It's surprisingly difficult to find a clear answer to your first
question. So, as a long-time viewer of Texas Hold 'Em programs and
rule explanations, I'll take the liberty of composing my own answer.
In the version that you'll see, for example, on Celebrity Poker
Showdown, two of the players initially post a small blind (half of the
full bet) and a big blind (the full bet). Before the flop, and in any
round of betting after the flop, every player has the option to fold
rather than bet. However, before the flop, if no other player raises
the bet, the player who posted the big blind has no reason to fold.
That player has already posted the full bet. The other players must
bet to see the flop -- even the player in the small blind must bet
half of the full bet. But the player in the big blind can see the
flop for free -- in other words, he can check.
In each round after the flop, the first player might not like his
cards, but can still check rather than fold, in the hope that the
other players will check(or, alternatively, will show weakness in
their bets). If the first player checks, then the second player may
check, and so on until someone bets; all other players must then call
For an interactive explanation of the pre-flop procedure, go to the
Celebrity Poker Showdown website
(http://www.bravotv.com/Celebrity_Poker_Showdown/), click "Hold'Em How
To," then "start" on the pop-up window, then "jump to?," and finally
"4. Position and Betting."
A good example of a hand of Texas Hold 'Em is described at:
"Texas hold 'em" [under "Example"
You can find a glossary of poker terms at Pokerpages.com. It defines
"bet" as "To voluntarily put money or chips into the pot" and "raise"
as "To call and increase the previous bet." ("Call" means "To match,
rather than raise, the previous bet.") In other words, betting is
putting money into the pot; raising is increasing the previous bet.
"Poker Glossary - B"
"Poker Glossary - R"
"Poker Glossary - C"
Please let me know if any of this explanation is unclear -- I would be
happy to clarify it.
Search strategy --
Searched on Google for the following terms, alone or in various combinations:
"texas hold em"
[I tried other searches as well; but the search terms I have mentioned
led me to the pages I have cited.]