Play Texas Hold’em Poker Online for Real Money – Best Sites, Rules & Strategy

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Sports Editor Fact Checked by Neil Roarty

Texas hold’em poker is one of the world’s most popular games. It’s the perfect mix of luck, skill, and exciting gameplay, and millions around the globe play the popular variant both online and in person.

On this page, we’ll talk you through the game in detail, showing you how to play Texas hold’em online, where you’ll find the best online Texas hold’em real money poker sites, and much more. So, keep reading to learn all there is to know about a game that takes a minute to learn, but a lifetime to master.

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The Best Texas Hold’em Poker Sites to Play for Real Money

You’ll find many websites offering both real money and free Texas hold’em poker, so it can be tough to pick where to play. To help you decide, we’ve compiled a list of the top Texas hold’em sites, along with other sites offering similar games to the poker variant.

  1. BetOnline – The best place to play Texas hold’em poker in the US
  2. Bovada – Offers a superb way to play Texas hold’em poker free
  3. Everygame– Several great casino poker variations available
  4. Ignition – Fantastic for mobile Texas hold’em poker games
  5. – Fantastic place to play live Texas hold’em and live casino games

Please note that only the top three names on the list offer Texas hold’em poker – other sites are included to show you the other casino poker games available. Find more information about US poker sites at our best poker sites page.

Comparison of the Best Texas Hold’em Poker Sites

Going into a new poker room, it might take a long time to get all the facts down. That is why we set this up this useful table below. It will let you get the lay of the land with no time wasted.

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  Texas Hold’em Poker Free Texas Hold’em Poker Omaha Omaha Hi/Lo Min/Max Stakes Poker Welcome Bonus
BetOnline $0.05-$0.10 – $15/$30 $1,000

$0.02/$0.05 – $10/$20 $500

$0.02/$0.05 – $10/$20 $1,000

$0.02/$0.05 – $10/$20 $1,500

$0.05-$0.10 – $15/$30 $1,000

How to Play Texas Hold’em Poker Online

Wondering how to play Texas hold’em for real money? If so, you’ll be glad to find that the rules of the game are pretty simple.

Take a look below to see our handy step-by-step guide to playing Texas hold’em online real money games.

1. Place the Blinds

Before a hand starts, the player to the left of the button places the small blind, while the player to their left places the big blind. Other players aren’t usually required to pay anything (we are disregarding ante at this point). A blind is a mandatory bet.

The big blind is double the small blind – for example, $5/$10. The blinds are placed to encourage betting, and the blinds move one place to the left after every hand.

2. Cards are Dealt

Each player then receives two cards, which are placed face down in front of the player and are private to them. You need to create the best five card hand possible, using these cards, along with the community cards.

3. First Round of Betting

The player to the left of the big blind then starts the betting action. They can match the big blind (call), raise the big blind (raise), or fold their cards (fold). The Texas hold’em betting order means that the action then moves clockwise round the table.

4. Three Community Cards Dealt (Flop)

Once all players have placed the same value bet, gone all in or folded, three cards will be dealt face-up into the middle of the table. These community cards are called the flop and can be used by all players to make the best hand.

5. Second Round of Betting

Another round of betting then ensues, starting with the player to the left of the button. If no bet has been made, players can check, meaning they bet nothing but remain in the hand. Players can also call, raise, and fold.

6. Fourth Community Card Dealt (Turn)

When all players have risked the same sum or folded, another card is dealt into the middle of the table, called the turn. This means there are now four community cards available to use.

7. Third Round of Betting

There’s then another round of betting, which works in the same way as the betting after the flop.

8. Fifth and Final Community Card Dealt (River)

Once all players have placed bets of the same value or folded, a final card is dealt into the middle of the table, called the river. There are now five community cards for all remaining players to use.

9. Final Round of Betting

There’s then a final round of betting, which works in the same way as the second and third rounds of betting.

10. Showdown

Once the final betting round is concluded, the player who decided the last bet start showing their cards. Then anyone who can beat them shows their cards – if they cannot beat the initial player, they receive an option to muck (throw away their hand unshown).

The button then moves one place to the left and a new hand begins.

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New players will almost certainly want to learn the rules before risking any of their own money. Luckily, there’s the option to play Texas hold’em online free at our top three Texas hold’em poker sites.

