Texas Hold ’em is the most popular type of poker. The game is played all over the world. It is also the poker game that defines the famous World Series of Poker. No Limit Texas Hold ’em championship games are often featured on major television networks.
Today, Texas Hold ’em can be played at many online casinos and online poker rooms. Some online players have even claimed the prestigious WSOP Main Event World Championship. Here’s a look at the best places to play Texas Hold ’em online for free or for real money.
Top Online Casinos for Texas Hold’em
Texas Hold ’em poker is available at many online casinos. It is also offered by online poker rooms which do not include other casino games. Finding the best place to play poker online for real money can make a big difference in your chance to win.
We have found that the top online Texas Hold ’em casinos have many things in common. Our team uses its industry experience to find the most reputable online poker rooms. You can play with confidence at any of the online casinos we recommend.
How do We Select the Best Casino Sites for Texas Hold’em
Here is a closer look at individual factors we consider in our Texas Hold ’em casino rankings. All of these factors share the equal weight.
Bonuses & Promotions
A very strong selling point for any online casino is its bonuses. You can receive hundreds in free poker money when you choose the right place to play. We give our highest ratings to the Texas Hold ’em casinos with a generous mix of matching deposit and no-deposit bonuses. Some casinos also have loyalty promotions and programs.
Security & Safety
All Texas Hold ’em online poker rooms must have strong security protocols. This is necessary to guarantee the safety of player funds, and also to prevent attempts at cheating. We recommend online casinos with the most recent advances in encryption of player data. An SSL is just the beginning. We look beyond to see what other safety measures are used. We also consider the random number generator software that is used.
Selection of Casino Games
An online casino will get a higher ranking if it offers a larger selection of Texas Hold ‘em games. This means games with different blind levels and buy-ins. We also like to see a mix of poker cash games and tournaments. Tournaments should include both scheduled events and sit-and-go contests. Heads-up play should also be available to those who play poker online.
Online Texas Hold ‘em can be played on a variety of devices. These include desktops, laptops, phones, and tablets. We like poker rooms which have optimized their platform for mobile devices. This is the primary way most people play online poker today. The graphics should be attractive, and game play should be free of any glitches.
Banking Options & Fast Payouts
Poker players need to know that they can get their money quickly after an online win. We make sure that a Texas Hold ‘em online poker room has a good reputation for fast payouts. No withdrawal should take longer than 48 hours to process. The best casinos also have a large number of banking options. These should include credit and debit card, bank transfers, and payment processors like Skrill.
Online poker rooms should provide a minimum of three ways to contact customer support. Those casinos with a live chat customer support option are usually the ones that get high ratings. Live chat customer support allows a player to receive help immediately. A telephone number is helpful, and customer support by email should also be offered.
Playing for Free vs. Real Money
There are many online casinos that offer a free version of Texas Hold ‘em. There are also sites which offer a sweepstakes version of poker. Finally, you can play online poker for real money at all of the casinos that we recommend.
Which version of Texas Hold ‘em is best for you? Here is a look at five reasons you should consider choosing free or real money online poker.
Reasons to Play for Free
1. Learn the Game with No Risk
Texas Hold ‘em poker is a game that requires a mix of skill and strategy. It can take some time to learn the game. Playing for free allows you to learn the game at your own pace with no financial risk. The mistakes that you make can be chalked up to a learning experience. In time you will build the confidence that you need to move up to the real money poker games.
2. Practice Texas Hold ‘em Strategies
Poker is one of the most unique gambling games because it involves both luck and skill. To be successful at Texas Hold ‘em a player needs to use winning strategies. These strategies involve how to play the cards, how to read other players, and how to bet. It can take time to perfect poker strategies, and playing for free removes pressure from the player to immediately succeed.
3. Develop Poker Bankroll Management Skills
When you play online poker for free at our recommended websites, you can learn to manage your bankroll. A bankroll is the money you use to play poker. Winning consistently at poker requires you to play the right limits and make the right bets. A free online poker game will teach you the money management skills you need to succeed.
4. Learn to Read Other Poker Players and Tells
There is no better way to practice reading other players than free online Texas Hold ‘em. The more hands you play, the more familiar you will become with tells. Tells are actions that reveal what another player may be holding. In online poker most of the tells that you encounter will be those that involve betting or the time required to make a decision.
5. Win Sweepstakes Prizes
Some free poker sites give players the chance to win free sweepstakes prizes. This type of free Texas Hold ‘em is usually reserved for players in countries that are not allowed to play for real money. There are also some real money Texas Hold ‘em poker rooms that offer free tournaments that award cash prizes. Players may even win entries into live poker events by playing free poker online.
Reasons to Play with Real Money
1. Win Real Money and Withdraw It
Most players who use our Texas Hold ‘em online casino ratings want to win real money. Playing for actual stakes online allows you to cash out your winnings. You can withdraw the winnings to a bank account, or you can request that they be sent to you in a check. The withdrawal policies of online casinos can vary.
2. Win Tournament Entries
Playing poker for real money online lets you enter games to receive tournament entries. These Texas Hold ‘em games are called satellites. A satellite tournament will be less expensive to enter than a regular tournament. It will also have fewer players. If you win a satellite tournament you will then be allowed to play in a larger tournament with bigger prizes.
3. Compete in Big Money Events
On real money online poker sites you are able to compete in big money events for the chance to win thousands of dollars. Some events may pay six figures or more. In 2020, the entire World Series of Poker was conducted online. You can pay the fee to participate in a big money tournament, or you can win your way in with a satellite.
