How to bet: The 5 betting actions of poker

There are 5 betting actions for you to remember in poker:

• Fold
• Check
• Bet
• Call
• Raise

If you are not happy with the hand you have been dealt you can fold, this means you are giving up your cards and will not be involved in that hand anymore. Folding is always free. Any money that you have already put in the pot will be lost. Once you have folded the dealer will put your cards in a pile known as the muck. They cannot be retrieved from this pile once you have folded.

If you want to carry on in the hand after another player has bet you can either call or raise. If you choose to call you will be matching the amount that has just been bet in order to see the next card. Or if you are really happy with your hand you can raise which will mean the player that put the original bet on will have to match your raise if he or she wants to stay in the hand. However, should you choose to raise, the player that has just had to match your raise can then choose to re-raise which would mean it’s back on you to have to match their re-raise. Bets and re-raises are usually limited to one bet and three or four raises in each round of betting. When it is down to just two players left in the hand some cardrooms allow unlimited bets and re-raises.

If there hasn’t been any betting on the round yet you can either bet or check. If you’re happy with your hand and want to place a bet (or you want to bluff) just put your bet in front of you towards the middle the table. All other players must at least match your bet if they want to stay in the hand. The minimum amount you can bet is the same amount as the big blind, the maximum amount you can bet would be the amount of chips you have in total. If you choose to check you are giving up your bet and and ideally everyone else will check too so you can see the next card. If another player bets after you have checked you may fold your hand, call the bet or check-raise. A check raise is when you check and someone bets after you and instead of just calling, you raise it. Check-raise can be used to get more money in the pot, to bluff, to semi-bluff or to cut off players in the middle. If no one bets in that round the next card is dealt and the first player has the choice whether to bet or check.

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