1. The Deck
2. Poker Hands
3. Texas Hold'em
1. Betting Basics
1. Hold'em FAQ
2. Betting FAQ
Basic Betting Rules
If there are no bets to you (it is checked to you)
Bet: You can put in one bet into the pot. The other players must call that bet, or else they must fold.
Check: You can choose not to put in any money into the pot. If no one bets, then the game continues with everyone still in the hand. If someone else bets, then you have a decision to make...
If there is a bet to you
Fold: You don't put in any more money, but you are out of the hand and cannot win any money. Any money you have put into the pot up to this point is lost.
Call: You put in money equal to the amount bet. You stay in the hand. Play continues and the next card is dealt, unless someone else raises. (If there are no more cards, then there is a showdown.)
Raise: You put money into the pot equal to the amount bet so far, plus additional money (the raise). Now, all the other players must call your raise or fold. They may also reraise you.
If there is more than one player left after all the cards have been dealt, and everyone has called on the last round of betting after that card is dealt, then those players show their hands. Whoever is holding the best poker hand wins all the money in the pot. If there is a tie, then all tying hands split the pot in equal amounts.
Hands are shown starting with the last person to raise or bet out, then proceeding clockwise (the normal direction of play). Any player may choose to muck his hand (fold without showing).
The poker room will also take a rake from the pot before it is distributed to the winner or winners. The rake is the house's share and is usually a few cents on the dollar.
Win by default
If everyone except one player folds, then that player gets all the money in the pot, minus the rake. He does not have to show his hand to the other players.
Reraise: Suppose someone else raises you, but you feel that you have a very strong hand. You can reraise your opponent to forfce him to put in another bet to stay in. Some poker rooms will let two players reraise each other indefinitely. Others will cap the total number of bets at 4 or some other number. Most online poker rooms cap you at 4 bets in each betting round. (The betting is only capped for limit poker; no-limit and pot-limit games do not have betting caps).
Check-raise: Suppose you hold a strong hand, and you are greedy. You want to take more than just one bet from your opponent. So you check, your opponent bets, and you raise him. Now he calls, and if your hand is as good as you think it is, you just won two bets from him. Check-raising is a powerful tool, but it can be dangerous, because your opponent might also check. Then you win no money from him. Or he might have an even better hand then you and reraise you.
Check-call: If you have a decent hand, but you think there is a good chance your opponent might have a better one, you may wish to avoid a raise. In this case, you can check and call.
Next Article: Blinds
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