There are two ways to play for free.

  1. Use the play money functionality – you might not be able to win any money, but neither will it cost you anything.
  2. Sign up for a free roll – here you do actually have the possibility to win real money.

If you’re looking to perfect your Texas hold’em strategy, head over to BetOnline, where you can find both options.

Texas Hold’em Poker Hand Rankings

In Texas hold’em poker, what brings you the money might be your awesome bluffing or reading your opponents moves. Or maybe just holding the nuts. But what you need before starting to read up on psychology or game theory is the vocab – so we made a neat little starter list for you:

Note that a lot of the terms and definitionscarry over from this skill game to pure casino games like Caribbean Stud Poker.

  • Royal flush – A hand containing 10-J-Q-K-A, all the same suit. This is the best possible hand, but the odds of a royal flush in Texas hold’em are very slim.
  • Straight flush – Any other suited straight than the above mentioned. Another rare hand, that almost always wins. For example, 8-9-10-J-Q, all of diamonds.
  • Four of a kind – A hand containing four cards of the same value, along with an unused card, called the kicker. For example, 10-10-10-10-7.
  • Full house – A hand containing three cards of one value, alongside two cards of another value. For example, A-A-A-K-K.
  • Flush – A hand containing five cards of the same suit. The cards can’t be consecutive ones – if they are, you’ve got a straight flush or royal flush instead, both of which are stronger. For example, 3-8-10-K-A, all of spades.
  • Straight – A hand containing five consecutive cards, not all the same suit – if they’re the same suit, you’ve got a straight flush or royal flush, both of which are better hands. For example, 2-3-4-5-6, with at least one card having a different suit from the others.
  • Three of a kind – A hand containing three cards of identical value, along with two unused cards, called the kickers. For example, J-J-J-4-5. If you use both cards from your hand and one from the community cards, the term is “a set”.
  • Two pair – A hand containing two pairs of cards of identical value, along with an unused card, called the kicker. For example, 10-10-J-J-A.
  • Pair – A hand containing a single pair of cards of identical value, along with three unused cards. For example, 5-5-7-9-Q.
  • High card – A hand that doesn’t conform to any of the above definitions is simply valued by its highest card. Regardless of how high the card is, this hand loses to all the above hands. Unless you play lowball. For example, 2-6-8-9-K, with at least one card having a different suit from the others.

But what happens if two hands have the same rank? In this case, the higher hand will win. For example, in 10-10-10-K-K vs. A-A-A-5-5, the latter would be the winner, as A is a higher value than 10.

If both players use the community cards AAA and – by luck and chance – both have pocket 55, the pot is split between the two players.

It’s also possible for two people to have the same hand with different kickers, such as both having three of a kind with 10s. In this case, the player with the highest kicker will win. So, in 10-10-10-K-A vs. 10-10-10-7-8, the former would win, as A is the highest kicker.

What are the Texas Hold’em Poker Odds?

When people discuss the odds of Texas hold’em poker it is often the pre-flop odds of receiving their hole cards. This game does not have any set odds of winning (except for royal flush). This is due to the skill game aspect, and that it is a zero sum-game where you do not play against the house but other players wallets.

That does not mean that odds are never considered, on the contrary – poker players enjoy the mathematical aspects of every part of the game. All from quickly adjusting their strategy for pocket aces when the board comes up suited, to calculating the expected value of making a strong pre-flop bet to intimidate lesser hands.

Figuring out what the odds of winning a pot is an essential part of the tools a poker player has, again, this is a skill game where knowledge is power.  This is a complex subject, so we’ll ignore it in this guide, which is intended for beginners.  So we will not get into how to calculate pot odds but keep it brief.

The Best Texas Hold’em Poker Strategy

As you start to play Texas hold’em poker online, you’ll realize that there’s a huge amount of strategy to the game – far more than you’ll find in casino games. This is why the best players consistently win, and the worst consistently lose.

For anyone just starting to play, the most sane advice is to avoid the flashy moves and bluffing. It takes time to get used to what is happening, and sticking to playing premium hands and tossing the crap hands will serve you well until you get the hang of it. And to remember that there is no shame in folding, just because you believed in the hand pre flop does not mean it is worth you going all in on the river.

