What Type of Texas Hold ‘em Game Is Best for You?

Casino Poker Table With Dealer Hands, Texas Hold'em Text

Are you interested in playing Texas Hold ‘em, but you’re a novice and unsure of which game is suitable for you?

It’s intimidating enough to step into a card or poker room for the first time. The players look just like those on TV, with the earbuds in, sunglasses on, and other trademark accessories. You may catch a trash-talking player or another that enjoys staring down their opponents during the showdown.

You also notice there are various Texas Hold ‘em games to choose from. You’re torn on what to play. You head back to the gaming machines and play video poker while your friends have fun at the live tables.

But, when you return home, your first priority is to dissect the game and discover its variants. Today’s post will help you out.

Let’s discover what type of Texas Hold ‘em works for you.

Limit Texas Hold‘em

If you’re reading today’s post as a novice, most will suggest starting with Limit Texas Hold ‘em. This variant of Texas Hold ‘em is also great if you have never gambled before but you’ve always been captivated by table gaming.

The good thing about Limit Hold ‘em and why it’s so popular among novices and those new to live table gaming is because they pre-determine each bet. In other words, the bets remain at a fixed size, and you cannot bet any higher than the pre-determined max bet.

For Example

Let’s assume the game is a $2/$4 Limit.

You can only bet in $2 increments in both the initial round of betting and after the flop. That’s it, no more. Now, on the turn and the river, those increments increase to $4.

As you can see from the example, you aren’t getting large pots in Limit Texas Hold ‘em. They’re possible, but they rarely occur. With this in mind, it’s also possible that you will not end up at a table full of novice players.

There are many professional Limit Texas Hold ‘em players and those who, at your local casino, have become successful in the game. Known as Grinders, they’re often conservative poker players who are just using the game to escape life without breaking the bank.

But, if you’re reading today’s post and you’re more than a novice, there are other games out there other than the low-risk, low-to-moderate reward Limit Texas Hold ‘em.

Pot Limit Texas Hold’em

Like Limit Texas Hold ‘em, you can only bet so much in any given round. Unlike Limit Hold ‘em, only the pot pre-determines a maximum bet. This is an excellent option if you consider yourself an intermediate player or if you’re looking to live a little more on the edge.

Since the pot pre-determines the maximum bet, you can also see higher payouts here, especially if there are a few raises following a round, or several rounds, of betting.

While you may have a firm grasp of Pot Limit Texas Hold ‘em from the brief description above, let’s put it into real-life terms so you have it down.

Say there’s $50 in the pot, and you just got a full house on the flop. So you decide to raise in hopes that someone calls your bet. You can only bet $50 maximum. You can also bet anything under $50 if you choose not to raise and call an opponent’s bet.


Since Pot Limit Texas Hold ‘em is more volatile than its brother, Limit Hold ‘em, it takes a great deal more strategy and discipline.

So to recap, only consider playing Pot Limit after you’ve gained a firm grasp on the game because while you can increase your chip count, you can also suffer heavy losses in a single hand.

However, Pot Limit Hold ‘em is not as risky as No-Limit Hold ‘em, discussed below.

No-Limit Texas Hold’em

In No-Limit Texas Hold ‘em, you can go all-in if you think you have a winning hand. You can wager more than what’s present in the pot and live on the edge here.

If you don’t know what No-Limit Hold ‘em is, it’s straightforward: Say there’s $50 in the pot, but you got that full house again on the flop. Now, you can raise the bet to $100, despite the $50 in the pot. You can, even if you’d like, go all-in.

As long as your minimum bet matches the big blind or a raise, you’re left to your intuition here.

Now, what if you don’t have enough chips to cover the raise?

Say an opponent raised the bet to $100, and you only have 50. You would go all-in, and the excess chips you cannot match, move into a side pot. Keep in mind that you cannot win the side pot if you can’t cover the raise.

However, if an opponent can’t cover your raise and wins the hand, you can still win the side pot over a third and fourth opponent.

Because No-Limit Hold ‘em is so volatile, you should only dive into it if you have substantial experience playing the game. In a casino, that kitchen table or Friday night game with your buddies from work where there may be no buy-in, and you’re just playing for chips or bragging rights does not count.

