Basic Texas Holdem Rules – The Four Betting Rounds

This article will discuss the basic texas holdem rules and the strategy for playing the four betting rounds. If you’re at all confused about the basics of texas holdem poker, this article includes a breakdown of the four betting rounds. Sometimes seeing the game in terms of the basic progression helps new players to visualize the overall picture, to get a clearer picture of exactly what you are trying to achieve. By adopting forward planning and viewing the hand as a whole, each action you make will influence your decisions for each betting round.

While the betting structure is varied depending on the type of holdem game you’re playing (you could be playing with blinds, antes, no limit, pot limit, limit, etc), the basic four betting rounds are always the same in any texas holdem game. Before you try to understand the betting variations, it really helps to understand this basic pattern of betting.


The first decision you will have to make is how to play your cards preflop. Beginning with the dealer, players are dealt two cards. The first round of betting occurs and depending on the strength of your hand and position at the table, you can choose to fold, call, or raise. Often times the best preflop strategy is to play fold or raise poker. If you hand is not good enough to raise then just fold. Putting the pressure on your opponents is achieved by raising and showing strength. If you do this you have won half the battle.

The Flop

Three community cards are dealt onto the center of the table. The second round of betting occurs. If you were the preflop raiser then you will usually want to make a continuation bet on the flop to continue to show strength and tell your opponents you have a good hand. The only time you don’t want to make a continuation bet is when its a big multi way pot, you have missed the flop, and you expect the cards on the flop to have hit your opponents. In this instance, you can just check/fold your hand instead of wasting an additional bet. If there was only one other caller, even when you miss the flop you can often take down the pot with a continuation bet.

The Turn

One community card is dealt to the center of the table. The third round of betting occurs. This is where most players will decide if they really like their hand enough to continue. Players will call on the flop with a wide range of hands, including drawing hands. If you have a made hand and the draws didn’t hit on the turn, make another big bet on the turn to get your opponents to pay for their draws. If you bet the flop with nothing and got called, you may have to consider giving up on the turn if you think your opponent has a strong hand which they won’t fold.

The River

A final community card is dealt to the center of the table. The final betting round takes place. This is usually the toughest decision. Once the action gets to the river, you will have to decide if you want to bet your hand for value to get calls from weaker hands, you also want to consider checking back the river to induce bluffs. Knowing how to play the river is easy once you have a good read on your opponents and you know how they play. If it is a draw heavy board and you are playing an aggressive player who is capable of bluffing, then checking the river to induce bluffs can be very profitable. By default, you want to bet/bet/bet on all streets with your value hands, because most players are loose passive and are calling down with medium strength hands.


You never want to get to showdown with a weak hand. The player with the highest 5 card hand, formed from any combination of pocket and community cards, wins the pot. When all five of the community cards make the highest hand, like when there is a flush or straight on the board, and no player has a card to make the best hand, then everyone shares the pot. The player who initiated the betting on the river is usually the first to show his cards. If it’s the best hand the other players can choose to “muck” their hand.