em, 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 Hold'em Poker Online Glossary

When playing Texas hold’em online, it’s good to study and learn basic poker terminology. We highlight some of the more common words tossed around the table below:

Texas Hold'em Poker FAQs

James Guill

James Guill is a former professional poker player who writes fro about poker, sports, casinos, gaming legislation and the online gambling industry in general. His past experience includes working with IveyPoker, PokerNews, PokerJunkie, Bwin, and the Ongame Network. From 2006-2009 he participated in multiple tournaments including the 37th and 38th World Series of Poker (WSOP). James lives in Virgina and he has a side business where he picks and sells vintage and antique items.

Back To Top
Back To Top