Also, it’s best to have experience playing against others you have never met, as opposed to those you see every day or even every year around the Holidays. It’s also a good idea, if applicable, to observe No-Limit Texas Hold ‘em games as a spectator before you play.

Ultimate Texas Hold‘em

Above we covered the three major types of Texas Hold ‘em. But what if you’re looking for a bit more?

You have options, including Ultimate Texas Hold ‘em, which is becoming popular in many casinos across America.

The first significant difference between the variations of Texas Hold ‘em described above, and Ultimate Texas Hold ‘em is that you’re playing against the house instead of other players. The game plays just like regular Texas Hold ‘em, where you get two cards, and the dealer gets two.

You can check or place an initial play bet three to four times the size of the ante. After the flop, the play bet reduces to just twice the size of the ante unless you check again. Finally, the dealer reveals the turn and the river cards. If you checked on the previous two play bets, your play bet now matches the ante.

As for the amount of money you can win, it pertains to how your hand compares to the dealer’s. You can win big if you have something like a straight flush or royal flush. Or, you may just break even.


Remember you can only raise once in Ultimate Texas Hold ‘em. And the more you check, the more your play bet shrinks in later rounds.

Ultimate Texas Hold ‘em is for you if you’re more interested in playing the house than other players.


This one places a unique spin on Texas Hold ‘em, and it’s great if you’re looking for variety. As the name suggests, there are fewer cards involved here. You’re still getting two hole cards, but just three community cards. Because of this, your job is to build the best three card hand to beat the dealer.

Place an ante bet and receive your hole cards. Look at your cards and decide whether you’re in or you’re out. If you’re in, you will make a flop bet, which must match the ante at a minimum.

The dealer will turn two of those three community cards over. And again, you can either fold or place a river bet. If you place a bet, it must at least match the ante and the flop bet.

The dealer reveals the river card, and again, you can either fold or raise. Now, the play bet must double the ante. Something important to remember is when the dealer reveals all three community cards, you must use at least one hole card to build your hand.

Once again, if you’re looking for variety, Mini-Tex is your game. It’s also faster-paced, but if you’re used to traditional Texas Hold ‘em, you will need to at least take time to devise a strategy before you face off with the dealer.

Texas Hold‘em Bonus

Another game pitting you against the dealer, Texas Hold ‘em Bonus resembles traditional Hold ‘em in every aspect. The only difference is you cannot place a bet following the river. You start the game by placing an ante plus an optional bonus bet, and the dealer deals you two hole cards.

You can either fold or place a flop bet, which is twice the size of your ante bet. The dealer reveals the flop, and you will either place a turn bet that matches the ante bet, or you can check. The dealer shows the turn, and you have the option of placing a river bet, which again matches the ante.

The dealer reveals the river, but again, the bet does not follow. You create your best five card hand, and if you beat the dealer, you win all bets at even money besides the ante. However, if your five card hand is either a straight (this may vary per casino) or better, you also get the ante.

Further Info:

The Bonus you may have placed at the beginning of the game only deals with your hole cards against the dealer’s hole cards. The casino’s paytable determines your gain or loss, which can also vary by casino.

If you’re looking for perhaps more ways to win, Texas Hold ‘em Bonus is for you. As you can see, you can earn the Bonus, the hand, and even the ante, depending on the strength of your hole cards and your five card hand.


We included six popular variants of Texas Hold ‘em since the traditional games may or may not be for you.

If you’re looking to play against others, Limit, Pot Limit, and No-Limit Texas Hold ‘em are your best fits.

If you’d rather play against the house, consider Ultimate Texas Hold ‘em, Mini-Tex, or Texas Hold ‘em Bonus.

But before playing any variation of Texas Hold’em, consider starting with our Texas Hold’em strategy and guide here.

Petko Stoyanov
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About Petko Stoyanov
My name is Petko Stoyanov, and I've been a gambling writer for more than ten years. I guess that was the natural path for me since I've loved soccer and card games for as long as I can remember! I have a long and fairly successful history with English Premier League betting and online poker, but I follow many other sports. I watch all big European soccer leagues, basketball, football, and tennis regularly, and I keep an eye on snooker, volleyball, and major UFC events.