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Before you start playing the game, it is necessary to learn what betting options are available for you, when you may have them and how to use them.
The ante or blind structure varies depending on what kind and limit of poker you’re going to play.
Antes, Blinds, Brings and Postings
Antes : An ante is called a small amount of a bet which all players must contribute to the pot at the beginning of a poker hand.
Blinds : Similar to an ante, but not all players have to contribute. The blind can be small and big. The first one is placed by the player directly to the left of the dealer button, and the big blind is to the left of the small.
In a Limit game, the small blind is half the minbet (the lower of the two limits) and the big blind is double of that. For example, in a $4/$8 Limit game, if the small blind is $2, then, the big blind is $4.
In a No-Limit game, the game is usually referred to by the blind sizes. For example, a $2/$5 No-Limit game would be small blind $2, big blind $5.
Brings (Bring-In): In a Stud game, the player, who is showing the worst up card (door card), must “bring it in.” A typical ante in a $1/$2 Stud game is 25¢. Everyone has the choice to bring half the lower limit amount (50¢) or complete to the full bet of $1.
Posting : Before your first hand at the table in a game which has blinds, you will have to “post” as a rule. Posting is called the action when you just pay the amount of the big blind to be dealt your first hand. Sometimes there is also an option that you may wait until you would be the natural big blind, or until the button passes you to post.
You can commonly hear the following terms while making bets on a poker table: call, check, raise, pass, re-raise, push, bet, check-out, three-bet and upstairs. This variety may confuse anyone. But there is no reason to be worried. In fact, there are never more than three specific options you can select from.
If you want to make any betting action, name it aloud or use a hand gesture. Remember, it’s best to vocalize all intended action on your turn, when learning the game.
Bet : Putting amount of money into play on a betting round for the first time is a bet. Action: To put the exact amount of the intended bet across the line, into play.
Call : It is when you put money to match the bet made by another player who has acted before you. Action: Putting in any chips equal to, or less than the bet. No matter what the value of the chip is, putting in one chip is always considered a call. Unless stated otherwise before the move.
Check : If there has been no bet made, you can stay in the hand by choosing to check rather than bet. Action: Tapping your hand twice on the table, or making a “Keep on moving” sideways wave.
Raise: When you want to increase the amount of the bet made by another player. Action: Placing enough chips to make a legal raise in one motion. It is not permitted to place several chips and then return to your stack to get more, unless you declare your intentions clearly before the movement.
Push : It is a term used in No-Limit, which means you are betting all of your chips. Action: Pushing everything you have got across the line.
Re-raise : You raise a bet, and then, re-raise a previous raise again. Action: Same as a raise.