Micro limit is your friend. Remember, this game is often played in no limit form – so $1-2 is considered fairly high stakes. Look for the micro levels and stay there, learn how fast things escalates before going up in levels.

Also, be aware that tournament strategy and cash game strategy are two different animals. It is roughly explained with you having to play the game until the (bitter) end when it comes to tournament, whilst in cash game you can leave at any moment.

Top 5 Tips on How to Win at Texas Hold’em Poker

As soon as you’ve started playing Texas hold’em poker online real money games, you’ll realize that there’s a certain amount of skill involved. Therefore, unlike other games, there are tips and tricks to give you an edge.

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Below, we’ve listed tips to help you increase your chances to win when you play real Texas hold’em online, for real money.

1. Start Out Playing for Free

Before jumping into the action and playing online Texas hold’em poker real money games, you should play for free. Just sit down at a free play money table and learn the ropes of the game, such as the hand rankings and betting order.

By playing for free, you won’t have to go through the expensive process of losing money while learning to play. What’s more, free play will allow you to begin to assemble the core of a Texas hold’em cash game strategy, not a advanced one – but the start of one.

2. Exercise Bankroll Management

Regardless of whether you’re playing your first-ever game of Texas hold’em poker for real money or you’re a famous name like Daniel Negreanu, you must manage your bankroll. Quite simply, it’s to manage your finances.

Bankroll management means only committing a small percentage of your funds in a session. If you lose, walk away. You’ll then still have money to use tomorrow, meaning you won’t have to deposit funds as often.

3. Understand Positional Play

Position plays a huge role in poker. Quite simply, the closer you are to being last to act, the bigger advantage you have. It allows you to see what other players do, evaluate their moves, and then act accordingly.

So, if you’re one of the first to act (fittingly called to be “under the gun”), be incredibly careful about betting, as you’ve got no way to know what other players acting later will do. Conversely, use late position to your advantage, capitalizing on any perceived weakness.

4. Concentrate on Texas Hold’em Only

There are many variations of poker online, including Omaha – a poker game like Texas hold’em – and Razz. However, you are advised to concentrate on just one variation initially.

But why shouldn’t you play more than one game? Well, we think it’s better to master one version than to play several in an average way. Become great at real money Texas hold’em poker first, and master the other variants later on.

5. Use Bonuses Wisely

The bonus Texas hold’em strategy is a simple one: claim as many bonuses as you possibly can when you are trying to learn poker. Individual poker bonuses can be huge and nothing is stopping you from claiming them from several sites.

This will increase your bankroll, and if you are just starting out learning about poker you will probably be a losing player at the initial stages. So a bonus, regardless of its terms is a welcome addition to your bankroll.

You’ll be able to find several bonuses to use at Texas hold’em online real money games further up this page, with the biggest coming from Ignition. So, why not claim each Texas hold’em bonus today and give your bankroll a huge boost?

Playing Texas Hold’em Poker on Mobile

Nowadays, more and more people are playing Texas hold’em poker using a mobile device, and all poker sites we’ve recommended further up this page can be accessed using both iOS and Android devices.

Most play mobile poker via their browser, as no Texas hold’em poker download is required. However, some use apps to play instead. Please note that none of the Texas hold’em sites we recommend currently offer apps.

When you play using a mobile, you’ll be playing against everyone else on the site, including those using desktop devices. The players are the same as they are on desktop, with the same game offerings, prizes, and structure.

More on poker…

Looking to find out more about the various types of online poker available to US players? If so, check out the three pages listed below, each of which provides insight into a certain aspect of the poker world.

Best Texas Hold’em Poker Site in the US

If you are thinking of playing Texas Hold’em online we recommend BetOnline, for one – their setup is good regardless if you are a beginner or intermediate. Secondly, the network supplies enough players for you to be entertained regardless of your time zone, and their poker bonus is not bad if you turn out to be a natural at Texas Hold’em!

BetOnline offers everything a poker player could want, from busy tables to big bonuses. Why not head over there today using the link below and check the platform out for yourself?

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James is a professional copywriter with over 10 years of experience, specializing in online gambling, including sports betting and casino. He's also a huge sports fan, happy watching anything from March Madness to obscure lower league English soccer. Other interests include movies, food, and travel.