Texas Holdem Poker Lessons: Acts and Moves

Before and after community cards are dealt, players make betting acts. This Texas Holdem Poker Lesson discusses acts and moves.

Bet

To bet is to initiate wagering. In any round, if you put money in the pot before anyone else does, you are making a bet. Before the flop, two mandatory bets are made known as "posting the blinds." In subsequent rounds, to bet is to show confidence in your hand.

Call

To call is to accept the challenge of a bet made before you. Often players with doubtful hands call a bet just to stay in a hand, known as "limping." Calling can be useful when you want to slow play a hand.

Fold

To fold is to quit the current game. A good player will fold unplayable hands preflop, choosing to play only with "premium" or very good hands. But folding isn't limited to the preflop stage. A mature poker player must be ready to fold at any point in the game, e.g. if the flop is totally off, and opponents are betting strongly all around.

Raise

To raise is to increase the wager. You want to raise when you are confident about your hand, when you are bluffing, and/or you want to scare opponents into folding. Raising, if done thoughtlessly, can cost you a lot of money.

Check

When there are no wagers to call, you can check. That is, you get to pass to the next player. A check is useful when you want to see the next card for free (i.e. without betting). You can also check if you think someone after you will bet, so you can raise them later in the round. Since an opponent already bet, they will often feel they must call your raise. This move is known as a "check raise" and is done when you have a great hand.

Bluff

The bluff is a much-hyped move in poker. It is when you act in such a way as to make others believe you have the best hand even when you don't. The idea is to make them fold so you can win with your lousy hand without a showdown. If they fold, great. If not, you face a showdown in which your hand (and your bluff) will be exposed. Bluffing works best where there are few players left, as the more players there are, the more likely someone will call your bet or raise.

You can bluff against tight players since this type will fold at the slightest sign of trouble. You can bluff if you are in late position and the others just checked. If it's obvious that the others failed to make their hands, you can bluff as if you have made yours.

Semi-Bluff

Essentially, a semi-bluff is when you are close to making your hand (known as "drawing" a hand) and you act as if you have made it already. For example, you may have a K-Q off-suit. The flop shows 7-9-J, same suit as your king. You are now four cards to a flush. But you can act as if you have already made the flush since they can't see your queen is off-suit. If they fold right away, you win the pot. If not, you can still win if your flush comes on the turn or river.

This ends the Texas Holdem Poker Lesson on acts and special moves.

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