Betting Basics

To start playing online poker, you need to learn the basics of betting. In all poker game variations, some form of betting is required. Find out what betting options you have and how to properly place a bet.


In a typical betting round, there is already a pot of a certain size from earlier betting rounds. The player that should start betting is decided by the rules of the variation being played. The betting turn then moves to the player on the left and so on around the table.


In betting rounds, you have the option to make one of the following betting actions:

  • Bet – this is the amount of money a player places in one particular round.
  • Call – this is when a player matches the bet amount of the prior player.
  • Check – this is when a player will bet nothing and pass their turn on to the next player.
  • Raise – this is when a player puts in a larger bet than the last bet before them.
  • Push – this is when a player goes all in and pushes their entire stack of chips into the pot.
  • Fold – this is when a player chooses to fold their hand and finish playing that round.


Before the cards are dealt, some or all of the players must put in a mandatory bet, either blinds or antes, to create an initial pot to compete for. An ante is a forced bet, usually 10% of the small bet, that all players are required to put in before cards are even dealt out. A blind is a forced bet that only some players are required to put in. There are two types of blinds: big and small. After cards are dealt, the player to the left initiates the big blind. Players in the big blind position have the chance to call, raise or fold. The player in the small blind position can call, raise or fold as well.