Poker is a game of chance. But as and when you introduce the concept of betting, poker games gain quite a bit of skill and psychology. Poker betting happens in turn i.e. in a clockwise direction. If you have neither of the blinds, when it is your turn to act you will have the option to fold, check or raise. If you are not opening the pot (the first voluntary bettor) then you have the option to call as well. Poker Betting is generally started after 2 cards (pocket cards) are dealt face down to each player. The next 3 cards (flop cards) are then dealt. A round of bets follows. The 4th board card (turn card) is dealt and another round of betting ensues. The 5th and final card, the river card, is dealt, after which the betting resumes. When all bets are done, the showdown takes place between the remaining players. The winner is declared from the showdown.
Call: Calling means you match the current bet or rise in the pot. A bet is exactly equal to the highest bet made by the preceding player to stay in the play. Call is often known as "stay in".
Fold: Folding means you muck your hand and forfeit your stake at the pot. A player discards his hand and gives up his chance of winning the pot in this play. A player who folds is considered inactive and also forfeits his previous bets. Fold is also referred to as "drop out".
Raise is to literally raise the size of the bet required to stay in the game. A bet is equal to the highest bet made by any of the preceding players plus some extra amount. The additional amount is that by which he raises the bet. All subsequent players are then required to bet equal to this new amount which can be re-raised by anyone within the same betting round. Every other player in the game must either then call (bring his bet up to the raised amount), fold, or raise again.
Here are a couple of key principles that you should remember while playing:
- Don't always bet the same way with the same kind of hand.
- Use deceptions, such as slow playing very good hands, is common and can be expected from most players.
- If you think you have the opponent beat now but the opponent can still outdraw you, make it as expensive as possible for the opponent to stay in.