Basic Betting in Poker

Strip poker bare and you will find the fundamentals. You can bet, you can check, or you can fold. These three simple choices create poker’s spine. They are each very simple in their own right, but terribly confusing to the untrained eye.

Let us concentrate our attention on betting. A very simple act, just open your mouth and let the words, “Bet,” just roll off your tongue. But when should you allow the words out of the cave and how much should you bet?

Some poker sites say that you should never make a bet without first having a reason to do so. When you play, practice asking yourself the question, “Why am I betting?” The more you ask yourself this question, the more habitual the act in itself will become. 

Maybe you are betting because you have a great hand and want to get value. Maybe you are betting because you have a weak hand and want your opponent to fold a better hand. No matter what the answer is, always ask yourself the question first.

Once you understand why you are betting, you can define an amount. Let’s imagine you want to bet because you want to get value out of your strong hand. Your next question should be, “How much is my opponent likely to pay, taking into consideration his or her likely range of hands?”

Once you answer that, you can then make your bet. Imagine you want your opponent to fold because your hand is weak. Then you ask yourself a different set of questions, such as, how strong is my opponent’s range of hands?

Is my opponent likely to fold his hand? Does my bet correspond with my perceived range? What amount will he or she likely fold to? As you can see, betting is a result of answering some specific questions.

More Poker Stuff of Interest:

Poker Strategy - Hitting the Flop
Pot Odds in Poker

Last Updated 4 November 2018
Basic Betting in Poker

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