How the Betting Works in Poker

Poker is a game of betting. Not that different from Bridge, the players take turns to make out bid each other. The object of the game is to agree on the right "price" for playing the hand.

Until all players have either:

When it is your turn

There are generally four actions a player may choose from in a betting round.


To fold means giving up the hand. You throw your cards in the muck and you are out for the remainder of the hand.


When you pass the play to the next player in turn without betting this is called checking. If someone bets after you, the betting turn will come back to you. As soon as a player makes a bet, the option of checking is no longer open.


To put in enough chips to match the last bet within the current betting round means a player is calling.


Making a bet that is bigger than the current highest bet means a player is raising. All remaining players are faced with the choice of calling the raise, folding or they may raise again.

No-limit or fixed limit

In a no-limit game the players are only limited by the number of chips in their stack when betting. A player may bet all their chips at any time.

The amount a player is allowed to raise is limited in fixed limit games; the limit usually used on the first betting rounds is doubled on later rounds within a hand.

In games with fixed limits, often a limited number of raises are allowed in one and the same betting round; usually three. This is called a cap. When a player puts in the third bet, the remaining players can only call or fold; raising is no longer an option.

The first betting round

With the first betting round in each hand, Texas Hold'em and Omaha differ from the standard betting round described above in two ways, in respect to blinds. Since the blinds are considered forced bets being made by the players in the blind positions, the option of checking is not open. You can only call, raise or fold.

If all players either fold or call the big blind, the player in the big blind position still has the right to act by either checking or raising. This is an exception, since normally when a player is called, the betting round is ended

Calling all in

Usually, in order to stay in the hand the player must match the last bet, meaning to call. However, if that bet exceeds the amount of chips the player has in front of them, they are unable to match the other player's bet. The player then has the right to call and compete for the pot in a showdown only for the part of the pot that is covered by their own bet.

Competition for the excess pot is for the other players still in the hand. When playing online, this is handled by the poker software.