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Texas Holdem Poker Equipment

Whether you're playing a weekly game with friends or you aspire to go on the tour circuit, the equipment used for Texas Holdem poker is the same. Of course, when you're playing with friends, you may find some of the equipment unnecessary, but for Texas Holdem aficionados, owning each piece provides a more authentic gaming experience. Below, you'll find a list of the equipment used during professional poker tournaments. If you're playing with friends, you can adjust this list according to your needs and budget.

Playing Cards

Texas Holdem is played with a standard 52-card deck. Often, friendly games use 2 decks. One is shuffled while the other is dealt. Professional games typically use 1 deck. This deck is changed after a few hours because the corners become worn and bent when players look at their Hole cards during each hand. Changing out worn decks prevents players from identifying cards by their condition.

Cut Card

A cut card has 2 purposes. First, the dealer chooses a player to cut the deck using the cut card. Second, the dealer uses the cut card to cover the card on the bottom of the deck. This prevents players from being able to see the bottom card. Cut cards are always used in professional tournaments.

Poker Table

Poker tables are specifically designed for playing cards. They have a padded surface that makes it easier for players to pick up their cards and chips. Most poker tables have room for up to 10 players, though smaller tables are available for non-professional games.

Professional poker tables usually have a raised, padded edge for players to rest their arms while playing hands. This edge is called the Rail and can provide welcome comfort to players who are involved in games lasting several hours. Below the Rail is a wooden shelf known as the Race Track. Players can store drinks and small items on this shelf and keep them out of the way of the game.

Poker Chips

All casinos and Texas Holdem tournament games use poker chips in place of currency. Poker chips allow everyone (players, dealer, pit crew and spectators) to easily determine how much money each player has on the table. The chips are always the same size. Each poker chip has a distinct color to signify its particular value.

Most professional tournaments use clay poker chips. They're considered to be the highest quality chip and therefore command the highest price. Ceramic chips are also considered high-quality but are used less often than clay chips. Because of the cost, many non-professional games choose to use plastic chips.

Dealer Button

In casinos and professional Texas Holdem games, dealers typically use a "dealer button." This is a marker that simply identifies the dealer. When a dealer button is used in non-professional games, it is rotated with the dealing duties.

Card Protectors

Often, professional players will use card protectors during hands. These are special chips or glass objects that can be placed on cards to prevent them from being tossed away accidentally.    Getting By Without The Entire Setup

While everything listed above is used in professional Texas Holdem tournaments, much of the equipment is unnecessary for friendly weekend games. In fact, besides 1 deck of playing cards and plastic poker chips, little else is required. While some non-professional players enjoy having all of the equipment used on the tour circuit, most people can enjoy playing Texas Holdem without such equipment. In the end, your personal preference, passion for the game and your budget will guide your decision regarding what equipment to buy.