Poker Betting Glossary
The player to open has the choice of making first unforced bet in a pot. Different poker variations have unique rules regarding opening bets.
A call matches a previous bet or raise. The betting round will close once all the poker players that are still involved in the pot have bet an equal amount. If no one is willing to call an opponent’s raise or bet, the player will win the pot.
“Smooth calling” is the term used when a poker player chooses to slow-play by calling instead of raising with a very strong hand.
If no poker player has yet opened a round of betting, other players may decide to check by not betting. However, the player is still allowed to call or raise if an opponent wishes to bet. In online poker games that make use of blinds, such as Texas Hold’Em and Ohama, players are unable to check during the first betting round as they need to contribute an amount to the pot that is equal to or more than the big blind to stay in the hand.
A raise increases the amount of a previous bet. To stay in the pot, all players have to match the initial bet as well as the raise. In most online poker rooms, a minimum raise or re-raise is required to be equal to the amount of the previous bet. According to no-limit poker rules, the maximum amount a player is allowed to bet or raise is equal to his current chip stack.
If a poker player is unwilling to match a bet or raise they may discard their hand, giving up any chance of winning the pot. It is unnecessary for folded cards to be revealed at showdown.
In some poker variations, all players are forced to place an ante by contributing a fixed amount to the pot before the cards have been dealt.
A blind bet is a small forced bet required to be placed into the pot before the deal begins. Typically, the player in the small blind position, which is immediately to the left of the dealer, will be required to contribute an amount equivalent to the size of half the minimum bet in the first betting round. The big blind sits to the left of the small blind, and is forced to place an amount equal to a whole bet into the pot.
The player positioned after the big blind has the option of placing a live straddle, which is an additional blind bet, usually double the amount contributed by the big blind.
“All In” situations occur when a player wishes to bet his entire chip stack or wishes to call does an opponent’s raise but does not have enough chips left on the table. In this situation, if the “All In” player proves to have the best hand at the showdown, he will only win the main pot.