Betting Structure and Rules of How to Play Texas Holdem

If you are new to playing Texas Holdem for real money then you will need to familiarize yourself with betting structures as well as the rules of how to play the game. Luckily, the rules of Texas Holdem are pretty easy to learn.

The objective of Texas Holdem is to be the player with the highest ranked 5-card poker hand at the end of the game. Poker hands are made up of any combination of 2 private or "hole" cards and 5 community cards.

At the beginning of each game blind bets are placed, to get the prize pot started. A small blind and a big blind are placed. The small blind is usually placed by the player to the immediate left of the dealer and is usually equal to half that of the big blind. The big blind is placed by the player to the left of the small blind and is usually equal to the minimum bet in the game. The dealer is signified by a dealer button, which is placed at the dealer's seat at the table. Each time a new game begins the dealer button is moved one seat clockwise, so that players take turns as the dealer, in addition to taking turns placing the small and big blinds. In large games and poker tournaments, it is not uncommon for players to put up an ante as well to add more money to the pot.

Once the blinds and antes are put up, the dealer deals out two cards to each player, face down. These are known as the "hole" cards or "pocket" cards and are private. You may look at your own cards, but other players may not see what cards you have in the hole and may not ask you about these cards. Once these cards are dealt, the first round of betting takes place, known as the "Pre-Flop" betting round.

Each round of betting takes place in a clockwise order around the table, beginning with the player to the left of the player that placed the big blind. Each player must decide, based on his hand, to "fold" and leave the game, "call" and stay in with a minimum bet, or "raise" the minimum bet. Frequently there is a limit placed on the maximum bet so that one player won't raise the bet out of the leagues of another player's bankroll.

After Pre-Flop betting the dealer deals three face-up community cards in what is known as the "Flop." A second round of betting ensues, in which all players that did not fold in the previous round place bets.

The next round is known either as "The Turn" or "Fourth Street." In this round, the dealer places an additional community card face-up on the table. Players that remain in the game take part in yet another round of betting, deciding to fold, call or raise. One final community card is then dealt in "The River" or "Fifth Street" round. There is a final round of betting before the Showdown.

In the Showdown, players that remain in the game reveal their hole cards and the winner is determined. The winner is the player with the best 5-card hand made up of a combination of community and private cards.

Now that you understand how to play Texas Holdem as well as the game's betting structures, you're ready to get started!