Poker Lesson 07

An example of the betting during a hand
Let us examine a sample hand in Texas hold'em, and how the betting may go. For clarity's sake we shall assume that you are playing on an Internet site, that there are only six players (A, B, C, D, E och F in clockwise order), and that we are playing fixed-limit $2-$4.

The dealer button is currently in front of A, meaning that B puts in 1 dollar (the small blind) and C puts in 2 dollars (the big blind). The cards are dealt. Now D has to act first, meaning that he is the first player who must decide whether he wishes to fold, call or raise. In Texas hold'em parlance, D is said to be sitting under the gun.

D clicks on "Fold", thus letting go of his starting cards and abstaining from putting any money into the pot. E instead raises, from 2 dollars to 4 dollars, by clicking on "Raise $4". F clicks on "Fold". A who is on the button decides to call by clicking on "Call $4". B, who is in the small blind and therefore has already put 1 dollar in the pot, decides his hand is not good enough and clicks on "Fold", which causes his initial dollar to be forfeited to the pot. C, who is in the big blind and has already put in 2 dollars, clicks on "Call $2" so that he now has bet a total of 4 dollars.

This means that three of the players (D, F and B) have folded, while the other three are active in the pot (= have put in the same amount each, in this case 4 dollars). This concludes the first betting round, and the pot contains a total of 13 dollars (4 each from E, A, and C, and 1 from B).

Now the flop lands on the table. The first active player is C, as he is the player nearest clockwise from the dealer button who has not folded.

C checks (= clicks on "Check"), thereby choosing not to put any more money into the pot for the moment. E also checks. A, who is on the button and therefore last to act in this and the following two betting rounds, however chooses to bet: he clicks on "Bet $2".

Now C decides he has had enough, and clicks on "Fold". E however calls, by clicking on "Call $2". This concludes the second betting round. Only two active players remain, E and A, who this time bet another 2 dollars each. The pot now contains 13+2+2 = 17 dollars, which is shown on the screen.

Now the fourth card (the turn) lands on the table. E is now the first active player, and clicks on "Check". A also decides to click on "Check". Since none of them wanted to commit more money to the pot for the moment, it was checked around so that both players get to look at the next card "for free". This concludes the third betting round. The pot did not grow this time, but instead still contains 17 dollars.

Now the fifth and last card (the river) lands on the table. E again acts first, and clicks on "Check". Now A bets out, by clicking on "Bet $4". (Sine the game is $2-$4 fixed-limit, all bets and raises in the first two betting rounds are in increments (steps) of 2 dollars each, and in increments of 4 dollars each in the last two betting rounds. More about this later.)

It is E's turn again, but this time he does not call but instead clicks on "Raise $8", thereby raising A's bet to 8 dollars. A does not like it, but all the same decides to calling by clicking on "Call $4". Now both E and A have added an equal amount to the pot (in this case 8 dollars each), which concludes the betting round. The pot has now grown to 17+8+8 = 33 dollars.

E, who was called at the end, now must show his cards first (both of them). If A then wishes to contest the pot, he too must show his cards. In an online card room this is done automatically, so that the winning hand is shown and the pot pushed to the player with the best five-card hand. (If the hands are equally good, they of course split the pot.)

This was just one example of how the betting can go, during a hand of Texas hold'em!