How to Deal Texas Hold’em – Start Dealing Poker Hands Like A Pro
There is hardly a better feeling in poker than beating people you know in Texas Hold’em game. But before you or anyone else can win at the table, someone will need to know how to deal Texas Hold’em, whether that’s a dedicated dealer or players taking turns dealing cards.
Being a poker dealer is definitely harder than it may seem at first, and dealing Texas Hold’em requires understanding various rules.
In this article, I will teach you how to deal poker hands in Texas Holdem, and this knowledge will easily allow you to deal in other poker variations. Let’s start by discussing the most basic rules you need to know before you are ready to deal your first hand of poker.
Step 1 – Preparing for Dealing in Texas Holdem
Before you can learn how to deal Texas Hold’em Poker, you should learn essential rules and be able to play the game, at least at a basic level. If you don’t know it yet, I strongly recommend reviewing our guide on poker rules and studying them well before you try dealing the game.
As the dealer in a game of Texas Hold’em, it is your duty not only to deal cards but to run the game and ensure that all players act in turn, that all bets are covered properly, and that no cheating occurs.
While dealing out the cards alone can be reasonably simple once you get a hang of it, keeping track of all the actions at the table can be significantly more difficult. Before you can do any of that, you will need a poker table and the following items:
There are a few things that must happen before the first hand of the night is dealt, and if you are dealing Texas Hold’em Poker, these things will be your duty.
First of all, you need to determine which player gets the dealer button on the very first hand. You will do this by shuffling the deck well and dealing one card face-up to each player at the table, starting from seat 1.
The player with the highest card will be assigned the dealer button on the first hand.
If multiple players have the same rank card, the player with the strongest suit will get the dealer. Spades are the strongest suit for this purpose, followed by hearts, diamonds, and clubs.
Once the dealer button is assigned to one player, the two players to their left must post the small blind and the big blind before the cards are in the air.
Once all the obligatory bets are in place, you can shuffle up the deck again, ensure no one sees the bottom card, and start dealing. Here is a great video showing how to do that in various ways.
Step 2 – Deal Texas Hold’em Hole Cards
Once the blinds are posted, and the deck is shuffled up, it’s time to deal the first hand of Texas Hold’em, and that starts with hole cards. The “Hole Cards” is a term used in Texas Hold’em to describe the two cards each player gets known only to him throughout the hand.
The first hole card goes to the player to the left of the dealer button, who posted the small blind, while the last card goes to the dealer button. In poker, you deal one card at a time, meaning you must deal two full orbits until everyone has two cards.
If you are dealing in a home game, the player holding the dealer button is the one dealing for the hand. In this case, you will deal the first card to the player to your left and the last to yourself.
Keep in mind that every player must receive exactly two cards, which means you will go around the table twice, dealing the first and the second hole card to every player.
When all players have received their hole cards, you can relax and stop dealing, but you must keep track of all the actions.
Step 3 – Preflop Betting Round and Dealing in Poker
In the preflop round of betting, the first player that acts is the player in the first position clockwise from the big blind, which is called Under The Gun (UTG). The betting continues clockwise, with the big blind being the last player to act preflop.
Each player at the table, apart from the big blind, has three options: fold, call, or raise. If one or more players call without raising, the big blind also gets the option to check.
When you are dealing Texas Hold’em Poker, you will be responsible for announcing all raises and bets, ensuring players have put in the correct amount of chips to cover bets, and giving everyone their exact change back.
To make things easier for yourself and everyone else, make sure not to give back any change until all betting for the given betting street is completed.
For example, if a player has put a big chip in to call a bet but then folded to a raise, don’t give them back their change or allow them to take change from the pot before the betting street is over.
This will save you a lot of trouble when multiple raises are made on a single betting street, which can often happen, so make sure to tell all players to keep their chips in the middle and wait for their change at the end of the betting street.
Before you start dealing the flop, you should pull all the chips with which the betting was done during the round towards one pile in the middle of the table, which will be the pot from now on.
Step 4 – Deal Texas Hold’em Flop
As soon as all the players have acted on their hole cards in the preflop betting round, you will proceed to deal the flop, which is made up of the first three community cards.
