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Poker Strategy: Basics of Online Poker
Updated: June 2017

There are many types of poker games, and each has different structures, however all betting takes place with certain player actions such as:

Check – taking no action. When you are not folding or putting any chips into the pot, you are simply passing on your turn. You can call or even raise a player’s action that follows yours unless the whole table checks or folds. If that happens the betting round is considered over except for anyone who has “checked”.

Bet – putting chips on the table. You are wagering with the other players on who has the best poker hand. The better your cards are the more you should be willing to risk, and the more you want the other people to pay to stay in the game. Some games have a restricted betting amount, some have no betting limits.

The first bet is called the opening bet. Once a person places a bet other players respond with one of the following actions:

Fold – you quit your hand and give up whatever chips are in the pot. You fold when you feel your hand is weak, and you don’t want to waste anymore chips just to see how the game progresses.

Call – you match the bet, you want to stay in the game and are willing to pay the cost. When you call you put down the identical amount of chips as the last wager and are still in the game.

Raise – increase the bet. If you want to pressure the other players to risk even more chips you may raise their bet. When you raise, just as when you make a big bet, you are making a strong statement about how strong your hand is. In poke all off your actions, even folding, can be used to bluff and deceive. A raise is a strong statement, which makes it a perfect bluff, in an attempt to make people fold if you have a weak hand.

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Online poker rooms offer many variations of these actions for players to choose from, including the following:

Call any – if you choose this option the computer will have you call any bet made during the round.

Check-Fold – check when possible, fold when forced. Although there is no reason to fold if no one is making you, if you feel your hand is weak enough not to wager any more chips you can choose this option. This gives you the opportunity to see the next card for free if you can, but you can fold if anyone bets so you don’t risk any more chips.

Check–Raise – if you want to make the pot larger you can check on your turn and hope someone raises, just so you can raise them. It is a logical assumption that one person will raise during a betting round, especially if everyone is checking, feeling that they have a better hand. If no one has any kind of hand someone might raise just to force the others to fold. You can then raise his bet and win the game.

 

Playing Poker for Real Money in The United States

Playing online poker using real money is pure gamling, so make sure you play poker with the money you can afford to lose. Sometimes the day will not go in your favor, so make sure the money you lose or win is only for gamling.

Below is a list of items to consider when starting to play poker online or offline.
  • Read Poker Books and Magazines
  • Play Online Poker with Play Money
  • Read our "Poker 101" section

 

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