Tag Archives: Betting Basics

Betting basics

When playing poker, the action takes place in a clockwise manner. When it comes round to you, you will have to make one of three decisions. You can call (or check if no previous bet has been made), you can fold or you can raise. For the purpose of this article, we’re going to have a look at betting and why you should raise the pot and how you should go about it.

Why should you bet?

When you’re looking to raise the pot, you’re generally doing it for one of four reasons

  • You think you’ve got the strongest hand and you think you’ll probably win the pot
  • You want to encourage your opponents to fold
  • You’re not entirely sure where you stand and you want to get some information about the sort of hands your opponents have
  • You’re trying to encourage one of your opponents into bluffing

Betting poker basics

Betting when you have the strongest hand

When you think you have the best hand, you can either slow play it or you can bet out and raise the pot. In a different article (When should you slowplay in poker?), I suggested that the only safe time to slow play a hand is when you have the absolute nuts. Otherwise, you need to bet out.

The reason behind this is because you need to protect your hand. This is especially important if there is a straight/flush draw on the table. In these sort of cases, the last thing you want to do is give your opponent a free chance to make his hand. Instead, make sure that anyone who is on a draw is being forced into making a decision about how much they want to see another card.

Betting for information

There are going to be times when you’re sat round a poker table that with no idea what your opponents have got. It’s on these occasions that you should think about making a raise to see how your opponents react. These bets are called “feeler bets” and they tend to be 2.5 x the size of the big blind. Read More →