The general chemical equation of the reaction is the following:
In the first step, the acidic proton bonds to the less substituted carbon of the double bond following Markovnikov's rule. In the second step an H2O molecule bonds to the other, more highly substituted carbon. The oxygen atom at this point has three bonds and carries a positive charge. Another water molecule comes along and takes up the extra proton.
When carried out in the laboratory, this reaction tends to yield many undesirable side products and in its simple form described here is not considered very useful for the production of alcohol.
Conceptually similar reactions include: