Poker is a game of chance. However, when you introduce the concept of betting, poker games gain quite a bit of skill and psychology.
So, how do you bet in poker? Here we will review some of the basic poker bets. In conjunction with this discussion, take a look at the basic poker odds and probabilities for hands. Review the basics of poker rules and hands as needed.
In most games, you must ante something (the amount varies by game), just to get dealt cards. After the ante, the players will begin to bet into the pot in the middle. At the end, the highest poker hand (that hasn’t folded) wins the pot. Basically, when betting gets to you (betting is typically done in clockwise order), you have one of four choices:
- Bet – If you are the first player to bet, you would bet an amount within the betting limits of that particular poker game. This amount goes into the pot.
- Call – When you call, you bet enough to match the total amount of what has been bet. For example, if a player bet a quarter, you would call and put a quarter into the pot. If another player raised your bet, you would put an amount equal to the raise into the pot (if you bet twenty-five cents, and another player then bet seventy-five cents, you would owe fifty cents).
- Raise – When you raise, you first bet enough to match what has already been bet by another player (as in calling), then you ‘raise’ the bet another amount (the amount is up to you, but there is typically a limit to raises.) For example, if a player bet twenty-five cents, you might call the twenty-five cents and raise another fifty cents – for a total bet of seventy-five cents.
- Fold – When you fold, you drop out of the current hand. You lose any possibility of winning the pot, but you do not have to put any more money into the pot.
The structure and maximum bets and raises allowed is determined by the game designation as follows:
- Fixed Limit poker games are games where the betting limits are structured by round. For example, $10/$20 indicates that the initial bets and raises are $10, and the later bets and raises are $20.
- In Pot Limit poker games, the maximum amount players can raise or bet is equal to the size of the pot.
- In No Limit poker games, there is simply no structure or maximum limit on the bet or raise.
Determining when and how much to bet is a large part of the skill and strategy of poker. To make this determination, you need to understand the odds of getting a particular poker hand. So what exactly are the odds of getting various hands?