Expert Advice, Game Rules

How many cards are used in Texas Holdem poker?

Texas holdem poker is played with a single deck of cards from the English deck. Said deck consists of 52 cards plus two jokers or jokers, said jokers are removed when the game starts, therefore Texas holdem poker is played with 52 cards .

Since poker is a game of probabilities and that such probabilities will depend on the number of cards in the deck and the number of players, there are game modes in which to give Texas holdem poker more dynamism and generate more games competitive, the number of cards used is determined based on the number of players participating in the game.

The best known systems to determine the number of cards are two, one based on a simple equivalence table :

  • For four players or less it must be played with 32 cards discarding from 2 to 6.
  • For five players, you should play with 40 cards discarding from 2 to 4, although there are people who prefer to also discard the fives (5) and play only with 36 cards.
  • For six players you must play with 44 cards discarding deuces (2) and threes (3).
  • For seven players or more, you must play with the full deck, that is, the 52 cards of the English deck.

The other system is the rule of 11 , so that to calculate the cards to discard a simple mathematical formula is used, the system is based on adding the number of players to the lowest card number, the total added is 11. For example, if there are six players at the table, then the lowest card number should be five (6 + 5 = 11), discarding cards 2-4.

How the cards are dealt in Texas holdem poker

Cards are always dealt clockwise one one until all participants have two cards in hand. Obviously the cards must be visible only to the corresponding player.

Random card distribution in online poker

Everyone knows how the dealing of cards works in a live texasholdem poker game, since a dealer shuffles the cards manually, however we may have doubts about how this action is carried out in online poker.

For this, the vast majority of poker rooms use what is known as a Random Number Generator (GNA), which is nothing more than a program that produces random number sequences. Based on these random number sequences, the online casino software generates the 52-card layout of the English deck before starting a Texas holdem poker game.

To guarantee this randomness, when a new hand starts, the cards are randomly moved until the moment the deal starts and the players receive their cards. It is at this point where the way the cards are dealt changes.

In some online poker sites the cards are continuously shuffled every time a card is dealt and until the hand is over, while in other sites the cards are only shuffled until the moment the deal to the first player begins, that is , as if we were playing Texas holdem poker in a real casino.

During these audits, a complete test of the random number generator (GNA) system and the algorithms in charge of shuffling the cards is carried out, as well as any software designed to protect the security of the GNA system. The results of these audits are always public and are accessible to any player in an online poker room, in this way we can be sure of the reliability and legality of an online casino.


Of course, in a Texas holdem poker game it is absolutely necessary that the shuffling and distribution of cards be carried out in a totally random way, for this it is an essential requirement that the GNA systems be duly audited, it is the only way to guarantee that your Chances of victory during a poker game depend exclusively on your luck and, above all, on your talent and skill in the game .


Tips & Tricks

A new strategy allows you to always win playing poker

A group of scholars from the University of Alberta (Canada) has developed a strategy that allows one of the types of poker to always win. But the algorithm is not as simple as, say, tic-tac-toe, because it examines 319 billion possibilities.


The scientific group, which includes several computer scientists, chose the ‘Texas hold’ em ‘version with fixed limit and only two players (HULHE for its acronym in English) for their calculations. According to his estimation, it is the simplest form of poker, with very restricted bets. That reduces to 13.8 billion the number of circumstances that can arise during each game.


As the scientists reveal in an article published the journal ‘Science’, to calculate an optimal move in each situation and the whole set of situations, they needed 200 computers linked together, with 24 processors in each one. But even so the system took two months to process the set of options that the game allows.


From now on, Canadians maintain, this form of poker can be considered as a definitively solved game, just like Connect 4, the game of the mill and checkers. Also remember that not all strategic board games have a “perfect solution”. Chess, for example, has none, like ‘go’, a millennial game of Chinese origin.


For now, only this computer program, dubbed Cepheus, can safely use the algorithm created so as not to ever make mistakes when playing poker. And, obviously, no human being is capable of processing data at the speed necessary to play a game against that machine.


However, the authors do not rule out that a computer that has been introduced to the algorithm may lose to a person on some occasion, although the chances of that happening are very limited. But no one, not even computers, is protected against bad luck …