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Betting Rules     


Texas Holdem - Betting Rules


If you're new to poker, hearing "big blind" may bring to mind a big man who can't see. But now that you've come here, you need not worry. This page will help you get into the grove by learning about Poker betting basics. Before a hand is even dealt, players put money in the pot. This way, each player has something at stake in the game before the first card is dealt. This is done through Blinds.

Table Position

In Texas Holdem, position is used to define where a player sits relative to the dealer and whether you'll be the first or the last to act in a round of betting. Your position at the table is always relative to the dealer for that hand's position. That's one of the reasons the dealer button rotates around the table, so that everyone gets equal time in every position. Being in the dealer position is the most desirable position in Texas Holdem, since after the flop, the person on the button will always be the last to act in each round of betting. More...

Blinds - Small and Big

Blinds are a way to start the action rolling is by making players put in a forced bet, called a “blind” before the deal. It's called a blind because you haven't seen a card when you put in this bet; you're going in without watching, or blind. The two players to the left of the dealer pay the blinds. There are two blinds in Hold’em - a small blind and a big blind. The player directly to the left of the dealer puts small blind. The big blind is placed by the player to the left of the small blind. The minimum raise in a betting round equals the big blind. Therefore the size of the blinds will dictate the stakes of the game. In certain formats of the poker game, all players may have to put in an 'Ante' in addition to the blinds. 

There are two types of limits on a bet in a game of poker:

1. No Limit

Minimum bet size in this format is the big blind. The minimum raise is equal to the big blind. For example, if previous bet was 20 and the big blind was 10, then call is at 20 and raise is at 20 + 10 i.e. the new bet will be 30. For the next player, the call is at 30 and the raise (min raise of 10) will make the bet as 40 or more. There is no-limit to the maximum bet size. You can bet your entire stack when it is your turn. The raise can only be in multiples of big blind.

2. Fixed Limit

There is a small bet and a big bet. Typically, the small bet is equal to the big blind and the big bet is double the small bet. The maximum number of raises in a hand is 4 i.e. maximum bet in a round can be 4 times the bet. After 4 players have raised, the only option for the next player is to call or fold i.e. no more raises. In preflop and flop, the raise amounts are equal to small bets. While in turn and river, the raise is equal to the big bet.

For e.g. -

Say, small blind is 10, big blind is 20, small bet is 20 & big bet is 40.

Preflop / Flop : first player raises to 20. Then next player calls 20. Then third player raises to 20+20 = 40. Then next player raises to 40+20 = 60.

Turn / River : first player raises to 40. Then next player calls 40. Then third player raises to 40+40 = 80. Then next player raises to 80+40 = 120

Note the difference with No-Limit betting.

Dealer Button

The dealer button moves 1 position clockwise after every game - only occupied seats are considered while moving the dealer button. The small blind is paid by the first active player clockwise from the dealer and big blind is put in by the first player sitting clockwise from the player who put in the small blind.

All-in and Side Pot Rules

Normally in a betting round all participating players should have bet equal amounts. However in-case one or more active players do not have enough money to call a bet, they have the option of going All in. In such a scenario, the pot is split. The main pot contains the amount put in by the player who has just gone All-in plus an equal amount from all the active players. The side pot contains the remaining amount.

Note that the player who went All-in does not have any stake in the side pot. The winner of the side pot is computed based on the other players (not including the All-in player). The All-in player can only win the amount kept in the main pot.

The main pot also includes the amount from players who may fold in this hand. Their amount equal to the All-in amount will be put in the main pot. Any surplus will go to side pot.

In case there are multiple All-Ins, there would be multiple side pots.

A player can go All-in in two scenarios –

(A) The player does not have enough money to call a bet and hence goes All-in.

(B) The player has enough money to call, but still goes All-in (on a raise).

In scenario (A), the next player will have to call or raise based on the bet made by the player previous to the all-in player (i.e. the last player who made a full bet).

In scenario (B), the next player will have to call or raise based on the All-in bet made.

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