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A Beginner's Guide to the Betting Procedure of Poker

For a beginning poker player, it would be wise to know not only the general information about the game, but also the particular actions. One such particular of poker is the betting procedure.

In poker, betting is done before the showdown, where players compare their hands. The players make their bet and all other actions in turn, which is usually in a clockwise order. Acting out of turn is a prohibited action in poker.

The betting actions that one could do in poker are as follows:

1. Open

To open means to make the first voluntary bet in the current round. If the player makes the very first voluntary wager in the game, it is called opening the pot. This betting action is considered to be an aggressive play, because it forces other players to react accordingly.

2. Call

To call means to bet an equivalent amount to the previous bet. When all of the players in the hand call, the betting round ends. This is a form of passive play, as it is primarily a reaction and does not force other players to act.

3. Check

To check means to bet an amount equivalent to zero. A check could only be done when no player has opened the betting round yet. By checking, a player does not contribute anything to the pot, but expresses their desire to keep their cards. This betting action is considered a passive play, since it will not force other players into acting.

4. Raise

To raise means to increase the current size of the bet needed to stay in hand. Most casinos require players to raise an amount equal to the current size of the bet. This is a form of an aggressive play, since it forces players to match the amount of the raise or discontinue vying for the pot.

5. Fold

To fold means to discard one's hand and discontinue interest in the pot. A fold is done by discarding one's card face down. This action is usually done when a player thinks that they do not have a chance of winning, and would like to save their chips for other betting rounds.

Depending on the poker variant, the number of betting rounds may vary. Also, depending on the house rules, the amount one could wager also varies. However, the betting actions and their corresponding strategic implications remain the same. Become familiar with the betting actions and when to use them, and you are on the way to playing poker like a pro.

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