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How Do You Play Texas Hold'Em and How Many Poker Chips Do You Start With?

Stack of Texas Hold’Em Poker chips next to a hand of five cards on a poker table against a black background.

Summary: This blog offers a practical guide to playing Texas Hold'Em, highlighting rules, the best hands, and the significance of poker chips. 

Main Points

  • Players are dealt two hole cards and combine these with five community cards to form the best 5-carded hand. 
  • Each of the four betting rounds in a game offers opportunities to call, raise, or fold. 
  • The best hands range from Royal Flush to Flush, with the worst being a 2 and 7 of different suits. 
  • Starting chip count varies by game type, with 30-50 chips standard, but can go up to 100 chips per player. 
  • Standard chip values are assigned by color, common denominations include $1 (White), $5 (Red), $10 (Blue), $25 (Green), and $100 (Black). 

Texas Hold’Em is probably the most common variety of poker. Aside from the cards themselves, poker chips are the most important component of the game.  

So, how do you play Texas Hold’Em? What are some of the best and worst hands in Texas Hold’Em? How many chips do you start with in Texas Hold’Em?  

We uncover the answers to these Texas Hold’Em questions below… 

Basic Texas Hold’Em Poker Rules 

Texas Hold’Em is a community card game in which players are dealt two private cards (hole cards) from a standard 52-card deck. Players then use those two private cards in combination with five community cards placed face-up on the table.  

The goal is, of course, to achieve the best possible hand and win the pot that’s accumulated as players bet during each game. 

How do you play Texas Hold’Em? The basic structure of an individual hand of Texas Hold’Em is as follows: 

  • The two players to the left of the dealer make their required bets — the blinds — before any cards are dealt. These players are the big blind and small blind, with the small blind next to the dealer. 
  • The dealer distributes two hole cards face-down to each player. 
  • Players look at their hole cards and choose whether to call (match the current bet), raise, or fold.  
  • The action starts with the player to the left of the big blind. It stops when every player has either folded, matched the highest bet, or raised the previous bet with a higher bet, in which case the action goes around one more time. 
  • The dealer reveals the flop: three face-up community cards. Another round of betting follows. 
  • The dealer reveals the turn: a fourth face-up community card. The third round of betting follows. 
  • The dealer reveals the river: the fifth and final face-up community card. The final round of betting follows. 
  • The player with the best hand, made up of any combination of their two hole cards and five community cards, wins. 

The five best Texas Hold’Em hands and for most poker games are, as Card Player shares in a reference guide:

  1. Royal Flush. An Ace, King, Queen, Jack, and 10, all of the same suit. 
  2. Straight Flush. A straight (any five consecutive cards) and a flush (all five cards of the same suit) combined. 
  3. Four of a Kind. Four cards of the same rank, such as four 8s or four Kings. 
  4. Full House. Any three-of-a-kind and any pair in the same hand. 
  5. Flush. Any five cards of the same suit. 

Check out our full list of poker hand rankings to learn more. 

The worst hand in Texas Hold’Em is a 2 and a 7 of different suits as your hole cards. This is the lowest-value card combination.  

Winning chips (and therefore money) from other players by having the best hand or convincing others to fold their hands is the name of the game. Therefore, the number of chips you use is extremely important!  

So, how many poker chips do you start with in Texas Hold’Em? That depends on several factors. Let’s explore this answer in greater detail now. 

How Many Poker Chips Do You Start With

Usually, Texas Hold’Em players choose between two types of home games: cash games and tournaments. The type of game you choose will determine just how many chips you start with. 

In cash games, players receive chips depending on how much money they use to buy in. In tournaments, the buy-in is standardized. That means every player receives the same number of chips. 

That’s not all, though. You must ensure that you give each player enough chips so they’re not constantly making change from the dealer or from other players, as Home Poker Tourney notes.  

In practice, this usually means that the standard Texas Hold’Em chip count per player falls somewhere between 30-50 chips. But in some games, players can have around 100 chips. 

The distribution of dollar values in chips given is important, too. In simple terms, you want players to have more chips rather than less. $10,000 in chips of a high dollar value provides a player with far fewer chips than $10,000 in chips of a low dollar value.  

Make sure that, proportionally speaking, you’re giving players more low-value chips than high-value chips. A 4-3-2-1 ratio of chips to begin a game is a good place to start. 

Texas Hold’Em Chip Value 

When playing Texas Hold’Em with five colors, the standard chip values are as follows: 

  • White Poker Chip Value: $1 
  • Red Poker Chip Value: $5 
  • Blue Poker Chip Value: $10 
  • Green Poker Chip Value: $25 
  • Black Poker Chip Value: $100 
  • Purple Poker Chip Value: $500 

How to Set Up Poker Chips for Texas Hold’Em 

A poker player looks at their hole cards, seeing two aces.

  1. Decide on Denominations: First, decide on the denominations. Most players will use denominations such as those listed above. However, you can adjust them based on the buy-in and the stakes of your game. 
  2. Calculate the Number of Chips Needed: Next, figure out the total number of chips required for your game. 
  3. Assign Chip Colors & Values: Decide how much each color of chips will be worth. 
  4. Distribute Chips to Players: If playing a tournament, determine how many chips to give each player, and make sure each player has the same amount of chips. 
  5. Stack Chips: It’s common to stack the chips with the highest denominations at the bottom and the lower denominations on top. This makes it easier to count the total value of each player's stack. 
  6. Set Up the Dealer’s Tray: The dealer should have a spot to hold all unallocated chips for distribution as the game proceeds. 

Learn More With Chips and Games 

We hope this has proven to be helpful when determining how many chips you need to start your next game of Texas Hold’Em!  

Want to learn more about all things Poker-related? Keep up with our blog!  

If you’re in need of good quality poker chips, Chips and Games has an incredible variety of poker chip types and styles! We invite you to shop our poker chip collections now

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