Betting structure

It is important to know how betting structure works when learning how to play online poker at PokerTime.

Always remember that poker takes place a clockwise direction as does the poker betting. If you aren’t one of the blinds, when it becomes your turn to act you’ll have the option of folding, checking or raising. You also have the option to call if you aren’t “opening the pot”.

The blinds

The blinds and the ante are forced bets that are vital in creating an initial stake for the other players to contest.

The ante

Before each betting round every player puts an equal amount of chips into the pot – this is known as the ante. The blind is a forced bet by one or more players, normally by the two players to the left of the dealer button who are the small blind and big blind respectively.

Folding

This is when you step out of the hand or you muck your hand or you forfeit your stake in the pot.

Checking

This is a pass and can only be made on a betting round that is unopened. When you check you are signalling that you have an ongoing interest in the pot and you can raise or call in later rounds.

Calling

When you call you match the current bet or match a raise. The betting round will only end once all players have an equal stake in the pot or when there is an uncalled bet or raise; when this happens the player who makes the bet or raise takes the pot.

Raising

This is when you decide to raise the size of the bet required to stay in the game. The players after you must then bet an equal amount to this new amount which can in turn be re-raised by anyone within the round. The general rules of poker state that a raise has to be the same amount to the previous bet or raise unless the amount you’re raising is your total stack, if this happens the raise is whatever you have left on the table.

The number of raises

There is usually some sort of house rule that makes sure raises are capped at a certain point in a single round. This is usually at about 3 or 4 raises, but a pot-limit and no-limit game have uncapped raising.

Capped

This is when there is a set amount of bets in each round, usually four or five. The betting is capped when that number has been made. After this players can call but they can’t make any more raises until the next betting round.

No limit

As the name implies, players can raise to any amount at any time – there’s no limit!

Pot Limit

The betting size is limited to amounts equal to the current pot size before the raise is proposed.

Fixed Limit

This refers to that standard amount wagered as a bet in the round. Players only have the option of choosing to bet or not.

Spread Limit

This is a fair compromise between structured play and no limit play in which players can raise to amounts that are within a specified range.