Learn Poker Lingo #1: The Betting Basics

by Cole Paganelli | December 12, 2019 |

Learning to play poker means learning the language used by professional poker players. Once you know how to name things in the game, you will be able to grasp various strategies and improve your overall chances of winnings.

Therefore, we decided to select some of the popular poker terms and explain them to those who are looking to improve their poker skills. These terms will help you understand various guides better, and be able to analyze numerous hands without actually having to google every single word along the way.

Therefore, let’s describe with some of the basic terms related to poker betting that you probably already know, but it’s always important to remind ourselves what they actually mean and how they impact the game. Read on!


Every player needs to make a bet several times during the game. Bets are the essential part of poker — it’s something that makes this game exciting. There are several betting rounds, and their number may vary depending on the type of poker you play. In Texas Hold’em, these are pre-flop, flop, turn, and river bets.


Players who fold decide not to continue with the betting process for the current hand. They return to the game at the start of the next hand. Players usually fold because they don’t think they have good cards to be competitive enough.


Players who raise their beats increase the amount of money or the number of chips they want to bet in a single hand. Raising bets usually means players have good cards, but this can sometimes be a deceiving tactic.


If a player checks, then they do not do anything about the amount of money they already bet. They simply wait for the next betting hand to begin.


Players who check at first and then decide to raise once the betting starts all over again are said to check-raise. This is basically a deceptive tactic used by players to see who else is going to raise in the first betting hand.


If a player calls a bet, then they bet the same amount as the most recent bet or raise. For example, if a player before you bets $20, you will bet the same amount if you decide to call.


Blinds are forced bets that every player needs to make. This is used to ensure that players “pay the price” for taking part in the game. The small blind is usually the bet that the first player left to the dealer button makes, whereas the second one has to make the big blind. Other players need to follow the big blind. The minimum amount of big blinds goes up with time in tournament poker.


Antes are also forced bets in poker that players have to make in order to play. This is usually a single unit (usually one chip) with the smallest value. Just like blinds, antes ensure that there are no free hands in poker and that players who fold still lose some of their money.

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