Poker Player Actions
In this lesson, we’ll focus on the actions you can take in Poker. A lot of factors determine the moves basis hand strength, chip stack, position, opponent’s gameplay etc. Knowledge and learning behind each action according to different scenarios is what makes a good poker player get ahead.
After the hole cards are dealt and Big Blind has been added in the pot, a player can take the following actions:
Match the bet of the previous player. You can put exactly the same amount on the table as the opponent who bets the maximum before your turn. Example - If Player A bets Rs. 100 and Player B raises to Rs. 300, Player C also needs to call with Rs. 300 to match the bet of Player B.
To Raise is when you increase the bet amount in the same betting round. You can put more money in the pot than the opponents who acted before your turn. Players take this action when they want to create the impression that they are holding a strong hand. The number and size of the raise allowed per-hand depend on the rules of the poker room and variation of the game. When you raise, all players have to contribute equal or higher amount to the pot to continue in the hand. If they don’t want to put more money into the pot, they can fold. Raising is a strategic move to manipulate the thought process of the opponents and scare them off the table by showing that you have a better hand than them even if you are holding an average hand in reality.
Quitting the round. You can surrender your cards (without revealing it to other players) on your turn anytime during the game if you feel that your hand is not strong enough to beat the competition. When you fold, you don’t have to pay the pot but if you lose all the money you previously contributed to the pot. The money you left in the pot for the other players to win is called Dead Money. You can again join the table once the hand finishes to play another hand.
Folding is a strategy which is used to save your chips, in case you are
(1) holding poor cards
(2) unsure about improving an incomplete hand in the future betting rounds
(3) certain that your opponent is holding a strong hand. The sooner you fold a losing hand, the lesser money you lose. You can utilize those precious chips to play more hands in the future.
Passing the action to the next player without putting in a bet. You can check only if no one makes a bet before your turn in the round. By checking, you imply that you want to stay in the hand without contributing any amount to the pot. If anybody raises after you in the same betting round, the action comes again to you and you need to call or raise the bet to remain in the hand.
As blinds are live bets, you cannot check in the opening round and you need to call or raise to see the next round.
Going All-in simply means to put all your chips into the pot. You cannot take any other action in the hand after betting all your chips. The others will have to match the same amount or fold. If you win then you can really enjoy the chip raise but if you lose it could lead you limping or even losing the game. Different rules apply depending on the game format. A player can go all-in anytime during the hand. If he/she wins, they will only get the portion of the pot which matches his/her entire chip stack at the beginning of the hand.