Poker Basic Betting Rules

This article discusses the basic poker betting rules, as it is applicable to various poker games.

Limit Poker

In limit poker, as the term itself suggests, the players can only place bets within already set limits. The limits could be deduced from the name of the game itself, such as $1/$2, $20/40 etc. Now, for example, if you are playing the $1/$2 game, the bet sizes will be:

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"  Before the flop (pre flop): $1

"  On the flop (after the three community cards have been dealt): $1

"  On the turn (after the fourth community card has been issued) : $2

"  On the river (post the fifth community card is issued) : $2

Here, a player can't make a smaller bet than the biggest blind. Further, all raises must be increments of the betting amounts. As an example, in the $1/$2 poker game, the raises are limited to four times the first bet amount.

In No Limit Poker , on the other hand, there is no upper limit to the bet a player can make. However, the minimum bet amount is restricted to be equal to the big blind.

Also, the minimum raise amount should be at least equal to the previous bet amount or the raise in the same round. For example, if the first gamer to act bets $20, then the second player is supposed to raise a minimum of twice that ($40). Here, even though there is no upper limit to bet, if a player ends up without having enough chips to cover the bet, he may end up 'all-in'. If that happens, the player can only win a part of the pot that is covered by his chips. Such a move is a blunder and so should be avoided.

In Pot Limit Poker , participating players could bet any amount that falls between the blind and the size of the pot. The pot value includes the sum total of all raises and bets made during the present round. For example, if the pot values to $100 at a given moment, on a subsequent round, assuming a player bets $20 and the next two players each call this $20 bet, the fourth player could call the same $20 bet and raise it by $180 maximum. This $180=$20+$20+$20+$20+$100, the sum total of all the bets and raises made.

Betting Tactics

Reraise: This is done to outwit the opponent, if he reraises your bet, and you still have the advantage of having a strong hand. Once you reraise your opposing player, he'll be forced to put in another bet so as to stay in the game. Certain poker rooms allow indefinite reraises. But in most poker rooms, the reraises will have a cap of four times in each betting round (no limit and pot limit does not have caps).

Check Raise: For 'greedy players; It is a tactical ploy to extract more than a bet from your opponent. You checks, the opponent bets; now you raises the bet, winning two bets from him in one-go. Check raise is powerful, but can be counter productive as well if the opponent gets hold of your plans. Then he'll also check, and the blame game goes on without any reward, or if he has a better hand than you, he might reraise as well.

Check all: This is a bit defensive; you have a decent hand, but you suspects that your opponent has better hand. So, in order to preempt risk, you prefer to avoid a raise. You just check and call than making any adventurous moves.