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How to bet in Poker

Betting is the backbone of any game of poker. As such, knowing the options when it comes to placing those bets is the key to making a casino trip more fun. It can also help players stick to a gaming budget. While each variation of poker has its own particular set of betting rules, there are a few universal elements across all games. Check them out.


A hand is seen placing a stack of chips across a line.

Once a player has examined their cards, it’s time to place a bet. This is done by deciding how much to wager, and placing the corresponding value of chips on the table. For example, if a player wants to bet $5, they’ll need to place one $5 chip, or five $1 chips on the table.

What to do

Push your chips over the line towards the centre of the table

What to say

“I bet $5”


In poker, verbal betting statements are binding. If the amount you verbalize doesn’t match the amount of chips you put down, the dealer will go with the amount you said.


A hand places a stack of chips across a line, next to an existing stack of chips of the same amount.

In basic terms, calling is a bet made to keep play moving and see the next card. In some poker variations, calling can also be used to trigger a showdown—the moment all hands at the table are revealed. A “call” wager is equal to the amount of the last bet placed around the table.

Calling is an action a player may take when they’re feeling confident that they have a strong hand, or that an opponent might be bluffing.

What to do

Push an equal amount of chips across the line in the middle of the table.

What to Say



A hand knocks on the table.

Logistically speaking, checking isn’t a bet. Rather, it’s an action that can happen during certain rounds of betting. Checking allows a player to effectively skip their turn without taking any action.

When a player checks, they pass to the next player and defer their right to bet on the round. They can still raise, call or fold in subsequent rounds. For novice poker players, this action is often seen as a way to extend play without investing more money in the hand.

What to do

Knock twice on the table with your fist

What to Say



A hand places a stack of chips across a line, into an existing pot of chips.

Raising means to make a bet that’s larger than any other bet on the table. This action forces all other players at the table to make a choice: match or raise their own bet and stay in the game, or fold.

Typically, raising is done when a player believes they may be holding the best hand at the table, but it is also used as a bluffing tactic by some experienced poker players.

What to do

Push your raise amount in chips across the line, into the middle of the table

What to Say

“I raise $4”


Play safe and smart. If you raise, keep in mind that other players have the option of re-raising, which will force you to match the newly increased amount to stay in the game.


A hand places 2 cards that appear face down, over a line.

Folding is the act of ending participation in a poker hand. A player can fold on any round of a hand, including right off the deal, but must wait until their turn to act. Usually this takes place when a player feels their hand has no chance of winning the round.

Folding also means the player forfeits all their bets, and is prohibited from making any further bets on the round.

What to do

Throw or lay your cards, face down, across the line on the table.

What to say