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Guest pokernews.com

Texas Hold'em Poker Betting

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Guest pokernews.com

The Blinds
As mentioned, before every new hand, two players at the table are obligated to post small and big blinds. These are forced bets that begin the wagering. Without these blinds, the game would be very boring because no one would be required to put any money into the pot. Players could just wait around until they are dealt pocket aces and only play then. The blinds, however, ensure there will be "action" on every hand.

In tournaments, the blinds are raised at regular intervals. As the number of players keeps decreasing and the stacks of the remaining players keep getting bigger, it is a necessity that the blinds keep increasing throughout a tournament. In cash games, the blinds always stay the same.

The player directly to the left of the button posts the small blind, and the player to his or her direct left posts the big blind. The small blind is generally half the amount of the big blind, although this stipulation varies from room to room and can also be dependent of the game being played. For example, in a "$1/$2" game of Texas hold'em, the small blind is $1 and the big blind is $2.

First Betting Round: Preflop
The first round of betting takes place right after each player has been dealt two hole cards. The first player to act is the player to the left of the big blind, a position referred to as "under the gun" because the player has to act first. This player has three options:

Call: match the amount of the big blind
Raise: increase the bet within the specific limits of the game
Fold: throw the hand away

If the player chooses to fold, he or she is no longer eligible to win the current hand.

The amount a player can raise to depends on the game that is being played. Most commonly in a game of no-limit Texas hold'em, the minimum opening raise must be at least twice the big blind, and the maximum raise can be all of the chips a player has in his or her stack (an "all-in" bet).

There are other betting variations in hold'em poker. In fixed-limit hold'em (or just "limit hold'em), a raise is always exactly twice the big blind. In pot-limit hold'em (played much less often than the other variations), players can bet anywhere from the amount of the big blind (the minimum bet allowed) up to the total amount in the current pot.

After the first player ("under the gun") acts, play proceeds in a clockwise fashion around the table with each player also having the same three options — to call, to raise, or fold. Once the last bet is called and the action is "closed," the preflop round is over and play moves on to the "flop."

Second Betting Round: The Flop
After the first preflop betting round has been completed, the first three community cards are dealt and a second betting round follows involving only the players who have not folded already.

In this betting round (and subsequent ones), action starts with the first active player to the left of the button. Along with the options to bet, call, fold, or raise, a player now has the option to "check" if no betting action has occurred beforehand. A check simply means to pass the action to the next player in the hand.

Again betting continues until the last bet or raise has been called (which closes the action). It also can happen that every player simply chooses not to be and checks around the table, which also ends the betting round.

Third Betting Round: The Turn
The fourth community card, called the turn, is dealt face up following all betting action on the flop. Once this has been completed, another round of betting occurs, similar to that on the previous street of play. Again players have the option to options to check, bet, call, fold, or raise.

Final Betting Round: The River
The fifth community card, called the river, is dealt face up following all betting action on the turn. Once this has been completed, another round of betting occurs, similar to what took play on the previous street of play. Once more the remaining players have the option to options to check, bet, call, fold, or raise.

After all betting action has been completed, the remaining players in the hand with hole cards now expose their holdings to determine a winner. This is called the showdown.

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