A hand in Texas Hold'em can have up to four rounds of betting, although not every hand goes up to four rounds. In limit Texas Hold'em, an arbitrary limit determinates the sizes of blinds, bets, and raises, which are all increments of the limit. The first two rounds are set to a smaller limit, such as $ 5, while the last two rounds are set to a higher limit that is twice that set in the first two rounds. Games are identified by their limits; for example, a $ 5- $ 10 limit game tells you that the first two rounds use a $ 5 limit and the last two rounds use a $ 10 limit. Let us take a look at a typical limit game.
The game starts with two players seeding the pot. That means they place bets known as blinds into the pot. One player bets the small blind, which is half of the smaller limit (in a $ 2- $ 4 limit game, the player would bet $ 1). The other player bets the big blind, which is equal to the smaller limit ($ 2 in our example). (The blind betting will rotate around all the players by one seat with each new hand as the game continues.)
The players are all deal to their pocket cards, and the first round of betting starts with the player after the one who placed the big blind. This player must call, that is, match the bet amount of the big blind, in order to stay in the hand. A player can also choose to fold or to raise. By folding, a player opts out of the hand. By raising, a player must match and then increase the amount of the bet by an increment of the big blind. For example, if the big blind is $ 2, the player can raise it to $ 4 or $ 6. In general, there can be no more than three increases in one round of betting.
Each subsequent player then either calls (matching raises, if any), raises, or folds. The small blind player has to make the difference between small and big blinds to stay in, and also match any flights. The big blind player is the last to act, and may also raise without the maximum number of raises has been reached.
If play continues, the dealer lays down the flop, and then the second round of betting starts with the small blind player. This player may choose to bet or to check – that is, pass on making a bet. All of the players can decide to check, in which case there will be no addition to the pot. But if a later player chooses to bet, those who have checked previously have to bet to stay in the game. They can also raise.
If play continues, the dealer lays down the fourth, or turn card. The limit is set to the higher limit; in a $ 2- $ 4 game, the limit from this round to the next is $ 4. This third round of betting is again begun by the small blind, who may either check, bet, or bet and raise.
If play continues, the dealer lays down the fifth, or river card. The limit is again the higher limit. Betting in this round is handled in the same way as the previous round.
If there are any players remaining after the fourth and last round of betting, there is a showdown in which all players show their hands. The player with the highest hand wins the entire pot. Sometimes showdowns end in a tie, in which case the players split the pot.
That is an example of betting in a limit game. There are also pot-limit and no-limit games. They work in basically the same fashion, except that at any round a player can choose to bet up to the total pot amount (pot-limit) or the total amount of money the player still holds in the game (no-limit). These type of games are not recommended for the novice player, however.