From the saloons of old Tejas to the digital tables of today’s virtual casinos, Texas Hold’em has long held its position as one of the card-playin’ world’s favourite games. An offshoot of standard poker, the game is credited to old-time road gambler Blondie Forbes. According to legend, Blondie came up with the idea for “community cards”—a draw of cards shared by all players at the table—sometime in the 1920s. In addition to launching one of the world’s most popular card games, the innovation earned him a 1980 induction to the Poker Hall of Fame. Much obliged, pard’ner.
Nowhere is the game more popular these days than online. Thanks to the excitement provided by the community card feature, fast play, and room for skill, Texas Hold’em lends itself to a fun and exciting digital experience. If you’re new to the game and want to familiarize yourself before hitting the tables, keep on readin’!
Ultimate Texas Hold’em (online): The basics
OLG’s Ultimate Texas Hold’em pits you against a virtual dealer. The object is to win your bets by forming a five-card poker hand that ranks higher than the dealer’s.
How the game starts
Before the cards are dealt, you’ll be prompted to make the Ante and Blind bets to get the game started. You’ll also have the option of making a side “trips” bet that pays off if your final hand is better than a Three-of-a-Kind. Once initial bets are set, the dealer will deal out two personal cards and the five community cards you’ll use to create your best hand.
Here we see the player’s two personal cards (9♠ and J♦) they’ll combine with community cards to make poker hands.
Tip: Side bets add fun and excitement, but also increase your cost of play with no guarantee of winning. Setting a Casino Loss Limit for your bankroll is a great way to manage your play.
How the game progresses
Once you’ve placed your bets and seen your cards, the game gets underway. On the first two rounds, you can either check (i.e. take no action) or bet. In the third round, you can either check, bet or fold your cards. How do you decide what to do? By deciding whether or not you think the best hand you can make will beat the dealer’s hand. The worse your hand is, the less your chances of winning are.
The dealer has turned over three community cards (6♠, K♠, Q♠).
How the game ends
The game concludes once you’ve either placed your bets or folded, and the dealer’s hand is revealed. The game automatically compares both hands, and if you win, pays out accordingly.
The dealer turns over the final two community cards (A♠ and 4♦) and reveals their own two cards (10♥and 8♦).
The player has beaten the dealer by producing the better five-card hand.
That takes care of the basics, but Ultimate Texas Hold’em has a few more nuances than what we’ve laid out here. The good news? This online version features a free practice demo you can use to get up to speed. It’s never a bad idea to try your hand on a few practice rounds before moving on to the real thing.
Want to learn more about playing poker? Read our how-to-play page.