The first person to the left of the button is called the small blind
and must post a predetermined bet in front of him before the deal.
The second person to the left of the button is called the big blind.
The big blind must post a bet before the deal that is double the
amount of the small blind.
The purpose of posting blind bets is to stimulate action. With the
blind money in the middle of the table, there are always some chips
to compete for, even before you see your cards. In cash games the
amount of money that you must post when you are the big blind or the
small blind remains the same throughout the game.
The Four Betting Rounds
Betting begins after you have been dealt your two hole cards (your
hand) facedown. Using your Texas Hold'em Super Pro Charts, you'll
always know what kinds of hole cards to play and what percentage of
the time you can expect to win. As a general rule of thumb, you're
hoping to be dealt big pairs and high cards in both limit and
no-limit hold'em. Two aces, two kings, two queens, two jacks, and
A-K are premium hands.
The first player to act is the person who is sitting immediately to
the left of the Big Blind. The action continues clockwise with
everyone acting in turn. The Big Blind is the last player to act.
When he has finished acting, the first round of betting is over.
Then the dealer puts three community cards (the flop) face-up in the
center of the table and the second round of betting begins. This
time, the first active player to the left of the button must act
first. Then each player who did not fold before the flop can check,
bet, call a bet, raise, reraise or fold when it is his turn to act.
After the betting on the flop is finished, the dealer places a
fourth community card (called fourth street or the turn) face-up in
the center of the table, followed by another round of betting. Then
he deals the final community card (called fifth street or the river)
face-up in the center and there is a final round of betting.
The Size of the Bets
The size of the bet or raise that you can make when it's your turn
to act depends on whether you are playing limit Texas hold'em or
no-limit Texas hold'em.
In limit hold'em, the number of chips that you can bet is limited to
a fixed upper limit. The upper limit on the first two rounds of
betting is the size of the big blind. For example, if the big blind
is $4, the most you can bet or raise before the flop and on the flop
is $4. On the third and fourth rounds of betting - the turn and the
river - the limit usually doubles to twice the size of the big
blind. If the big blind is $4, you must bet $8 on the turn and
In no-limit hold'em, you can bet your entire stack of chips on any
of these betting rounds. If you want to bet all your chips at once,
you can "go all-in" by pushing all your chips into the center of the
table. An opponent can call your all-in bet even if he doesn't have
as many chips as you have bet. In that case, the size of the bet can
be no bigger than the smaller stack. If you have the bigger stack
and lose the hand, you get to keep the remaining chips in your
For example, suppose you have $500 in chips and go all in against
Player B, who calls your bet with his last $400 in chips. If Player
B wins the pot, he can only win the amount of his original bet, so
you'll get a refund of $100 in chips.
Next Month's Installment #3:
Sequence for Limit Texas Hold'em
The Betting Sequence for No-Limit Texas Hold'em
How Much Should You Bet in No-Limit Hold'em?