The Basics of Betting in Texas Hold Em Poker
Poker may be a complex game, but the technical side is a breeze. Whether it’s the Texas Hold Em Poker rules or the basics of betting, you do not have to be a genius to figure out how it all works. Here is an overview of the bet types and strategies you can adopt from the get-go.
Texas Hold Em Poker Rules
Before we get into the bet types and betting strategies in poker, here is a quick recap of the Texas Hold Em Poker rules. When you play poker online at Juicy Stakes Poker, your objective is to make the best five-card poker hand. At your disposal are seven cards dealt over several stages or streets.
The first two cards are your hole cards. They are dealt to you face down and concealed in your hand at all times. The remaining five cards are dealt face up to the center of the table.
The visible cards on the table are the community cards. They consist of the three cards in the flop plus the turn and the river. Each of these sets of cards – or in the case of the turn and river, single cards – are preceded by a betting round.
At the end of the fifth betting round, the remaining players reveal their hole cards in the showdown. The player with the best hand, according to traditional poker hand rankings, wins the pot. In terms of the Texas Hold Em Poker rules… that’s a wrap!
Texas Hold Em Bet Types
As we have highlighted in the Texas Hold Em Poker rules, the cards are dealt in batches over five stages. Each stage culminates in a betting round. In poker, the betting action consists of six options collectively known as bet types.
According to the Texas Hold Em Poker rules, you can:
- Fold – discard your hand and take no further part in the game. Although this is not technically a bet, it is considered part and parcel of the action unleashed during each betting round. You can fold at any stage of the hand.
- Bet – in what is known as the pre-flop betting round. In other words, it is your initial bet, the first wager you place after being dealt your hole cards. The size of the bet typically ranges from the equivalent of the big blind to your entire chip stack. The latter obviously only applies when you are playing the no limit form of the game.
- Raise – increase the previous bet by at least two times the value of that bet.
- Re-raise – increase the amount of the initial raise bet by at least the sum of the initial bet plus the raise bet. To keep track of the action in each round, these bets are commonly referred to as 3Bets, 4Bets and so on.
- Call – place a bet equal in value to that of the previous bet, raise or re-raise.
- Check – pass the action to the next player. As with the fold option, check is not a bet per se. The only time you can check is when there are no previous bets or raises in that particular betting round.
Basic Betting Strategies
Besides the Texas Hold Em Poker rules governing gameplay, there are generally accepted betting rules. These rules inform you of the basic betting strategies. They guide you in in certain circumstances and help you make smart decisions.
In Texas Hold Em, there are three key poker betting strategies you can employ. The trick is to know when to deploy what in terms of betting or raising. Ideally, you want to generate a specific response from your opponent.
Here is what you have got in your arsenal when you play Texas Hold Em at Juicy Stakes Poker:
- Value bets – are used when you expect to have more equity than your opponent. The aim is to get an opponent to call on a weaker hand. That way, you up the value of the pot and end up winning it.
- Bluffs – are a good strategy when you have a weak hand. Your objective is to get your opponent to fold on a stronger hand, leaving you to pick up the pot.
- Semi-bluffs – this is when you believe your bluff has an immediate chance of success, plus you have a fair chance of improving your hand and winning the showdown. It is a betting strategy you typically employ on the flop or turn when you have a draw.
For those of you who don’t know what a draw is, it is an incomplete poker hand that needs additional cards to have ranking value.
Best Bluff and Semi-Bluff Frequency
In poker, you have to mix things up. The last thing you want is to become too predictable. That allows your opponent to read your game too easily and respond accordingly.
A fundamental error novice poker players make is to bluff or semi-bluff too frequently. That is a mistake experienced players will quickly exploit. Learning how often to bluff is as crucial as learning when to bluff.
Although there are no hard and fast Texas Hold Em Poker rules pertaining to bluff frequency, there is a basic benchmark. According to professional poker players, you should only semi-bluff two to two and half times on the flop for every value hand.
When it comes to the turn, the rule of thumb is one semi-bluff per value hand. As for the river, an average of one bluff for every two value hands is considered about right.
Sign Up at Juicy Stakes – Play Poker and Casino Games Online!
Now that you are familiar with the Texas Hold Em Poker rules and have a better understanding of the betting, it is time to ditch the theory for the practice. At Juicy Stakes Poker, we offer No Limit and Pot Limit Texas Hold Em Poker at low, medium and high stakes.
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