The first thing any player should do is learn the basics of the game, as poker can be played in a variety of different ways.
The most common and most important one for new players to learn is known as Texas Holdem, which is the game we’ll be discussing at length today.
The other main types of poker are Pot-Limit Omaha, 7-card stud, Razz, Omaha Hi-Lo, 2-7 Triple Draw, 5 card poker, and Chinese poker. The popularity of this famous card game has led to the development of all these other versions of the game.
Knowing how to bet in poker is one of the first things players should learn. But, even before that, players need to learn the hand rankings.
Hand rankings refer to the order of value certain hands have, which looks something like this:
- Royal Flush
- Straight Flush
- Four of a kind
- Full House
- Three of a kind
- Two pair
- High card
While the card order is essential to understanding and playing poker, many would argue that the focus should always be on the betting strategy. This implies that the most important thing in the game of poker is the betting process, which we will now go into detail about.
Remember betting is the most important part of Poker
First and foremost, remember that Poker is a turn-based game. Acting out of turn is not only seen as a sign of disrespect, and may even be called out, but it reveals information to your opponents. What we mean by “reveals information”, is providing opponents with any indication of what a player might do.
The phrase “keep your cards close to your chest” was born on the tables, but it refers to not disclosing too much information about a secret. The very same rule applies to Poker.
For those that are keen to hit the tables as soon as possible, we have a list of the best poker gambling sites out there.
There are some great casinos offering poker. Many will offer a live poker room and you will actually see the poker table, the live dealer and the other players. PowerPlay and William Hill are examples of the top-tier providers offering markets for betting on poker online.
As the turn passes from player-to-player, they will be given the option of betting or folding. To fold is to sit out the round, giving up any previous bets made in the round and giving up the hand players were dealt. Another key point to note for those looking to learn more about poker betting rules is that the betting order almost always goes clockwise around the table.
Poker betting options
Now comes the important part. Before heading to the tables or worrying about your personalized poker betting strategy, it’s integral to fully grasp the basics. One quick term we should cover is “the pot”, which refers to the total value of chips in any one betting round. The poker betting options are as follows:
- You can Check – Checking is remaining in the round of the game, without betting any money at all.
- You can Fold – Folding is to step away from the current hand, forfeit all rights to continue the hand and any money that’s already been put into the pot.
- You can Bet – Obviously there’s the option to bet. If you’re the first person in the round to put money down, you’re betting. Once a bet has been placed, any action to follow will be a call, fold or raise.
- You can Call – This means that someone has placed a bet. Now in order to remain in the round, the bettor must match the sum of the bet, or take a different action.
- You can Raise – If someone has bet before you, you can then raise them by placing a higher bet. If someone has raised the bet, in the same round of betting someone has the ability to re-raise, further increasing the value of the pot.
- Forced bets – Antes and Blinds
In any game of poker players will be required to make a kind of forced bet. This is a bet that must be placed in order for the player to receive cards. Forced bets come in two ways:
An ante is a bet that players are required to place before receiving their hand (cards). The sie of the ante is usually quite small when compared to the value of the bets and raises in the game, but big enough to prevent players from folding until they get the best possible hand.
Blinds are common, especially in Texas Holdem. The blinds are split into “big blind” and “small blind” (the small blind is usually half the size of the big blind) and rotate around the table as the game goes on. Players only need to place the blind when it’s their turn to do so.
We’ve touched on the use of antes before, but it’s worth clarifying that antes are generally used for Draw Poker and Stud Poker. While in a more common version of poker like Texas Holdem and Omaha, it’s normal to use blinds.
Rounds of betting & Limits
In almost every variation of poker, there are multiple rounds of betting. You have a betting round after you get your hole cards (the hand you’re dealt), the first two cards in the game. You have a betting round on the flop (the first three cards down), the turn card (fourth card) and the river card (fifth card). In total, there are four rounds of betting. While this is the case, bettors have the right to re-raise during each betting round, meaning each round can go on for quite some time.
Before beginning any game of poker, players will find out what stakes they’re playing for – establishing blinds/antes and how much it costs to sit at the table.
For example, in a $5/$10 limit game, bets must be made in increments of $5 after the flop, and in increments of $10 after the turn and river cards have been revealed.
The big blind will usually match the same value as the lower bet, so the big blind would be $5 in this hypothetical game. So the blind would be $2/$3. As the blinds increase they’d go to $5 small blind and $10 big blind, then $10 small $20 big and so on.
Alternatively, Texas Holdem can be played as a “pot-limit” (sometimes known as “no limit”). In pot-limit games, you can bet and/or raise up to the size of the pot, including how much money would be in the pot had the player called the previous bet.
In no-limit poker you can bet or raise all the chips you have in front of you on the table (going all-in). But bets must be made in increments. For example, if a player bets $10, and another decides to raise, they’d need to raise at least $10, you couldn’t raise anything lower than the original bet. Playing no limit poker means the pot can become huge in a really short time, so be aware.
How to read poker betting patterns
It’s important to remember that poker is a game of observation and betting patterns will reveal themselves as the game goes on. Poker is a game that requires players to adapt and track how the game evolves. Remember to always ask yourself “why is this person betting this way?” and not just bet in response to the value of their bet.
There are various betting patterns to keep an eye out for and the names used to describe them often vary among players. Some of those are as follows:
- Limping – Bet the absolute minimum to remain in the hand, otherwise known as calling the blind.
- Over-betting on a “Dry Flop” – Betting really high when the flop doesn’t offer high cards. Be careful to take a note of any player who might do this with a strong hand.
- Check the Flop – Checking the flop usually a weakness. However, the position of player checking must be taken into account.
- The “Weak Lead” – A weak lead is an opening bet which is made when a player is out of position on the flop to a preflop raiser.
- The Button Steal – Trying to steal the blinds, with various betting amounts. A smart way to collect chips quickly.
In poker when does a betting round end?
It really depends on which discipline of poker you’re playing, because there are so many different versions and it will largely depend on where in the world you are as to what game you’re playing.
That being said, the most popular type of poker is Texas Holdem. And in Texas Holdem, the betting round ends when two conditions are met. All players have to have had a chance to act (a bet, fold, raise, etc..). The second condition is that all players who haven’t folded have wagered the same amount that round.
In poker who starts?
A common question and one which doesn’t need to be answered in the casino, as players enjoy the privilege of having a dealer. However, for those of us that don’t the left of the dealer is the first to start, the player who bets the small blind.
What is 3 betting poker?
A phrase that has become part of the poker vocabulary over the years, referring to an initial reraise before the flop. With the next bet following the three-bet being called the “four-bet” and so on.
What is string betting poker?
A string bet is an illegal type of bet in live poker. Bettors who choose to play a string bet will make a raise in which the player does put all the desired betting chips into the pot in one motion. This can only be achieved in real life, as it’s illegal online providers won’t offer it as a feature (obviously).
This kind of tricky play can allow the bettor to gain more information about his opponent based on his response, then suddenly change the value of the bet. Possibly quickly raising the bet based on the opponent’s reaction.
Ultimately, it’s poker and the value of the money is important. Don’t play beyond your limits. Bettors can only play with what’s on the table at that time. Online poker isn’t the same as playing in some James Bond movie!
There are no hard-fast rules for winning big. It’s about the game, opponents, and sticking to a calculated betting strategy. Remember, they don’t know what cards you have, so bet smart!