Depending on your own personal style and table stakes you’re playing, the ante or blind structure will usually always vary – whether it’s online or live. You will want to learn the in’s and out of not just betting, but also understanding how the blinds work in poker.

Before you can even begin to play a hand of poker you have to learn what betting options you have, including when you have them and how to make them in turn and what actions you would have at your disposal.

Depending on your generation, the more popular poker variants include No Limit Texas Holdem and Pot Limit Omaha. These are widely played at most brick and mortar casinos and of course every reputable online poker site out there today.

However, there are still many “old school” games that require different blind structures, bring-in bets and more, such as 5-Card Draw and Stud, 7-Card Stud and Badugi.

How to Make Specific Poker Bets – Including Things Like Antes, Blinds, Brings and Posts

Antes: An ante is a small set amount of money in which all players must contribute to the pot before any cards are dealt out.

Blinds: Similar to an ante, but not everyone has to contribute. The small blind and the big blind are the only blinds that are posted in games like Texas Holdem and Pot Limit Omaha. The small blind is placed by the player directly to the left of the button, with the big blind to the left of the small blind.

The primary example of this in a Limit game is that the small blind is half the minimum bet (the lower of the two limits) and the big blind is double that.  So in a $4/$8 Limit game, the small blind would be $2 and the big blind would be $4.

In a No-Limit Holdem game, these blinds are referred to by the blind sizes. As an example, a $2/$5 No-Limit game would have a small blind of $2 and a big blind of $5.

“Bring In” Bets: In a Stud game, the person showing the worst up card (the one that is flipped face up) must “bring it in.” A $1/$2 Stud game would typically have a 25¢ ante. The player has the option to bring half the lower limit amount (50¢) or complete to the full bet of $1.

Posting: In a game with blinds, it’s common for you to have to “post” before you get a dealt a hand with everyone else. Posting simply means you pay the amount of the big blind to be dealt your first hand. You also have the option to wait until you would be the big blind, but sometimes players will get impatient with this depending on where you are in the action. It’s generally easier to post and get into the game right away!

How to Play Poker and Using Betting Options

If you’re new to poker, you may think terms like bet, raise, call, check-call, min-raise, over the top and “ALL IN” can be somewhat daunting. But giving yourself a better understanding makes it that much easier to pick it all up in due time. It’s why you’re reading this article after all, am I right?

It makes things a lot easier when you know first and foremost that ALL betting actions are made by either vocalizing them or using hand gestures to get your bet in. When learning the game, it is honestly best to just vocalize all intended action once it’s your turn (this is obviously moot if you’re playing online, as there will be buttons to click on right on your computer screen to make this process a whole lot simpler)

Bet: The first time someone puts money into play on a betting round is called a putting in a bet.

Action: Putting the exact amount of the money you intend to play with into the pot, either pre-flop or post-flop and other remaining streets.

Call: Matching any type of bet from your opponent’s either before the flop or after. Even throwing in one chip into the pot to match a bet is considered a call and completely enforceable by the dealer and floor.

Check: When no bet has been made, you can stay in the hand by choosing to check rather than bet. By tapping your hand twice on the table or vocalizing it with the word “check” is completely acceptable here.

Raise: To increase the amount of the bet made by another person. You do this by announcing “raise” vocally or stacking an amount of chips at least DOUBLE what the bet was to you before deciding to raise.

ALL-IN BET: This is pretty self-explanatory. When all the chips go in – you are going “all in” and all your money will be at stake. Good luck!

How Each Betting Round Works

A betting round ends when every player in the game who has not folded has had a chance to play the pot and has bet the same amount of chips.

  • If you are first to act, you have the option to check or bet – depends on your starting hand pre-flop.
  • If someone before you have bet, you have the option flat call the bet, raise, fold or even go ALL IN.
  • If the first player bets – and everyone calls with their hand – the betting round is finished. The original bettor has already had a chance to act and does not get to act again on the betting round.
  • If the first player bets, the second player raises and the remaining players call, the original bettor now gets to choose an option on the new action. This can be in the form of a call or a re-raise. If there is a call, the betting round is concluded. If they choose to re-raise, then everyone else at the table has the option to call or move ALL IN.

How to Bet in Each Poker Variation

For quick reference, this is how five of the most popular poker variants play out in terms of blinds, betting rounds and amounts.

GameBlind/Ante
Hold’emThe game of Hold’em mostly only uses blinds, with as low as $1/$2 in most live poker rooms. In higher-stakes games or in most stages of a tourney, you may see antes introduced in addition to the blinds – which of course induce action.
OmahaRules are the exact same as Texas Hold Em.
Seven-Card StudTypically uses an ante and a bring-in bet.
Five-Card StudSame as Seven-Card Stud.
RazzSame as Seven-Card Stud.

 

GameBetting Rounds
Hold’emFour rounds total, plus blinds.
OmahaSame as Texas Hold’em.
Seven-Card StudFive rounds total, plus antes and bring-in bet.
Five-Card StudFour rounds total, plus antes and bring-in bet.
RazzSame as Seven-Card Stud.

 

GameBetting Amounts
Hold’emPre-flop and flop minimum bets are the lower limit, whereas the turn and river mini bets are the upper limit of the table stakes.
OmahaSame as Hold’em; see above.
Seven-Card StudTypically, the bring-in is half the lower limit. The 1st betting round and fourth street are the lower limit. Fifth, sixth and seventh street use the upper limit in the game.
Five-Card StudTypically, the bring-in is half the lower limit. First betting round and third street are the lower limit. Fourth and fifth street use the upper limit, depending on the stakes of course.
RazzSame as Seven-Card Stud; see above.