4. Earn a Poker Ranking
Some poker sites allow you to earn a ranking for your poker play. There are online databases which compile lists of the world’s most successful players. Your ranking may even get you invited to compete in expensive poker tournaments. Online real money play is the only type usually considered for a poker ranking.
5. Free Online Poker Bonus Money
Most online poker rooms and Texas Hold ‘em online casinos offer a welcome bonus to new players. To claim this bonus, you will need to make a real money deposit. The online casino will then match the deposit that you make 100% up to a certain amount. The bonus money can be used to play poker, and it is subject to certain wagering requirements. We can help you find the best Texas Hold ‘em online casino bonus deals.
The History of Texas Hold’em
The history of Texas Hold ‘em is somewhat of a mystery. Some claim that the game was played in its namesake state of Texas at the beginning of the 20th century. Others claim that it first appeared in Las Vegas during the 1960s. The truth is probably somewhere in between.
Doyle Brunson and other legendary gamblers of the Texas Circuit claim that they first began to encounter a new form of poker in the 1950s. The game was becoming popular in the private poker games held throughout the state. It would eventually be given the name Hold ‘em.
When Benny Binion left Texas for Las Vegas to open Binion’s Horseshoe, the game followed. It wasn’t long until gaming tables were placed in the Las Vegas poker rooms where the game was renamed Texas Hold ‘em in honour of the original gamblers from the Texas Circuit.
Today, Texas Hold ‘em is the most popular type of poker played live and online. It has a few variations such as Omaha, but the rules of the game have remained mostly unchanged since the game first appeared.
Rules of Texas Hold ‘em / Game Play + Glossary + Variants
Texas Hold ‘em is a type of poker that involves seven cards. Two cards are dealt to each player, unexposed. Five cards are then placed face up by the dealer for every player to use. Players are trying to assemble a winning poker hand by combining their two cards with the five face up cards. Only five cards play in each hand. Players are not required to use either of their two original cards.
A round of betting takes place at specific stages. The first round of betting occurs after the original two cards are dealt. A second round of betting is made after the first three community cards have been turned over. A third round of betting follows the fourth community card, and a final round happens after the last card is dealt.
Texas Hold ‘em may be played in either a limit or no-limit format. Blinds, or a type of ante, are used to begin the betting for each new hand of play.
The Flop – The first three community cards that are dealt face up for all players.
The Turn – The fourth community card.
The River – The final community card. So named because many players are said to “drown” when it is revealed.
Blinds – The small blind and big blind are mandatory antes that are placed by each player in turn. These bets are used to initiate and encourage other betting.
There are only a few variants of Texas Hold ‘em that are played online. These include Limit Hold ‘em, No Limit Hold ‘em, and Omaha. Omaha deals each player four cards to begin instead of two.
Strategy – Our Top Tips to Maximize Your Texas Hold’em Strategy
Here are some useful strategy tips if you choose to play Texas Hold ‘em at any of the online casinos which make our lists.
Only Play Strong Starting Hands
A common mistake made by many new online poker players is playing weak starting hands. You should only start with pairs of 9-9 or higher. You can also start with face cards that are suited such as KS-QS, 10H-JH. In time you will be able to broaden your starting hand range as you obtain more experience.
Always Bet or Raise – Do Not Call
There are always three wagering options available to the player. These are to bet, raise, or call the current bet. Players should avoid calling. If you feel that your hand is worthy of play, bet or raise. Simply calling a bet may be seen as weakness by other more experienced players.
Know How to Read the Board
The skilled Texas Hold ‘em player can look at the community cards and know the best possible hand any player could have. This can prevent you from losing when you know that another player likely has you beat. Many players have been beaten when they were unable to know which hands might be in play.
The very best Texas Hold ‘em players will tell you that bluffing rarely works. You should never bluff when you have nothing in your hand. A semi-bluff, made when you have a weak poker hand, may succeed on some occasions. Bluffing is a tool that is meant to be used sparingly in poker.
Beware Your Tells
Many poker players bet or act in a certain way when they have a certain hand. This is called a tell. Players can spot your tells and use them against you. Take care to avoid any tells you may develop. Observe your own play to determine if you are revealing information about your hand.
Is Texas Hold ‘em draw poker?
Texas Hold ‘em is a form of five-card poker that does not involve a draw. Players are given two cards to start followed by five community cards that can be used by any player. Once the cards have been dealt players are not allowed a draw to improve their hand.
Can I play Texas Hold ‘em video poker?
There are no video poker versions of Texas Hold ‘em. The game is played among a group of players that are competing against one another. Video poker found in most online casinos is a type of draw poker.
Is it available on mobile devices?
This game is available on mobile devices. It doesn’t require a download or a separate app. You can play it on most compatible mobile browsers.
How much money do I need to play poker online?
This depends on the blinds. For a Texas Hold ‘em online game with £1/£2 blinds, a starting bankroll of no less than £100 is recommended. You should always try to have 50X the big blind when you play poker online.
What is a wagering requirement for poker bonus money?
A wagering requirement is a condition that online casinos place on the bonus money that is given away. You are required to wager the bonus money a certain number of times before it can be withdrawn.
Am I playing against the house in Texas Hold ‘em?
No. The house takes a rake, or a percentage, from each hand. You compete against other players. The average online Texas Hold ‘em game can have 7-9 players.