A poker game consists of dealing of the cards and of placing Poker bets. During the dealing of cards players simply need to wait for the dealer to hand them the cards, but during the poker betting stage a much more crucial stage occurs. Here, the most important decisions are made by the poker players. This is why getting to know the poker betting options and play actions are as important as getting to know the rules of poker.
Poker betting is performed by every player, each in his turn, in a clockwise rotation around the poker table. The different poker betting options are not always available for the player to make. Later we will explain about when making the specific poker betting option is possible. Poker betting options include checking, calling, betting, raising and folding.
Open/bet - This is the first poker betting option, other than the antes and blinds, made after the cards are dealt. The amount of the open depends on the limit of the game. For example, in a $2-$4 Texas Hold'em poker game, the open is equal to $2. The open is made only by one player, when the rest of the players either match this bet by calling, or place a larger bet by raising.
Call - To call is to match a bet or a raise that have already been made. The betting round ends when all players have equal bets, meaning when all the bets and raises are called. If no player has called a certain bet, then the player who placed it wins the game.
Check - This is a betting option that occurs when no one has made an open bet yet. To check, in other words, means to call a zero sum bet. In games where you have blind bets, such as Texas Hold'em poker, players cannot check during the first betting round, since they have to match the initial blind bets that have already been made. If all players check during the poker betting round, then the round ends.
Raise - To raise is to place more than the previously made. After you raise, the rest of the poker betting actions need to match your raise. If after a raise another raise is placed, this is considered a reraise. When you raise, you should take into consideration factors of money management, so you don't lose everything you have in one game.
In most poker game, any raise must be at least as large as the previous raise. For example, in a no limit poker game, the first player bets $20, and the next player must place a bet at least $20 in sum. Most poker game rooms also limit the total number of raises per single betting round, which is usually 3 or 4 raises. This rule usually takes for all betting rounds except for heads up game, when only two players play against one another.
Fold - This poker betting option means to drop your cards and forgo your chance of winning the poker round. After you fold you lose whatever bets you previously placed in the pot.