Make sure to collect all the chips from the preflop betting round first, give everyone their change from the pot, and ensure that the pot is safely positioned in the middle of the table, next to where the community cards will come.
Once that is done, you must burn the top card from the deck. Put the card face down next to the community cards area and leave it there. Burning is done to prevent cheating and help cards be dealt more randomly.
Once you have burnt the top card, you will flip the top three cards from the deck in the middle of the table, and these cards will act as the flop.
The flop is used by all players in combination with their hole cards to make the best possible poker hands, and all remaining players will now have a chance to bet again.
Betting action on the flop starts from the small blind or the closest active player to the left of the small blind who has not yet folded.
Once again, all players take turns acting on their hand, with the dealer button having the last action on this betting street and all subsequent betting streets.
If one player makes a bet and all other players decide to fold their cards, that player will automatically win the pot, and your job dealing Texas Hold’em Poker for the hand will be done.
However, if multiple players still have their hole cards and all bets are settled, the hand will proceed to the next street, which is called the Turn.
Step 5 – Deal Texas Hold’em Turn Card
When all flop action is done, it will be time to deal the next community card, called the turn, which goes right next to the flop.
Once again, you will need to burn the top card from the deck, as this is one of the key rules of how to deal Texas Hold’em Poker. Place the burn card face down on top of the first burn card.
Next, flip over the top card from the deck face up next to the flop. The board should now have four cards, all facing up.
Once again, all players who have not yet folded their cards will get action in the same order as they did on the flop, with the dealer button acting last.
If all players but one decides to fold their cards, the last active player will receive the pot automatically and will be the winner of the hand. If more than one player is still active, the hand will proceed to the final street, known as the river.
Step 6 – Dealing Texas Hold’em River Card
Your job dealing Texas Hold’em Poker is almost successfully done for this hand. All that is left now is to deal one final community card, which is known as the river.
The river is dealt the exact same way as the turn, with the top card from the deck being burnt and placed on top of the other two burn cards.
You will flip the river card over right next to the turn card, which will now make it so that the board is made up of exactly five community cards, like this:
A♠ J♦ 8♣ 7♠ 3♥
Once more, all players who still have their hole cards will get a chance to act on their hands, either checking, betting, raising, or folding.
Often, only a single player will remain after this betting round, automatically making them the winner of the hand. However, if more than one player is still active in the hand, the hand will proceed to showdown, where your duties as the dealer will once again come into play.
Step 7 – Determining the Winning Hand at Showdown
When dealing poker, you will be responsible for determining and announcing the winner and pushing the pot their way. If the hand makes it all the way to the showdown, you must ensure that the correct player receives the pot.
In theory, all players need to turn over their hole cards at showdown, but the question often arises of who is supposed to turn their cards first.
The following rule applies in this situation:
- If there was betting on the river, the player who made the last aggressive action (betting or raising) turns their cards over first.
- If there was no betting on the river, the player in the small blind or the closest player to the small blind goes first.
In either case, action will go around the table towards the button. Once one player has turned their cards over, other players can also choose to muck their cards (in cash games) and not expose them at all, admitting defeat.
In poker tournaments, it is the dealer’s job to make sure all cards are shown at showdown and that players don’t hide their cards or secretly muck them.
If all players folded to the river bet and the player shows cards to one of the other players at the table, the dealer must show those cards to everyone according to the “show one, show all” poker rule (especially in poker tournaments).
Your job dealing Texas Hold’em Poker ends with pushing all the chips in the pot to the player who is determined as the winner, whether they won by all other players folding or by having the best poker hand at the showdown.
Step 8 – Final Considerations For Texas Holdem Dealing
If you are dealing a home game, you will often not need to do more than simply push the chips to the winner at a showdown. However, if you ever find yourself dealing Texas Holed’em in a proper cash game, you will also need to charge rake.
The best way to do it is to count the pot while the action is happening and add all the bets together, so that you already know the pot size in the end.
However, if you have not done so, make sure to count the pot in full and take the correct percentage of the pot as a rake for the house.
The reason to count the pot while dealing Texas Hold’em is that most players won’t appreciate having to wait for the next hand just because the dealer is counting the pot to charge the rake.
All of this is done automatically when playing poker online, but if you ever want to deal poker hands, now you know how!