Poker Betting Actions

Last updated on : 01 Jan, 1970

Poker Betting Actions

Your Basic Guide to Online Poker Betting Actions


Any half-decent poker player knows that betting actions are an essential building block of poker. The basic poker betting actions common to all poker games are checking and calling, raising, re-raising, betting, and folding. Every beginner poker player needs to have these down because without these sitting at a poker table is like suicide bombing. There’s simply no way to come out alive, unless of course, if you turn out to be a poker prodigy.


A skilled poker player uses all the poker betting actions multiple times throughout the game because they allow a player the variability and lets them alter the pace of the game. Dynamic play becomes very impotent when it comes to keeping your opponents on their toes and not giving away your hand.


The basic poker betting actions seem simple to a novice, but it takes a professional eye to detect the importance of each and utilize them in the most profitable manner.


Even experienced players often do not fold hands enough and end up checking when they should be raising. These are all minute differences that separate the layman players from the cream of the lot.


So, let us take you through a quick introduction to each of these online poker betting moves.


For more information and educational blogs on poker games, visit our how to play poker page.


1. Folding:


This is the first online poker betting action that you must be clear about. Folding is commonly viewed as a sign of weakness, whereas in reality, it is anything but weak.


Amateur poker players do not fold enough. They are in way too much of a hurry to get to the action that they forget how integral starting hand selection is in poker. It is an obvious fact that if you try to play every hand that you are dealt with in poker, you are bound to lose not just one game but your money too. When playing poker, whether in person or online poker betting, you must play only your best and strongest hands. This way, when the stakes get high you still have a leg to stand on. So, you should view folding a hand as just bowing out of the game to cut your losses, it is a wise thing to do and you should be doing it more often than you think.


For many players, reaching a point where you can make a quick decision between folding and playing is a tough thing. Online poker betting only allows you ten to fifteen seconds to choose. So, going with only the best hands is a good choice. Poker has no place for pride or stubbornness, at any point if you think that your opponent has a better hand than you, fold and get out while you can.  


2. Checking


Checking is choosing not to bid in a particular round. You can only check when no other players have placed a bid before you. So, this online poker betting moves possible in a few circumstances. Firstly, when you are in the big blind, as you have already put in the minimum bid and all the other players have also done the same or have folded their cards. Secondly, this is possible in another round in which all the other players have also checked. Checking is viewed as a weak move, and many players hold the opinion that if you have a decent hand, you should be raising instead of checking, this way you have the hope of getting weaker players to fold and you gain some protection.


However, even this move is dependent on the stage if your game and the strength of your hand. You can end up becoming pot committed with the wrong move.


3. Calling


Calling in a game is basically an online poker betting move that matches the bet that you are placing to the latest and highest bet in a particular round.


4. Raising


Raising is making a larger bet than the highest bet made by the other players in a betting round. When you choose to bet you are forcing the other players to put more money into the pot and raise the stakes of the game.


Re raising and check-raising are used at different points in a poker game.


Apart from the poker betting actions, you should also know the three kinds of betting limits in online poker betting. Every game will follow one of these.


Here is a very short understanding of each:


1. Pot Limit: In this type of game format, players cannot raise a bet more than the total size of the pot.


2. Fixed Limit: In this type of game format, players at the table can bet, call, or raise but only up to a specified limit. This limit is pre-defined, and the maximum raises allowed in any given betting round are also limited. This is usually fixed at four raises in a round of poker.


3. No Limit: In this game format, there are no maximum limits to bet or raise. You can choose to bet your entire stack and go all in. The minimum bet size is the big blind, and the minimum raise has to be equal to the previous bet or raise.


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