Poker Blinds and Rounds
Poker is played between 2-10 players and the objective is to beat all the players with largest chip stake by creating best five-card combination using the hole cards and community cards as per the hand ranking or bluffing and building up your chip count.
Every player gets a specific number of cards (hole cards) face down as per the variant of the game (Texas Hold’em, Omaha, Crazy Pineapple). Total five cards (community cards) are revealed face up on the table in the betting rounds.
The dealer button determines which two players need to post the blinds. There are two blinds - Small Blind & Big Blind. These are forced bets which players make to initiate the betting round. As the name suggests, small blind is half of the big blind. The player sitting immediate left to the dealer puts in the small blind (e.g 10) and the next player posts the big blind (i.e 20) before the hole cards are dealt. So the bets are called Blind because players post them without seeing their hole cards. Rest of the players have to match the big blind or raise in order to continue. This is explained further below.
The Betting Rounds
Pre-Flop - After the cards have been dealt to the players, the first betting round begins clockwise. In this round, you basically decide if you want to play ahead to see the flop community cards or not. To see the flop cards a player has to put in the same amount in the pot as the big blind or can even raise the bet amount. So as per the strength of the in-hand cards, every player acts accordingly on their turn. They can either call, fold the cards, or raise the bet.
Here’s a quick look at the actions you can do in each betting round
- Call - Match the bet amount of the previous player.
- Fold/Drop - Fold the cards & skip playing in the round
- Raise - Increasing the bet.
- All-in - Putting all your chips into the pot.
A player cannot take any other action in the hand after going "all-in".
You can check the details of actions in the next lesson or click here
Flop - The betting begins again after the dealer reveals 3 community cards on the table. Players act (bet, check, raise, or fold) as per the strength of the combination of their cards & the community cards. For eg. If Jim has A♠ Q♠ and on the Flop there is Q♥ Q♣ 7♠ which makes it a three of a Kind. It is likely for him to raise the bet or even go all-in.
A player can check (passing the action to next player without putting in a bet) only if no one makes a bet before his turn in the round. Some players check-raise which refers to the situation where they check on their turn and when another player makes a bet, they raise it in the same round.
Turn- Dealer reveals one more community card on the table and next round of betting starts.
River - This is the last round of betting where the Dealer puts the fifth card on the table
Anytime during these betting rounds, if a player doesn’t want to chip in the pot then they can fold cards.
If all players but one fold their cards in the betting rounds, the remaining player becomes the winner. If at the end of the final betting round, two or more player remains in the hand, showdown happens. They show their cards on the table and the player with the best five-card combination wins the pot.