Texas Hold ‘Em is actually a fairly young variant of poker.
The game was first developed in the early 1900s, and only really began to build popularity outside of Texas in the late 1960s — when it was introduced to Las Vegas.
Yet thanks in no small part to exposure on television, online and in popular literature, Hold ‘Em is now one of the world’s most popular styles of play.
Perhaps the most significant event pushing the game forward is the World Series of Poker.
Since 1972, the Main Event at this annual Vegas series has been its Texas Hold ‘Em tournament — a $10,000 buy-in, no-limit game whose winner is (unofficially) crowned World Champion.
But whether you are hoping to compete with the world’s best, or just want to pull in a little extra cash in a more casual setting, all players start in the same place. The game of poker has many variants, but they all center on the same basic concept: constructing hands.
The hand is your own set of 5 cards, and your hand will be ranked against those of other players to determine the winner of each round.
In Texas Hold ‘Em specifically, players are each dealt two private cards, and the table holds five “community” cards — cards that every player has access to.
To form your hand, you may combine any three of these community cards with the two that you hold.
Here is the full list of hands, ranked from highest value to lowest value.
Face cards are abbreviated (A = Ace, K = King, Q = Queen, J = Jack). Any hand that does not meet one of the above criteria.
In the event of a tie, the highest card in a player’s hand wins.