Doyle Brunson once famously called it the “Cadillac of Poker.” Texas holdem is the most popular poker variant played today. The largest poker tournaments focus heavily on holdem; the poker games broadcast on television are almost exclusively hold’em; most of the tables at the top online poker rooms are Texas holdem tables. Nearly every poker site considers this particular variant the crux of their business.
This poses a problem. If every poker site offers online Hold Em poker, how can you know which site provides the best experience? We’ve done the heavy-lifting for you.
Below, we’ll share our list of the best online Texas Hold Em sites according to our personal litmus test. We’ll give you the details and let you decide for yourself. First, let’s quickly review how to play holdem and the different betting structures you’ll find at the top online holdem poker sites.
A Quick Guide To Online Hold Em Poker
The goal is to make the highest-ranking 5-card hand. To do that, you can use your “hole” cards and the cards dealt to the board (i.e. table). Here’s a quick hand in summary:
1. Each player receives two hole cards face down, followed by the first round of betting.
2. Three cards, called the flop, are then dealt to the board face up. This is followed by the second betting round.
3. A fourth card, called the turn, is dealt to the board face up, followed by a third betting round.
4. A fifth card, called the river, is dealt to the board face up, followed by a fourth betting round.
At this point, you have two hole cards that only you can see and use. Every other player has their own hole cards. There are also five board cards that are visible to everyone. That makes seven cards in total. Your job is to make the best 5-card hand to take the pot.
It’s a simple game to play, but there are several layers of strategy in Texas Holdem to master.
Texas Hold Em Poker Games: Betting Structures
There are three main betting formats for Texas Hold Em poker games: limit, no limit, and pot limit. We’re going to ignore “spread limit” because it’s rarely, if ever, used at the top poker sites. Here’s a quick breakdown of each structure:
Limit (or, Fixed Limit): This betting format follows the blinds. The first two rounds of betting are held at the small blind and the last two betting rounds are held at the big blind. For example, the opening bet and flop bet for a $5/$10 limit game would be $5; the bets following the turn and river would be $10. Unlike no limit and pot limit, you have no choice regarding the amount you bet.
No Limit: Online Hold Em poker games following this betting structure are not for the fainthearted. The only limit to the amount you can bet is your chip stack. That means you can go all in with pocket Aces pre-flop, or throw a Hail Mary post-flop to go all in with a pair of twos. The action is volatile. If Fixed Limit represents the slow lane on the highway, No Limit is the fast lane on the Autobahn.
Pot Limit: This betting format is a variation of No Limit. The only difference is that there’s a cap on the amount you can bet during any given betting round. That cap is the amount already in the pot.
Best Online Texas Hold Em Poker Sites
The following list of online Hold Em poker rooms is based on our personal review criteria. It is subjective. We look beyond sign-up bonuses and consider each site’s poker software, customer support, player traffic (including the fish factor), rewards program, and tournament roster. We encourage you to visit each room and make your own decision based on your experience.
- Bodog Poker – Bodog is one of the most well-known mid-tier poker sites. They’ve managed to carve a healthy slice of the industry for themselves by offering easy-to-use software, a full list of games, and a large tournament rotation. Their guaranteed tournaments – even the smaller events – are known for overlays. Lastly, it doesn’t hurt that Bodog maintains one of the most responsive customer support teams in the industry. Grab a huge 110% match up to $1,100 when you use bonus code “130347”. Get more information at our Bodog Poker review page.
If you’d like to start enjoying Texas Hold Em poker games, we recommend that you visit the sites profiled above. One of the reasons we recommend them is because we know we’ll never need to apologize for doing so.