Texas Hold ‘em Dealing

The first time you watch a Texas Hold ‘em hand being dealt, it may seem like a fairly complicated process, but if you can count to three, you can deal Texas Hold ‘em.

These rules are going to apply to a general home game of Texas Hold ‘em. If you’re playing online or in a casino, you won’t have to know how to deal yourself, though its good knowledge to have and will help you follow the game.

Shuffle Up and Deal

If it’s your turn to deal, you’re should expect to shuffle the deck. Technically, seven good riffle shuffles – when half of the deck is held in each hand with the thumbs inward on the inside corners of the deck and the cards are released to fall together interleaved – will be considered thorough. However, if you haven’t quite mastered this technique, you can lay the cards in a pile face down and spread them around with you hands to shuffle them up.

After you have shuffled the cards and stacked them back up, generally you should offer the cards to the person immediately to your right, as he or she has the option to cut the deck. Before you start dealing, ensure that players have set out the blinds and, if necessary, the antes. We’ll talk more about those a little later.

Dealing Hole Cards

Like any game of poker, always deal first to the person immediately to your left. In Texas Hold ‘em, deal one card clockwise to each person, including yourself, and then a second to each person. This should leave every player, yourself included, with two facedown cards in front of them.

This will cue the first round of betting.


Even if you’re paying close attention to the action, it’s never a bad idea to double check that the first round of betting is over before dealing out by asking “Is the pot good?” or “Are we settled?” You definitely don’t want to make the mistake of beginning to deal the next round while players are still placing bets.


The flop deal refers to the first three community cards.

Once everyone is ready for the next round to start, ensure that all of the poker chips are pushed together into the pot. This will reduce any confusion that may arise if chips from the last round are left in front of players.

The next round of dealing is called “The Flop.” It is made up of the first three community cards that every player can see and use to make their hand. Before dealing out the flop, you’ll want to deal the top card face-down, or “burn” it. The burn card, which is dealt before each round of betting, ensures that no one saw the top card to help prevent cheating.

Once you’ve burned the top card, deal three consecutive cards face up in the middle of the table. It’s important that everyone can see all three cards. As a courtesy, especially if you are playing on a large table with several players, you can read the cards out loud by naming the number and suit of each card.

This will cue another round of betting.

Turn, River

Once the pot is settled and the chips have been collected, it’s time for the next card to go onto the board. Once again, make sure you burn the top card before you deal a fourth card. This round is called “The Turn” or “Fourth Street.” After the turn is dealt, there is another round of betting.

Finally, “The River” or “Fifth Street” is dealt in much the same way as the turn: Once the pot is settled from the last round, one card is burned, and one is dealt face up. After that is the final round of betting, and then the hand is over. The deal then passes to the player on your left.

It’s general courtesy to gather up the cards for the next dealer, or at least help collect them.


Community cards are dealt in three rounds: Flop, Turn, and River.

Placing the Cards

When you deal out the flop, the turn and the river, you generally want to deal them from right to left. In other words, the flop is dealt three in a row, then the turn to the right of those cards, and the river goes to the right of that. Some dealers prefer to deal the turn and river side-by-side below the flop, but that comes down to personal preference.

If a Card Flips Up

When you are dealing the hole cards to each player, sometimes a card will accidentally flip up. If this happens to you – and, as a new dealer, there’s a fair chance that it will – don’t worry. It happens to everyone from time to time. Whatever card gets exposed is left face up so everyone knows what card is no longer in play, and becomes the first burn card.

Should two or more get flipped up, the players will usually agree to a redeal. Some more stringent games will charge a tax for multiple flipped cards, so it’s worth perfecting your deal.


Texas Hold ‘em is played using blinds, To explain how they work, let’s say the minimum bet is $10. The second person to the left of the dealer is designated as the “Big Blind.” This person has to put $10 into the pot before he or she even receives cards. The person immediately to the left of the dealer is the “small blind,” and has to put in $5 (or half of the minimum bet) before receiving cards.

As the dealer, it’s important that you know where the betting will start and where it ends. After the big and small blinds are settled, the action starts to the left of the big blind. Betting will then go around the table clockwise.

Say everyone either folds or bets the minimum – $10 in this case. Betting will go all the way around the table and back to the small blind, who has the option to either fold and lose that $5, or put in another $5 to play. The big blind, who already has $10 in the pot, can either stay with that bet or raise, in which case betting will go around the table again.

After the flop, turn and river, the player immediately to the left of the dealer is the first to take action. You, as the dealer, are always the last to bet.


If you are playing in a casino or online, you will never have to worry about actually dealing the cards, but there will be a special dealer chip called “The Button” that will mark whose turn it would be to deal to designate the blinds and dealing order.

Overall, as a new Texas Hold ‘em player, don’t be afraid to double check things like who you deal to first, or how many cards are in the flop. Players will be much happier to point you in the right direction than have you keep redealing until you get it right.