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Introducing Poker
Ranking Hands
The sequence of play
Betting Interval
Betting Small and Big Blinds
Table stakes
Using wild cards
Probability of holding
First betting interval
Seven-Card Stud
Other forms of poker
Texas Hold'em Basic Hand
Five - Six card Omaha
Poker Sense
Slow Playing
Other Gambling Card Game
Seven-card Brag
Gin Rummy

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Betting after small and big blinds

After blind bets have been made in the form of small and big blinds (say of one and two chips, respectively), the third player (who is the first to bet voluntarily) must put in at least two chips to stay in the pot – i.e. what is needed to call, as the ante and straddle are regarded as normal bets.  When the turn to bet has gone round the table and returned to the players who put in the ante and straddle, the chips they contributed count as normal bets: if the stakes are now six chips, player 1 has to contribute only five to call, and player 2 only four.

Betting etiquette

To avoid disputes, there are a few general guidelines about betting etiquette.  Contracting them can result in penalties.

  • A player should always state clearly whether he’s betting, folding, raising, calling or checking, e.g. if he is raising, he might say, ‘Call two and raise two.’
  • Players should always wait for their turn.
  • Players should only push their cards away or add them to the discard pile if they are folding.
  • In most forms of poker players should show their cards only during the showdown.

Betting limits

It is usually considered desirable to limit the amount that the first better may bet, and the amount by which any player (or players) may raise.  This prevents a player with a large bankroll dominating.  It is sensible to have a lower limit for a bet or raise and that this limit should be one chip.

            It might be, in the most sedate of games, that the upper limit on a bet or raise is also one chip.  This is not so shuffling or timid as it sounds, as continual raising by four or five players could raise a pot to 50 or more units in the first betting interval, as the table below shows.

1                      2                      3                      4                      5         
1                      2                      3                      4                      5         
5(6)                 5(7)                   5(8)                  5(9)                  5(10)   
                        5(11)                fold                  3(11)                2(11)                fold

On the other hand, if players feel daring or rich, they might decide on the upper limit on a bet or raise equivalent to the value of the highest chip, which might be 10, 25, or 100.
            Some also think it desirable to limit the number of raises any one player can make during a betting interval, again as a means of preventing the richest players steamrollering the others.  Three raises is a recommended number.  Other ways of establishing upper betting limits are:

Variable limit

In Draw Poker the maximum limit might be higher after the draw than before, for example, one chip before the draw, two chips after the draw, or two chips before and five after.  In Stud Poker the limit might be higher in the final betting interval than in previous betting intervals for example; in Five-card Stud the limit might be one chip for the first three betting intervals and ten chips for the last.

Bet the raise

This means that a player may raise by the greatest number of chips that a previous player has put into the pot.  For example, if the first bet was one chip, the limit for a raise is one chip: the first player to raise must put in two chips (one to call and one to raise) – thereafter the limit is two chips, and so on, with the limit rising as the betting progresses.  Players do not have to bet up to the limit, but if they were to do so, the stakes would rise rapidly.  In the following example, each player either folds, calls or raises by the maximum.  In three rounds, the pot reaches 144 chips.

1                      2                      3                      4                      5         
1                      2                      2                      4                      4         
7(8)                 14(16)               fold                  28(32)              fold     
                        56(64)              fold                                          32(64)            

Pot limit

With this pot limit system, a player may bet or raise by as many chips as are in the pot, which would include the units the player himself needed to put in to call the previous online bet.  Using this method, the limit can rise very fast.  In the following example, each online poker player folds, calls or raises by the maximum.

1                      2                      3                      4                      5         
1                      3                      10                    34                    116     
                                     (total of pot)
1                      4                       14                   48                    164
394(395)        fold                   385                  fold                  279     
(total of pot)
                        558                  558                  943                  943                  1,222

 In two rounds, an initial pot of one chip has risen to 1,222 chips.