Betting in a Poker Game

In poker, it is often important for a player to employ misdirection and subterfuge so to keep their opponents from getting the upper hand over them. A poker player can do this by bluffing. When a player bluffs, they are essentially playing as if they have a hand that is vastly different from the one that they actually have. In a game where the high hand wins the pot, this usually means playing as if they have a higher hand.

In poker, regardless of the poker hand, a single game can usually consist of several hands, and a single hand of poker may, in turn, consist of several betting rounds. Players all bet in turn; placing the same amount into the pot, and competing over who will win that pot. In every hand, the pot is awarded, and for a new hand to begin, a new pot is usually opened. Ultimately, a player may not necessarily have to win every hand in order for them to win at a game of poker. After all, the ultimate objective of any game of poker is to gain a positive expected value; this means winning more money than what one has wagered.

After a betting round has been opened, a player can opt to do any of the three following betting actions: calling, raising, or folding. In order to stay in contention for a hand of poker, a player has to make a bet that is at least equal in amount to the bet that the player in the turn before theirs had made. This is called calling. A betting round usually ends when all of the players that are still in contention for the pot in that hand have all put the same amount into the pot. A player can "change" the betting amount by raising it. Usually, this means putting in around twice the amount as the previous bet. Raising forces all of the other players still in contention to put in that same amount. In some games, it is possible for players to re-raise; that is, to raise a bet that had already been raised before. When a player folds on their turn, they essentially give up any chance of winning the pot for that particular hand. They discard their cards and no longer have to make any further bets.

The winner in a hand of poker is usually determined during a showdown, which happens after the final betting round, if more than one player is left to compete for the pot at that point. In a showdown, all of the players left in the game reveal their concealed cards, and the person or persons with the best possible hand are given the pot.