Learn the Lingo - The Blinds and Betting

 

In some variations of poker, each player places an agreed amount of money into the pot before the hands are dealt (this is known as the "ante"). This is not the case in No limit Hold'em.


Instead, two players are forced to make a bet before the cards are dealt, these are known as the "blinds". The player to the left of the dealer button puts in (or "posts") a small blind, say £2. The player to the left of the small blind posts a big blind, say £50.


Remember - the first player to act once the cards have been dealt is the player to the left of the dealer button. However, that player has already "acted" by placing the small blind (in effect this player has opened the betting with £25). Similarly, the player to the left of the small blind has already acted by placing the big blind (in effect this player has raised the bet to £50).


Therefore, the first player to decide what to do is to the left of the big blind. This player has 3 options - raise, call or fold.


Raise - In No limit hold'em you can bet as much as you want. The player can raise the bet by matching the £50 big blind and adding as much as they want.


Call - The player can decide to stay in the hand but not raise the bet any more by calling. In this instance, the player would match the £50 big blind.


Fold - The player can decide that they wish to take no further part in the hand and throw their cards away ("folding"). This will cost the player nothing.


Betting continues around the table, each player deciding in turn what to do. Play can only proceed when all the players who wish to remain in the hand have put an equal amount of money into the pot.


i.e. all the players call the £50 bet except for the last player who decides to raise it to £100, the betting will continue around the table again with each of the players having to decide whether to re-raise, call or fold. (If they fold, they lose the £50 they had previously put in).


After the flop there is another round of betting. The first person to act is to the left of the dealer button. This time each of the players are equal, i.e. there are no additional blinds or forced bets. This player has two options, check or bet.


Check - The player decides not to bet, however he still remains in the hand by virtue of the fact that nobody has made a bet in this round of betting yet.


Bet - The player decides that they want to make a bet, again, in No Limit, it can be as much or as little as the player wants.


(There is no point in folding before a player has made a bet. By checking, a player can stay in the hand and not have to put any more money in the pot).


The betting continues clockwise around the table. If all the players check, the dealer continues the game by dealing the turn. However, if one of the players makes a bet, each of the players will have to match that bet in order to stay in the hand. After one player has made a bet, checking is not an option, from then on each player will have to match the bet or, if they wanted, raise the bet. The player can choose to fold, lose their money and take no further part in the hand.


After the turn, there is another round of betting that takes place in exactly the same way as after the flop.


After the river, there is a final round of betting that takes place in the same way as after the flop.


The winner rakes the money, if two hands are tied, the pot is split.

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