Gameplay and rules of Texas Holdem poker
The game starts by assigning a dealer. This is often done by dealing one card face up to every player at the table, and the player with the highest card starts as the dealer. The dealer is often marked by a dealer button (D), hence the dealer position is called the button (BTN). The dealer shuffles the cards, and typically the player to the right of the dealer gets to cut the deck before the dealer starts dealing the cards.
Then the two players to the left of the dealer/button have to post forced bets. These bets are called the Small Blind (SB) and the Big Blind (BB), and the size of the blinds are determined by the limits of the game that your are playing.
The dealer then deals every player two cards face down, one at a time clockwise, starting with the player to the left of the dealer (the Small Blind). These cards are called your Hole Cards.
Then there is a round of betting where you can bet or fold. The first to act is the player to the left of the Big Blind, this position is called Under the Gun (UTG). The players can in turn choose to Fold, Call (Limp) or Raise. A raise must be at least the size of the Big Blind forced bet, or the largest previous raise. This stage of the game is known as Preflop and what you should do is dependent on the Hole Cards you are dealt, previous actions from your opponents, and your position.
Three players remaining before the betting round on the flop. Big Blind is first to act, since the player in the Small Blind folded Preflop.
When all the betting is done Preflop, first one card is dealt face down (burned), and three cards are dealt face up in the middle of the table. This round is called the Flop. With the three cards on the Flop and your two Hole Cards you now have a complete poker hand (5 cards). Then there is another betting round, this time starting with the player in the Small Blind, or the first player to the left of the Small Blind still in the hand. The players can in turn choose to Check (if no previous bets), Fold, Call or Raise. A raise must be at least the size of the previous bet or the largest raise.
Two players remaining before the betting round on the turn. The player in UTG position is now first to act, since Big Blind folded on the Flop.
When the betting on the flop is done first a card is burned and then a fourth card is dealt face up in the middle of the table. This round is called the Turn. Then there is a betting round starting with the Small Blind, or the first player to the left of the Small Blind still in the hand.
Two players still remaining before the betting round on the river.
Then another card is burned, and the final card is dealt face up in the middle of the table. This round is called the River. A final round of betting is done starting with the Small Blind, or the first player to the left of the Small Blind still in the hand.
If there are still players in the hand after the final betting, these players have a showdown of their cards, and the player with the best hand wins the pot.
The player in UTG bets all her remaining chips on the river (All-in), and the player on the Button calls. The Button wins the pot with a Straight vs UTG’s top Two Pair.
Simple right? Well, there is more to the game, but these are the essentials you need to start playing Texas Holdem. Now you only need to know hand rankings (which hand beats which), and you are ready to go out and have some fun!