Jump to navigation Jump to search This article is about the common terms, rules, and procedures of betting in poker only. For the strategic impact of betting, see poker strategy. Poker positions at a 10 handed table. In the game of poker, the play largely centers on the act of betting, and as such, a protocol has been developed to speed up play, lessen confusion, and increase security while playing. Until the first bet is made each player in turn may “check,” which is to not place a bet, or “open,” which is to make the first bet.
A player may fold by surrendering one’s cards. Some games may have specific rules regarding how to fold: for example in stud poker one must turn one’s upcards face down. A player may check by tapping the table or making any similar motion. In general, the person to the left of the dealer acts first and action proceeds in a clockwise fashion. If any player has folded earlier, action proceeds to next player. In games with blinds, the first round of betting begins with the player to the left of the blinds. In stud games, action begins with the player showing the strongest cards and proceeds clockwise. If there is a bring-in, the first round of betting begins with the player obliged to post the bring-in. If in any betting round it is a player’s turn to act and the action is unopened, then the player can open action in a betting round by making a bet—the act of making the first voluntary bet in a betting round is called opening the round. Normally, a player makes a bet by placing the chips they wish to wager into the pot.
To raise is to increase the size of an existing bet in the same betting round. A player making a raise after previously checking in the same betting round is said to check-raise. When a player bets or raises with a weak hand that has a chance of improvement on a later betting round, the bet or raise is classified as a semi-bluff. In no-limit and pot-limit games, there is a minimum amount that is required to be bet in order to open the action. In games with blinds, this amount is usually the amount of the big blind. Standard poker rules require that raises must be at least equal to the amount of the previous bet or raise. In no-limit and pot-limit games, if a player opens action in a betting round by placing any number of chips in the pot without a verbal declaration, or if they place two or more chips in the pot of sufficient value to raise an outstanding bet or raise without a verbal declaration, then the full amount placed in the pot will be assumed to be the amount of the bet or raise. In fixed-limit games, the size of bets and raises is determined by the specified stakes.
To call is to match a bet or match a raise. A betting round ends when all active players have bet an equal amount or everyone folds to a player’s bet or raise. If no opponents call a player’s bet or raise, the player wins the pot. The second and subsequent calls of a particular bet amount are sometimes called overcalls. This term is also sometimes used to describe a call made by a player who has put money in the pot for this round already. A player calling a raise before they have invested money in the pot in that round is cold calling. Calling in the final betting round when a player thinks they do not have the best hand is called a crying call. Calling when a player has a relatively weak hand but suspects their opponent may be bluffing is called a hero call.
In public cardrooms, placing a single chip in the pot of any value sufficient to call an outstanding bet or raise without a verbal action declaring otherwise always constitutes a call. If necessary, any “change” from the chip will be returned to the player at the end of the betting round, or perhaps even sooner if this can conveniently be done. In public cardrooms and casinos where verbal declarations are binding, the word “call” is such a declaration. 100″ is considered a string raise and is not allowed. Saying “I call” commits the player to the action of calling, and only calling. Note that the verb “see” can often be used instead of “call”: “Dianne saw Carol’s bet”, although the latter can also be used with the bettor as the object: “I’ll see you” means ‘I will call your bet’. However, terms such as “overseeing” and “cold seeing” are not valid. To fold is to discard one’s hand and forfeit interest in the current pot.