How to play Texas Holdem - beginner's guide

In this article I will explain the basics on how to play Texas Holdem also known as holdem. In a holdem game you need from two to ten players to start the game. At the beginning of the game the dealer will draw for the dealer button, to determine the small blind(SB) and the big blind(BB). Small blind and big blind will put a mandatory bet, where BB will be twice the size of SB. Let's say that in a game, the blind are at 1/2 chips. At later stages of tournaments antes come in play, meaning besides SB and BB, every player must put a mandatory bet. For instance in a tournament, we are at blind level 20 with blinds 1000/2000 chips and antes 100. All the players are dealt two cards(hole cards) face down and they must not reveal them to the other players. If a certain player holds a big hand like KK and it is his turn to act, he can raise the blinds. To understand the raise concept, imagine someone holding pocket aces that will raise the BB to 6 chips.

If you think you have a bad hand, you can muck it. On the other hand if you think that your cards are good to play with, you can call the bet or raise the initial raiser. Five comunity cards will be dealt in the middle.First three cards are the flop, the fourth is the turn and the fifth is called the river. Each of the players that are involved in the hand can use the cards in the middle to improve their starting hand. Let's say you are dealt pocket tens 1010 and you get another ten on the flop, your hand improved to a set of tens or three of a kind, tens.
Every player can call, raise or fold a bet from another player on any street. A key aspect of Texas holdem is position playing concept. Every player must act on every hand, clockwise.
The winner of the tournament will have to hold at the end of the game, every other player's chips, but usually the first 10% of the player field will share the prizepool with the first to win most and the last to win the least money.
So good luck at the tables and start playing this beautiful game.