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30 Oct 09 Betting in Poker

As poker is a gambling game, betting is one of the more integral aspects of the competitive experience.

Even you are playing at home or outside casino, the concept of betting it is the same in any type of poker game. The players should be the first “ante up” and the set amount of money is according to the dealt cards, it also has a blind bets it was similar to the ante, discussed in another article). Once cards are dealt, there is a around of betting.

Betting is usually done in a clockwise order around the table (depending on the game and table rules, it starts with either the person to the dealer’s left, the person showing the highest hand, or the person who made the last bet). When it is their turn to bet, players make one of several choices, some dependent on what the previous player(s) did:

  • Check – if no bet has been placed in the round, a player may “check”, essentially betting nothing, but staying in the game. This moves the betting option to the next person. There are several strategies to checking (such as the check raise)
  • Bet – if no bet has been placed in the round, the person may place a bet, up to the pre-arranged limit.
  • Call – A player bets enough to match the amount that has been bet the previous time.
  • Raise – Raising requires that the player first bets enough to match what was established upon the initial bet, then “raising” the bet to another, higher amount. The betting then begins anew, with all players still in the game required to call the new amount, fold, or raise.
  • Fold – Folding happens when the player gives up their hand and drops out of the current game due to not having a good hand or wanting to match a bet.  While a player forfeits their chance of winning the immediate pot, the player does not have to put any more money into the current pot.

There is no one set rule as to how to bet in poker – they vary by game and establishment. However, there are some general concepts that one should be aware of – make sure you check to see if your game is using any of these:

  • Spread Limit: A player can bet any amount within some range. If another player decides to raise the stakes, the limit must match or go higher than the raise.  This is a common structure for home-play based games.
  • Fixed Limit: A regular casino structure, a player is held to a set amount that can be bet or raised per hand.
  • Pot Limit: The largest amount a player can bet or raise is based upon the amount that is currently held within the pot.  The concept of “Pot Limit” seems simple, but can become increasingly complex and expensive if other players choose to double the pot’s amount.
  • No Limit: As the name implies, anything goes.  This structure is most recognizable in poker variations such as Texas Hold ‘Em. The player has the option to place as many of (or all) their chips currently available to them into the betting pot, without a cap to restrict them. It is also assumed that any game is “no limit” when there is an absence of any betting limit.

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